On communicating emotions

One of the most difficult tasks on earth is, how to communicate emotions between human beings as exactly as possible. So that the receiver gets the message (the emotion) as close as possible to the one intended by the sender.

People say, music is a means for communicating emotions. This is partially true, but music can just communicate an emotion without its semantic context; which is a vague, undifferentiated emotion, and one without meaning.

Good poems are another means, but you have to concentrate on it to get the intended emotion. Which makes them useless if you are in a mood unable or unwilling to concentrate. Also, poems create just an “image of an emotion”, by far weaker than what the sender felt.

However, if one adds more media to these options, this adds much more possibilities for communicating emotions. The full possibilities are at hand when adding motion pictures (our richest medium) to music, that is, when creating movie clips.

Movie clips have the added advantage that they can communicate emotions nearly independent of the receiver’s emotional situation … the medium is strong enough to get through all your current emotions, and you may just stay passive. Of course, one has to take great care not to get used to movies that much that they lose this force; which they did already for probably > 90% of the population in modern societies.

Another caveat: the sender must not employ kitsch; which is everything where he presents an emotion that the receiver should also feel. This strategy has lost its force for nearly everybody now, and also produces only “kitschy” (undifferentiated) emotions. An emotion is more than its expression! Therefore, instead of the emotion, the situation should be depicted that triggers it. And of course, depicting emotions includes every blunt, flat means to trigger emotions, which may be also some sorts of colors, symbols (heart, …), images and music; it’s not just about the depiction of human emotion.

Now, how ’bout some examples. I searched YouTube for over two hours now and, sad enough, I found not one example for what I mean here. All this a highly symbolic, kitschy, graphic depiction of what they mean … I’m unable to feel with them.

However, here are the clips that get at least to 10% of what I mean … perhaps you get a clue. In descending order of “emotional communication quality”, some music clips:

  1. Söhne Mannheims – Vielleicht (probably the only video blogged twice in this blog)
  2. Glashaus – Haltet die Welt an (on somebody dying)
  3. Silbermond – Ich bereue nichts (also on somebody dying)
  4. Söhne Mannheims – Kraft unseres Amtes
  5. Eisblume – Leben ist schön
  6. Söhne Mannheims – IZ ON
  7. Silbermond – Krieger des Lichts







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