When a song is sad it is usually because the artist makes sure that you know – through their words and style – what you’re supposed to be feeling.
This tends to be true with happy music as well; if they sing about new beginnings and hope, it fills you with happiness because the message they are trying to get across, makes it across to you.
Of course, that isn’t always the case but I have found it to be rare when a song that is supposed to make you feel sad makes you feel happy.
Music with words, as beautiful and open as they are in themselves, provides a sort of barrier, almost as if you’re not allowed to feel any more than what they’re telling you to.
But that’s never the case with music without words – jazz, classical, string, piano, classical. Composers could have felt agitated, despair, hostile, inspired, betrayed, fulfilled, or liberated, and you will never really know unless they have openly admitted it themselves.
And the thing is, it doesn’t really matter.
Regardless of the message the composer is trying to get across, in actuality, you will feel whatever you want to and there’s no escaping it because nobody has directed you towards it every breath, thought, feeling, and expression has come from you alone.
Words are special and crucial but most of all, it’s wise to realize their limit.