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Thread: Emotional Disconnection from Music

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    Senior Member adriesba's Avatar
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    Default Emotional Disconnection from Music

    I wasn't sure where to put this thread. So, it can be moved if it should go somewhere else.

    Anyway, I have felt recently and in the past that sometimes I just lose emotional connection to music, even pieces that I love the most.

    It's odd too. At one moment, I feel so enriched by the music, but an hour later, though I may still think, "Wow, this is really good!", I just don't feel the same. Then, the next day, I might wonder how I ever felt so detached.

    True, this can happen when one is depressed, but this just happened to me. And I'm not depressed or upset about anything right now.

    True, it can also happen when one listens to the same piece repeatedly, but this can happen to me even if I spend a long time away from the piece and spend time listening to other things. At the moment, music doesn't sound appealing at all.

    What causes this? Is it lack of sleep? A world focused on coronavirus dulling the senses? Day-to-day life is in too much of a routine? Anyone else ever feel like this?

    This is very discouraging.

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    Vary the way you listen to the music . I seldom get into what I think the 'deepness' would be. I enjoy the aural colors, instrument tones and playing, and the 'feeling' I sometimes get.

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    Senior Member Bulldog's Avatar
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    It's happened to me - I'll go a few hours or a couple of days disconnected, then I'm back to my old self. Nothing to worry about. Just get into some other stuff.

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    Senior Member JAS's Avatar
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    I have never really felt disconnected from music, although I sometimes wonder if I am taking it for granted. Listening to music is one of the few things keeping me sane during this pandemic.

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    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    I think we all have times when music doesn't do it for us. Just before I came to this site I fell out of love with a lot of my music (rock, classical, etc) but it was a tough time emotionally and looking back I realise that I was in a dark place. Fortunately, it didn't last long and rapid changes took place in my life and my enjoyment of music returned. Coming to TC, shortly after that dark period, reignited my love of orchestral music. I think that's the only time I've really lost my interest in music. I actually recall going to 2 rock gigs at that time, cos both were freebies. I walked out of one after 30 minutes and the other I was so bored that I stood outside for large intervals having a smoke or sat in my seat texting my mate.
    Last edited by Merl; Aug-05-2020 at 11:37.

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    Senior Member Enthusiast's Avatar
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    I often find that music can restore my sanity when I am feeling very low and usually I can find something that works for me. I think the feeling described in the OP is part of the reason why I have explored and persevered with such a variety of music - from the very early to the very contemporary, from opera to solo instrument and song/lieder to big symphonies; from rock to hip hop to jazz - as I try to find music that suits my mood. I do quite often stop listening to a piece that isn't working for me and move on to something completely different. And finally if nothing else is working then there is always silence - more than 4'33'' of it - and the concrete music of the environment that I am in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Merl View Post
    I actually recall going to 2 rock gigs at that time, cos both were freebies. I walked out of one after 30 minutes and the other I was so bored that I stood outside for large intervals having a smoke or sat in my seat texting my mate.
    Were you alone? I don't think I would enjoy a rock concert on my own either. But, there again, perhaps you were smoking the wrong substance.

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    Senior Member AbsolutelyBaching's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if it's similar, but I sometimes have spans of days when I don't want to listen to any music at all. And then I have other spells where I want to listen only to really rather 'low-brow' music (say, Erasure, Enya, REM, that sort of thing). I don't panic about them: I see them as a chance to 'wash my ears out' a bit. Soon enough, I get back into the 'real' stuff before long. I don't think you can stay listening to only the good stuff for ever: it would be like living on the top of Mount Olympus and only living on Ambrosia (and I don't mean the tins of creamed rice pudding!). I think even Michelin-starred chefs probably gag for a MacDonalds now and again. (Or maybe not. Don't quote me!)

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    ^ Didn't you mean gag on a MacDonalds?

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    Senior Member Phil loves classical's Avatar
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    I agree with AbsoluteBaching. You can't just go from high to high. Just as a lot of music itself is an emotional or dramatic journey within the work or piece, your day-to-day life and also discovery of music is a journey. I used to have a routine of Mozart, Tchaikovsky, etc. but eventually they lose impact if you listen too often or in a too predictable manner. It's like a drug, they can lose potency over use. I said this in another thread recently, that a lot of conditions have to be met or right to generate emotion. Some are likely purely circumstantial. Same thing with movies. It's hard to watch the same movie over and over and still have the same impact as before, especially when you know what's coming next.

    In music, there are some chord changes I like and which make impact, but when you can already see it a mile away, it just doesn't feel the same when it arrives.
    "Forgive me, Majesty. I'm a vulgar man. But I assure you, my music is not.“ Mozart

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    Senior Member Allegro Con Brio's Avatar
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    There are some times when I’m just not in the mood for listening to music. I’ll put on something that is usually one of my favorite works and I’m not feeling as engaged or connected with it as usual. No big deal. If that’s the case I read or play the piano instead, which are activities where I seem more “artistically involved,” whatever that really means.
    Last edited by Allegro Con Brio; Aug-05-2020 at 15:00.
    "If we understood the world, we would realize that there is a logic of harmony underlying its manifold apparent dissonances." - Jean Sibelius

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    For me it's over-familiarity. Having heard some music repeatedly for 50+ years and having performed a great deal of the standard repertoire and I just tune it out. So I take a long break, such as no Mahler for a year. Then when I come back to it, and new recordings in hand, it's refreshing and the emotional impact is so much greater. I am in the midst now taking a break from Brahms and Elgar and look forward to spinning their music in 2021.

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    ^ Yes, that all goes for me, too.

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    Senior Member SONNET CLV's Avatar
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    Emotional Disconnection from Music

    Quote Originally Posted by adriesba View Post
    ... I have felt recently and in the past that sometimes I just lose emotional connection to music, even pieces that I love the most.
    ...
    I Anyone else ever feel like this?
    This is very discouraging.

    Quote Originally Posted by JAS View Post
    I have never really felt disconnected from music....

    I have to agree with JAS.

    Or course, when I do have to leave my listening room to attend to more mundane chores of daily life, I always leave my head under the Sennheisers and plugged into the NAD 5-disc player, fully loaded, on repeat mode. Just in case I'm delayed.

    My wife tends to remark: "I think you lost your head again," to which I respond: "No, it's down in the listening room with the headphones on and the Mahler symphonies programmed in the NAD."

    Of course, what works for me may not work for everyone.

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    Senior Member Simplicissimus's Avatar
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    When the icy demon of emotional disconnection comes around every few months, I put music aside for a week or so and turn to my other interests. This used to make me distraught and I would wonder whether music would ever animate me again. Then I perceived a pattern. Getting back into music, I always start with an urge to listen to something that I wasn’t into before. The last time I went through it, I ended up listening to the complete Ring cycle for the first time. So now I consider these outwardly dismal periods to be inwardly salubrious, much like sleep, when synaptic connections are reorganized.

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