Feelings of Music

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Re: Feelings of Music

Post  shawanne on Wed May 13, 2009 8:48 pm

Energy waves and frequencies are the form of response to different genres of music that happens in the quantum domain of information. Emotions is the more measurable and understandable response to music of the physical world. That seems to me like a paradox, so feel free to comment!

:O. So emotions are the manifestations of energy waves?
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Re: Feelings of Music

Post  Hannah Park on Wed May 13, 2009 8:54 pm

I think so...but does the energy wave come first or the emotion?? Or is this question like the question about the chicken and egg question.
But then, if does the same energy wave evoke generally the same emotion in everyone, or is everyone's set of wave thing slight different, like how everyone has their individual brainwave frequency.
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Re: Feelings of Music

Post  shawanne on Wed May 13, 2009 9:04 pm

I think so...but does the energy wave come first or the emotion?? Or is this question like the question about the chicken and egg question.

Hmm...does the energy wave produce the emotion or does the emotion produce the energy wave? I /think/ it's the former, because the quantum domain is the highest domain and is where all particles are at their smallest [someone correct me if I'm wrong~] and therefore they must...be the 'original' producers? And the emotions are like processed food...they get manifested into the physical domain by...something. I don't know what yet. @_@
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Re: Feelings of Music

Post  joannneee on Wed May 13, 2009 9:34 pm

As Angel says: This actually creates a more profound “status” for music; the seeming simplicity with which it appeals to us is actually the source of subtle complexity, an intricacy which only helps us further investigate and comprehend our feelings, portions of our beings that commonly result from experiences.

Does our ego-mind then associate experiences with emotions? Then what first pairs the emotion with the experience? As children, what do we first depend on when we're born, to classify whether or not one event warrants a certain emotion?

Like, per say, we have never encountered a mouse before. Would we fear it? Or if we have never heard NoB (is this the right acronym?) what makes us associate it with adjectives like "disgusting" and "highly disturbing"? I'd almost say that comforting music is like having a massage - that's definitely what it feels like for me. But yet sad music can be beautiful as well - but that gets me thinking: why do we feel sad about some music even without understanding the lyrics? We're like babies when it comes to this - like those kids that cry when other babies cry. We feel the other person's pain or happiness, and we respond to it through their music. But really, why is this?

flower Maybe music corresponds to a more physical level at first, but then it delves deeper - the emotions it evokes. But what evokes emotions? What makes us angry? What makes us happy? I understand that its the most basic form of our Essence, in the way it reflects what we experience at the moment, but is it true that we can only accept our emotions as they are? Is there no answer as to why we feel these emotions?
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Re: Feelings of Music

Post  Philly_CS on Wed May 13, 2009 10:24 pm

Fermin Liu wrote:Thus, emotions are kind of of the ego-mind because the comforting feelings we feel when we listen to lullabies or the feeling of getting all pumped up because of rock music often come from our past experiences with the music or the atmosphere we perceive around us.
Thus, according to you, it is possible to make a certain genre of music feel a certain way? Say if I played death metal in an extremely neat room with sweet aroma and a comfortable sofa, would death metal therefore feel neat, aromatic, and comfortable for that person every time he listens to death metal afterwards? Because even when exposed to foreign music, people who are listening with a faster beat than 120 BPM (around average heart rate) their heart beats faster. When exposed to slow music (80 BPM and lower) their heart rate goes down. If it is indeed as you say that the emotions are based on past experience (to an extent, yes), then shouldn't everyone have a vastly different opinion on NailsOnBoard sound? The first time I've heard it, even though nothing else bad happened at the time, I still try to cover my ears. Where does that come from, that initial reaction?

Fermin Liu wrote:It was discussed in class that when we are happy, we have more creative potential to create and more positive energy and power flowing through our bodies, and when we are sad or angry, we have less power and control because in our pessimistic attitude, we do not believe in ourselves. However, what if it were the other way around?
I'm sorry, but I'll have to bring in Emily Dickinson. According to her biography, she seems to be...well, everything but happy. However, even though she does not have that positive energy that seems to be flowing throughout Emerson, she is still a prolific poet, writing around 1800 poems in her life time. That's a lot of poems. Also, how can a violinist, say, portray sadness without recalling to the past when such a sadness came up? Isn't that also creation? I get moved by a lot of musicians because of their versatility in their portrayal of music, eliciting sadness, emptiness, haste, being overwhelmed, and sometimes even nervousness. Are the musicians happy at the time of the creation of these kinds of music?

Fermin Liu wrote:Energy waves and frequencies are the form of response to different genres of music that happens in the quantum domain of information. Emotions is the more measurable and understandable response to music of the physical world.
I thought emotions also elicit a vibration of some sort, the 'vibe' we talked in class the other day. Being angry would elicit this feeling of angriness that others would feel. Didn't we also say names in class just to feel how the 'vibe' changes? Emotion, at the very least, must be in the information level, as there is nothing tangible about emotion. Though, here's the big question, where do the emotions come from? The mind? The Being? The Higher Self?

joannneee wrote:Does our ego-mind then associate experiences with emotions? Then what first pairs the emotion with the experience? As children, what do we first depend on when we're born, to classify whether or not one event warrants a certain emotion?
Sure, we can connect experiences with certain feelings, it's that assumption that the things we receive together are related. It's how we learn that putting your fire over hand is hot (you put your hand over fire, hand feels hot). Now, this is my pure inquisition but, why is it that childhood is so focused on? Why can't it be a traumatic experience in adulthood? Yes, as child our brain cells connect to each other faster, but is it really that much more powerful? So does that mean that it is possible for someone to be apathetic to a specific genre of music?

