Music in love: happy and unhappy

Alf Gabrielsson

in Strong Experiences with Music

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

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This chapter presents selected accounts of strong experiences with music in connection with love. Love is often connected with music. Music can function as a catalyst in a loving relationship and in maintaining it afterwards — music sets off, interprets, confirms, strengthens, and maintains the feelings. It can arouse associations and memories, inner images and fantasies, and be a refuge in critical situations. Several accounts in our material bear witness to such questions. They are often about music and the circumstances around the first meeting (actual or imaginary) with the loved one. The experience is stored in one's long-term memory and can now and then turn up spontaneously as an unforgettable moment. Or one might deliberately bring this memory out in order to experience again the strong feelings that then applied — perhaps as a way of influencing one's own mood in a positive direction. But music can also be the opposite. It can be associated with jealousy, bittersweet love, forbidden love, unhappy love, a lack of love, or with sorrow and pain after a broken relationship.

Keywords: strong experiences with music; love; happiness; unhappiness; personal accounts

Chapter.  4986 words. 

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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