Music and love have always shared a powerful connection. Is there any particular piece of music that carries emotional meaning for you? Is there a song that reminds you of your wedding, or the day you first dated your partner? Music brings back emotions as well as memories of people and places we thought were lost a long time ago. Music has the ability to connect our past, present, and future like few other things can.
When I think of a song that reminds me of a person, the song “Forever Young” from Alphaville is the first song that comes to mind because, to me, it is so strongly connected to a particular person. I was 19 at the time and had befriended a young man who was 27 and engaged to be married.
It was obvious that he felt very conflicted about his impending marriage and he struggled greatly with what the future would hold for him. Additionally, he had served in a recent war where he had killed some people, and he seemed rather scarred by the experience psychologically. He kept listening to “Forever Young” and I had the feeling he was wishing himself to be back at age 19 again -- to a better time in his life, perhaps. Whenever I hear that song today, I am reminded of that young man and his strong wish for his youth and what he felt he had lost at such a young age.
Another song that is very dear to me is MacArthur Park by Richard Harris. My husband used to play that song and dance with me in our earlier years when we did not yet have children. Hearing the song brings me back to our times in Boston. I find myself smiling when I think about the quirky dance moves he still makes when dancing to this song. He isn’t even aware of the funky way he dances to this song - I told him earlier this morning that I love his dance moves and he had no idea of what I was talking about.
Music has always had myriad effects on humans. Even the smallest infants react to music. As soon as children are able to move and sing, they spontaneously start dancing and humming to music they hear.
Listening to music is good for your heart and psychological well-being
Listening to music does much good for our health: Listening to your favorite joyful or romantic music may make you feel happy and even elated. These positive emotions in turn increase the diameter of your blood vessels, which is good for your vascular health. Music also can be used to reduce stress and anxiety as well as feelings of depression.
Use romantic music to increase your success in dating
Music and love are so connected, you can even use romantic music to your advantage in love matters. If you are interested in dating someone and are planning to ask for their phone number in a bar or club, do so after a love song has been played. You’ll have much better chances then of getting the number!
Listening to music can give you comfort and even brighten your outlook on life
People who are unhappily in love tend to listen to sad love songs more than happy people, possibly because it makes them feel more understood and in good company. And lastly, if you’re feeling down, you may want to try listening to some cheerful music because the music you listen to changes how you perceive the world around you - happy music may make you see more happiness around you than does sad music.
Beautiful music inspired by love
And since we’re talking about love music, I’d like to introduce you to one of my favorite pieces of the Romantic era in music. I happen to like it so much also because of the story behind its creation. It’s the second movement from Frederic Chopin’s second (and last) piano concert. It is one of the most tenderhearted and deeply felt pieces of music I have ever heard.
Frederic Chopin was a Polish composer who was born in 1810 and died in 1849. He was also a pianist, and the majority of his works were written for piano. His talent at the piano was obvious at an early age. Starting around the age of 8, he began to give public concerts and to compose musical works. At age 16, he enrolled in the Warsaw Conservatory of Music.
During his studies there, Chopin met Konstancja Gladkowska, who studied singing at the Conservatory. He fell in love with her, although it is often thought that he never confessed his love to her. In 1830 Chopin departed Poland. He eventually settled in Paris, never to return again to his native Poland. I once read that when Chopin left Warsaw in 1830, both he and Konstancja wore the same rings on their fingers--but I guess that is subject to speculation. In any case, Konstancja went on to marry another man in 1832.
Chopin’s second piano concerto was completed in the year 1829, and he dedicated the second movement, an adagio, to Konstancja, whom he “dreamed of”, as he confessed to a friend. When you listen to the movement, you will hear the deep and tender feelings he must have had for her. His piece is a wonderful example of romantic music straight from the heart. It shows how music and love can be so closely joined together.
Have fun listening and see if it resonates with you as well! And don't forget to check out our challenge of the week in which you'll reconnect with yourself or some happy memory through music.
Knobloch, S., Weisbach, K., & Zillmann, D. (2004). Love lamentation in pop songs: Music for unhappy lovers? Zeitschrift für Medienpsychologie, 16(3), 116-124.
University of Maryland Medical Center. (2008, November 12). Joyful Music May Promote Heart Health. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 13, 2019 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081111182904.htm