We are plagued by the sound of all kinds of engines. On television we hear excited dialogues conducted in a limited vocabulary, advertisements in a loud, sometimes obvious, sometimes subtle command tone; on the radio the same poorly-balanced old hits or else a constant background noise whose absence we only begin to really notice on a peaceful island or in the desert.
Ballads are an invitation to dream, smooch, doze, fantasize, reflect, to drift through landscapes, to indulge ideas and sometimes to enjoy a small festival of idleness.
Ballads can deeply move us, can stir that sensual goose-pimple feeling. Music and emotion: a delicate topic. None of the explanations as to why music moves us, more or less, is really apposite.
In an essay on “Music and Emotion” (in Bruhn, Kopiez, Lehmann Musikpsychologie, Reinbek 2008) in which he evaluates the different research approaches and findings, Gunter Kreutz comes to the following astonishing con-clusion:
“It is to be assumed that music has its greatest impact when it succeeds in getting people to gather in peaceful communities and behave considerately towards one another.”