Gee, tying together everything from every forum I've posted on is hard work. XD Great job on the discussion so far, it's been going much better than I expected.
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Re: Feelings of Music

Post  Ajk on Wed May 13, 2009 10:55 pm

looks good all! your discussion is enriching.

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Re: Feelings of Music

Post  joyceychen on Wed May 13, 2009 11:52 pm

wow I'm starting to get overwhelmed with everyone's amazing thinking, so I'm just going to take a few light stabs at several points that crossed my mind as I read the replies.

so, energy wave or emotions, which one comes first? I think someone started hinting at something, and that triggered a thought in me and so I thought of what we learned in class today - the double arrow between universal reliance and aboriginal self. Maybe it's a mutual relationship with each dependent on the other. Coevolution perhaps? (for apbio people)

NoB...I honestly have to say, I wouldnt cringe at that sound until after a few years? of watching everyone else cover their eyes, yelp in pain, etc. I'm pretty sure there was some peer influence that happened somewhere along the way.

Well, in A.P. Biology, we learned that each stimulus elicit a specific response in our bodies that manifests in the physical domain
What about how the same stimulus can also elicit a different response depending on who's receiving it/what receptors they are equipped with? That seems to be what we are - getting different feelings from the same music.

I'm sorry, but I'll have to bring in Emily Dickinson. According to her biography, she seems to be...well, everything but happy. However, even though she does not have that positive energy that seems to be flowing throughout Emerson, she is still a prolific poet, writing around 1800 poems in her life time. That's a lot of poems. Also, how can a violinist, say, portray sadness without recalling to the past when such a sadness came up? Isn't that also creation? I get moved by a lot of musicians because of their versatility in their portrayal of music, eliciting sadness, emptiness, haste, being overwhelmed, and sometimes even nervousness. Are the musicians happy at the time of the creation of these kinds of music?
Maybe when you tap into the non-local consciousness, there's a chance that you'll discover something you werent looking for, you dont know what youre going to be given. But, according to Emerson, what you get is given to you for a reason.

How much fo experiences actually shape our emotions? I'm sure to some extent, absolutely, but we've seem to reach a point where just experiences doesnt seem to suffice. I recall some teacher, maybe it was Ms. Kay, I kind of forgot, saying how behaviors or something might actually be inherited, somehow. We know we pass our genetic information to the next generation, but what about behavioral patterns? Instinct?
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Part 1: Intro + Sound and Emotional Response

Post  Vincent_Lee on Wed May 13, 2009 11:54 pm

Unfortunately, since I haven't been granted "special access", I am unable to create my own topic in this section so for now you will have to deal with my giant walls of text in this thread. My apologies. =P This little post of mine amounts to about 7 pages on Microsoft Word, just to give you an idea of its length. It should cover most of the ideas brought up thus far, though I can't be too sure. If it hasn't, I'll just post more I guess. Laughing I have invested countless hours of my life into developing these ideas, so I would very much like to be showered in praise, though I will settle for your honest opinions and criticisms. If that means telling me you believe I have some kind of vendetta against hip-hop music (I don't), then by all means, let me know. Anyways, here goes. Oh yeah, and I didn't write a tl:dr. Very Happy

EDIT: The bolded and underlined words are links to songs by the way, so don't forget to click them.

+-+-+-+

Before I go into music and how it brings out different responses to people, I would first like to address the most basic component of music, which is sound. I believe that though our reaction (notice I don't say interpretation) of sound can be highly subjective (particularly with music), there is still a degree of objectivity in that when we, cleansed of any and all previous biases, conditioning, knowledge, and etc. will respond in a particular way indefinitely.

I will use ambient music (a bit of a misnomer)to illustrate my idea here because I've always felt ambient music was able to strip down music to its raw essence. The term "ambient music" is a misnomer because ambient music largely lacks the characterizing traits of music, which are melody, rhythm, and beat. In forsaking these qualities which so many of us are familiar with and cling on to, artist and listener alike, ambient artists are able to forge raw collages of sound AND emotion. Despite being stripped of musical qualities, ambient music will invariably elicit an emotional response from people, often similar ones.

Although Though this song still has traces of melody and a certain predictability to it in terms of structure (repetition of certain sounds), it should give you guys an idea of what I am trying to express. Watch the video and tell me you if feel all happy and fuzzy inside. You're a liar if you do. xD

I would like to point out that is important you pay attention to what you FEEL as opposed to what you THINK. What you feel is a raw gut reaction, your being's response to the music. When you think, when you try to connect this music with other pieces that have had similar feelings and moods to it, you are using your egomind. Upon associating this song with other things, you are altering it's essence, or rather, your perception of it's essence. Again, it is important that we distinguish between our interpretation of a piece and our feelings, our emotional response towards it.


