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Emotions vs. the longing for them


Emotions vs. the longing for them
May 22, 2013, 05:56:44 PM
From the blog:
Quote from: Brett Stevens
(...)good pop must be oozing with consonance, but bittersweet and minor key in its “mixed emotions” that give it “profundity” or a feeling of “authentic” emotion, and leave you wanting more because for a moment you felt like something stirred actual emotion in your soul (when in fact, all you were feeling was your longing for such emotion).

Just some thoughts on that last line: if we compare for instance the Romantic and pre-Romantic periods in art history- Imagine how a work of Mozart instills emotion, in his restrained, disciplined way, devoid of sentimentality...

Is it far fetched then to say Romanticists in turn emulate emotions, and the work of art actually becomes programmatic (referring to something, in this case an emotion, outside of the work of art itself)?

And if that is true, does the listener of Beethoven get emotions instilled in the way people react to others expressing emotions? Or is it just the longing for what the master must've felt when he wrote those pieces down?

Just listen, you'd say, but I'm not sure I can discern between longing for emotion and the real deal if longing (for e.g. an ideal) is essential to what is communicated.

Re: Emotions vs. the longing for them
May 23, 2013, 08:27:40 AM
Wouldn't you say that longing for something (an ideal, for example) is an emotion as well?

Pop-music doesn't express such a longing-emotion. It creates an empty space, for the listener to project his own emotions into. It's not about what the 'artist' wants to express, but about what the listener wants to hear. You get sort of an emotional experience out of it, but it's a superficial one, because you don't have to work for it. You don't have to actually listen to the music, you just have to 'feel it'.

Does that make any sense? It's like the difference between working for true happiness, and snorting a line of coke, because you want true happiness now! Both will get you happiness, but one is lasting and substantial (it connects with reality outside your head), while the other is short and superficial (it's just your brain on a stimulant).

Re: Emotions vs. the longing for them
May 23, 2013, 08:42:21 AM
I will always say that the best music, metal and classical, does not usually elicit much of an emotional response in me.  I would describe it as more of a mathematical satisfaction.  I get a sense of being beyond myself with little if any introspection.  When pop music attempts "profundity" it feels like I'm being manipulated like in a 'starving kids in Africa' sense, the only emotion I feel is justified contempt.