The Importance of Negative Musical Emotions With Joy

Since yesterday, I tried to explain what negative emotions would be without joy, I decided to talk about the complete opposite today. I feel like it is loaded trying to describe why all negative emotions have joy involved.

Joy is a huge reason why I love feeling the negative emotions in a musical. I feel like there are different sides of joy in a musicals. There is your excitement, love, and joy when experiencing a musical and there are the actual moments of joy found within a musical. When I fall in love with a musical song, I tend to fall in love with the emotions themselves and I have joy when I feel sad or heartbreaking songs or bittersweet songs if I love the song itself.

There isn’t a single musical out there with just negative emotions. That just wouldn’t work in the world of musicals. Whether it was South Pacific, Wicked, Man of La Mancha, Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, Phantom of the Opera, West Side Story, Rent, and Les Mis, they all still deal with positive emotions even if they all have to put up with negative emotions. Some of those musicals are happy musicals themselves, some get caught up in the middle, and some are sad themselves.

Look at Les Mis for instance. The negative emotions are constantly being thrown at you. It feels like you all you feel are negative emotions. But if you look closely you can see the positive emotions being aimed at you. Besides, the first emotion you feel tends to happen before the action begins. In Les Mis, the first emotion I feel is excitement. The negative emotions tend to start in the opening scene and there is joy there and that joy is due to me loving the musical. When the bishop scene enters, you feel compassion, hope, and forgiveness.

Possible Spoilers:

Les Mis even has joy and compassion shown at death scenes and the joy would be impossible to spot if you don’t know the characters. One important thing to note about most of the Les Mis deaths is that most of the characters don’t die alone. Valjean is by Fantine’s side when she dies, Eponine is in the arms of Marius when she dies, the students, Gavroche, and Enjolras are around each other when they die, and Valjean dies alongside Cosette and Marius.

But where is the compassion and joy found at these deaths. Well, if you don’t understand Fantine’s love for her daughter and how desperate she is, you may not find the joy in her death. Valjean shows compassion by being with her as she dies. He promises to Fantine  that he will raise her daughter, Cosette, as his own. The fact that Valjean promises to Fantine that he will raise Cosette is why this death happens to be memorable.

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Look at the second death. Once again, joy and compassion is shown at that death. The second death happens on the barricades. Eponine has gotten shot and Marius finds her and holds her in his arms while she dies. You wouldn’t notice the joy in this scene if you don’t understand how much Eponine loves Marius and if you don’t pick up on how dark and miserable and lonely and empty her life is. She is in the arms of the man she loves at her death so she has joy there since she is with Marius. The compassion shown at this scene is that Marius decides to stay with Eponine even though he is quite upset and comforts her and stays brave for her up until her death. This death scene is memorable due to the fact that Eponine is dying in Marius’ arms and that “A Little Fall of Rain” is such a memorable and touching song.

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See what I mean. Even Les Mis, the saddest musical I ever seen, shows that even that musical has room for positive emotions. The trick with sad musicals is they can be hard to love. It can be hard to know whether or not you love their plot.

But with Les Mis, the musical just doesn’t work without the positive emotions. The positive emotions show up through deaths and that does sound surprising. I never would have imagined a musical song could be a death song or that they can be memorable. The positive emotions are just not just limited to the deaths, but also related to some of the actions of the other characters.

Look at songs such as “This Nearly Was Mine”, “Memory”, and “I’m Not That Girl”.  Every single one of them are heartbreaking songs, but I love them. Another bittersweet song is “For Good”, which is the most emotional song from Wicked.  “I’m Not That Girl” began as a sad song and eventually became heartbreaking thanks to “On My Own” and “Memory was a song that I had forgotten the emotion to and realized it was heartbreaking through “I Dreamed a Dream”.

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I love the negative emotions in the world of musicals. I love them the most when they are quite strong and quite truthful as well. The negative emotions don’t grow quite as quickly as the positive emotions. The negative emotions are covered with vulnerability, fragility, innocence at times, insight and truth, and on top of that, there is yourself. You become a character in the musical yourself and you learn to love the negative emotions. The one thing I don’t like about the negative emotions is that I don’t like that the character or characters have to feel the negative emotions or that they have to go through what they are going through

Joy in negative emotions means in a lot of ways means that you have a strong emotional connection to the material. Joy in negative emotions shows acceptance and understanding and a feeling of sympathy and empathy.  It shows you care and it shows that you want to go on the character’s journey. Sometimes you have to search deeper for the negative emotions. They grow at a very steady rate and never grow quickly. Sad and heartbreak are core emotions in the world of musicals and between those two, heartbreak is the newest one. I said that because heartbreak was unknown to me growing up.

