Does classical music really make you depressed?

Posted by: Gould

Does classical music really make you depressed? - 03/31/11 10:01 AM

Does classical music really make you depressed? I heard this among some people and was wondering if it really did make you depressed if you hear it 24/7...
Posted by: Pogorelich.

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 03/31/11 10:32 AM

24/7? Do these people not sleep? That's really something..

And why should it make you depressed? It only makes me depressed when I realize I suck, or when my LH sometimes refuses to play a simple scale in fast tempo (I'm still mad about that.. arghhhhhhhh)
Posted by: Nikolas

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 03/31/11 10:37 AM

Heh... A nice one vesivian...

I doubt anyone can listen to music for 24/7, regardless of genre or other... But even if one could I'd doubt it would make one depressed. Classical music has so many different styles that is wonderful to listen 24/7! Perhaps a little bored after a few weeks, but depressed? No way!
Posted by: Entheo

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 03/31/11 10:40 AM

yeah, beethoven's 6th is such a buzzkill smirk
Posted by: Dave Horne

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 03/31/11 11:00 AM

yawn
Posted by: izaldu

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 03/31/11 11:04 AM

...
Posted by: fledgehog

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 03/31/11 11:14 AM

maybe inherently sad pieces like Tchaik 6 or Mahler 9...but people who don't listen to classical regularly spew out all sorts of [censored] about it (it's boring, it's "for musicians only", its for old people) and it wouldn't surprise me to see "it's depressing" added to that list.
Posted by: erichlof

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 03/31/11 11:33 AM

Who would say such a thing?
You just need a little cheering up!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lt-NZMiCQLg&feature=player_detailpage

When I'm feeling low, I just remember that you CAN get lower, or should I say lowered:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3wAarmPYKU&feature=player_detailpage
Posted by: bennevis

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 03/31/11 12:00 PM

I recommend the symphonies of Allan Pettersson as a cure for depression grin.
Posted by: Entheo

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 03/31/11 01:28 PM

Originally Posted By: erichlof
Who would say such a thing?
You just need a little cheering up!


when i need a bit of cheering up, here's a tune that perks me up:

Posted by: GeorgeB

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 03/31/11 01:30 PM

Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.

And why should it make you depressed? It only makes me depressed when I realize I suck, or when my LH sometimes refuses to play a simple scale in fast tempo (I'm still mad about that.. arghhhhhhhh)



I can sympathise with you. Specially when i try to play funerailles and after hours and hours my left hand still stiffens up too much frown
Posted by: Akira

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 03/31/11 01:38 PM

You might have worded your post more concisely. I'm sure you don't mean 24/7 (no sleep, will definitely lead you to go mad, no matter what kind of music you're listening to). So, I'll assume you mean a lot.

I don't think there has been any conclusive evidence one way or the other.

Although, in limited doses, classical music has the "potential" to 'lower' depression in 'some' people.
Posted by: pianojerome

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 03/31/11 03:03 PM

I'm very skeptical about studies on the psychological effects of listening to "classical music." (including ones that say it makes you smarter, relaxed, etc)

Does listening to a fast, violent work have the same effect as listening to a soft, soothing work? Does large, contrapuntally complex orchestral music have the same effect as a beginner-level harpsichord solo? Does instrumental music have the same effect as vocal music (and does it matter if one understands the lyrics of the vocal music)? Does an atonal composition have the same effect as a romantic work or a baroque work?

Surely not - so how can one make any definitive study or generalization about the effects of listening to any "classical music"?

And that's not even getting into whether or not one ENJOYS the piece at hand. The same piece of music can have wildly different effects on different listeners, depending on whether the listener enjoys it or not. Furthermore, the same piece of music can even have wildly different effects on the SAME person depending on that person's mood at the time.
Posted by: pianojerome

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 03/31/11 03:09 PM

Originally Posted By: Vesivian
if you hear it 24/7...


That's a different question, which has nothing to do with music. I enjoy eating ice-cream. But if I had to constantly eat ice-cream for an entire week, I'd probably not enjoy it so much anymore.
Posted by: MarkH

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 03/31/11 03:25 PM

Originally Posted By: fledgehog
maybe inherently sad pieces like Tchaik 6 or Mahler 9...but people who don't listen to classical regularly spew out all sorts of [censored] about it (it's boring, it's "for musicians only", its for old people) and it wouldn't surprise me to see "it's depressing" added to that list.


