Emotion in Musical Performance Essay

Emotion in Musical Performance Essay

Length: 2404 words (6.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview


An outstanding piano performance is one in which there is an emotional connection between the performer and the listener. When a pianist imbues his performance with emotional intensity, the audience will likewise feel the same. The result is an electrifying, energetic performance. There is scientific basis for this sharing of emotions. Scientific research over the last two decades has led to the discovery of mirror neurons. Mirror neurons enable us to empathize with others, feeling the emotions of another’s as if they were our own. Consequently, when we watch a skilled actor perform an intensely emotional scene, we are moved so strongly. A skilled pianist should be able to move his audience in a similar manner, projecting his intense emotions onto his listeners. The purpose of this paper is to provide insight into how piano teachers can help their intermediate and advanced piano students to develop and perform with emotional intensity. It will show how emotional intensity can be applied to a performance, using excerpts from piano literature.

Mirror neurons

Mirror neurons are a set of neurons in the premotor cortex, the part of the brain responsible for movement. These neurons fire both when we perform an action and when we see or hear someone else performing the same action. Mirror neurons were first discovered in the mid-1990s when a group of researchers were studying the brains of macaque monkeys. Whenever the monkey reached for and grabbed an object, a set of neurons would fire. When a researcher reached for and grabbed the same object, the same neurons began to fire inside the monkey’s brain. The monkey had not performed any motion, but merely watching someone else perform that motion elicited the same re...

... middle of paper ...

... Music Research, 35:3, 197-210.
Chapin, H., Jantzen, K., Scott Kelso, J.A., Steinberg, F., & Large, E. (2010). Dynamic emotional and neural responses to music depend on performance expression and listener experience. Public Library of Science, 5:12, 1-14.
Kaplan, J.T. & Iacoboni, M. (2006). Getting a grip on other minds: Mirror neurons, intention understanding, and cognitive empathy. Social Neuroscience, 1:3-4, 175-183.
Levant, R.O. The Anatomy of Musicality. (2006). Dallas, TX: Rozalie O. Levant.
Molnar-Szacas, I. & Overy, K. (2006). Music and mirror neurons: From motion to “e”motion. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 1, 235-241.
Rizzolatti, G. & Craighero, L. (2004). The mirror-neuron system. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 27, 169-92.
Orzechowicz, D. (2008). Privileged emotion managers: The case of actors. Social Psychology Quarterly, 71:2, 143-156.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Abhinaya Dance And The Full Performance Of The Natya Shastra Essay

- In the Indian culture, the Abhinaya dance is a mime dance that is performed by combining dancing and acting. The Abhinaya dance is part of the full performance of the Natya Shastra. There are four types of Abhinaya in the Indian culture; Angika, Vachika, Aharya, and Sattwika. Angika means the use of the body to express meaning. For example, the Angika uses the major limbs in your body to perform the Abhinaya dance. Vachika means use of speech to show expression. An example of that is, the Abhinaya dancer can sing along to the person that is conducting the music or poetry so as he or she is dancing they can follow along with the words that are being said....   [tags: Performance, Dance]

Powerful Essays
1994 words (5.7 pages)

I Watched Was Troupers : A Musical Vaudeville Libretto And Direction By Anne Healy

- The play I watched was Troupers: a musical vaudeville libretto and direction by Anne Healy. It was about several different people who belong to the world of vaudeville in New York City, who hope to become a star and make a decent living. Some of the characters were from backgrounds of poverty but had great interest in the musical world and others were accustomed to the world of music, dancing, and theatre. The play goes in depth into each act the characters bring to the vaudeville stage and the audience experiences the day in the life....   [tags: Theatre, Performance, Music, Piano]

Powerful Essays
709 words (2 pages)

A Closer Look at the Musical, Chicago Essay examples

- Chicago is an American musical with music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb and a book by Ebb and Bob Fosse. Set in Prohibition-era Chicago, the musical is based on a 1926 play of the same name by reporter Maurine Dallas Watkins about actual criminals and crimes she reported on. The story is a satire on corruption in the administration of criminal justice and the concept of the "celebrity criminal." Fred Ebb explains: “So I made it [Chicago] a vaudeville based on the idea that the characters were performers....   [tags: Play, Film]

