Music and the psyche

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What prompted our earliest forebears to make music? According to Charles Darwin, humans originally made attractive sounds as part of courtship and mating game rituals. As was the case with other forms of expression, music soon became useful for several other purposes.

Bearing this in mind, I have to accept that I was a highly opinionated and judgemental teenage musician. I struggled to empathise with my peers who played music with the aim of being seen to be desirable by potential lovers.

I was aware, even at that point in my development, that music is a symbol which enables people to make sense of their lives. I found Billie Holiday recordings very difficult to listen to, possibly because they evoked in me overwhelming feelings of pain and sorrow.

Hopefully, I’m mature enough now to listen to other singers and musicians with a much more detached mindset. Everyone has his or her own story to tell, after all.

I also aim to get out of my own way, to allow my thoughts and feelings to flow naturally.