The topic that I chose to talk about is emotions. Emotions are an affective state of consciousness in which joy, sorrow, fear, hate, or the like, is experienced, as distinguished from cognitive and volitional states of consciousness, according to dictionary.com. This topic is important because it is one of the primary means of communicating with others, whether it be by emotional expression or physically expressing your emotions that were caused by an experience you had. I have chosen three different pieces of work that all relate to my topic; some, or all, may be helpful in illustrating what emotions are, especially to those who are interested in music, art, or literature.
I first chose a piece of music called Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran. Ed Sheeran, full name Edward Christopher Sheeran, was born in Halifax, West Yorkshire in the United Kingdom in 1991 but was raised in Framlingham, Suffolk also in the United Kingdom. In his early life, he attended high school but dropped out at the age of 16 in order to concentrate on his music. Today, he is one of the most popular young musicians across the world. He is a Singer, Songwriter, and Producer. He began practicing guitar at a very young age and travelled to London to kick off his career at the age of 14.
Once in London, Ed performed at many live shows but it wasn’t bringing him much success. He then began uploading videos to the internet that made him popular online beginning in 2010. Known for his Pop and Folk music, Ed Sheehan has become extremely popular in the United States. In fact, his album X debuted at #1 in 2014. One of his most famous song is Thinking Out Loud, which was also at one point #1 in the charts and remained in the top 40 for over one year.
In the song, Thinking Out Loud, Ed Sheeran is expressing his emotions/ feelings out loud to a girl that he is in love with. The tempo throughout the majority of the song is slow and steady, causing it to give some emotions to the listener. At some points, Ed’s pitch rises as his main emotions are displayed. The high pitch he creates in his voice executes the lyrics in a more meaningful way that makes it relatable for many people.One thing that I noticed at a few spots of the song was that the notes were like a scale going from high to low. There are mostly only loud dynamics in this piece of music where the notes/lyrics are sung extremely high. The duration of certain notes, including “heart” and other meaningful words, are longer than the rest. The purpose of elongating these types of words is to show that they have an important function.
Finally, for the most part, the music is harmonious and consonant because the entire song is pleasant to the ears of the listeners. For the piece of art that I chose, the author was Edvard Munch. He was born on December 12, 1863 in Adalsbruk, Norway and died on January 23, 1944 in Oslo, Norway.
As shown by his artwork and his background, Munch was a Norwegian Expressionism artist. Edvard Munch, as well as Vincent Van Gogh and James Ensor, were very influential to the Expressionists They actually encouraged the use of vibrant colors to convey people’s emotions and get they’re anxiety out. He began painting at the young age of thirteen and was later known to have many repressed emotions because of his past with his father. Because of this, he based the majority of his artwork on psychological themes/topics and was inspired by his family’s past experiences and tragic events. He then traveled to Paris between 1892-1908 and was influenced to add intense color to his art: Most of his paintings after this trip are filled with a mix of vibrant colors. The painting that I chose was The Scream, created in 1893 by Edvard Munch. In the painting, Munch created a character with no distinctive facial features in order to give the people an opportunity to put themselves in the situation and be able to feel the character’s emotions.
The story behind The Scream was created as Munch was walking across a dock when the sky suddenly began turning into something similar seen in the painting. He explained the color as that of blood. The focal point of the painting is the figure with a startled expression on its face. The lines in the painting are the wavy lines in the sky and water, which are there to mimic the character’s wavy body. These swirls throughout the canvas remind me of the swirls in Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh. The colors used are mainly a variety of blue and orange.
The blue relies on shade while the orange relies on tint. Overall, the simplicity of the scene creates the mood of the painting, along with the distorted lines and bland colors. My final piece comes from an astonishing African-American poet named Maya Angelou, originally Marguerite Johnson. She was born on April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri.
Unfortunately, she recently died on May 28, 2014 in Winton Salem, North Carolina. Throughout her life she has written 36 books in total. These books and poems had a similar theme: Racism, identity, or emotion. Her most famous piece is I Know Why The Caged Birds Sing, an autobiography, that expresses her life and why she writes what she writes.
Along with being a poet, Maya was also an author, actress, dancer and civil rights activist. One great achievement of hers was being recognized by, then, President Barack Obama as a “brilliant writer, a fierce friend, and a truly phenomenal woman.” Also, Maya became the northern coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which was a request made by Dr.
Martin Luther King Jr. in 1959. Along with these great achievements, Maya has also won plenty awards throughout her lifetime.
The poem that I chose was Still I Rise by Maya Angelou. There are 8 stanzas made up of 4 lines, which is called a quatrain. The rhyme scheme is: Stanza 1-7 abcb and stanza 8 aabb. The final stanza repeats “I rise” several times which helps get Maya’s point across. The repetition of this powerful phrase may give the reader many emotions and is a way to encourage them to accomplish what they believe in. The poem is filled with similes and metaphors.
For example, “Shoulders falling down like teardrops” and “I am the dream and the hope of the slave.” The meaning of this poem is that Maya will always ‘rise’ and never give up when other people try to put her down. This message that she is trying to get across to her audience is very important for everyone’s self confidence and self love.
Music, art, and literature are very affective in giving the audience a feel of emotions. From my selections, I noticed that they all had something in common; they were not afraid of being open with the world. Thinking Out Loud is about opening up The Scream was painted by Munch to voice his inner thoughts, emotions, and feelings through art. Finally, Still I Rise was written to inspire everyone to respect and love yourself and to not let anyone tell you to do otherwise.