I've heard the "depressing" argument from several young, classically ignorant people. I think it's a safe assumption that the person the OP heard it from was such a person. If your musical standard is beautiful, superficial teens & 20 somethings preening about the exciting, flashy tangibles of life, you may find that clashing, incomprehensible, lengthy classical music simply bores and irritates by its lack of the same. I think depressing is just teenage exaggeration for something lacking excitement value.

LOL, I just hit thirty, but that statement makes me sound way older. But I can take consolation from the fact that I wrote a research paper my senior year in high school that involved some of these topics, and I would have said the same thing then that I do now. I guess, probably like many of us, I have looked down on much of pop culture since I was old enough to be aware of it.
Posted by: apple*

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 03/31/11 03:37 PM

'Classically ignorant' has a nice ring to it.
Posted by: stores

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 03/31/11 04:22 PM

This has got to be one of the sillier thread topics I've yet seen here. The only thing depressing is that classical doesn't sell as well, nor is as popular, as the inane crap you hear while sitting at a red light from the idiot in the car next to you who feels everyone else should partake in his ignorance.
Posted by: ChopinAddict

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 03/31/11 04:22 PM

No, it helps me fight against depression.
Posted by: Damon

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 03/31/11 04:50 PM

No.
Posted by: aidans

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 03/31/11 05:00 PM

Originally Posted By: stores
This has got to be one of the sillier thread topics I've yet seen here. The only thing depressing is that classical doesn't sell as well, nor is as popular, as the inane crap you hear while sitting at a red light from the idiot in the car next to you who feels everyone else should partake in his ignorance.


Do you think this is a new development or has always been the case?

I generally agree with you in your assessment of modern popular music.
Posted by: stores

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 03/31/11 05:04 PM

Originally Posted By: aidans
Originally Posted By: stores
This has got to be one of the sillier thread topics I've yet seen here. The only thing depressing is that classical doesn't sell as well, nor is as popular, as the inane crap you hear while sitting at a red light from the idiot in the car next to you who feels everyone else should partake in his ignorance.


Do you think this is a new development or has always been the case?

I generally agree with you in your assessment of modern popular music.


Do I think what to be a new development?
Posted by: aidans

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 03/31/11 05:30 PM

That classical music doesn't sell as well, nor is as popular as the music people blast in their cars at red lights.

I ask because I'm generally skeptical of anything that sounds like a "golden age," but in this case I really do feel like societal tastes are changing for the worse.
Posted by: stores

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 03/31/11 05:54 PM

It's not a new development, no, but classical music is, with a surety, succumbing to an eclipse rooted in ignorance and societal priorities steeped in mindless armchair entertainment.
Posted by: feebeeliszt

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 03/31/11 06:00 PM

Originally Posted By: stores
This has got to be one of the sillier thread topics I've yet seen here. The only thing depressing is that classical doesn't sell as well, nor is as popular, as the inane crap you hear while sitting at a red light from the idiot in the car next to you who feels everyone else should partake in his ignorance.

Yes. It makes me depressed if I am forced to hear noises from Rebecca Black or Justin Bieber instead of classical music.
Posted by: cefinow

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 03/31/11 06:14 PM

Once I posted about my mom dancing around the kitchen to the Pastoral symphony, 3rd mvmt. But a few days later, we had the first really warm, sunny day of spring. I was stuck inside working. I was convinced that everyone else in town was either at (or on their way to) a picnic or softball game, or dancing in a big circle in a sunlit meadow, except me. (Even though it was a workday...) And the background music to my discontentment was that same cheerful Beethoven movement! In that context, it was torment!! The next day was similarly beautiful but by that time, it was just typical spring weather. And yes, I did get out the door after work by 5:00 on the dot.
Posted by: pianojerome

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 03/31/11 06:16 PM

I've read/heard that the classical CD / huge orchestra market is worse off than it was in previous decades. However, we should keep in mind that commercial recordings didn't exist 100 years ago, and huge orchestras in every major city are also a big development of the 20th century. So compared to 50 years ago, the classical scene may be worse off today, but how is it compared to 150 or 200 years ago?

Anyway, that's quite off-topic. But often off-topic topics are fun.
Posted by: WinsomeAllegretto

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 03/31/11 07:35 PM

This is just a thought. I don't know how true it is. But maybe the idea that "classical music is depressing" could come from the whole "melancholy artist" stereotype. You know the image of the person dressed all in black playing the piano by themselves in the dark. Idk...
Posted by: ChopinAddict

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 03/31/11 08:01 PM

Originally Posted By: WinsomeAllegretto
This is just a thought. I don't know how true it is. But maybe the idea that "classical music is depressing" could come from the whole "melancholy artist" stereotype. You know the image of the person dressed all in black playing the piano by themselves in the dark. Idk...


