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Strong Experiences with MusicMusic is much more than just music$
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Alf Gabrielsson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199695225

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199695225.001.0001

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Inner music

Inner music

(p.99) Chapter 9 Inner music
Strong Experiences with Music

Alf Gabrielsson

Oxford University Press

One can think of a piece of music and ‘hear’ it inside one's head. Several of our participants mention, for example, that they sometimes think back to the strong experience and imagine how the music sounded. Trained musicians can study notes for a piece of music and gain an impression — a ‘mental representation’ in academic terminology — of what it should sound like, and use this as the basis for their performance. Now and then, music can also spontaneously turn up in one's head without one actually having particularly thought about it. It can be music one has heard recently, but it can also be music that one has not heard for a long time and that for some (incomprehensible) reason turns up just then. Sometimes a tune can stick in one's mind and just go round and round in a loop — one just can't get rid of it. These are fairly well-known phenomena. This chapter presents selected accounts that deal with a less well known phenomenon, namely strong experience with ‘inner’, imagined music.

Keywords:   strong experiences with music, inner music, imagined music, personal accounts

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