Most musicals I have seen are happy musicals and I associate musicals with them all the time. I first discovered sad when I was in middle school, but now in college, I love the negative emotions even more thanks to falling in love with Les Mis and Rent.

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Being a true musical fan means learning how to have joy feeling the negative emotions. You want them to add to a musical experience and not take away from a musical experience. You want to provide you a positive experience and not the other way around. An amazing amount of musicals expresses the negative emotions in at least one song.

How do you view joy in negative emotions?

Importance of Christ in Our Lives

Happy Easter!

Well, today is Easter and I thought it would be fitting to have an Easter-related post. Well, Easter is all about Christ’s resurrection and we need Christ in our lives. He helps gets through dark times of our lives. He helps us thrive through hardship and for He helps me thrive in college. He teaches us the importance of compassion, love, and forgiveness. We need Him in our lives. Life isn’t easy and He helps us survive even when things are rough. Christ did a lot for us and died to save us from our sins. Without Christ, I don’t know where I would be right now. His love for us is incredible and without Him, the world would be even darker and a scarier place to live.

 

My Strong Love for Musicals and Christian Music

I am so thankful for my deep love for Christian music and musicals. Because without them, I do not know where I would be right now. They truly taught me the power of music. Christian music did teach me that music can bring back memories and can make you feel connected to God. A lot of the Christian songs that I love remind me of the different memories I had at Kanuga. Part of the Kanuga songs remind me of Parish weekends and while the rest are more for Winterlight.

The lyrics below are from a Christian song I learned to love at Kanuga. It is called “The Servant Song” and it reminds me of Kanuga each time I listen to it, but it also reminds me of the Bristol Pilgrimage that I went on two years ago. I sing contemporary Christian music every week at school at our student-led worship service.

We are pilgrims on a journey-7
Motto of the trip

On the other hand, musicals really did teach me the emotional impact of music especially considering the shows that are still so new and fresh in my life. Every single musical has more than one emotion in it. Some have a few and while some have a lot. The five emotions that tie musicals together are excitement, joy, love, heartbreak and sadness, which are five of the most common emotions found in them. I grew up with comedies and happy musicals. I grew up with musicals like Annie, Sound of Music, Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Cats, Grease, Aladdin and Wicked.

Wicked is the musical where I first started to understand the emotional side of musicals. That was back in 2006 when I first saw it on Broadway with my mom. I was only 12 at the time and I do remember “Popular” being my favorite song. This was the only show that I grew up with where I actually remember sad being part of. The main emotions growing up were basically excitement, love, joy, and sad. Heartbreak wasn’t there because I didn’t understand what it meant for a song to be heartbreaking. “I’m Not That Girl” was just a sad song and I strongly disliked “No Good Deed” at the time.

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Even though I learned to love two sad musicals, I found a way to still describe all musicals as joyful and I did that by describing them in the best positive way I can. Those two sad musicals are Les Mis and Rent. I fell in love with Rent by listening to the songs though Pandora and I fell in love with it first, but didn’t realize it was sad until after I had already seen the Les Mis movie. I was able to realize that they both have a positive nature. Rent is really a story about what to do with the life that you have and how do you measure it. It teaches you to live in the moment and measure your life in love and it really is a celebration of life. Les Mis is really a story about hope, love, compassion, forgiveness, sacrifice, humanity and redemption.  Without Les Mis, I may never have actually understood what it means for a musical song to be heartbreaking.

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Other emotions I found in musicals are hope, love, anger, compassion, haunting, uplifting, loneliness, guilt, desperation, devastation, depressing, fear and uncomfortable. I still cannot believe that musicals range from being very happy all the way down to very sad, which is more layers than one might find. Annie would be a very happy show even though it has one sad song in it, which is “Maybe”, but that song isn’t that sad at all. Annie is very happy because it is pretty much all joy from start to finish and barely has any conflict. On the other side, Les Mis would be very sad. Musicals are like a series of ladders overlapping each other with each ladder representing something different.

