Musical Effects

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At The Chronicle, Mark Edmundson, English professor at University of Virginia, explains the emotional importance of pop music, as it “suggests, by its easy, pleasurable repetitions,” that our “static inside” makes sense, as “we can pretend, for the duration of a song, that there is harmony in our lives.”

“The sadness in a Leonard Cohen song or the Beatles’ ‘Norwegian Wood’ was different from the sadness that inhabited my spirit. The musical sadness was melodious: It had a shape, it made sense, it flowed along almost predictable lines.”


Charley Locke finds autumn beautiful in New Haven but prefers the sunny disposition of her hometown, Berkeley. When not interning at The Rumpus, she loves reading almost everything and traveling almost everywhere. She recently wrote a cookbook of recipes and interviews with Moroccan women, and hopes to return to the Maghrib soon, despite the lack of bacon. More from this author →