Emotions are physical. They emerge from our body at the brain-stem/ lizard brain/ ‘old’ brain level as a result of sensory input. Music delivers sound and, if the listeners allow it, stimulates the emotional center of our brain called the amygdala.
“Feelings originate in the upper parts of the brain and are mental associations and reactions to those emotions. They are influenced by personal experience, beliefs and memories.”
This difference between emotions and feelings helps de-mystify why listeners relate to emotions in such a vast variety of ways. As Professor Antonio D’Amasio puts it: “Feelings are mental experiences of body states, which arise as the brain interprets emotions, themselves physical states arising from the body’s responses to external stimuli. (The order of such events is: I am threatened, experience fear, and feel horror.)