Wednesday, February 1, 2012

How Musicians (and everybody else through speech) Communicate Emotion

I am often making the comparison of "communication" to music and dancing; especially when we are involved in high stakes interviews and interrogations.  There is an ebb and flow to every conversation and relationship.  As an observer to interviews and interrogations we are taught to notice when emotions and/or energy levels change, because this is significant.

There are those among us, either through either training or because they are a natural truth wizards, that acutely can zero in when the words and emotions do not match up.

To me personally it is revealed much like the fictionalized show Psych, where one of the characters has the extraordinary power of observation and deduction, that he plays off as his psychic ability, the show uses a special effect to highlight an object- to me the words, or gestures, or slips are amplified.

The following video is a metaphor to what we do when finding  lies and deception.  To understand this in the context of music will help you understand it in other areas of your life, and will improve your ability to be a truth detective.

Dan Levitin designed a psychology experiment using a special player piano to analyze and reproduce a performance without expressive elements, and versions in between. When participants ranked their preference of versions it was found they matched the most expressive, in which a musician uses variations in timing, loudness and softness to convey emotion.

Part Two