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Part 2: Soundtrack Music + Interpretation

Post  Vincent_Lee on Wed May 13, 2009 11:54 pm

Now, moving into more familiar territory, I present some soundtrack music. Hopefully you'll have a better idea of the difference between the interpretation and emotional response, though they can never really be separated. Our response to music is composed of two parts. The primary part is our basic emotional response, which is the being’s reaction in response to the music. The secondary part is our interpretation, which is the egomind’s response to the music, because of how our egomind is constructed of our thoughts, beliefs, experiences, and etc and we draw upon those memories and thoughts to form our interpretations.

Upon showing this to those of you who have watched the movie, some thoughts will instantly pop up in your head as well as some emotions. Some thoughts would be "Oh hey this is the song in Pirates of the Carribean!". Some associations will instantly be made (Perhaps you watched this movie after finals exam and consequently you associate the movie and song with feelings of elation and relief) upon recognizing this song. The interpretations and associations will very likely cast this song in a positive light. The combination of the happy memories and the uplifting music make for umm... "a big dose of happy" essentially. Now, showing this song to a person who has never seen this movie in his life nor has ever heard of it, it is very likely that he will experience similar positive feelings, though not with the added boost of other emotional associations. Now despite the difference in the two people’s individual experience of the song, there is basic underlying similarity in emotions, and that occurs as a result of the musical qualities acting upon the listener’s essence. Certain melodies, rhythms, harmonies, beats bring out certain emotions. For those who lack any real acquaintance with music theory, one of the basic ways to distinguish scales or chords (besides key) is by distinguishing whether they are major or minor. The emotions major melodies elicit tend to be positive ones, whereas minor melodies conjure up feelings of sadness and negativity.


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Part 3: Music''s Components and the Effects they Produce on Us

Post  Vincent_Lee on Wed May 13, 2009 11:55 pm

As I have mentioned earlier, music is composed of melody, rhythm, and beat. The melody is the most active factor when it comes to creating an emotional response. Melodies flesh out the basic emotions, while rhythm and beat shape it. ”About A Girl” by the Academy Is and Dustin Kensrue’s ”Pistol” are both songs with cheerful melodies, but because of their different tempos, they evoke different feelings of happiness. “About A Girl”, with its bouncy, quick-paced rhythm evokes a sense of happiness that would look something like a carefree child skipping about. “Pistol”, which moves at a different pace, would appear more like a satisfied and optimistic man leisurely strolling around a park and taking in its beauty or that same man sitting at his porch, enjoying the sunrise and watching the rays of light illuminate the silhouettes cast by buildings along the road.

As we have been taught, positive frequencies possess more energy than negative emotions. With the polar opposites of emotion, happiness and sadness, we can see that happiness carries motion and energy while sadness is lethargic. However, it would be inaccurate to assume that because sadness is a negative emotion, then all negative emotions possess less energy. That is not true. Certainly Lamb of God’s "Ruin" doesn’t lack energy. In fact, it arguably possesses even more energy than either of the aforementioned song. The driving rhythm lends it much of its power, though the distorted tone of the guitars and harsh vocals play much in that as well. The basic idea to walk away with here is that melodies pinpoint the emotional spectrum of the song, but the rhythms anchor it into a particular area and further shape the emotion.


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Part 4: Music Industry and Consumerism

Post  Vincent_Lee on Wed May 13, 2009 11:56 pm

Moving away from solely music, I think I would like to turn in the issue of the media and its influence upon people’s taste in music and the connection between people’s music taste and their being. To begin, we must first approach this concept with a few ideas in my mind.

Firstly, I believe it is an agreed upon truth that one’s taste in music is (or is supposed to be) indicative of their being, as music (or art in general) is a form of expression, particularly self-expression. This is the “Being” and “Taste in music” side I am going to be discussing about.

Second, I would very much like to point out that the “music business” is without a doubt more about business than music, and that the music industry is considered to be part of the entertainment industry. The idea here is that music businesses are not selling art, but mere entertainment. True art’s intrinsic nature prevents it from being able to be sold as a product. I will elaborate more on that later.

Now, taking in these ideas as well as the ones we obtained in our research on consumerism what thoughts come to mind? Now, though I’m no economics expert, I am pretty sure that business is done and profits are made around supply and demand. What the music business seeks, as all businesses, is to maximize revenue and gain truckloads of cash. To do so, they must look at what’s popular (hip-hop seems to be the “in” thing nowadays), recognize the demand for it, and provide the supply. The situation wouldn’t be so bad if only this side existed, the side of providing people what they want, but labels don’t just seek to supply the demand. Instead, they try to create more of it.

What the music industry, what the entertainment industry does to create demand is to create icons. Celebrities. More often than not, celebrities embody what the average person longs for – beauty, glamour, happiness, fame, fortune. Now who would mind having those things? Generalization it may be, but I’m pretty sure everyone wants to feel good, or to look in the mirror and like what they see, and get attention, and be able to buy the things they want. Through creating certain kinds of icons (which are each different in some way but all reflect common desires of people), the corporations are able to focus their consumer’s demands. People want to dress like celebrities, live like celebrities, be like celebrities, and look like celebrities.
Now despite the perceived difference between a celebrity like say, 50 Cent, and say, Brad Pitt, both share a similarity in that they possess qualities that anybody would want in themselves, or in their ideal opposite sex partner. 50 Cent, with his tough-guy qualities would probably be idolized testosterone-heavy teenage males, while Brad Pitt, with his good looks and charm, is the guy that other guys would probably want to be and the guy that girls would love to be with.

