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Is electronic music emotionally bland or do I have a problem?

The other day my cycling buddy (who is very dissimilar to me in a range of ways) was gobsmacked to discover that music can sometimes make me cry. His amazement grew when he discovered that lyrics didn't have anything to do with it and were unnecessary for the carry-on to take place.

He is emotionally quite basic, even for an Australian male pushing 60, but I still love him. Interestingly, I could tell that my revelation seemed to irk him, especially when I told him that there was a single particular chord in the Polish national anthem that could do it to me if I wasn't prepared.

Thinking about it, however, I realised that very little of the music that affects me so comes from the electronic realm. There is some... I recently discovered some ambient drone stuff (a genre I disdained until very recently) that brought me to my emotional knees. Figuring out why is too hard to verbalize, but I suspect it has something to do with memory and nostalgia.

1) Does my propensity for severe emotional responses to music make me an outlier? Am I just a crybaby who has unfairly judged his friend to be "emotionally basic"?

2) If you are similarly affected, is electronic music ever the cause?

Note: I don't like crying. I find it as unpleasant and tiring as vomiting. I don't think there is anything superior about being this way. Nevertheless, I'm glad I am.

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Comments

  • edited September 14

    If you don’t feel anything when listening to Skinny Puppy “Last Rights” // there’s no hope for you

  • Maybe best to change the thread title to "Is ambient drone emotionally bland or do I have a problem?" :)

  • edited September 14

    I’m an older male in my forties. I’ve been been described by some males who know me well enough as level-headed or non-reactive. My wife thinks I can be cold or emotionless at times.

    Despite that oversimplification of myself, I can make myself cry on demand by using my mind’s ear to listen to “Bridge Over Troubled Water” or “Wichita Lineman”.
    I intentionally imagined the former to stage some tears for our wedding picture that our photographer staged 😂 , the one where I turn around after staring distantly into the meadow, and much to my surprise my wife is there.

    Electronic music gives me body highs or stimulates my intellect, or makes my brain dance, makes me manic, or puts me into a trance, or get some swag. What type of electronic or hip-hop I listen to depends on what I want to experience. Occasionally have cried from it. But only cause my mind was racing. It’s not repeatable as with the two non-electronic songs that I mentioned above.

  • @iOSTRAKON said:
    If you don’t feel anything when listening to Skinny Puppy “Last Rights” // there’s no hope for you

    God bless you and your perfect taste in music. :)

  • @iOSTRAKON said:
    If you don’t feel anything when listening to Skinny Puppy “Last Rights” // there’s no hope for you

    Thanks for helping me focus on my own question.

    I'm not talking about feelings in general. Of course (I say "of course", but I could be over-emotional), there is music that might provoke say, anger or joy. Your example, for instance, makes me want to punch someone in the throat. And there's nothing wrong with that. But in my question I'd like to focus on music that achieves tears specifically.

    @craftycurate said:
    Maybe best to change the thread title to "Is ambient drone emotionally bland or do I have a problem?" :)

    I think you may have misread my post. :)

  • @markk said:
    1) Does my propensity for severe emotional responses to music make me an outlier? Am I just a crybaby who has unfairly judged his friend to be "emotionally basic"?

    No to both.

    What does this do?

  • ‘He is emotionally quite basic, even for an Australian male pushing 60, but I still love him‘
    😂😂😂🥲
    Which bit of polish national anthem gets you? I tried to work it out but can’t quite get it.

  • @BroCoast said:

    @markk said:
    1) Does my propensity for severe emotional responses to music make me an outlier? Am I just a crybaby who has unfairly judged his friend to be "emotionally basic"?

    No to both.

    What does this do?

    I stopped listening after 10 seconds because I have been unable to enjoy listening to singing for some time now.

  • @Tarekith said:

    @iOSTRAKON said:
    If you don’t feel anything when listening to Skinny Puppy “Last Rights” // there’s no hope for you

    God bless you and your perfect taste in music. :)

    Here's an open secret... @iOSTRAKON is from Skinny Puppy. 😳🤯 Yep, lol. 😉 And he's one helluva producer of all things chaøtic and distorted. And a humble guy too.

    @markk

    "1) Does my propensity for severe emotional responses to music make me an outlier? Am I just a crybaby who has unfairly judged his friend to be "emotionally basic"?"

    Lol, not at all to both. Music speaks to the soul, even if it's simply instrumental.

    "2) If you are similarly affected, is electronic music ever the cause?""

    If you ever wanted to hear a piece of Trance that'll break you down in tears (or at least always manages to make me cry like a little baby), this is the one.

  • @markk said:

    @BroCoast said:

    @markk said:
    1) Does my propensity for severe emotional responses to music make me an outlier? Am I just a crybaby who has unfairly judged his friend to be "emotionally basic"?

    No to both.

    What does this do?

    I stopped listening after 10 seconds because I have been unable to enjoy listening to singing for some time now.

    What kind of music do you like? Do you listen to music often ?