Some people have indeed explicitly told me I should not listen to classical music because it is what makes me feel depressed. What? mad This shows how much people understand me of course... cry cry cry
I feel much more depressed when I get on the bus and am forced to turn off my iPod because the music on the bus (not classical of course frown ) is so loud...
Posted by: Drunk3nFist

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 03/31/11 08:07 PM

Nope, quite the opposite actually. It stops me from getting depressed smile
Posted by: DameMyra

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 03/31/11 08:21 PM

How could it possibly make someone depressed. (Featuring another tune from our birthday boy.)

Posted by: WinsomeAllegretto

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 03/31/11 08:54 PM

Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict
Originally Posted By: WinsomeAllegretto
This is just a thought. I don't know how true it is. But maybe the idea that "classical music is depressing" could come from the whole "melancholy artist" stereotype. You know the image of the person dressed all in black playing the piano by themselves in the dark. Idk...


Some people have indeed explicitly told me I should not listen to classical music because it is what makes me feel depressed. What? mad This shows how much people understand me of course... cry cry cry
I feel much more depressed when I get on the bus and am forced to turn off my iPod because the music on the bus (not classical of course frown ) is so loud...


I know exactly what you mean! If I go for too long without listening to piano music, I actually get kind of depressed. A lot of times my roommates will be listening to other music so I won't be able to. Then when I listen to my music I feel a whole lot better.
Posted by: ChopinAddict

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 04/01/11 02:08 AM

Originally Posted By: WinsomeAllegretto
Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict
Originally Posted By: WinsomeAllegretto
This is just a thought. I don't know how true it is. But maybe the idea that "classical music is depressing" could come from the whole "melancholy artist" stereotype. You know the image of the person dressed all in black playing the piano by themselves in the dark. Idk...


Some people have indeed explicitly told me I should not listen to classical music because it is what makes me feel depressed. What? mad This shows how much people understand me of course... cry cry cry
I feel much more depressed when I get on the bus and am forced to turn off my iPod because the music on the bus (not classical of course frown ) is so loud...


I know exactly what you mean! If I go for too long without listening to piano music, I actually get kind of depressed. A lot of times my roommates will be listening to other music so I won't be able to. Then when I listen to my music I feel a whole lot better.


Can't you tell them to use headphones? Maybe they don't know you don't like the music they usually listen to...
Posted by: ChopinAddict

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 04/01/11 02:45 AM

Yeah, this very moment (on Skype) my foster father referred to the classical music I like to listen to as "funeral music". bah cursing
Posted by: Drunk3nFist

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 04/01/11 06:09 AM

That sounds rather hurtful frown
Posted by: Pogorelich.

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 04/01/11 09:21 AM

Ever think that classical music can actually help you feel less depressed? Because it's an outlet for your expression and something you can relate to. Plus what better way to treat your depression than practicing and being insanely busy? When you're in a practice room, life kind of stops for those hours and all that matters is the piece and your deadline - concert, competition, whatever. You don't have to think about things in your life that make you feel like [censored] every day.
Posted by: ilychy

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 04/01/11 10:16 AM

Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict
No, it helps me fight against depression.


I second this. Classical music is more often than not an outlet for my stress and negative feelings. It's hard to persist on negative trains of thoughts when music compels one to explore beauty.
Posted by: izaldu

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 04/01/11 10:26 AM

The only thing that may seem depressing about classical music to me is that it is ignored and disdained by so many people. People who actually never cared to give ti a try.
Posted by: Entheo

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 04/01/11 10:45 AM

classical music certainly isn't depressing, although it can evoke sadness (not a bad thing at all, IMHO). however, in pondering this question, i do think that classical music deserves the title of "serious music", exemplified in the famous furrow in beethoven's brow, and quite a bit of associated rigidity, rules & regulations.

frankly i can't think of too many examples in classical music of truly joyous music -- mozart & scarlatti come to mind -- but i can think of other genres of music which exhibit joyousness on a regular basis (e.g. gospel, trad. irish music).

i'm not saying the "serious" moniker is a bad thing, but it does drive a certain perception outside of the cognoscenti.
Posted by: wr

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 04/02/11 06:28 AM

Originally Posted By: Entheo
classical music certainly isn't depressing, although it can evoke sadness (not a bad thing at all, IMHO). however, in pondering this question, i do think that classical music deserves the title of "serious music", exemplified in the famous furrow in beethoven's brow, and quite a bit of associated rigidity, rules & regulations.

frankly i can't think of too many examples in classical music of truly joyous music -- mozart & scarlatti come to mind -- but i can think of other genres of music which exhibit joyousness on a regular basis (e.g. gospel, trad. irish music).

i'm not saying the "serious" moniker is a bad thing, but it does drive a certain perception outside of the cognoscenti.