Now, it’s no coincidence that pop stars and recently hip-hop artists are celebrities. Their presence extends beyond music. You see their faces on commercials, ads, everywhere. These “artists” aren’t just “artists” any longer. They become icons. And naturally, if you want to be like a celebrity, you probably would want to listen to their music.


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Part 5: Music Industry and Consumerism + The Qualities of Mainstream Music

Post  Vincent_Lee on Wed May 13, 2009 11:57 pm

Now, what does mainstream radio play? Mainstream music naturally. Pop music. Music made by these pop stars, celebrities, rap artists. Now oftentimes because these artists are too busy being celebrities, too busy attending parties. Too busy having their face put on Pepsi cans, there is little thought or effort put into what should really matter – the music. I’m not sure if it is like this in America as well, but oftentimes when I’m flipping channels and come across Taiwan’s MTV channel, I look at the music video credits and oftentimes the songwriter’s name is not the artist’s name. This rather disturbs me, because it goes back into what I said about putting one face on a product. The song is a product of someone else’s work, the pop star is only singing the song. Nobody really knows who the hell manufactures or makes Pepsi, they only know that Jay Chou’s face is on the can. Maybe it was Jolin’s face though. It could’ve been both. And of course, you’d be hard-pressed to find a person in Taiwan who doesn’t recognize Wang Leehom’s face, between his commercials for Lipton Tea, some glasses company whose name escapes me, and those cell phone commercials.

Now, onto mainstream music. The key is in the term: “mainstream”. Because mainstream music is meant to cater to the masses, it has to be a couple of things.

First, mainstream music has to be melodic. Super melodic. People love catchy hooks and sing-a-longs.

Second, it has to be relatively short, because most people don’t have the attention span nor the capacity to appreciate multi-part epics such as Dream Theater’s “Octavarium”, which clocks in at 24 minutes. It also has very much to do with the fact that 3 minutes is the perfect length with which to fit the standard verse-chorus-verse song structure, something which people are so familiar and comfortable with, they feel a slight unease listening to songs that deviate from that structure.

Thirdly, mainstream music has to be relatable. Relatable and pleasant. Oftentimes, the lyrics in pop music are lyrics about love and similar happy things. Who doesn’t like love and happiness? In the case of most pop music, we get lyrics about boys loving girls and girls loving boys, or guys getting heartbroken over girls and girls getting heartbroken over guys. Despite how common these themes are, they still succeed because they are relatable to teens like Johnny and Sally. And as teens are the target population of mainstream music, major money is made.


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Part 6: Music''s Possible Emotional Expressions Beyond the Mainstream

Post  Vincent_Lee on Wed May 13, 2009 11:57 pm

Assessing these three qualities, one can understand the idea behind the single greatest criticism of mainstream music, that mainstream music is homogenized, dumb-downed, and severely lacking in substance and true heart.

Because of the aim towards being relatable, mainstream music lacks a capacity for expressing emotions negative emotions adequately. Emotions like sorrow or anger are still given the mainstream packaging, the diluting that makes it appropriate for the average listener. True anger and hatred can’t be expressed, because like in real life, such emotions shock and frighten people. And with the emphasis on melodies and clean production, mainstream music lacks the adequate sonic palette to paint landscapes detailing particular emotions or situations. A band like Explosions in the Sky, which are not constrained by the mainstream music’s demand of simple song structures and obvious melodic hooks, are able to explore into emotions much more deeply and are able to create incredibly vivid soundscapes and express those kinds of emotions that you would have no other way whatsoever to express.

Music doesn’t always have to be pleasant, as I have stated before. It can be melancholic, bleak, and cold. A greater sonic palette helps here. The trebly heavy tone (higher-pitched, sometimes sharp frequency) and shrouds of static are very rarely found in mainstream music, or most other music for that matter, because they disturb people. However, in these qualities, we are able to tap into different kinds of emotions. In fact, sometimes when these artists are skilled enough, they can create imagery. The combination of a piercing tone, layers of static, and distant, somewhat submerged vocals create the imagery of a lone traveler trekking across a winter landscape, buffeted by endless waves of snow. The penetrating cold can be glimpsed in the sharp tone, the disorientation of being caught in a snowstorm, the obscuring of vision can be seen with the static, and the lone traveler can be seen in the vocals, which sound like a scream of distress, or for help echoing out unanswered.


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Part 7: Music Taste and Being

Post  Vincent_Lee on Wed May 13, 2009 11:58 pm

Now to connect this all back to music taste and being. Since our exposure to music is largely limited to a. the radio and b. our friends (who probably listen to the radio as well), we can begin to see how confined our beings are. In being unable to explore alternative avenues of expression, we are hindering the development of our souls. The spontaneity of our being is being stifled by consistency.

