Music & Emotion

This post is going to be different from most of my previous posts, because part of it concerns personal observations on my own personality aside from all INFPs. I don’t doubt that some of these observations with apply to most INFPs, but a few probably won’t, as I have asked fellow INFPs if they have had the same observations and only a few have voiced similarities to my observations. I’m writing post mostly to express these observations and also writing it in hopes of hearing similar thoughts from fellow INFPs.

At the moment, I have four observations concerning myself, music, and emotions. One of these observations I’m sure will apply to everyone, but the other three I just know applies to me the most out of the INFPs I’ve talked to.

1. I prefer music over lyrics.

This first observation is one that I know most people in general can’t relate to, and only a few INFPs I know can relate to this in some part.

I’ve noticed, concerning my taste in music, I judge a song based on if it has a good tune, not if it has good lyrics. I’m not saying I don’t like lyrics at all; I do love hearing a good singing voice and lyrics that have a rhythm that fits the melody of the song.

However, I feel that most song lyrics just “fly over my head” and don’t strike an emotional chord. It’s not that I don’t understand the lyrics; it’s that I just am not emotionally affected by them. I may discuss this in a future post, but “concrete” words don’t have a large affect on my emotionally. For instance, if I was feeling bad about a mistake I thought I made, and someone then revealed to me that I didn’t actually make the mistake, their words would have no affect. I would still feel terrible, no matter how many times I told myself nothing was wrong.

In the same way, lyrics have a harder time “getting to me”. Instead, I enjoy the music, tune, and melody to a song over the lyrics.

That’s not to say other people don’t have the same tastes as I do (music over lyrics) but personally I feel I have such tastes because emotions trump words for me.


So, because of this, many people will notice that I enjoy instrumental music more than regular music, because instrumental music has no lyrics at all.

2. Music spawns emotions.

Like I said in the first observation, music and melody affect me more deeply than the lyrics to a song. I’ll go more into why in the fourth observation, but the music I listen to (soundtracks, instrumental music, etc.) just generates many, many feelings. Of course, if I listen to a song over and over again I’ll eventually lose the feeling but everyone loves listening to a new song over and over again of course.

Sometimes though, I can gain those feelings again. If, after a few months of not listening to a song I eventually got bored of, I go back to the song, I’ll get the same feelings I had when I first listened to the song. Many times, it’s not just the feelings the song generated, but also the emotions I had during that period of my life when I first listened to the song. Like I said in The Emotional Life of the INFP, INFPs associate emotions with everything, and so, we also associate emotions a lot with music. In a way, music, to me, is like a vault that when I open it I regain all the emotions I had when I first listened to the song.

3. Emotions spawn music.

Music may spawn emotions within me, but in reverse, sometimes the emotions I have may spawn music. What I mean is, sometimes if I want to continue having a certain feeling, I may find a song or piece of music that will help me still feel that emotion. If I’m feeling sad and want to stay sad, I’ll listen to sad music.

4. Music is emotion. 

Personally, I feel like music is “concrete” emotion. It’s a way of expressing my emotion without words. Sometimes I feel like the tune to a song fits my emotional “waves” perfectly. Because I feel like music is directly interlinked to my emotions, that is why I prefer music over lyrics.

Words don’t always express how I feel, and words don’t always affect me emotionally. But music can both express my emotions in an abstract way. Music is hard to explain… it just “is”. It’s hard to describe, and it isn’t rational or tangible, and so it fits my emotions perfectly.

So, those are a few of my observations of myself. If any of you feel the same way, that’s great, but if not, this will just express my personal tastes and observations.







4 Comments Add yours

  1. xarolehta says:

    from an INFP musician’s perspective :

    1 —> i’ll listen to the same song for years because of the melody/harmony and have no idea what it’s about until i make the conscious decision to pay attention to the words

    2 —> yes !

    3 —> i write songs when the emotions get overwhelming, it sucks to be in that mindset for a long time but when it’s done, it’s as if you’ve surgically removed that piece of yourself. you can observe that emotion while it’s sitting in the bottom a glass jar

    4 —> instruments feel like an extension of yourself when you play.. i can say “this sucked” or “i love you” but when i play a loud dissonant chord or a really soft arpeggio, it makes sense in a way that bypasses the brain. nothing has to be analyzed, translated or explained, it’s inherently understood. that’s why the notes you pick when you write a song are so important.. choosing to play one series of notes in a specific volume and speed could be the difference between “sculpting” a genuine smile and a sarcastic one

    ps : is it just me, or is this way of thinking what makes a lot of popular songs with repetitive melodies completely unbearable ?? i feel like punching through the wall when i hear anything like fetty wap’s “trap queen”; it’s the musical equivalent of a toddler going NANANANANA for four straight minutes


    1. Hearing all of that just makes me wish I was a better musician (or at least one that can also write songs). 🙂
      And concerning popular songs, though I’m not criticizing all popular songs or popular bands, most of them do contain repetitive melodies that will apparently “appeal to the market”, and the songs are just different lyrics with the same music. Or, the songs are just the same rhythm over and over again. Now, some popular bands, for instance Coldplay (I only say Coldplay because they’re my personal favorite), know how to incorporate great tunes with intriguing and deep lyrics. So, not all popular bands are terrible, but I know the feeling of getting really annoyed or frustrated when a friend won’t stop listening to a terrible popular song. I doubt that INFPs are the only type to voice these complaints, mostly because I have heard other people express this, but it is clear that INFPs yearn for more originality and quality in songs.

      Liked by 1 person

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