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Music as Imitation of Emotional Life: Essay

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Music, which conveys the sincerest emotion in people's heart, expresses the deep desire of the soul, and seeks the resonance with others in the soul, exists in this world. Since civilization developed, music has always existed, from oral inheritance to the spectrum of inventions, much innovation, and reform to become the music we hear now. Music is inseparable from emotion, while human beings born in this world inevitably have a variety of emotions in contact with other things, thus making them create a variety of different music. Musicians compose songs and lyrics from their inner voices, each note, and beat, revealing artistic human emotions. Even if it is the same music, everyone's understanding is different, which has a great relationship with personal life experience and life attitude. Music is an imitation of emotional life. Each composer has his own unique life experience, as well as his unique temperament, way of thinking, and emotional personality. By studying their music and connecting with their life and historical background, we can understand their feelings when composing.

People could not search about the time when did human society begin to have music. Before human beings have produced language, they have already known how to express their meaning and feelings by using the high or low, strong or weak voice. With the development of human labor, gradually produced a unified labor rhythm of the call and mutual transmission of information, this is the most primitive music prototype. When people celebrate the harvest and share the fruits after labor, they often beat stone and wood tools to express joy and happiness, and this is the prototype of the original musical instrument. The origin of music is a product of what scientists call ‘heterosexual courtship’. It was put forward by the famous British biologist Charles Darwin. This theory was a sensation at that time. Darwin believed that prehistoric animals often used song to woo the opposite sex. The more beautiful their voice, the more likely they are to attract the opposite sex. Therefore, animals have to make rhythmic and graceful sounds to get the favor of the other party. This kind of song, especially the song of birds, has musical or rhythmic elements. Darwin, therefore, was reminded of the origin of the music, suggesting that sound existed before language. The songs of some primitive tribes imitate the songs of all kinds of birds, the touching chirps, and the rising and falling melodies.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, born on January 27, 1756, in Salzburg, Austria, was a court musician of the family. Despite the success of his first experimental tour, he became dissatisfied with his lowly status as a slave and later became more aware of the inequitable system when he performed with his mother. Mozart arrived in Paris with his mother in 1778, the same year she died, which was a terrible blow to Mozart, a young man who loved his family and was full of emotion. In addition to the failure of finding jobs, he had to return to Salzburg in the middle of January 1779. During the several years back to Salzburg, Mozart's composing personality gradually formed: singing melody, passionate style, and theme. Because of his music style, music critics began to pay attention to the latent, suddenly appeared, and disappeared minor, discord, and chromatic progression in Mozart's music. They were surprised to find that the notes in recounting to something other than the joy. And Mozart, often in casual statements out after these emotions, then immediately with joy, and with harmonious music emotion over again. This kind of music style appeared the most obvious is in his mother's death; the time Mozart had to return to Salzburg as an organist. Mozart's ‘Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat major, K.364/320d’, was written in 1779, after his mother's death, when he returned to Salzburg, still at odds with the then archbishop, he had to work more servile than ever. This piece is in the usual, cheerful style, intermingled with the fast turning and rising notes of the chromatic scale, giving people a feeling of anxiety, as if they want to leave and run away. Besides, there are several heavy roundtrips between violin and cello, as if they are asking something uneasily. However, the appearance of such notes is a sudden transition, which suddenly appears and disappears in harmony somehow. Although the severe archbishop did not allow the anxiety feeling in the music to put it in the religious music, the same period of the religious music in ‘Mass in C major, K.317’, could be recognized the rise of chromatic melody and the discord of sudden halt, with a sudden pause, give a person a kind of' questions have answered 'uncertainty is pronounced. No matter how happy Mozart was in the end to deny the melancholy and anxiety, the real heart presented by music could still be felt by people listening to music seriously: Mozart longed for freedom, longed to leave, and was not satisfied with the life situation at that time.

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Because Bonn was influenced by the French Revolution and the German ‘Sturm und Drang’, which promoted Ludwig van Beethoven to advocate progressive ideals such as freedom, fraternity, and humanitarianism, therefore, Beethoven always puts the thought in the first place. In the early time of Beethoven, he faced a rough father and embarrassed family circumstances, but the harsh environment has cultivated Beethoven's tenacious character and independent consciousness. The advanced social thought of the Bourgeois revolution became the core of his creation. He was the first musician who combined music art with human destiny. He loves nature and life, and he likes to listen to rural musicians playing music, which reflected in his creation. In ‘Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68’ and ‘Symphony No. 8 in F major, Op. 93’, the simple image of German and Austrian country band playing folk dance music appears. ‘Ode to joy’ in ‘Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125’ is full of sincere, pure, and warm feelings in German folk songs. Threatened by the pain of deafness, his health and finances situation were terrible. ‘Symphony No. 5 in C minor of Ludwig van Beethoven, Op. 67’, written in 1804, when Beethoven's deafness has no hope to cure. C minor has a special meaning for Beethoven. In his opinion, C minor is full of tragic colors and dark fighting spirit, which is most suitable for the creation of tragic heroes. Therefore, the choice of C minor to create this work full of pain and struggle is perfect. Because Beethoven had been forced to break off the creation midway due to financial distress, so the symphony from the beginning to the completion of the time is relatively long. It was not until 1808 that Beethoven completed the symphony of destiny, enduring both physical and mental pain.

