joy of crying
Some friends leave the cinema. Their faces still bear the marks of tears shed during the screening. One of them addresses the others: “How we had fun!” Friends are still unable to clarify a single word. It is the joy that causes us to cry without restraint in the face of a sad story that touches our hearts. Literature can cause this, but it is easier for this to happen with cinema or theatre. Or with music, the artistic discipline with the greatest power of extraction.
The reason is that we all have a soundtrack to life. And there are themes in it that we associate with moments of happiness and others with times of sadness. With the former, we recapture the joy they gave us. With seconds, they with pain. But even that retrospective pain, those tears that slide down your face, is the joy of liberation. The audience, who is sitting in the front row of a concert, cannot help but cry when the pianist plays Chopin’s Nocturne as a tip. You may cry because of the music or because it reminds you of a loved one who is no more. The effect is the same.
Music evokes happy memories and sad moments, and with them comes emotion.
And it’s more so with some music than others. In the story ‘The Incredible and Tragic Story of the Clear Erendira and Her Heartless Grandmother’, García Márquez tells how the grandmother hires a small orchestra to wait for customers to stay with her granddaughter, whom she has invited to visit. Prostitution is thus a debt that she has. The woman has agreed upon a price for each song the group plays. As they finish their performance and the bandleader presents her with the bill, Grandma notices that the song fares differently. Why are you asking. Because sad songs cost more, he replies. García Márquez, a great music lover, had the key: sad music has more power to evoke. And to generate some kind of emotion and pleasure.