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Music, and its meaning

  1. Mar 30, 2008 #1
    I have gone through various phases as a musician, from which my ideology of music has been established. The tragic thing is that my new ideology leads me to feel like never writing a song again.

    Phase one, stoked to be playing anything. Phase two, getting good, growing ego. Stage three, can shred on drum solos, and think I am the baddest that ever lived. Stage four, realize that the best drumming is simplified to a more pleasing level and the genus is in subleties, and in accentuating a song. Phase five, realizing that a song is only an expression of emotion and attitude. Phase six, realizing that my emotion and attitude (my music) is one big representation of my sorrow. Phase seven, beginning to dislike what my music represents and how it makes me feel, beginning to feel that skill is much less important than the person, their attitude, and the feeling they are expressing.

    I write these songs, thinking they are great songs, then when I listen to the recordings more than a couple of times, I get a huge sense of dread, and just delete the songs. Then when I am just having fun with my friends having a blast, I come up with awesome happy stuff. The sad thing is that all of these "masterpieces", that I thought I had, are to me, only a slap in the face, and a shameful display.

    Is depressing music bad for us? Should we be listening to music on the basis of what kind of positive reaction we have, ie. what kind of attitude it inforces on us?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 30, 2008 #2
    I don't think depressing music is bad for people or less valuable than happy music. It's normal to feel unhappy or melancholy some times. Music can be very depressing but still very beautiful and I think there is something redeeming about that.

    I am a cheerful person but all my best songs are very depressing.

    Hmmm, can you try to improvise more in major keys? :-) It sounds like you have a lot of fun improvising with your friends - so just keep at it. The thing about music is that learning is a very satisfying process while at the same time you don't have to be very good just to enjoy yourself.

    I think ideologies are overrated. If you give up ideologies then it's easier to change.

    I used to write a lot of songs but I haven't done much for the last year. Before that I actually recorded an album and toured around a bit until I broke even. I found that having an audience helped my writing (I wrote more and tended to finish songs once I started them). I miss the sense of accomplishment that comes with finishing a good song - but I think it's great just to play other people's music too.
  4. Mar 30, 2008 #3
    I think that this leads to core of what is bothering me. People love to dwell in sorrow. Maybe the reason is that there is often beauty in sorrow. Ones tragedy is to the third person a touching story. Still though I believe it is bad to dwell in sorrow. Sometimes the beauty found in the sorrow is addictive, and people need that sorrow to get that beauty. People sit in sorrow and think of all the reasons to be sad, they milk the beauty out of all the sorrow in their lives, and what do they get for an outcome?, they live sorrowful lives. Maybe they leave behind a touching story and beautiful music. Maybe they make a sacrifice in order to make the world a more beautiful place, or maybe they should have completely avoided the indulgence of sorrowful beauty and instead should have indulged in the more positive, perhaps less dramatic domains of attitude.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2008
  5. Mar 30, 2008 #4
    Try looking at it this way. Is it possible to have real happiness without sorrow? or vice versa?

    It's in my opinion that the greatest artist can communicate both in their works. If you look at Mozart, some of the music is entirely happy and joyful, while some is the saddest I've ever heard. Shakespeare? He has his tragedies and comedies. You ultimately cannot do well in one without exploring the other.

    As for going through the different phases, I feel that's definitely a good thing. It shows that you are growing because your perspective is changing. A constantly changing perspective is a result of looking at the world in a different way, which can only help as an artist. Try not to let it get you down, and instead, embrace it.
  6. Mar 30, 2008 #5
  7. Mar 30, 2008 #6
    Here's a thought. Play anything you want, happy or melancholy. Just play it on the banjo.
  8. Mar 30, 2008 #7
    The hairy banjo!

    http://www.explosm.net/db/files/Comics/comicbanjo.jpg [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
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