Franz Schubert is the representative of early romantic music and also regarded as the last giant of classical music. With the rapid change of social conditions in the early 19th century, a new trend of thought was generally formed in European society: romanticism. The personal emotion and life experience expressed in Schubert's works were representatives of the Austrian society at that time. The early time before 1818, Schubert's feeling of reality, the irresistible force of man's will, and the embarrassment of the living environment were reflected in Schubert's representative works at that time, such as the 'Erlkönig', 'Death and the Maiden', and 'Trout Quintet'. These works also reflect Schubert's true feelings to varying degrees. Between 1819 and 1823, Schubert's psychological changes were so significant that his work was also very negative due to the dark rule of society and emotional dissatisfaction. He spent ten years after he came to Vienna in poverty. Schubert's 'Die schöne Müllerin' was the first song cycle. The heroine of 'Die schöne Müllerin' is a young girl full of vigor and full of imagination. This song cycle, with its unique lyrical style, full of profound philosophical and intense drama, reflects the Austrian reactionary rules at the time of the petty-bourgeois intellectuals' depression and indignation. At the same time, the song also expresses the author Schubert's dissatisfaction with his fate and social reality. The ending of the story is unfortunate, but the mood of the whole song cycle is lucid and lyrical. It shows that although Schubert was depressed, hesitating, and pessimistic at that time, he still had illusions and hopes about life. After 1827, Schubert's thoughts became mature, and he had a deep understanding of the experience of the times. 'Winterreise' is his representative work in his later period, which expresses not only the sense of loss of personal love but also the disappointment of the whole society at that time and the boredom of the dark life. From the personal life emotional, pessimistic experience to the whole society of dark awareness. The protagonist is rejected by the lover he pursues and leaves his hometown to embark on a vast journey. Through the scenery seen in the journey, such as the sleeping village, the post station, the linden trees on the roadside, the babbling brook, the song sets off and depicts the psychology of the protagonist. This tragic lyric confession set off the author's life of painful experience and the dark social life at that time. In his works, the happiness of ordinary people and the life of nature are interwoven with the romantic images of wandering, loneliness, pain, and drifting. Schubert's works directly reflect the thoughts and feelings, and even the world outlook formed under the conditions of specific times and social classes.

Frédéric François Chopin grew up and became famous in Poland, his homeland. However, Chopin grew up in a country plagued by social unrest and war. After the polish uprising of 1830, Chopin had to go abroad and eventually died in Paris. Poland was the destination of Chopin's life. The profound national sentiment in Chopin's piano music is the primary stylistic feature of his music. Chopin's patriotism and pure affection reflected in his piano music works, which are mainly divided into two aspects. One is from melody, pitch, and harmony, which all contain vibrant polish national music style; the other is that Chopin's pride, respect, and deep sadness for his motherland always linger in his music. To conclude, missing home and cherishing the old country is the emotional basis of Chopin's piano composition. The 'Polonaise in A flat major, Op. 53' is filled with vicissitudes of noble temperament in the grand musical style. The vigorous and magnificent momentum of Chopin piano music derives from the characteristics of traditional polish dance music in form and essence, contains Chopin's warm feelings for the country and the nation. The polish Warsaw Uprising broke out in November 1830, Chopin felt angry as he could not return home and fight with the rest of the country because of the distance. After ten months of revolution by the Russian army in a bloody crackdown, Chopin was outraged and felt regret because he could not contribute himself. He put all the feelings of all blended in the piano piece 'Étude Op. 10, No. 12 in C minor', which is known as the 'Revolutionary'. The whole song is full of anger and grief throughout the mood; the momentum is very threatening. The whole image of music is reflected by the combination of the impulsive melody of the left hand and the resolute tone of the right hand. The second part of the theme has apparent characteristics of narration as if to pour out the inner pain. In the middle part of 'Revolutionary', a shouting tone with a rhythm cascade was repeated again and again in the sudden rise and fall of the accompaniment, making the music more and more passionate. In the epilogue came the melody of sorrow, and the melancholy and sorrow.

Music comes from life and reflects life. It cleverly links several notes and harmonies and conveys emotion more directly than ordinary language. It does not exist in place, nor does it die out in time. Music is the language of emotion, and emotion is the soul of music.

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Music as Imitation of Emotional Life: Essay. (2023, January 31). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 3, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/music-as-imitation-of-emotional-life-essay/
“Music as Imitation of Emotional Life: Essay.” Edubirdie, 31 Jan. 2023, edubirdie.com/examples/music-as-imitation-of-emotional-life-essay/
Music as Imitation of Emotional Life: Essay. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/music-as-imitation-of-emotional-life-essay/> [Accessed 3 Mar. 2024].
Music as Imitation of Emotional Life: Essay [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Jan 31 [cited 2024 Mar 3]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/music-as-imitation-of-emotional-life-essay/
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