Why does sad music make us happy? Not all of it does, of course, but I think some incredibly sad songs generate a great deal of joy because of our tendency to appreciate art that is truthful. There is no better example than Elliot Smith, whose intense suffering and eventual suicide deeply affect how his music is interpreted. His absolute genius at melody and song structure give to the listener a beautifully unique experience. For me, knowing that Smith tragically stabbed himself in the heart (a highly disturbing thought) makes this music incredibly and undeniably real. Genuine sadness that can make us happy to be alive.
The subtlety of some of the songs from today makes all the difference, and while sadness in art can certainly bring us down, appreciating the brilliance of its effect can be a great source of joy, just like Beethoven’s 15th String Quartet, written just after he recovered from an illness he thought surely would kill him.
Sad music that’s good is authentic, just like this LP sleeve … instagr.am/p/RqLzGoIaZB/
— Karl (@karlwill) November 5, 2012
|2:52 PM||Islands||Volcanoes||Return to the Sea||Equator|
|2:48 PM||of Montreal (request)||Old People in the Cemetery||Aldhils Arboretum||Kindercore Records|
|2:47 PM||Elliot Smith||King’s Crossing||From a Basement on a Hill||Kill Rock Stars|
|2:36 PM||Joni Mitchell||Big Yellow Taxi||Hits||Reprise|
|2:30 PM||Daniel Johnston||Speeding Motorcycle||Yip/ Jump Music||Eternal Yip Eye Music|
|2:29 PM||The Magnetic Fields||Epitaph for My Heart||69 Love Songs||Merge|
|2:18 PM||Joy Division||She’s Lost Control||Unknown Pleasures||Qwest|
|2:02 PM||Beethoven (Fine Arts Quartet||String Quartet 15 3rd Movement||The Late Quartets||Concert-Disc|