NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ976758
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Sep
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 86
ISSN: ISSN-0305-7356
Emotion, Engagement and Meaning in Strong Experiences of Music Performance
Lamont, Alexandra
Psychology of Music, v40 n5 p574-594 Sep 2012
This paper explores the emotions connected with music performance. Performing music provides the potential to attain wellbeing via the hedonic and eudaimonic routes, appealing to pleasure, engagement and meaning (Seligman, 2002). To date, most research exploring emotions amongst performers has focused on these components separately, exploring positive or negative affect, flow, or the development of performer identity. In the current study, 35 university students (mean age 20.6 years) gave free reports of their strongest, most intense experiences of performing music. Accounts were content analyzed using the Strong Experiences of Music Descriptive System (Gabrielsson & Lindstrom Wik, 2003), and also analyzed for the components of wellbeing using an idiographic approach. Four basic types of response were characterized, emphasizing: (1) negative and positive emotions and personal engagement; (2) negative and positive emotions, engagement and meaning; (3) positive emotion and meaning; or (4) positive emotions, engagement, and meaning. The emphasis on the eudaimonic route to wellbeing (through engagement and meaning) shows that young musicians do have valuable and rewarding experiences with the potential to sustain long-term motivation to engage with practical music-making. The value of the positive psychology framework is also demonstrated by its applicability to descriptions of strong experiences of performing music. (Contains 1 figure and 3 tables.)
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)