Oftentimes a behavior I see of people is that upon finding a genre (or a few genres) of music they like, they automatically dismiss other genres, or at least falsely believe that other genres have nothing to offer them or that they can’t get into other genres. This behavior, or rather, this mindset, which I assume, is a result of being exposed only to particular kinds of music, traps people into a vicious cycle of sorts, the exact kind of foolish consistency Emerson spoke of.

So by exploring different types of music and searching for music in different places (as certain radio stations and certain mp3 blogs will play certain kinds of genres and even certain artists within a genre), we can forge a stronger connection with our being. Allowing many different emotional expressions to reach our ears enables us to reach in within ourselves and find those emotions within our being, and in turn allow them to nourish us. The journey of developing and discovering one’s music taste is closely tied to one’s journey of developing and discovering one’s being.


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Part 8: Music''s Affect on Mood + Conclusion

Post  Vincent_Lee on Wed May 13, 2009 11:59 pm

There is one particular aspect I would like to address in regards to a question that may or may not have been raised: Why is it that when we are depressed, we gain comfort in listening to sad music? In addition, how does it improve our mood?

Going by the Law of Attraction, when we are emitting negative frequencies (in our depression, anger, or frustration) and thus attracting more negative frequencies (sad, angry music), we should logically end up digging a deeper emotional pitfall. In most cases I assume though, the opposite occurs. In listening to sad music, our own sad feelings are alleviated. This seems to defy the basic rules of the Law of Attraction.

The reason why I assume such a phenomenon occurs is because when we listen to sad music, we have found something we can connect and relate to. In that connection, we are able to relieve those turbulent emotions. However, I believe that listening to sad music can really only “relieve”. Let’s picture our emotional state as the human body, our physical state. Negative emotions are dangerous toxins that poison our body, and the sad music is the medicine. Taking medicine when we are afflicted with a condition will help alleviate that condition. Say an incident has left an emotional wound on us. The music can serve to stop the bleeding, but it won’t heal the wound. It simply keeps it from becoming worse. Keeping pressure on a wound that has already been staunched will not heal it. With the toxins pushed out, our body can gradually return to homeostasis, a balanced state. With our wounds cleaned, our body can naturally repair itself.

At this point, I believe it is accurate to reason that our healing in listening to sad music while depressed functions on the double negative principle. The two negative variables put together turn into a positive. However, since sad music is inherently negative, it will depress us if we are in a positive state. Medicine can work wonders when you are sick, but taking it while you are healthy will probably make you ill again. So when one is healthy, he must take vitamins. You can guess what the vitamins represent. Vitamins, although they are not always able to completely turn negative into positive, do give our own immune systems a fighting chance. Happy music directly boosts our spirits.

In short, happy music alleviates our bad moods, as does sad music, though in different anyways. Sad music tries to flip that negativity around, while positive music attempts to cancel it out.

+-+-+-+

And that concludes my little post... Perhaps some congratulations are in order for those who made it through all this. xD
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Re: Feelings of Music

Post  shawanne on Thu May 14, 2009 12:11 am

...Wow.

-headexplodes-

That's, well, just amazing. I've never thought about music being like that before. 0-0

At this point, I believe it is accurate to reason that our healing in listening to sad music while depressed functions on the double negative principle. The two negative variables put together turn into a positive. However, since sad music is inherently negative, it will depress us if we are in a positive state. Medicine can work wonders when you are sick, but taking it while you are healthy will probably make you ill again. So when one is healthy, he must take vitamins. You can guess what the vitamins represent. Vitamins, although they are not always able to completely turn negative into positive, do give our own immune systems a fighting chance. Happy music directly boosts our spirits.

So...it means that sad music is basically a vaccination for physical depression [so when we are hit, we won't fall as much? Or does it just mean that because sad music is relatable to us when we are feeling down, so we won't feel as bad anymore? I don't know...o.o], while happy music is nonspecific defense [like the vitamin analogy] against the viruses [depression, sadness etc.]? [/apbio] Hm. Interesting. :O I dunno if my brain's functioning well enough to take in everything up there at once, though. XD. -must go back to reread-
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Re: Feelings of Music

Post  Vincent_Lee on Thu May 14, 2009 12:54 am

Vaccination would be a good way to put it, though I don't know if listening to sad music will safeguard you against future depression. Razz While talking with Henning, I came up with an analogy (of sorts) to a pendulum, albeit not a normal kind. Hehe. Basically, if our mood shifts too deep into the negative side, there'll be a great deal of difficulty getting it out. The farther we stray from our neutral state, the more time and effort it will take to naturally return to normal. Music can help in our recovery from it, though it shouldn't be the only thing. Negative thoughts are the catalysts of depression, and if we can't eliminate the thoughts, we won't truly be able to be at ease, despite how much music we listen to. That is only in the case of sad music though. Sad music allows us to connect to something and relieve some negativity by hearing negativity released, but it cannot make us happy. At most, it makes us less sad. Hence the "band-aid" analogy. Happy music works in bringing us back to a good state because it shifts our mood entirely, which in turn changes thought and removes the root of the sorrow.

