Mood and music

Started by vers la flamme, June 06, 2023, 02:16:39 PM

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vers la flamme

Inspired by a brief discussion I had with Florestan in the WAYL2N thread, I wanted to ask a question of the community.

When you are in a good mood, do you listen to happy music, uplifting music, bleak music, depressing music, cataclysmic music, or all or none of the above? When you are in a foul mood, do you listen to sunny and uplifting music in an attempt to pull yourself out of a funk, or do you listen to dark music which reflects the dark recesses of your mind in that state? Do you even listen to music at all when you are sad or depressed? In short, does the mood you're in influence the music you listen to, or not?

I suppose the impetus for this thread's creation has something to do with a recent binge of Allan Pettersson's symphonies that I've embarked on over the past few days, which started after I spent part of my weekend in a pretty dark mood. For some reason, his music does not appeal to me as much when I feel that "all is right with the world"—or maybe I just don't think about it.

prémont

Generally I am in a balanced mood and choose music to listen to from pure musical considerations. With one exception: A few years ago when I was seriously ill I preferred to listen to uplifting and mentally stimulating music when I had the energy to listen to music. As you may guess this was most often music by JS Bach.
Any so-called free choice is only a choice between the available options.

ritter

#2
TBH, I do not even unterstand the question (or Florestan's initial point in the WAYLTN thread). Perhaps, because like premont, I generally am of "balanced mood".

It's like saying there is nothing to enjoy in a rainy day, or that all painting must be of flowers and that kind of stuff.

I am interested in the music itself (well, there will always be some tangential --mainly cultural, historical, even personal, nostalgic-- considerations as well), and do not use music as a sort of therapy against dark moods, or a booster for good ones.

I think I've used this example before. Let's choose one painter, Goya:

Do we constantly have to be appreciating this:...



...or can we find things to admire (and, yes, enjoy) in this?:



The same with music, literature, any art form...

Florestan

Quote from: vers la flamme on June 06, 2023, 02:16:39 PMdoes the mood you're in influence the music you listen to, or not?

Usually, no. I am in a calm, detached and cheerful mood most of the time and although the choice of the music I listen to is influenced by many factors, mood is not one of them.

As for sad/depressing music, I enjoy it as much as anyone else, on one condition: that it have good tunes. I mean, if you, composer X, are going to make me a witness to, and a partaker in, your sorrows and troubles, at least be so kind to do it in a pleasing manner; torment my soul, if you must, but caress my ears.  ;D
When I'm creating at the piano, I tend to feel happy; but - the eternal dilemma - how can we be happy amid the unhappiness of others? I'd do everything I could to give everyone a moment of happiness. That's what's at the heart of my music. — Nino Rota

Florestan

Quote from: ritter on June 07, 2023, 01:36:04 AMI think I've used this example before. Let's choose one painter, Goya:

Do we constantly have to be appreciating this:...



...or can we find things to admire (and, yes, enjoy) in this?:



The same with music, literature, any art form...


Sure. The mastery lies not in the subject matter, but in the execution. El Tres de Mayo is a sad painting but not an eyesore.
When I'm creating at the piano, I tend to feel happy; but - the eternal dilemma - how can we be happy amid the unhappiness of others? I'd do everything I could to give everyone a moment of happiness. That's what's at the heart of my music. — Nino Rota

prémont

Quote from: Florestan on June 07, 2023, 04:43:22 AMSure. The mastery lies not in the subject matter, but in the execution. El Tres de Mayo is a sad painting but not an eyesore.

A rather macabre pun!!
Any so-called free choice is only a choice between the available options.

Florestan

Quote from: premont on June 07, 2023, 05:11:23 AMA rather macabre pun!!

What pun?  ???

Ah, now I see it. Completely involuntary, I assure you. :)
When I'm creating at the piano, I tend to feel happy; but - the eternal dilemma - how can we be happy amid the unhappiness of others? I'd do everything I could to give everyone a moment of happiness. That's what's at the heart of my music. — Nino Rota

DavidW

I listen to Haydn or Mozart to set or reinforce a happy mood.

If I'm feeling anxious, I find Bach soothing.

When I'm feeling melancholic I listen to Pettersson, Mahler 9, Gorecki 3, etc.

When I feel tired or world weary I listen to atonal or other 20th-21st century more challenging music.

My default is Romantic era, which I can listen to in any mood.  Especially Schubert, Dvorak and Brahms.


VonStupp

#8
Like many others here, I don't go into listening to make my emotions complicit with music. I am even-tempered on most days and I tend to listen pretty analytically.