There is a huge difference between the emotions within a show compared to whether a show is happy or not. Musicals have come such a long way since shows like Annie and Sound of Music which are both very happy and simple and those two do not have that many emotions in it at all. Eventually they built up to a show like Les Mis, which is a lot more powerful and filled with this incredible wide range of emotions starting with uplifting building eventually to depressing. In the past I thought a song could not push past sad, but it sure did in Les Mis. I know deep down that musicals will continue to play games on me and change because I am still young and have yet to discover other new ones.

I don’t Doubt that I will stop loving Christian Music and musicals. I truly learned about the power of music through them. They taught me how music can bring back memories and the emotional impact that music can bring.

Showing God’s Compassion

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind

-Phillippians 2:1-2

How should we make sure humanity still exists? According to this passage, we should be similar to Christ even though the circumstances will be different. If we love like Christ did and let the Holy Spirit live throughout us, humanity will never die. Love is the biggest force of all and we should not let fear divide us. We need to be compassionate and kind towards others. We should live a life full of Christ because without him, life would be even more difficult to endure. Christ set an example of us and He showed us the importance of love and compassion. We are guided by the Holy Spirit, which dwells in us and it dwells in us because we are made in the image of God. We should never let the devil control our lives and break us further apart. Living in Christ is the best way to live and he doesn’t give up on us. Showing compassion, kindness, and love towards others will help fix this broken society.

 

 

 

God being Love

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them

-I John 4:16

God best represents love. Love is how to live your life. If you live in love, you are living according to the biggest commandment, which is love yourself and to love others. Love is the most powerful force of all and truly guides us. If we live in love, we live life to fullest and treat others with compassion, understanding, and acceptance. Love is strength and love is God. Fear is so much weaker than love. If we as humans bind together, it is harder for the devil to manipulate us and make us live a life a life according to fear. When we live a life in love, there is a greater sense of hope and humanity. Without love, life would be even more messy and more chaotic. Without love, there would be no good in this world. Without love, we are not truly human. So live you life in love and not live your life in fear.

 

Discovery of Musicals

One of the best things about being a musical fan is discovering what a musical is capable of. Growing up, I basically discovered what a musical is able to do on a basic level. Through the ones I grew up with, there was dance, spectacle, positive and negative emotions and those emotions were excitement, love, joy, and sad and I even was able to learn that musicals are known for giving you an emotional connection. I even learned that all musicals were happy, but later I discovered that statement was not even true to begin with.

I especially love discovering musicals now because musicals are capable of even more than they were capable of when I was younger. Out of the blue, tragic musicals decided to enter my life. I did believe the all musicals were happy, but I think the tragic musicals picked the right timing to enter my life. It is also even ironic what tragic musical I fell in love with first. It might seem like Les Mis was part of my life first, but it actually was Rent even though I realized Rent was sad after I learned Les Mis was tragic. I fell in love with Rent by listening to the songs through Pandora in Fall of 2012 and did not even know the plot, but I knew I just had to see the stage show live, which still hasn’t happened, but next year it is finally coming to my hometown and I asked Santa to give me tickets to see it next year.

Possible Spoilers of Les Mis:

I started really loving discovering what musicals were capable of when Les Mis entered my life. I first saw that movie in December of 2012 and I was so confused and shocked when that musical entered my life. I was kind of reluctant to see the movie because the preview wasn’t that convincing, but I went anyways just to listen to “I Dreamed a Dream”. Right after Fantine died, I realized Les MIs was tragic and I was thinking “wait a minute, musicals can be tragic”! I just didn’t know what to do and so as result I watched the rest of the movie in such shock that I just had a hard time paying attention. By the end, I only remembered hearing “I Dreamed a Dream”, “Master of the House”, and “Do You Hear the People”. “Do You Hear the People Sing” was stuck in my head and it still is today. So after watching that movie for the first time, I was thinking “did I just learn to like a tragedy?” However I really did not know if I liked it or not.

But I still went straight and started researching the musical almost as if Les Mis was supposed to become part of my life. I decided to give the movie a second chance and I was able to calm down and truly pay attention and thats when I started crying and that time was when I knew that there was something special about Les Mis. During the first time, I think my soul was moved while I wasn’t. But during this second time, I was fully moved and knew that I found something very special in this musical and wanted to know why I felt uplifted so I started digging even deeper into the musical. I later learned it was truly a story about hope, compassion, love, forgiveness, sacrifice, humanity and redemption.