I think you make a good point about the reputation of classical music for being heavy, but don't really agree that there's little in classical music that is joyous, or at least "happy". There's a great deal of Beethoven that is (the "Ode to Joy", obviously). And there is lots of sunny and cheerful music by Haydn, Bach, Dvorak, Liszt, Chabrier, and many others. And isn't the "serious" part of "serious music" really about artistic intent, rather than the actual mood (acknowledging that serious artistic intent itself may be depressing to people who aren't on that wavelength)?

But true, to someone not used to it, a lot of it must seem incredibly moody at the least, especially Romantic stuff that aims at generating extreme emotions in the listener.
Posted by: kevinb

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 04/02/11 07:24 AM

Originally Posted By: Entheo

frankly i can't think of too many examples in classical music of truly joyous music -- mozart & scarlatti come to mind -- but i can think of other genres of music which exhibit joyousness on a regular basis (e.g. gospel, trad. irish music).


Well, to take just one example, "Jauchzet, frohlocket" from Bach's Christmas Oratorio (I guess not strictly Classical, but someone mentioned Bach earlier so I guess it's OK).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggm0SZCWKZo

Honestly, there's heaps more genuinely joyful, uplifting music in the Baroque/Classical repertoire.
Posted by: apple*

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 04/02/11 09:02 AM

Originally Posted By: stores
This has got to be one of the sillier thread topics I've yet seen here. The only thing depressing is that classical doesn't sell as well, nor is as popular, as the inane crap you hear while sitting at a red light from the idiot in the car next to you who feels everyone else should partake in his ignorance.


Do your windows roll up?
Posted by: WinsomeAllegretto

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 04/02/11 09:21 AM

It's not actually the music itself, but being a pianist is making me horribly depressed right now. I practice my butt off, and I think I've made tons of progress, but then in my lesson my teacher will say something like "Piano is not going well." It just makes me so sad that I love piano music so much but I can't do well at it no matter how hard I try.
Posted by: Pogorelich.

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 04/02/11 09:47 AM

Originally Posted By: WinsomeAllegretto
It's not actually the music itself, but being a pianist is making me horribly depressed right now. I practice my butt off, and I think I've made tons of progress, but then in my lesson my teacher will say something like "Piano is not going well." It just makes me so sad that I love piano music so much but I can't do well at it no matter how hard I try.


You're going to encounter all kinds of crap in the field of music. Sometimes there'll be days when even after hours and hours of practicing, things just will not be working right, breakdowns, or you'll get a stack of music to learn for collaborative, or you'll find out the violin juries you're accompanying are on the same day as your recital (only earlier), and the office will refuse to move your recital because they don't give a [censored] how you end up playing (might as well be playing with my feet).... etc etc.
Posted by: stores

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 04/02/11 01:10 PM

Originally Posted By: apple*
Originally Posted By: stores
This has got to be one of the sillier thread topics I've yet seen here. The only thing depressing is that classical doesn't sell as well, nor is as popular, as the inane crap you hear while sitting at a red light from the idiot in the car next to you who feels everyone else should partake in his ignorance.


Do your windows roll up?


They do, sure, but when I can still hear the lyrics with the windows up and FEEL what they're listening to (and it doesn't necessarily have to be the car next to me) then you're dealing with an idiot who feels that everyone else should be subjected to his "taste" (of which, of course, he has none).
Posted by: apple*

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 04/02/11 01:25 PM

i hope you caught the 'message' of windows rolling.. I haven't had one of those cars in a while.
Posted by: Entheo

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 04/02/11 01:27 PM

Originally Posted By: wr
I think you make a good point about the reputation of classical music for being heavy, but don't really agree that there's little in classical music that is joyous, or at least "happy". There's a great deal of Beethoven that is (the "Ode to Joy", obviously). And there is lots of sunny and cheerful music by Haydn, Bach, Dvorak, Liszt, Chabrier, and many others. And isn't the "serious" part of "serious music" really about artistic intent, rather than the actual mood (acknowledging that serious artistic intent itself may be depressing to people who aren't on that wavelength)?


perhaps "joyous" is the wrong choice of words... maybe "carefree" is better. i do think that a great deal of classical music doesn't 'swing' due to its innate requirement for a certain type of precision, which presents a facade of uptightness even exemplified in kevinb's example of uplifting classical music.

generally speaking, when i want to unwind & relax i don't listen to classical music because it demands work from me; i listen to jazz, latin, world, popular, because it speaks to my body and not my head.

not implying anything regarding good or bad here, just my very subjective observation.
Posted by: kevinb

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 04/02/11 02:23 PM

Originally Posted By: Entheo

perhaps "joyous" is the wrong choice of words... maybe "carefree" is better. i do think that a great deal of classical music doesn't 'swing' due to its innate requirement for a certain type of precision, which presents a facade of uptightness even exemplified in kevinb's example of uplifting classical music.


