There is something deeply satisfying about watching talented musicians, as opposed to just listening to the music. This occurred to me while watching the Playing for Change videos, especially the “live outside” performances, which I find far more moving and satisfying than the highly produced ‘music videos’ that a big record label might create for a popular artist.
I got a brief glimpse of this a few years ago when I visited John Walkenbach and Bisbo Nian. I got to watch each of them jamming with with some of their musician buddies and came away thinking it was more than just playing their instruments. It was playing with other musicians. One of those sum-of-the-parts things.
In conclusion, I’m wondering if our brains process music differently if we’re watching the musicians. I assume different parts of the brain will “light up” in response to the visual but what I’m wondering is are we hearing differently when we see the music being made. This seems like a question that should have been asked and answered.