  • electronic songs that resonate with me on a deeply emotional level :

    Note - some have a bit of singing, but are very electronic. I tried to cover a few different subgenres of electronic music.

  • @jwmmakerofmusic said:

    @Tarekith said:

    @iOSTRAKON said:
    If you don’t feel anything when listening to Skinny Puppy “Last Rights” // there’s no hope for you

    God bless you and your perfect taste in music. :)

    Here's an open secret... @iOSTRAKON is from Skinny Puppy. 😳🤯 Yep, lol. 😉 And he's one helluva producer of all things chaøtic and distorted. And a humble guy too.

    @markk

    "1) Does my propensity for severe emotional responses to music make me an outlier? Am I just a crybaby who has unfairly judged his friend to be "emotionally basic"?"

    Lol, not at all to both. Music speaks to the soul, even if it's simply instrumental.

    "2) If you are similarly affected, is electronic music ever the cause?""

    If you ever wanted to hear a piece of Trance that'll break you down in tears (or at least always manages to make me cry like a little baby), this is the one.

    The whole song or the little slow breakdown in the middle?

  • @markk : try Jon Hopkins’ album Singularity. It is one of the few electronica albums that find takes me on an emotional journey.

  • What kind of music do you like? Do you listen to music often ?

    I no longer listen to music very much. I have listened to a lot. Nowadays I'm picky. I don't use music as background. My tastes are very broad but for the time being I don't really like listening to singing (in English at least) nor any music with kick on every beat.

    Some examples of music that have specifically caused me to have this uncontrollable (the extent of this is up for debate) physical response:

    Dead, Pixies
    Sofa (Live in NY), Frank Zappa
    Im Abendrot, Richard Strauss
    Many things by Sigur Ros
    Thunder and Lightning, We Were Promised Jet Packs
    Many ambient-drone pieces by Kyle Bobby Dunn

  • @shinyisshiny said:
    electronic songs that resonate with me on a deeply emotional level :

    My question is is there any electronic music that can make you actually cry those old salty drops and make you breathe weirdly, if you are the kind of person who is likely to cry at music at all.

    Also, I'm not after recommendations at all.

  • If you ever wanted to hear a piece of Trance that'll break you down in tears (or at least always manages to make me cry like a little baby), this is the one.

    I can no longer listen to music with a kick on every beat.

    Also, I don't believe that this music has made you cry. This thread is about music and crying.

  • @espiegel123 said:
    @markk : try Jon Hopkins’ album Singularity. It is one of the few electronica albums that find takes me on an emotional journey.

    Cheers but I'm not after recommendations or emotional journeys. Has it made you cry? Maybe you never cry at music, there's nothing wrong with that. I'm specifically interested in the physiological response of crying, and the types of music that may prompt it in susceptible people like me. :)

  • Depends on what you mean by “electronic,” I suppose? Laurie Anderson, Bjork, Massive Attack all make me feel things, as have the occasional electropunk act - Suicide, Tracy & the Plastics - & various electronics-friendly post-rockers: Stereolab, Mouse on Mars, Tortoise. Oh, and I have a lot of emotions attached to the Chemical Brothers, BoC, & Daft Punk…rarely crying, but emotions nonetheless.

  • @jwmmakerofmusic said:

    @Tarekith said:

    @iOSTRAKON said:
    If you don’t feel anything when listening to Skinny Puppy “Last Rights” // there’s no hope for you

    God bless you and your perfect taste in music. :)

    Here's an open secret... @iOSTRAKON is from Skinny Puppy. 😳🤯 Yep, lol. 😉 And he's one helluva producer of all things chaøtic and distorted. And a humble guy too.

    Is he Skinny or is he Puppy? Raucous vocals though. Very intense!

  • @ecou said:

    @jwmmakerofmusic said:

    @Tarekith said:

    @iOSTRAKON said:
    If you don’t feel anything when listening to Skinny Puppy “Last Rights” // there’s no hope for you

    God bless you and your perfect taste in music. :)

    Here's an open secret... @iOSTRAKON is from Skinny Puppy. 😳🤯 Yep, lol. 😉 And he's one helluva producer of all things chaøtic and distorted. And a humble guy too.

    @markk

    "1) Does my propensity for severe emotional responses to music make me an outlier? Am I just a crybaby who has unfairly judged his friend to be "emotionally basic"?"

    Lol, not at all to both. Music speaks to the soul, even if it's simply instrumental.

    "2) If you are similarly affected, is electronic music ever the cause?""

    If you ever wanted to hear a piece of Trance that'll break you down in tears (or at least always manages to make me cry like a little baby), this is the one.

    The whole song or the little slow breakdown in the middle?

    Used to be I'd break down during the breakdown in the middle. 🤣 But now, even the beginning of the track gets me emotional since I know that breakdown is coming.

