Its ability to communicate has been as revered as it has been suspect, and its rich social and ritualistic associations have added layers of meanings that can only be expressed in musical terms, and not in terms of words or images.
Aaron Copland in his "How We Listen" says that music can be listened to and enjoyed in three different planes: the sensual, the expressive and the solely musical. The listening experience for a particular piece of music is evaluated on all these planes simultaneously, but to understand the effects of music it is necessary that we at least outline these levels separately.
The sensual plane is the absorption of the sheer pleasure that music affords, the elevated mood it evokes, and the escape from the mundanities of life it makes possible. The expressive plane, on the other hand, talks to the listener, but does not have a concrete message to convey, it conveys broad senses of emotion: "..... serenity or exuberance, regret or triumph, fury or delight. It expresses each of these moods, and many others, in a numberless variety of subtle shadings and differences. ...Show more