The combined features of a piece of music cause listeners to feel certain ways. Movies use this knowledge to set the mood for the scene with music. Performers judge the crowd’s energy and adjust their song order. Composers dive into their lyrics and fashion music to surround the words with the right mood.
As an artist, feel is a very important characteristic of your music.
Let’s examine a few songs and try to describe what makes them feel relaxing, exciting, etc.
Threnody by Goldmund: Relaxing
This piano piece is slow, and sparse. The recording includes the sound of the performer moving the pedals of the piano and thus feels really intimate. The chords of Threnody are hypnotic and repetitive. This is a great song to sooth your anxiety before bed.
American Crisis by Bob Mould: Forceful
Bob is screaming from the first second! The driving guitars and drums are a non-stop train to full punk angst. The lyrics are sung with authority and a ton of emotion. Bob is mad and you can feel it raw.
Move On Up by Noora Noor: Jamming
This cover of Curtis Mayfield’s classic makes me want to close my eyes and nod along. The drums are driving the feel and the vocals and guitar sweeten the whole package. The lyrics are pushing you to feel alive and like life is moving forward in a good way. Great pick me up song.
Cold by Winterbourne: Pensive to Rocking
This acoustic guitar and vocals tune is all about getting older and how it hurts the singer. The background vocals and strings draw you in as the tune develops. Drums are added. The mandolin solo into the crushing hits and heavy background vocals complete the transition to a full on rocking. Then they drop you back into an acoustic guitar only outro. Quite a journey.
Feel is tough to thing to describe. I guess that’s because it’s a feeling. Make sure you don’t fail to appreciate how important this element is to music just because its hard to quantify. It may be the only thing that really matters most of the time.