The magic happens when the music I am listening to brings out an emotional response from me, usually unbidden where none could be more surprised than me. I still remember and cherish these moments between man and music.

VS
"All the good music has already been written by people with wigs and stuff."

Spotted Horses

I do not find music changes my mood, or that I need to find music that correlates with my mood one way or the other. Listening to music is a sort of meditation for me. The question is whether I have a sufficient sense of repose to listen to music without being distracted by intrusive thoughts. Usually the answer is no, but I try to listen anyway, so that not much of what I am listening to sinks in.
There are simply two kinds of music, good music and the other kind. - Duke Ellington

Florestan

For all my balanced approach, there are times when I listen to music specifically in order to change, or fit, my mood.

When I really needed soothing music during an extremely hectic and stressful period, I listened exclusively to Chopin. Did the trick marvelously.

John Ireland's complete piano music and Rossini's Il viaggio a Reims literally made me feel better during a terrible flu.

During the pandemic, Mozart and Haydn were essential for the preservation of my sanity and cheerfulness.

When I feel melancholy, Schubert is the man. His music makes me feel good in a melancholy way, if that makes any sense to you.

And when I need energy and joie de vivre, I reach for the Strauss family or other composers in the same vein.

Generally speaking now, I listen to music which is mostly sunny, uplifting and life-affirming, with just the right dose of melancholy and bittersweetness. I have no use for uncompromisingly doom-and-gloom music.
When I'm creating at the piano, I tend to feel happy; but - the eternal dilemma - how can we be happy amid the unhappiness of others? I'd do everything I could to give everyone a moment of happiness. That's what's at the heart of my music. — Nino Rota

Florestan

Quote from: Spotted Horses on June 07, 2023, 10:38:06 PMThe question is whether I have a sufficient sense of repose to listen to music without being distracted by intrusive thoughts. Usually the answer is no, but I try to listen anyway, so that not much of what I am listening to sinks in.

I have long since came to conclude that intrusive thoughts while listening to music is a natural phenomenon and ceased forcing myself to concentrated listening. If the music is interesting and beautiful, my attention will certainly be captured again; if it's dull and banal, intrusive thoughts are my mind's defensive reaction against it. In either case, resistance is futile.  :D

When I'm creating at the piano, I tend to feel happy; but - the eternal dilemma - how can we be happy amid the unhappiness of others? I'd do everything I could to give everyone a moment of happiness. That's what's at the heart of my music. — Nino Rota

foxandpeng

Depends. Sometimes a darker mood requires lifting, at others, I find that music which matches the mood can be helpful. I guess that the reverse is also generally true, although darker music often tends to shift my mood. The exception for me is Tabakov, whose determinedly resistant music fits both positivity and gloom, and is somewhat affirming of the human spirit in its refusal to be bowed.

I will have to listen through his symphonies just to check :)
"A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people ... then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one's neighbour — such is my idea of happiness"

Tolstoy

Crudblud

I don't tend to make any connection between music and mood. If I enjoy it I will feel "happy" no matter what emotional states have been projected onto it by the composer or by others. Music that bores me makes me sad, because I would rather be listening to something interesting instead.

relm1

There are some pieces that I can only listen to in very specific moods.  I love them very much but the music evokes a very personal reaction to me that I might not want to experience.  But these are few and far between.  Most music, maybe 80% I can listen to regardless of what mood I'm in.

vers la flamme

Quote from: DavidW on June 07, 2023, 06:08:39 AMI listen to Haydn or Mozart to set or reinforce a happy mood.

If I'm feeling anxious, I find Bach soothing.

When I'm feeling melancholic I listen to Pettersson, Mahler 9, Gorecki 3, etc.

When I feel tired or world weary I listen to atonal or other 20th-21st century more challenging music.

My default is Romantic era, which I can listen to in any mood.  Especially Schubert, Dvorak and Brahms.



Thank God, I was starting to think I was the only one who had moods.

prémont

Quote from: vers la flamme on June 09, 2023, 04:46:25 PMThank God, I was starting to think I was the only one who had moods.

Well, your question was not whether we have moods or not, but whether our mood influences our choice of music to listen to.
Any so-called free choice is only a choice between the available options.

vers la flamme

Quote from: premont on June 10, 2023, 02:39:24 AMWell, your question was not whether we have moods or not, but whether our mood influences our choice of music to listen to.

Yes, I know. That was a petty comment. I must have been in a mood when I wrote it  ;D