"When I'm at a wedding, it is not the sight of the hope and love of the bride and groom standing in front of their friends and family, their whole life before them, that makes my eyes tear up. It is when the music begins that I start to cry. In a movie, when two people are at long last reunited after some great ordeal, the music again pushes me and my emotions over the sentimental edge." This is the opening to the fourth chapter of Dr. Levitin's book. I think most people can agree that music has a deep emotional connection for us.
The "Oxford Handbook of Music and Emotion" is one thousand pages trying to decipher why music has such a connection to us as humans. "Music's ability to express and arouse emotions is a mystery that has fascinated both experts and laymen at least since ancient Greece" (Juslin & Sloboda). Though no certain method is correct in finding the reasons of emotional connection to music the handbook lays out several including psychological, philosophical, musicological, neurobiological, and many more. In the opening the editors state that "most work on music and emotion today involves an empirical approach to the topic. Emotion is increasingly regarded as a phenomenon that features various subcomponents which can all be used to measure emotional responses. There continue to be debates concerning whether music can arouse 'genuine', 'everyday', or 'garden variety' emotions, and, if so, which emotions they might be" (Juslin & Sloboda) The work attempts to answer this question and uses every modern approach to understanding music and the effects it has on the brain. In the end, no decision has been made as to whether or not music can conger up emotions but it is know that music plays a significant role in memory recollection which in turn effects emotions.
"One reason for the relative lack of well-founded psychological research on emotional aspects of music is undoubtedly the difficulty of measuring emotional responses" (Sloboda). In the article "Music Structure and Emotional Response: Some Empirical Findings" John Sloboda explores why there isn't more knowledge about the emotional connections to music. He claims that because it has been said for so long that there is no reason to delve into defining emotional response there aren't studies to show that music is creating emotions. You may experience a type of thrill associated with a song but who can say if that is a true emotional response or physiological. This issue of defining emotional response is the reason we do not have more research focused on how music effects us emotionally.