Hope that gives you a bit more to work with.
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Re: Feelings of Music

Post  Fermin Liu on Thu May 14, 2009 7:06 pm

Wow! Lee, your eight posts are each so insightful and enlightening that you are my idol right now. With such long posts, they show your dedication and passion to uncover the truth no matter how long or tiring the procees may be. In your posts, I could feel a refreshing curiosity in how you explored the grey areas instead of just the black and white, and the way that you questioned both yourself and the world as we know it along the way was just so critical-thinkingly brilliant. You have contributed to Phillip's topic a sense of newness and a yearning for wisdom that it has really transformed Phillip's whole discussion, thus, giving it something it never had before. Speaking of Phillip, I just wanted to thank you for pointing out my mistakes in thinking that was demonstrated in my last post. You have opened my eyes further to my own prejudices and generalizations and so, I am here to return the favor in this reply to your post that contained many quotes from my last post in a point by point, didactic manner:

I'm sorry, but I'll have to bring in Emily Dickinson. According to her biography, she seems to be...well, everything but happy. However, even though she does not have that positive energy that seems to be flowing throughout Emerson, she is still a prolific poet, writing around 1800 poems in her life time.


This was the comment you made about Emily Dickinson and I completely disagree. As we have established in class, Dickinson lived an ostracized life, which was her choice. With this in mind, I think you should read her biography again. "Everything but happy"? Dickinson was the exact opposite. Quoting from the Literature book, "Although he (Wadsworth, an older man) was kind to her, he did not return her love. It was about this time of his departure that she took to dressing entirely in white." I think this is where you conceived a thought that may be a typical error for those not reading critically enough. Although, Emily Dickinson had had her ups and down with the man she loved departing and a formidable father, it was her choice to stay at home. Thus, how could she have be unhappy if she was at home where she wanted to be? "During the last ten years of her life, she refused to leave her house and garden or to meet any strangers." This may seem to indicate that she was scared, but as clearly seen in her poem, she was not! Through her poems, it seems that she had connected with essence, connected on such a level that she could experience the world without having to go outside. She could see through the mask of conformity and the illusion of pretense niceties that the societal world and most of us are so often covered and made up of. So, I think in your interpretation of Dickinson's life as presented by the biography, you have put too much of yourself in there, making your interpretation one that is based on the light of individual belief, which in this case, would be invalid. Maybe you would hate to live the life alone, constantly staying in a room secluded from the rest of the human population, but that is not how Emily Dickinson sees her condition. Maybe you can't live without people, but Dickinson certainly had the ability to do so and with a smile Smile It was Dickinson's choice to live the way she did (inspite what she knew people would obviously think of her: "hermit"), and this is why she is such a heroine. She was not afraid to be different nor was she hesitant in being herself rather than stepping the mold that society has made for her, which is hard, I know, for a lot of people. Nonconformity is hard for us humans, it is hard for me and it is of course hard for you too! And because of it, this stance makes Emily Dickinson a person who has transcended beyond the physical limitations and expectations of the world and truly connected with the Supreme Being.

Next point:


Also, how can a violinist, say, portray sadness without recalling to the past when such a sadness came up? Isn't that also creation? I get moved by a lot of musicians because of their versatility in their portrayal of music, eliciting sadness, emptiness, haste, being overwhelmed, and sometimes even nervousness. Are the musicians happy at the time of the creation of these kinds of music?

From what I can tell, I think you have a slightly incorrect understanding of what "creatie potential" is. Creative potential is not just the ability to create something, it is the ability to create and DO anything. Creative potential is having control over the infinite possibilities that always surround us, and in you thinking that sadness and other negative emotions can also create is only half-right. And everyone knows that on the SATs, hal-right equals all wrong. Laughing I will give it to give that people at a lower or more negative emotion and energy level do create things that may be incredible, but at the same time, they are very limited in their creation. When people are overwhelmed with sadness, they often feel disenpowered and because of such a feeling, they are disenpowered. They no longer have the positive mindset that they can do anything, and without believeing, our thoughts or rather no-thoughts will not create "miracles." Sad violinists recalling the sad emotion from their past experience can thus only convey sadness in his music. On the other hand, a happy and positive artist, like Emily Dickinson, has a much higher creative potential level to make anything possible. Thus, in believing that we can convey sadness even while not being truly sad ourselves (since sadness is an emotion of the eog-mind), the artist will believe and then, be able to connect with the universal consciousness to draw out the vibe out the emotion sadness from the collective unconsciousness pool. Like Emily Dickinson, who wrote such insightful poems about things that she has problably never experiences (seeing how it is kind of impossible to experience death without being dead), artists who are positive will have a greater creative potential that will in turn, allow them to CREATE anything that they may want to by understanding their topic through the common essense that is so full of genius ideas. And in understanding something sadness in its essence, your violinists will be able to convey it in a way that no one else could have without essense because the sadness in the song would be both personal and universal.

Another point: You said and I quote...

I thought emotions also elicit a vibration of some sort, the 'vibe' we talked in class the other day. Being angry would elicit this feeling of angriness that others would feel. Didn't we also say names in class just to feel how the 'vibe' changes? Emotion, at the very least, must be in the information level, as there is nothing tangible about emotion.