Powerful Essays
1744 words (5 pages)

Musical Expression and Musical Meaning in Context Essay

- Musical Expression and Musical Meaning in Context 1. Some preliminaries. There is a growing body of work in the philosophy of music and musical aesthetics that has considered the various ways that music can be meaningful: music as representational (that is, musical depictions of persons, places, processes, or events); musical as quasi-linguistic reference (as when a musical figure underscores the presence of a character in a film or opera), and most especially, music as emotionally expressive....   [tags: Music Philosophy Essays]

Free Essays
3436 words (9.8 pages)

Music in Motion Essay

- Music in Motion is an innovation in musical performance where a relationship is built between audio, gestures, and dynamic imagery. The basis of this project is to capture the movements of a musician during a performance and use that information to manipulate music and graphics in real-time. The performance system consists of two parts. The first part captures the movements of an electric guitar player during a performance. This motion data is then used to drive different audio effects and parameters such as tone, pitch, volume, and overdrive....   [tags: Musical Performance]

Powerful Essays
1668 words (4.8 pages)

My Wedding At Indiana University East Featuring Daya And Somo Essay

- On September 29th, 2016 I took my niece to her very first concert for her birthday. The concert took place locally at Indiana University East featuring Daya and SoMO. To be honest I had only heard a few songs by Daya and was not quite sure if I had heard any music by SoMo. Both musicians were entertaining but because I am somewhat more familiar with Daya’s music and she performed originals, I am going to focus on her performance. Daya is the stage name for Grace Martine Tandon. She is from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania and has been interested in music from a very young age....   [tags: Music, Performance, Musical instrument]

Powerful Essays
864 words (2.5 pages)

Performance Practice of Baroque Vocal Technique Essay

- Performance Practice of Baroque Vocal Technique When approaching a performance, accomplished musicians often consider the historical context from which a piece originates. They most often think of such considerations in the application of that context as it pertains to early music that is, the Baroque era or earlier. For any era, such historical considerations are called performance practice, and may include the use of vibrato, ornamentation, dynamic levels, tempi, instrumental timbres, performance setting, and balance....   [tags: Music Voice Musical Essays]

Powerful Essays
3382 words (9.7 pages)

The Rebirth Of American Musical Theatre Essay example

- Two great writers of American musical theatre, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, had one idea in common. They wanted to present to the American public a new and revolutionary musical that would stand out above the rest. They wanted to make an impact on the societies of the era. They wanted to be creative and do something that was considered rebellious. When they finally combined their ideas together they created an American masterpiece in musical theatre: Oklahoma!. It was the first Rodgers and Hammerstein collaboration, starting the most successful creative partnership in the history of American musical theatre....   [tags: essays research papers fc]

Powerful Essays
3224 words (9.2 pages)

Dance for Musical Theatre: Robert Louis Fosse Essay

- Dance for Musical Theatre: Robert Louis Fosse *No Works Cited Robert Louis Fosse was born on June 23, 1927 in Chicago, Illinois. He was the son of a vaudevillian and appropriately enough was born into the theatre. As a child, the art of dance wasn’t only used as a past time by young Fosse, but rather as a way of gaining attention from friends and family. From an early age he had already started studying ballet, tap and acrobatic dance. As Fosse grew up, his talented dancing and signature showmanship had began molding his future career....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
715 words (2 pages)

Creation of an Amateur Performance Essay

- Creation of an Amateur Performance Our performed piece was based upon the poem called Amber written by Jennie Fontana. This was our stimulus and my first impression of the poem was of the sea and waves. This was the overriding theme for the piece, which we were to perform. To introduce us to the end piece we had to first understand what it was we were dealing with, in musical terms. We learnt the basic terms of music and what they meant and we tried to create a little piece which demonstrated at least one of characteristics....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
1859 words (5.3 pages)