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Ever since Les Mis, I was more interested in discovering what a musical is capable of especially in the emotions. Though Les Mis, I realized that musical emotions were more capable than I originally thought. Les Mis just is that kind of musical that is uniquely more powerful and covered with more emotions than any other musical I discovered. The Les MIs emotions I know exist are passion, excitement, love, joy, hope, compassion, forgiveness, uplifting, heartbreak, sad, loneliness, desperation, devastation, depressing, hopeless, uncomfortable, fear, guilt, and anger among many others.

Musicals are more capable than I once thought they are were. That shows how much musicals have grown over the years. Musicals emotions like to mature over time, which makes me feel more vulnerable with musicals as I get older. I even discovered a new kind of spectacle that musicals were capable of, which was circus, which I learned through “Pippin”, which I wanted to see since I listened to “Corner of the Sky” and what I knew about Pippin coming in was the whole circus theme and what Corner of the Sky was about and through the preview and through that song, I was able to guess correctly that Pippin was in fact a musical comedy.

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I even have been able to discover different kinds of dance, which was clearly learned through Newsies this year. It was the first musical I saw where the entire cast was mainly male-based. Different kinds of dance were introduced where boys were jumping high up in the air, over each other , dancing on newspapers and sliding under each other.

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All because of Les Mis, I became more interested in discovering what in the world musicals can truly be capable of. All because of that musical, I was more inserted in discovering those negative emotions and it was not just the negative emotions that changed because the positive emotions seem to change while negative emotions change since the two clearly rely on each other. Because of all these changes, instead of calling all musical happy and full of life (meaning only those exciting numbers) I started calling all musicals joyful (referring to the experience and the positive nature), and full of life ( referring to the entire story), emotional and unique .

Any other musical fan, do you all like fully discovering what a musical is capable of?

Discover

Capable

Beyond the Barricade

Major Spoilers

By the end of Les Mis, all my favorite characters have died. The only survivors are Marius, Cosette, and the Thenardiers. I thought it would be interesting to see which of these surviving characters is my favorite. Between all four, Marius is my favorite and I know I am in the minority on this. Lots of people dislike him just because he is oblivious to Eponine’s unrequited feelings for him and that he doesn’t love her. Don’t forget you can’t choose who you fall in love with. This love triangle in fact provides an amazing texture to the musical.

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The thing I love about Marius is the compassion and love that he is capable of. I even love how he matures after the trauma he faced on the barricade. We first meet him when time changes to 1832 and he discover that he has a passion for the uprising and is trying to rally supporters from the streets of Paris. During that same scene, Marius bumps into Cosette and is instantly in love with her. He struggles with balancing between these two passions and all he ever seems to sing about is Cosette. Knowing that Eponine is so streetwise, he ask her to find Cosette’s address and Eponine is reluctant because she loves him. This might seem like Marius is being a jerk to Eponine, but in reality he really isn’t.

If you actually think about it, Marius never treated Eponine poorly. Marius is probably the only person in her life that shows her any kindness. To Eponine, Marius means a lot because he is the only source of light in her dark and miserable life. Everyone thinks Marius and Eponine should be together, but I don’t believe they should. I don’t think Les Mis would be the same if Eponine ended up with Marius in the end.

In the musical, Eponine and Marius are shown as friends and he also is aware of how dark her life is, but is aware of her toughness and bravery. You might also think he is a jerk just because he is oblivious to Eponine’s feelings for him, but lets not forget that she never told him she loved him.

Then there is the scene at the beginning of act two. He once again asks Eponine to do an errand for him, which once again is dealing with Cosette. He asks Eponine to deliver a letter to Cosette and that might seem rude as well, but it really isn’t. He only was trying to protect her from the uprising. Eponine does not listen to Marius and returns to the barricades and gets caught in the crossfire and gets fatally wounded herself. This is when Marius shows her the most compassion. When Marius realizes that she is fatally wounded, he never leaves her side and gives her peace and comfort till her death. This does devastate Marius, but at least he does care about Eponine and that she does mean something to him.

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Marius faces even more trauma at the barricades after all of his friends died and he almost got killed himself. Luckily Jean Valjean was there because Valjean rescued Marius. Marius heals from his wounds and he suffered from survivor’s guilt. Cosette helped him recover from his wounds. At the end of the show, Marius and Cosette have lost everything important to them except for each other. Cosette’s adopted father died and Marius’ friends died. I love Marius and Cosette together and they both have faced trauma in their life and they are still young. They ended up married and the reason why I love them together is due to the fact that Cosette is supposed to represent hope and light in the midst of this tragic tale.

Of the characters who live, who is your favorite Les Mis character?