Rick Mabry wrote:
>As a thought experiment, does anyone believe that we could, by force
>of culture, reverse this? If a person were raised in an environment
>in which (our) sad tunes were played for happy occasions and vice versa,
>would that work without drugs, beatings, etc?
there was much talk on the radio this past week as the anniversary day
of Toscanini's playing Barber's Adagio as a stand-alone came. For some
reason this caught the attention of a number on NPR programs (I guess
that they have nothing better to discuss).
One person pointed out that, whereas this has become our national funeral
music, it was considered by some well-acquainted with it as "music to
make love by". Indeed one choreographer obtained Barber's blessing to
use it as a ballet segment for such activities
(this of course besides the string quartet mvt., the Agnus Dei, and the
Adagio for Strings stand-alone).
The same is often said of Mahler's Adagietto (symphony no.5). Often
used as funeral music but originally quite likely a love piece for Alma.
We who lived with the Kennedy funerals hear both often as funereal and
profoundly sad and those associations have been learned and are not
inherent to the music.