  • @ecou said:

    @jwmmakerofmusic said:

    @Tarekith said:

    @iOSTRAKON said:
    If you don’t feel anything when listening to Skinny Puppy “Last Rights” // there’s no hope for you

    God bless you and your perfect taste in music. :)

    Here's an open secret... @iOSTRAKON is from Skinny Puppy. 😳🤯 Yep, lol. 😉 And he's one helluva producer of all things chaøtic and distorted. And a humble guy too.

    @markk

    "1) Does my propensity for severe emotional responses to music make me an outlier? Am I just a crybaby who has unfairly judged his friend to be "emotionally basic"?"

    Lol, not at all to both. Music speaks to the soul, even if it's simply instrumental.

    "2) If you are similarly affected, is electronic music ever the cause?""

    If you ever wanted to hear a piece of Trance that'll break you down in tears (or at least always manages to make me cry like a little baby), this is the one.

    The whole song or the little slow breakdown in the middle?

    That's a nice one indeed. To make a track like that it's not enough to have skills--you also have to get lucky.

  • edited September 15

    A better question might be what prevents people from crying when they hear music that, without that inner resistance, would certainly touch, or even break, their hearts.

    I can cry at the drop of a hat listening to music. Even my own music can do it to me once in a while.
    It’s not sad that makes me cry, it's beauty,

    I’m not certain what you mean by electronic music, though. Btw, none of the posted music reaches me in the slightest, but I can see how some of the sounds could in the proper context.

    Music…. Stuff like Amazing Grace, for example has almost universal (Western) heart tugging appeal. Danny Boy is another great example… can be created to express the deepest feelings of loss, nostalgia, sentimentalism. The bagpipes doing a rendition of either of the above can bring many a tear, yet the bagpipes were created, in part, as a weapon of war… to scare the shit out of the enemy. Similarly, I think there is no emotional boundary that electronic sounds cannot break as well. I’ll know it when I hear it… I might even have done it myself.

  • I’ve only ever cried from listening to music twice - the first time I heard Fake Plastic Trees by Radiohead I teared up a little. Not a full cry, but eyes watered. Another time I saw Jeff Beck play Cause We Ended As Lovers with that girl Tal playing bass on TV for the Clapton Crossroads show. After it ended I wept so damn hard - like someone that’s just lost a loved one hard - for about a full minute! (...I’m 99% sure it was the drugs - but it was sublime!)

  • @markk said:

    @espiegel123 said:
    @markk : try Jon Hopkins’ album Singularity. It is one of the few electronica albums that find takes me on an emotional journey.

    Cheers but I'm not after recommendations or emotional journeys. Has it made you cry? Maybe you never cry at music, there's nothing wrong with that. I'm specifically interested in the physiological response of crying, and the types of music that may prompt it in susceptible people like me. :)

    I have cried listening to it...tears of ecstasy/intense emotionality...not of sadness.

    There won't be any song that has the same impact on everyone. Connections are personal.

  • @LinearLineman said it best.

    Many forms of music emotionally resonate with me, including tears. Sometimes, it's the performance, sometimes it's the story behind the performance, sometimes it's emotion I feel when thinking about that music. Sigur Ros and Mum have done it, though I haven't listened to either in years. A Love Supreme as well when I first heard it . But sometimes a pop performance will do it, it depends on the moment and I think an individual's personality has a lot to do with this as well. And I agree, tears encompass a variety of emotions not just sadness.

  • This song as made me cry many times. A combination of the music and the lyrics.

  • @markk said:
    I think you may have misread my post. :)

    Yes I think you’re right! :#

  • @espiegel123 said:
    @markk : try Jon Hopkins’ album Singularity. It is one of the few electronica albums that find takes me on an emotional journey.

    That's literally what I was about to post. Definitely couldn't imagine crying to anything there, but it is powerful stuff

  • edited September 15

    I don't think I've actually cried over instrumental music... which is possibly strange. I'm often stirred in hard to define ways by something that sounds to me wistful, melancholic but hopeful... .or something like that... Elgar's Nimrod would be an example of that kind of thing for me. I've definitely cried over vocal music but it has to push all the right buttons, melodically, harmonically, lyrically and in the deliverance. I can find Bjork's music very emotional at times. And that's electronic, unless you specifically mean only electronic music without vocals.

    Oh, and Bulgarian female choirs and Georgian male ones. I went to find a video I hadn't watched in a while and literally teared up by one minute in. I have no idea what the words mean so it certainly ain't that.

  • @SimonSomeone said:
    I don't think I've actually cried over instrumental music... which is possibly strange. I'm often stirred in hard to define ways by something that sounds to me wistful, melancholic but hopeful... .or something like that... Elgar's Nimrod would be an example of that kind of thing for me. I've definitely cried over vocal music but it has to push all the right buttons, melodically, harmonically, lyrically and in the deliverance. I can find Bjork's music very emotional at times. And that's electronic, unless you specifically mean only electronic music without vocals.

    Oh, and Bulgarian female choirs and Georgian male ones. I went to find a video I hadn't watched in a while and literally teared up by one minute in. I have no idea what the words mean so it certainly ain't that.

    This!! So moving.

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