You seem so sure about your statement there in the last sentence about how emotions are DEFINITELY on the information level. But, in some ways, I totally disagree. Emotions or more specifically what we feel inside due to the energy and vibe of emotions are are in the quantum domain of particles and informations. However, can't emotions also be on the physical domain as an abstract idea of men? Couldn't your critical thinking have been too black and white this time and other times? Like the idea of communism or religion which are also abstract nouns, emotions can come into the physical domain as an abstract noun once classified. And that is what we are doing by saying what emotions we feel--we are classifying the potential influences and power of the "emotions" and therefore, chaining them down to mere scientific chemical responses to certain stimuli and limiting an "emotion's" true potential as energy to affect us even more on perhaps other domain that are not the physical one. By saying...

Because even when exposed to foreign music, people who are listening with a faster beat than 120 BPM (around average heart rate) their heart beats faster. When exposed to slow music (80 BPM and lower) their heart rate goes down. If it is indeed as you say that the emotions are based on past experience (to an extent, yes), then shouldn't everyone have a vastly different opinion on NailsOnBoard sound? The first time I've heard it, even though nothing else bad happened at the time, I still try to cover my ears.


You have truly limited youself and the human race, excluding any possibility of meditating munks who might not be affected by the rock music or those people who do not cover their ears the first time they hear the nails on board sound (I have never covered my ears or found it annonying, what I feel actually is goosebumps because I can remember the feeling of my nails scratching the board and it was painful), in a way that is based only on science which as Emerson puts it about essence, "In that deep force, the last fact behind which analysis CANNOT go..." Thus, anything is possible, don't try to use science and human beings' supposed instint or fixed action pattern to explain everything because even in the field of science, there are exceptions to commonly agreed laws of sciences (mutations.)

Once again, thank you so much for pointing out my mistakes and prejudices, I hope you have enjoyed your time reading my response to your response. If you feel like there is possibly anything wrong or that you disagree with about what I have critically analyzed about your response, please feel free to reply. Smile I would be more than happy to and am totally ready to engage in a deep, analytical discussion-debate with you! Very Happy
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Re: Feelings of Music

Post  ivy on Thu May 14, 2009 10:05 pm

Honestly, biology is everywhere…
Vincent_Lee wrote:Basically, if our mood shifts too deep into the negative side, there'll be a great deal of difficulty getting it out. The farther we stray from our neutral state, the more time and effort it will take to naturally return to normal. Music can help in our recovery from it, though it shouldn't be the only thing. Negative thoughts are the catalysts of depression, and if we can't eliminate the thoughts, we won't truly be able to be at ease, despite how much music we listen to. That is only in the case of sad music though. Sad music allows us to connect to something and relieve some negativity by hearing negativity released, but it cannot make us happy. At most, it makes us less sad.”
However, as Lee has said, if we listen to sad music, we relieve some negativity; however, what if the negativity from the music only gets you even more? As in, the negative music pushes you deeper into depression? When you listen to depressed music, the self gets affected by the aura that is radiating from the vocal, beat, rhythm, and other essentials for the song.
It’s not that I’m against Lee’s theory of music relieving our inner anger, because it happened to me before, thus I cannot deny the effect of music on human beings. Yet, there are still the “what-if” cases. What if the music does not bring comfort, instead, it backfires?
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Re: Feelings of Music

Post  hen on Thu May 14, 2009 10:17 pm

Vincent_Lee wrote:Unfortunately, since I haven't been granted "special access", I am unable to create my own topic in this section so for now you will have to deal with my giant walls of text in this thread.
My bad.

@Ivy
If it backfires, then it backfires. Though whether it backfires or not really depends on your personality. Listening to negative music to relieve negative feelings has different outcomes on people.
Let's review how it works:
Going by the law of attraction, when we emit negative frequencies, we attract other negative frequencies. By listening to negative music, we ease this attraction, and thus feel a sense of relief (which as Lee says, can relieve us enough to make the recovery process of negative to normal maybe faster and easier on us)
However, there are many people who may be too greatly affected by the negative energies of the songs, in the case where the songs are far too negative for the actual negative emotions that the listener is experiencing. Basically, the balance has been offset, so instead of being alleviated from the attraction, it has gone beyond that point and added more negative emotion to it. Why this differs with each person is that there may be varying degrees of negativity each song may have to each different person.

Basically, be sure that what you're listening to is fitting for the situation.
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Re: Feelings of Music

Post  shawanne on Thu May 14, 2009 10:22 pm

However, as Lee has said, if we listen to sad music, we relieve some negativity; however, what if the negativity from the music only gets you even more? As in, the negative music pushes you deeper into depression? When you listen to depressed music, the self gets affected by the aura that is radiating from the vocal, beat, rhythm, and other essentials for the song.
It’s not that I’m against Lee’s theory of music relieving our inner anger, because it happened to me before, thus I cannot deny the effect of music on human beings. Yet, there are still the “what-if” cases. What if the music does not bring comfort, instead, it backfires?

Hm. But if the music is something we can relate to, wouldn't it help us feel better because it would feel like someone knows our pain/anger/whatever? Like we'd feel the music was written especially for us [even though it isn't] so we'd feel like...we're not alone? Or something? So...in effect, the depression would be lifted off us if we listen to a depressing song 'cause we can either find that we're not alone, therefore we'd have no reason to be that depressed anymore, or find out that whatever was causing the depression would suddenly seem insignificant.

