Music and existence

Alf Gabrielsson

in Strong Experiences with Music

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199695225
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191729775 | DOI:
Music and existence

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This chapter presents selected accounts about music and existence. Strong experiences of music can embrace thoughts and reflections on life and existence. Music can be perceived as mirroring what it means to be a human being, the conditions for life in its various phases, what life can offer, and how one ought/can take advantage of its possibilities. The experience can lead to a changed view of oneself, of one's relation to other people and of existence in general. Some people point out the almost paradoxical fact that a few minutes of music radically altered their entire life. Some experiences are of such a unique and overwhelming character that one cannot expect to go through anything similar ever again. They are described as ‘unrivalled’, ‘ultimate’, or ‘holy’ moments in life.

Keywords: strong experiences with music; meaning of life; presence in life; feelings; personal accounts

Chapter.  5580 words. 

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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