I guess partly that's a presentational thing -- you're unlikely to find a public performance of Bach's Christmas Oratorio where the performers are wearing jeans and sneakers and high-fiving the conductor. There is a certain -- I'm not sure 'uptightness' is quite the right word -- restraint and decorum about the whole business.

But I take you're point: if 'carefree' means 'I'm not very much bothered about things' then I think you're probably right -- serious music is, well, serious. Very few composers have managed to make serious, intellegent music light-hearted. Magic Flute, maybe? It's the nearest I can come up with, anyway.

But the point I'm trying to make is the 'serious' need not equate to 'dull' or -- Heaven forefend -- 'depressing'. A lot of classical music is, to mind mind, dull and depressing. Self-indulgently so. So is a lot of popular music. But that's not a characteristic of the genre or, at least, it doesn't have to be.
Posted by: David-G

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 04/02/11 07:39 PM

Originally Posted By: Vesivian
Does classical music really make you depressed? I heard this among some people and was wondering if it really did make you depressed if you hear it 24/7...

What an extraordinary and ridiculous idea. Classical music makes me feel exhilarated.

Incidentally I listened to Mozart for the best part of two days and nights back in January when Radio 3 was broadcasting solid Mozart and I was ill in bed with flu. Nothing could have been more cheering.
Posted by: Entheo

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 04/03/11 09:17 AM

Originally Posted By: kevinb
But the point I'm trying to make is the 'serious' need not equate to 'dull' or -- Heaven forefend -- 'depressing'. A lot of classical music is, to mind mind, dull and depressing. Self-indulgently so. So is a lot of popular music. But that's not a characteristic of the genre or, at least, it doesn't have to be.


i agree.

one comparison i'd make: i'd liken classical music to a poetry reading: the content has been painstakingly created and the delivery meticulously prepared to convey the nuance of each written word, for which the audience had better pay strict attention to comprehend the intended meaning. other genres of music like jazz or traditional irish i'd liken to a conversation, which presents a framework within which the participants (sometimes audience included) enter into an improvised dialog which injects the element of spontaneity, which is inherently light.

i believe that before classical music was classical (when, for example, the cadenza lived) it presented many more opportunities for spontaneity and levity. when improvisation became extinct in classical music (in lieu of strict adherence to technique & interpretation of the written note) is i believe when it became much more "serious".
Posted by: John Citron

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 04/03/11 12:03 PM

I get depressed when I can't listen to classical music! During the day I can't listen to the radio much because I'm out of my office on the run. I never have a chance to really hear anything that's good while it's on except for in the morning and evening commutes.

In fact the other day I had one of those radio moments. The local public radion station was playing Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto. I went into work flying high. The traffic was light which is unusual, the sun was out, the snow was melting, and there was the Fourth Piano Concerto. I went into work with my head still wrapped around the finale, and I couldn't hold back my joy.

Then reality hit. I had 12 emails and 7 voicemails about various problems I needed to attend to right away. POOF!!

John
Posted by: stores

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 04/03/11 12:05 PM

Originally Posted By: kevinb
A lot of classical music is, to mind mind, dull and depressing.


That's YOUR problem. It's your perception...formed by you. There's is more than plenty of excitement in the darkest, most serious music. I'm sorry that you don't hear it.
Posted by: Pogorelich.

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 04/03/11 05:14 PM

Maybe it is dull because you don't understand it. That applies to a lot of things, like classic novels. Why do people read trashy love paperbacks? Because their minds haven't had the opportunity to expand a little outside of the garbage and appreciate good literary works. They find them dull because they can't be bothered to dig in a little deeper.

Same applies to music.
Posted by: ghostwind

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 04/03/11 06:03 PM

Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: kevinb
A lot of classical music is, to mind mind, dull and depressing.


That's YOUR problem. It's your perception...formed by you. There's is more than plenty of excitement in the darkest, most serious music. I'm sorry that you don't hear it.