Uh...someone explain back? I think I just confused myself again. O.O

Edit: ...Okay, nevermind this one then. XD;
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Re: Feelings of Music

Post  joannneee on Thu May 14, 2009 10:45 pm

shawanne wrote:
However, as Lee has said, if we listen to sad music, we relieve some negativity; however, what if the negativity from the music only gets you even more? As in, the negative music pushes you deeper into depression? When you listen to depressed music, the self gets affected by the aura that is radiating from the vocal, beat, rhythm, and other essentials for the song.
It’s not that I’m against Lee’s theory of music relieving our inner anger, because it happened to me before, thus I cannot deny the effect of music on human beings. Yet, there are still the “what-if” cases. What if the music does not bring comfort, instead, it backfires?

Hm. But if the music is something we can relate to, wouldn't it help us feel better because it would feel like someone knows our pain/anger/whatever? Like we'd feel the music was written especially for us [even though it isn't] so we'd feel like...we're not alone? Or something? So...in effect, the depression would be lifted off us if we listen to a depressing song 'cause we can either find that we're not alone, therefore we'd have no reason to be that depressed anymore, or find out that whatever was causing the depression would suddenly seem insignificant.

I think depression is really queer (can the word be used here like this?) sometimes. When you listen to depressing music when you're depressed, you either feel better because someone knows your pain, or you get even more depressed and end up breaking something. It's the same with depressing music when you're sad - depressing music is most of the time very beautiful even when you're not depressed - does that mean that whether or not we like a piece is decided by our emotions? How would we define emotion anyway? Because right now it seems almost contradicting - if we didn't use emotion to listen to music, would the piece still be beautiful? Or would it lack meaning?
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Re: Feelings of Music

Post  Hannah Park on Thu May 14, 2009 10:50 pm

So Shawanne... are you saying that through music we fill a connection with other people, and feel that we are not alone, but infact other people out there is going through what you're going through right now? I guess that is a benefit of living in a flat world.

I wonder if this kind of message could be sent through music without lyrics...will people still feel generally the same by listening to one song, or will there be more broad of a response because there is no lyrics to guide one's response...it depends on the person I guess.

But I still dont get: is music preference more nature or nurture? I guess deep down inside one should have a specific type of response to a song, but liking it or disliking could be because one was influenced in someway in one's life to not like that particular type of sound, or because one's...vibe doesn't complement the song. If we took someone from the Middle Ages and played hardcore rock songs for him/her, will that person understand what the song is trying to convey, through its beat and emotion being displayed, or will that person start thinking its absolute nonsense? If we took another person from the... Renaissance, will they having never heard of modern rap subconsciously know that he/she is missing out on something, or will he or she just live happily without rap because they don't know of its existance?
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Re: Feelings of Music

Post  shawanne on Thu May 14, 2009 11:25 pm

But I still dont get: is music preference more nature or nurture? I guess deep down inside one should have a specific type of response to a song, but liking it or disliking could be because one was influenced in someway in one's life to not like that particular type of sound, or because one's...vibe doesn't complement the song. If we took someone from the Middle Ages and played hardcore rock songs for him/her, will that person understand what the song is trying to convey, through its beat and emotion being displayed, or will that person start thinking its absolute nonsense? If we took another person from the... Renaissance, will they having never heard of modern rap subconsciously know that he/she is missing out on something, or will he or she just live happily without rap because they don't know of its existance?

Hmm. That brings it back again to Phil's statement of the nails on board sound, in which [most] people would cringe. Moving away from that, maybe as stated above in someone's post [can't remember which one, too much XD] there is a universal 'sound' in every piece of music written that flow through in underlying tones, which then are responded to by the people. So even though a person from the Middle Ages might not recognize a 'modern' genre of music, he or she might still have the same feelings when listening to that music as a person from now would. I think. Very Happy;
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Re: Feelings of Music

Post  Vincent_Lee on Thu May 14, 2009 11:29 pm

@ Hannah

There isn't such a thing as "hardcore rock" although hardcore punk definitely exists. Now, if we played Black Flag to a person in the Middle Ages, they will probably not understand the lyrics and miss out part of the overall package. They might not understand that "Rise Above" is about overcoming social oppression, but I think they will be able to connect with the general emotion of the song. This 2 year old probably didn't have a single clue what Henry Rollins was going off about, but he certainly felt the energy in the music.

Now, usic definitely did exist in the Middle Ages, although because there was no such like electric guitars, amps, or distortion, they might be put off by the sound, maybe even frightened a bit. That really isn't too different from me presenting you this song though. You probably didn't realize humans could create such sounds with their voices, just like how a six string thing plus a big black box thing could create such sounds.

To your question about music's message and lyrics, I also believe that depends on the person, although the song itself is important. A song like"Spoils" sounds very uplifting and someone who doesn't understand the lyrics may perceive it as such. However, someone who understands the lyrics(and has some degree of skill in inferential reading, in this case) will realize they touch upon existentialist themes, ("Language is the heart's lament/A weak attempt to circumvent the loneliness inherent in search for permanence" "All the future ghosts who scratch their names in wet cement/ Demeaning meaning as they shout out at the emptiness)" which aren't too cheery really, will walk away with a different message and slightly different emotions.
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