How Love Inspires Musicians and Listeners



For as long as human memory goes, the feelings of romantic love have driven intense longings and the inspiration to create art, in particular, music. Songs allow the one feeling intense emotion to express his/her longings or contentment with the one they love. Love songs are written from the experience of that first infatuation, initial date to the wedding. From Elvis Presley’s ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’ to Celine Dion’s ‘My Heart Will Go On,' lovers have sung these iconic songs to their special one, or listened to it as it brings out their feelings. But it can be hard to find the right words to express the interior landscape of the heart in a song.


The Stories in Love Songs

An estimated more than 100 million love songs have been recorded in various genres. The stories and emotions of love have been sung in jazz, pop, rock to the blues. Songs such as ‘Sorry seems to be the hardest word’, to Gershwin’s ‘Love is here to stay’ tells us a lot of the stories written in love songs. We are familiar with breakup songs but there are also songs of devotion to one’s partner. For example, John Legend wrote about his love for his wife Chrissy Teigen from ‘Good Morning’, ‘The Beginning’, ‘You and I’ to ‘All of Me’. There are women who inspired men to write famous songs and vice-versa.

Not so wholesome love songs include music that sets the mood for couples such as ‘Need you tonight’ by INXS to the Boss Bruce Springsteen’s ‘I’m on fire.' Even a breakup song like Chris Isaak’s ‘Wicked Game’ can help set the mood in the bedroom.


Most Popular Songs Are About Breakups

One of the things we reach out for in a breakup is a sad love song. Romantic love and breakups bridge different ages, gender, and nationality. Pain and anguish make breakup songs popular throughout the ages. It also can lead to inspiration as the musician can put what he or she wants in the song. Breakup songs allow us to share our pain as Elton John sings in ‘Sad Songs (Say So Much)’. For instance, Celine Dion’s ‘My Heart Will Go On’, a theme song for the tragic romance movie ‘Titanic’ sold 20 million copies. Love songs about heartbreak have been the most lasting and enduring ones. Why do performers and listeners love songs imbued with melancholy and despair?

Writing melancholic love songs allows the musician to let go and express their bottled-up emotions. Art and music have been known to be effective mental therapies. For the listeners, it lets them reminisce about what they have lost and connect with millions who are also listening to these songs and feeling the loss of a relationship.


Benefits of Listening to Sad Songs

We think sad love songs may be bad for our minds. But strangely, it isn’t demoralising. In a study published in 2016, researchers found that sad songs induced a biochemical response in empathetic listeners and released beneficial hormones. There are also psychological benefits of being able to relate to the song’s message. When people cannot express their feelings, they find expression in the songs they hear, helping them to release certain emotions.


Want to Learn to Write Love Songs?

There is no golden rule to writing a successful love song. Music, as with artworks, capture attention and hearts when they come from a genuine place. They are not written with success in mind, but by expressing the musician’s honest and raw feelings. It includes creating a chord progression, coming up with a melody, lyrics and arranging the song.

If you want to start learning your first musical instrument to belt out your first love song, get in touch with Ritmo Music studio in Singapore. We have music lessons for various instruments, including trial lessons.


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