It's his OPINION, but sounds like YOUR problem in understanding how music may affect someone other than yourself. Music can and does evoke different emotions in different people. To think your way of understanding/hearing it is the only way, is to have a very narrow view. Furthermore, one should not have to UNDERSTAND music to enjoy it. That defeats the purpose. Music is not written by musicians for musicians. No art is done that way.

Also, cheer up mate..
Posted by: stores

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 04/03/11 06:34 PM

Originally Posted By: ghostwind
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: kevinb
A lot of classical music is, to mind mind, dull and depressing.


That's YOUR problem. It's your perception...formed by you. There's is more than plenty of excitement in the darkest, most serious music. I'm sorry that you don't hear it.


It's his OPINION, but sounds like YOUR problem in understanding how music may affect someone other than yourself. Music can and does evoke different emotions in different people. To think your way of understanding/hearing it is the only way, is to have a very narrow view. Furthermore, one should not have to UNDERSTAND music to enjoy it. That defeats the purpose. Music is not written by musicians for musicians. No art is done that way.

Also, cheer up mate..


I understand that it's an opinion, but dull and depressing, to me, speak more to a frame of mind.
Posted by: ghostwind

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 04/03/11 07:39 PM

Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: ghostwind
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: kevinb
A lot of classical music is, to mind mind, dull and depressing.


That's YOUR problem. It's your perception...formed by you. There's is more than plenty of excitement in the darkest, most serious music. I'm sorry that you don't hear it.


It's his OPINION, but sounds like YOUR problem in understanding how music may affect someone other than yourself. Music can and does evoke different emotions in different people. To think your way of understanding/hearing it is the only way, is to have a very narrow view. Furthermore, one should not have to UNDERSTAND music to enjoy it. That defeats the purpose. Music is not written by musicians for musicians. No art is done that way.

Also, cheer up mate..


I understand that it's an opinion, but dull and depressing, to me, speak more to a frame of mind.


True, but that frame of mind can certainly be arrived at by listening to something that evokes sad memories/emotions, nostalgic ones, etc. Or if someone finds a piece not moving, then it can certainly be called dull. I for one don't find music of any form depressing, but can see how some would describe it that way - classical or not. I DO however have plenty of music I can label as dull/boring though. I don't think it's about the music itself, but rather the individual. Though some pieces are so dark, it's hard to see them as cheerful, no matter how hard you try.

Posted by: stores

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 04/03/11 07:46 PM

Originally Posted By: ghostwind
I don't think it's about the music itself, but rather the individual.


Umm, that's what I've been saying.
Posted by: ghostwind

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 04/03/11 08:38 PM

Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: ghostwind
I don't think it's about the music itself, but rather the individual.


Umm, that's what I've been saying.


Yes, but you said it's a problem, and I disagree.
Posted by: stores

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 04/03/11 08:40 PM

Originally Posted By: ghostwind
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: ghostwind
I don't think it's about the music itself, but rather the individual.


Umm, that's what I've been saying.


Yes, but you said it's a problem, and I disagree.


If you find music to be dull and depressing, then you have a problem.
Posted by: ghostwind

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 04/03/11 10:03 PM

Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: ghostwind
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: ghostwind
I don't think it's about the music itself, but rather the individual.


Umm, that's what I've been saying.


Yes, but you said it's a problem, and I disagree.


If you find music to be dull and depressing, then you have a problem.


If you find ALL music that way, then yes, otherwise I disagree for reasons already stated.
Posted by: kevinb

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 04/04/11 07:14 AM

Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: kevinb
A lot of classical music is, to mind mind, dull and depressing.


That's YOUR problem. It's your perception...formed by you. There's is more than plenty of excitement in the darkest, most serious music. I'm sorry that you don't hear it.


There's a huge difference between 'dull' and 'dark'. And between 'depressing' and 'serious'. At least, that's how it seems to me.

I did not complain about music that is dark and serious. Some of my favourite music is as dark and serious as it comes. I complained about music that is dull and depressing. 'Rite of Spring', for example, is -- I would say -- dark and serious. But it's not depressing, and it's certainly not dull.

On the other hand, I find a lot of Vivaldi's music dull and depressing, even when it is lively and light-hearted. Sorry, I know he has many fans. But I find some of it rather, well, businesslike ad uninspired, and it makes me think "here we go again". Of course, given Vivaldi's prolific output and the conditions in which he worked, it's hardly surprising that he had to be businesslike about it.

I certainly wasn't intending to pick on the classical era. There is good and bad music of all era and all genres. It's completely unreasonable to expect that every piece of music in a particular genre, or even from a particular composer, will fill your bucket. Even Bach (sorry) had his off-days.
Posted by: stores

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 04/04/11 07:24 AM

Originally Posted By: kevinb
Even Bach (sorry) had his off-days.



