Sunday, April 4, 2010

Music Sympathy

I don't know about anyone else, but when I'm in a bad mood, I can't deal with listening to happy music.  Or not much of it, anyway.  And usually, the music I do listen to is even more depressing -- it synergizes with my current bad mood and makes it worse.  I listen to music that sounds like I feel.  Good moods mean happy music and playful sounds, while bad moods mean dismal, gloomy melodies with depressing lyrics when applicable.  However, certain songs with neutral styles (most notably Duran Duran's What Happens Tomorrow and Lover Reef, a collaboration by several contributors to OC ReMix) in my experience have the baffling ability to fit with almost any mood at all and even to enhance it.

Sometimes, even I cannot quite define my musical preferences.  Some songs that fit with the outward mood grate at me and don't sound "right," while others that are totally dissonant with how I think I'm feeling just seem to click for what seems like no reason.  In some rare cases, I'll be listening to a song, even one I'm not very familiar with, and I will be able to think nothing short of "that's it: that is how I feel right now."  One such song I heard for the first time on a very, very grim day during which I was thinking over my whole life and how messed-up it was at the time.  That song, Suzumebachi's The Ballad of Sir Kibbles, resonated with me in a way songs rarely ever manage to, and to this day I feel that it is the story of my life crammed into a three-minute instrumental.

But still, all music has a distinct "color" and mood associated with it.  In fact, perhaps that very concept of "color" explains the strangeness in my choices sometimes.  Mostly I like colors of music that are close to the color of my mood, but sometimes a triadic color, to borrow the color theory term (melancholic to my angry, or orange to my red... or something like that, I suppose it's not an exact science), can resonate just as deeply.

For my readers and respondents: what are your favorite songs for certain specific moods, and how do they affect you?  What kinds of songs do you find you listen to when you're in a happy mood?  Or sad?  Or angry?

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, I have to force myself to listen to less depressing songs when I'm out of it.

    I love to listen to techno when I'm pumped, or doing homework/coding.

    I like to listen to "i'm a badass"/"oh hell yeah" music when I'm playing basketball or getting ready to do so.

    I try to stay optimistic, pumped, and generally feeling good as much as I can, so I pick music that plays well with those feelings.