International Journal of Education & the Arts

Volume 14 Review 7

December 31, 2013

Strong Experiences with Music: Music is Much More than Just Music: A Review Essay

Sven Bjerstedt
Lund University, Sweden

Book Reviewed: Gabrielsson, A. (2011). Strong experiences with music: Music is much more than just music. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19- 969522-5.

Citation: Bjerstedt, S. (2013). Strong experiences with music: Music is much more than just music: A review essay. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 14(Review 7). Retrieved [date] from

The objects of Alf Gabrielsson's study Strong experiences with music are experiences and insights that exceed by far what is normally included in music experiences. To a great extent, the many (over 500) experiences related in this book are so intense that a reader often cannot avoid comparing them to her or his own experiences with music. The multi-variety of character in music experiences is viewed in relation to their dependence on a large number of both musical, personal, and situational variables. With its rare combination of the richness of accounts of extraordinary experiences, the sympathetic understanding and interpretation that characterizes the reflective commentary, and its thoughtful and cautious scientific analysis, this book provides a most powerful illustration of the profundity of the question what music may do to us.

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