Woods and streams, lakes, moors and mountains fascinated him and begot in him a sheer animal joy, a joy that was elemental and not consciously sought. Jonathan Pieslak, in his 2009 book, Sound Targets: American Soldiers and Music in the Iraq War,” finds a telling cinematic precedent in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1940 film Foreign Correspondent,” where Nazi spies torment a diplomat with bright lights and swing music.
Participants were asked to listen to, rate and, if they chose, download songs by bands they had never heard of. Some of the participants saw only the names of the songs and bands, while others also saw how many times the songs had been downloaded by previous participants.
Experientially, I was on several occasions moved to tears by music in Banaras; it made that bell inside me ring most triumphantly, brought me to densely emotional memories long forgotten, and feelings of myself and the world that exist in some hyper-reality where the finest fruits are fermented into wine and the most wretched creatures of the Earth sneer at you inches from your face.
Though he agrees that we accept the negative responses some music elicits because we are interested in understanding it, he points out that this gives rise to the further question of why we should be so interested in understanding something that brings us pain.
Despite the problems of the arousal theory as the whole story of musical expressivity, there is a growing consensus, thanks largely to the work of Jenefer Robinson (1994, 2005), that our lower-level, less cognitive responses to music must play some role in the emotional expressivity we attribute to it. However, this role is likely to be a causal one, rather than part of an analysis of what it is for music to be emotionally expressive.