Umm, no, he really didn't.
Posted by: stores

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 04/04/11 07:27 AM

Originally Posted By: kevinb

There's a huge difference between 'dull' and 'dark'. And between 'depressing' and 'serious'. At least, that's how it seems to me.

I did not complain about music that is dark and serious. Some of my favourite music is as dark and serious as it comes. I complained about music that is dull and depressing. 'Rite of Spring', for example, is -- I would say -- dark and serious. But it's not depressing, and it's certainly not dull.

On the other hand, I find a lot of Vivaldi's music dull and depressing, even when it is lively and light-hearted. Sorry, I know he has many fans. But I find some of it rather, well, businesslike ad uninspired, and it makes me think "here we go again". Of course, given Vivaldi's prolific output and the conditions in which he worked, it's hardly surprising that he had to be businesslike about it.

I certainly wasn't intending to pick on the classical era. There is good and bad music of all era and all genres. It's completely unreasonable to expect that every piece of music in a particular genre, or even from a particular composer, will fill your bucket. Even Bach (sorry) had his off-days.



I don't really care about specific word comparisons. If you find Vivaldi dull and depressing then you DO indeed have a problem and the problem is NOT with the music (I'm not some great Vivaldi proponent either).
Posted by: kevinb

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 04/04/11 10:46 AM

Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: kevinb

There's a huge difference between 'dull' and 'dark'. And between 'depressing' and 'serious'. At least, that's how it seems to me.

I did not complain about music that is dark and serious. Some of my favourite music is as dark and serious as it comes. I complained about music that is dull and depressing. 'Rite of Spring', for example, is -- I would say -- dark and serious. But it's not depressing, and it's certainly not dull.

On the other hand, I find a lot of Vivaldi's music dull and depressing, even when it is lively and light-hearted. Sorry, I know he has many fans. But I find some of it rather, well, businesslike ad uninspired, and it makes me think "here we go again". Of course, given Vivaldi's prolific output and the conditions in which he worked, it's hardly surprising that he had to be businesslike about it.

I certainly wasn't intending to pick on the classical era. There is good and bad music of all era and all genres. It's completely unreasonable to expect that every piece of music in a particular genre, or even from a particular composer, will fill your bucket. Even Bach (sorry) had his off-days.



I don't really care about specific word comparisons. If you find Vivaldi dull and depressing then you DO indeed have a problem and the problem is NOT with the music (I'm not some great Vivaldi proponent either).


That's OK: we can agree to differ.

Nevertheless, if you feel that the entire output of every composer whose name we remember is all top-notch stuff, I'd suggest that you have a problem -- one of discrimination.

It's easy to forget that the classical music we all know and play represents the best of 400-odd years of work by thousands and thousands of composers. I suspect there's a good reason why the rest of it didn't make it.
Posted by: stores

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 04/04/11 12:18 PM

Originally Posted By: kevinb


That's OK: we can agree to differ.


Of course, we can. It happens all the time.

Originally Posted By: kevinb

Nevertheless, if you feel that the entire output of every composer whose name we remember is all top-notch stuff, I'd suggest that you have a problem -- one of discrimination.



Well, IF I felt (and I don't) that the entire output of every composer whose name we remember is top-notch stuff, then who would I be discriminating against? You did say those whose names we remember, so, wouldn't it be rather that I (and everyone else) have a faulty memory?

Originally Posted By: kevinb

It's easy to forget that the classical music we all know and play represents the best of 400-odd years of work by thousands and thousands of composers. I suspect there's a good reason why the rest of it didn't make it.


If it's the best of the best, then the best qualifies as "dull and depressing"?
Posted by: kevinb

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 04/04/11 03:40 PM

Originally Posted By: stores

Originally Posted By: kevinb

It's easy to forget that the classical music we all know and play represents the best of 400-odd years of work by thousands and thousands of composers. I suspect there's a good reason why the rest of it didn't make it.


If it's the best of the best, then the best qualifies as "dull and depressing"?


I don't think that's what I said. Or at least, what I meant to say. It seems to me that I'm entitled to find some music pretty dull -- and I mean that not in the stylistic sense, but in the psychological one. Since I haven't listened to the entire output of every composer who ever lived, I wouldn't want to put a figure on what proportion that amounts to.

