Request For Feedback – When Tragedy Strikes: A Music Behavioral Analysis

Dear friends,

Thus far, my research interests have lain in the children I’ve tested and taught in person, and I have had little use for gathering data from anyone over the age of 18. As I craft together my first pitch, however, I’d like to ask for some feedback. I’ve been given the opportunity to write about two subjects I find very fascinating. In fact, I believe anyone else has yet to combine them in quite this way. I’m attempting to piece together the music industry and psychological resilience. In the end, it all boils down to music behavior analysis. In this vein, I find myself happily at home. When venturing toward the music industry and modern practice, however, I’m treading on new ground.

 So I ask you, dear reader, if you have ever gone through a period of immense stress (i.e. one’s senior year of college or an audit at work), lost a loved one due to natural or unnatural causes, or experienced a major trial of any kind, to lend me your feedback. If you have ever streamed music using Spotify, Grooveshark, Songza, 8track, LastFM (etc.), or elected not to, I ask for your feedback. 


It’s been a few weeks since I really sat down on meditated on these concepts. This weekend, however, tragedy struck. A friend of mine lost his father, and I lost someone very dear to me. I suppose now is as good a time as ever, then, to write about loss, and how we respond to it.

I am interested in the way we respond to trauma/loss through the psychological lenses of music behavior with a special emphasis on playback. Because the debate of ownership vs. streaming is relatively new, there is precious little data available in the area I’m seeking. In terms of loss, this natural phenomenon has always existed. As for the modes and vices with which we counter this loss, our outlets would seem to expand on a daily basis. We grow at the speed of modern technology.

How has the ability to stream music affected stress/pain culture in the industry? Has it been altered in the least in terms of our music listening habits (ownership vs. access)? Is streaming saved for the young in age and young at heart, those without the worries of time and weather? In occasions of strife, do we turn to a new and fresh outlet which resigns our need and right of control? Or in a subconscious search for the regulation of external chaos do we flee from such an idea, clinging heavily to those old safe tunes proven time and time again to get us through?


I would appreciate any and all feedback in the aid of my essay. You may leave a comment, or if you wish to reach me privately, you may contact me on Facebook.

























4 thoughts on “Request For Feedback – When Tragedy Strikes: A Music Behavioral Analysis

  1. You know, its funny that you ask this specific question, as its something that I experienced first hand earlier this year (an event you know about, so I’ll leave it at that in the public forum). During that two-week period, I drove quite a lot (a 100-mile commute almost every day), and if you know me, then you know I ALWAYS listen to music int he car, never not. What was weird was that, for the first time that I remember, I completely refused to listen to any music in the car. Not because I had other things on my mind necessarily (I could’ve used the distraction), but because it weirdly felt morally wrong to do so. It felt like allowing my mind to drift away from the trauma and into this other world was wrong (also, no basketball or baseball games either). This wasn’t a sustained cognitive decision though, it was more of a “disgust mechanism” or something like that – I knew it was irrational, but I did it anyway because the impulse was overwhelmingly strong. In hindsight, it was a very interesting phenomenon. I’d like to know what you think about it given your research.

  2. A month later, after speaking to several different people about this, I have found one other that went through a similar situation (ask me about this) and she actually behaved the same. Silence was treasured, not shunned. As far as disgust mechanism, I can’t say I’ve experienced this. It does seem irrational. Then again, so is refusing to listen to music from fear that it will evoke a dangerous emotion. I hesitate to comment on something I’ve obviously never experienced, but I doubt what you experienced (the disgust) had much to do with music. But I suppose you probably knew that 🙂

  3. Now that’s interesting. Reminds me of conversations pertaining to trying to discern one’s true motives (damn near impossible).

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