TED Conversations

Kris Christenson

This conversation is closed.

Music doesn't have to convey an emotion.

So often music is spoken of as the" language of emotion" and people often define the difference between sound and music as the emotion conveyed. But is the emotion what makes it music or is emotion something that becomes associated with it later? Many composers (myself included) write music that explores an idea or concept but has nothing to do an emotional state. Is what they're doing not music then?

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • John E

    • 0
    Oct 18 2012: I think all music triggers some sort of emotion. I guess it just depends on how you perceive emotion. For example, I don't think emotion from music has to be limited to either a happy or sad trigger or focused around just those two feelings. I personally listen to plenty of electronic based music, most of it is lyric-less and for the most part it doesn't trigger a happy or sad feeling, but rather a feeling of positiveness, awareness, motivation, and deep thought. I listen to this type of music with the intention of it allowing me to sink into a state of meditation. I suppose you can some how lump that into the realm of happiness, but I'm not necessarily happy per se, initially. I may become happy later if it has inspired me to come up with an idea or something creative of that nature. It is a bit ironic though because most of the music I hear and like tends to focus around minor scales which are darker and "sad" sounding, but my emotional state is not.

    What kind of music do you produce Kris?
    • Oct 18 2012: Right now I primarily write electroacoustic music. I'm going to post an excerpt of my latest piece (to be premiered on the 24th) shortly. It's relatively atypical for my music but I think it will illustrate my point. Also, my point is not that it shouldn't be perceived in an emotional sense, that's entirely up to the listener, my point is the intent of the composer does not need to be driven by emotion.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.