It seems to me that the more music you listen to, an the wider the range of different composers and genres, the more music you're likely to find that doesn't do much for you. If you confine yourself -- for reasons of taste or because of professional pressures -- to composers who music is widely recognized to be consistently excellent, then of course you're going to encounter far fewer howlers.
Posted by: cardguy

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 04/04/11 04:09 PM

Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: kevinb
A lot of classical music is, to mind mind, dull and depressing.


That's YOUR problem. It's your perception...formed by you. There's is more than plenty of excitement in the darkest, most serious music. I'm sorry that you don't hear it.


I came quite late to classical music. I took a music appreciation class in college a million years ago and I distinctly remember wondering what was wrong with me, that I didn't enjoy this stuff. Of course, I knew the problem was with my ear, not the music.

A couple of decades later I happened to catch some Bach at a friend's house and it blew me away. I couldn't believe how wonderful it was..

But it's been a process. It took me a while to warm up to Beethoven who used to strike me as bombastic and dull. To be truthful, some of his stuff still does, but in the main I now find his work magnificent...

Mozart was much easier for me to get. Chopin easier still. I still have a ways to go however with many composers.
Posted by: stores

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 04/04/11 04:16 PM

Originally Posted By: kevinb

It seems to me that the more music you listen to, an the wider the range of different composers and genres, the more music you're likely to find that doesn't do much for you. If you confine yourself -- for reasons of taste or because of professional pressures -- to composers who music is widely recognized to be consistently excellent, then of course you're going to encounter far fewer howlers.



There's little that I've ever come across from the great composers that I don't like and what I've usually found when I do encounter such a work it's because I don't understand it.
Posted by: beet31425

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 04/04/11 04:20 PM

Originally Posted By: stores
There's little that I've ever come across from the great composers that I don't like and what I've usually found when I do encounter such a work it's because I don't understand it.

This is my philosophy and experience exactly.

That's why, every few months, I try Alkan again. So far, nothing. frown

-Jason
Posted by: WinsomeAllegretto

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 04/04/11 04:26 PM

Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: kevinb

It seems to me that the more music you listen to, an the wider the range of different composers and genres, the more music you're likely to find that doesn't do much for you. If you confine yourself -- for reasons of taste or because of professional pressures -- to composers who music is widely recognized to be consistently excellent, then of course you're going to encounter far fewer howlers.



There's little that I've ever come across from the great composers that I don't like and what I've usually found when I do encounter such a work it's because I don't understand it.


+ 1

I'm the same way. Sometimes it bothers me that I like everything I hear; I feel like I should be more discerning or selective or something. But then, why should someone not want to enjoy music?
Posted by: kevinb

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 04/04/11 04:28 PM

Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: kevinb

It seems to me that the more music you listen to, an the wider the range of different composers and genres, the more music you're likely to find that doesn't do much for you. If you confine yourself -- for reasons of taste or because of professional pressures -- to composers who music is widely recognized to be consistently excellent, then of course you're going to encounter far fewer howlers.



There's little that I've ever come across from the great composers that I don't like and what I've usually found when I do encounter such a work it's because I don't understand it.


The problem is that we (communally) tend to define 'great' in terms of 'people whose work we all consistently like'. It's hard to disagree strongly with what you say because, well, it's almost tautological.

I concede, however, that there are composers who many people -- particular academically-minded musicians -- tend to put in the 'great' category even though many people have no taste for their work. Which is why I said your argument was only _almost_ tautological. wink

I wonder sometimes whether, for example, Schoenberg would be regarded as a great composer if he had only ever worked in serialism. Or Messiaen if he only ever worked in his own modal system. There must surely be a very strong connection between 'greatness' and 'consistently likeable output'.
Posted by: ghostwind

Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? - 04/04/11 05:32 PM

Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: kevinb

It seems to me that the more music you listen to, an the wider the range of different composers and genres, the more music you're likely to find that doesn't do much for you. If you confine yourself -- for reasons of taste or because of professional pressures -- to composers who music is widely recognized to be consistently excellent, then of course you're going to encounter far fewer howlers.



There's little that I've ever come across from the great composers that I don't like and what I've usually found when I do encounter such a work it's because I don't understand it.


Understand how? Why must one understand music to enjoy it? Music requires no explanation IMHO. If it needs explanation, well then the point it lost. If you dissect & analyze ANYTHING you will gain more knowledge and appreciation for it, true, but that's appreciating with your head, not your heart (unless it's something you already appreciate and like and want to further study it). There is plenty of classical music I don't like, and I do understand it - the context, the intentions of the composer, the notation, etc. As a musician I can appreciate that, but I still find the music boring or uninteresting. If everyone were to like everything, that would be strange indeed..