The importance of music can also be studied in terms of what kind of music a person most liked, perhaps their experiences of concerts and their own musical activities - singing, playing an instrument, choirs and orchestras...
But none of this gets close to understanding what music meant to that person.
This came to my mind recently in relation to Owen Barfield - because classical music was extremely important in his life.
For example, OB told his biographer Simon Blaxland de-Lange that music was even more important for him than language - which is remarkable given that Barfield's reputation mostly rests on his studies and interpretations of language.
In a biographical note, Marjorie Lamp Mead wrote that: "throughout his life, Barfield’s love of music was a strong force. For as much as he desired to be a poet, Barfield viewed music as the essential element in his life – even in preference to poetry."