View Poll Results: Do you need to have suffered to write "deep" music?

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Thread: Suffering for deep music?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Daniel's Avatar
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    I came to that thought in relation with the Wagner discussion in the other forum section...

    Many think, you need to suffer, that you are mature enough to write deep and moving music.

    What do you think?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Quaverion's Avatar
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    I believe one must in order to understand how really very bad and horrible one can feel. This allows them to express their emotions better.
    It is our imperfections that make us who we are.

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  5. #3
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    I think being empathetic and compassionate is the key. It's eventually your ability to feel. Having gone through alot may not make u super-emotional...hmm... :blink:

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  7. #4
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    Default Suffering

    I can't decide. I'd say it depends on the kind of suffering. Short term suffering can make one appreciate the good things all the more. Long term can simply destroy you. For expression we need contrast. So some suffering is perhaps neccesary.
    This reminds me of a quote from Faust;

    Meph; you make do with dark and light.
    Faust; and yet I choose it!

  8. #5
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    That's what music is, the relfection of our world, the reflection of Human Experience.
    hence, you can't understand some composer's works, because you do not share the same experience, for example:
    You can't understand Mahler if you are not a loner in world who is suffering from a terminal illness.

  9. #6
    Junior Member Music_Junkie's Avatar
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    I don't think you nessecarily need to suffer persay. I think life experience helps but ultimately music is a form of expression, it expresses sadness, anger, greif, frustration, happiness, joy. It expresses every emotion and I think most people can deeply express their happiness and their grief, it doesn't mean you have to be a beaten, battered person growing up and then have your life crumble in front of you, it just means that it's a different depth of your soul you are tapping into to express a different emotion, feeling or point in ones life.

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  11. #7
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    Default Suffering and Deep Music

    It's a fascinating question.

    My own opinion is that a person does not necessarily need to suffer himself to write deep music but almost certainly will do so. Let me try to explain what I mean -

    Great music resonates within us who are musical. Suffering is often conveyed to us in great music. But I would not argue that a man must be physically crucified to receive salvation or to receive the knowledge of what he has been saved from. One must avoid become a person who beats oneself with chains, or who believes that we MUST suffer to be holy.

    The empathy we have is therefore God-given and is a part, a feature of our salvation - 'as the deep calleth unto the deep' etc. And therefore, I think, our very being, our soul, is freed to empathise with those who suffer and to understand suffering, whether we personally experience that suffering or not in our own invididual lives.

    But each person must decide for himself what he empathises with and what he relates to. No other person can teach him. His instinct is his guide. The musician seeks to resolve groans too deep for words and, I think, the more he is musical the more successfully he simplifies and resolves that which must be uttered. He cannot empathise with all things. He must above all else work towards peace in his own soul and this through a world full of suffering.

    Robert Newman

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  13. #8
    Senior Member Op.123's Avatar
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    Chopin certainly thought so supported by this quote

    Today I finished the Fantasy - and the sky is beautiful, a sadness in my heart - but that's alright. If it were otherwise, perhaps my existence would be worth nothing to anyone. Let's hide until death has passed.
    “Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.”

    - Mozart

  14. #9
    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    If you write "deep" music, history will magnify and glorify your sufferings. If you write "light" music, history will slight them. I believe critics, musicologists, and writers of program notes take special courses in this!


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    Senior Member Crudblud's Avatar
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    I don't think "deep" music exists. All emotion ascribed to a piece of music is necessarily extramusical, whether it's explained to you in a programme or a book by the composer or a publisher or whether you put it there yourself.

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  18. #11
    Senior Member PetrB's Avatar
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    I'm thinking the question itself is steeped in the influence of arch-romantic conceits.

    It presumes, also, that music is somehow a medium capable of directly expressing the emotions or emotional state of the composer at the time of its being written.

    All in all, I think the idea a very "romantic" notion.

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  20. #12
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    First asked more than 8 years ago. Odd that it attracted so little attention, given the number of posters willing to entertain this and similar ideas about music and the emotions.

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  22. #13
    Senior Member trazom's Avatar
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    Suffering is part of being human. The people who feel that a composer hasn't suffered because they don't have a sympathetic, heart-wrenching tale of overcoming adversity remind me of petulant teens that scream "YOU'LL NEVER UNDERSTAND WHAT I'M GOING THROUGH" at their parents.

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  24. #14
    Senior Member PetrB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burroughs View Post
    Chopin certainly thought so supported by this quote

    Today I finished the Fantasy - and the sky is beautiful, a sadness in my heart - but that's alright. If it were otherwise, perhaps my existence would be worth nothing to anyone. Let's hide until death has passed.
    Just about every artist has some sadness when they complete a work -- the reason being they most enjoyed being in the middle of making it up. Once finished, there is a sort of disappointment... in the form of a conceit / expression from that era, "a little death" which fades quickly enough.

    I think the quote you cited is therefore "correct" while completely misinterpreted in this context.
    Last edited by PetrB; May-16-2013 at 22:52.

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  26. #15
    Senior Member LordBlackudder's Avatar
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    it can be deeply cheerful music. so no

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