Jocelyne .


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Is it possible to feel the same emotions we get from music from a painting or drawing?

Listening to music can move us emotionally in profound ways. Sounds can change our moods, bring us to a place of nostalgia, make us visualize stories/dreams, transporting us to other worlds to the point where we can experience chills.

A painting or a drawing can move us profoundly as well but does it move us in the same way? Can it?

Are we moved more easily by what we hear than what we see?

If you've seen a painting or drawing that has moved you in a similar way as music please share which one it was. Thank you.

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    Jun 23 2012: If you are interested in the science of how we respond to music, perhaps in contrast to other things, Oliver Sacks' Musicophelia is on that subject. I have not read it, but I have read many of his other books, and they are always most engaging.
    He is a TED speaker but not, as far as I recall, on this subject.
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      Jun 27 2012: Hi Fritzie, Thank you for sharing that. Will have to look into him as it's definitely something I'm interested in understanding more.
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    Jun 23 2012: Art, being human expression, even despite its varying forms, does have similar effects on us. Music, films, paintings, sculptures or writing is an embodiment of its creator's views,feelings or mind state.
    It is thus natural for one to appreciate art and to identify with the human experience that must have inspired it.
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      Jun 27 2012: Hi Feyisayo,
      I love your last line. This makes sense..thank you.
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    Jun 23 2012: There is a saying that says "seeing is believing" it seems seeing has got higher impact....

    While hearing music vs seeing a painting vs drawing something (if you meant drawing by self) we use different sense organs and or different co-ordination of result should not be same logically
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      Jun 27 2012: Hi Salim, I understand the logic that our sensitivities are different.. But then does the experience from seeing art cause more profound feelings than hearing music since you're saying seeing has a higher impact, and different senses organs can't develop similar emotions?
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        Jun 27 2012: Hi Jocelyne
        That's what I feel and think logically.....I mean getting similar (same) emotional impact seems not possible as while we are using different sense organs for the same person......

        Just an inmmediate thought, logically it can be different as well from person to person depending on senses one depends most to grasp information , image, data from the environment..... say for example if someone is challenged with vision might have more emotional impact from hearing music than someone with normal vision....well it's my hypothesis only....

        I always wondered, art might have something more profound that impacts our emotion differently.....say same event when we see in real have different impact vs when we see it in painting or photography...... A hungry real child on street side frequently get ignored but we see same child when in painting or in photography we cry............why it happens so.... I don't know as usual....

        Human mind seems very unpredictable and illogical at times
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    R H

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    Jun 23 2012: Yes Jocelyne, I believe people can be moved to tears by painting and drawing as well as music. I believe sculpture and architecture and a myriad of other human expressions can move us as profoundly as well. I think different people express and respond in different ways. I think that's why we have all of the different disciplines of expression. Although there are many great paintings I can refer to, there are 2 in particular that I remember now. One is "The Road to Emmaus" by Robert Zund, 1877. It's a rather idyllic depiction but when I first saw it years ago I only saw the immensity of nature surrounding 3 men walking on a path, a teacher and 2 rapt listeners. The teacher is the Christ and he is now pure spirit and the 2 men his apostles. They are completely free of vice and the whole scene (for me) is one of indescribable human ability to participate in the beauty and spirit of pure life, in complete communion with existence and the divine, gleaning the highest level of love from all of creation, in the immensity of creation and the relative insignificance of humanity, yet with the human ability to understand and participate in its fullness. It often moves me deeply still. The other one is a large flower my daughter painted while still in art school. It's hanging in my living room. I often weep just passing by.
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      Jun 27 2012: R H, Thank you for such a beautifully written response.
      I think people can feel a sense of awe from all forms of visual arts but I've always wanted to understand whether the emotional experiences we feel are as profound or even the same as when we listen to music.
      I searched and viewed the painting you mentioned - you are right.. I definitely experienced something profound seeing it.
      Thank you.
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    Jun 27 2012: Yes, you make a lot of sense.
    I'm an artist myself and have often wondered whether we as humans are more moved or affected by music or visual arts as a form of expression, which is why I am curious to read what others might think.
    Thank you for your response Salim.
  • Jun 24 2012: I might be wrong, but I think on a psychological/biological level, our auditory senses have more of an emotional impact than that of sight.

    If you think about it, watching a film without any sound can take away all the drama (not even necessarily talking about the music here either, the sound can have an equally big, if not bigger effect than music) and take away all the sense of involvement we might have with the picture. Now add the audio and it becomes a completely different world. Shut your eyes with the film still rolling with audio and you can still get a pretty good picture of what is going on. Music/sound can take us into any world that we desire.

    Not saying that sight is insignificant in comparison. Not in the slightest. I mean, isn't that what branding is basically all about for companies, to catch your eye.

    It also depends how you define art. If you are talking strictly paintings or traditional art, then I would say no. Because the outside world can distract you. There are many forms of art. Personal I feel an amazing piece of creative writing would move me more than the Mona Lisa, because I could relate to it more.

    I might be wrong though, sight may have a more profound effect. But I'm speaking from my personal experience.