What Does An Audience Owe The Artist?

One of the most interesting aspects of art is the relationship between the artist, who creates the art, and the audience, who interprets it.

The artist obviously has something in mind when they create, no matter if what they create is a piece of music, a painting, or something else altogether. That inspiration may or may not be obvious to the person or people who see the finished work.

The artist and the audience may never meet, and there is no guarantee that someone experiencing the piece will know anything at all about the person who created it. That not only includes who the artist is, but also what they are trying to convey in the work they have created.

However, there is a relationship between creator and consumer. Art is a means of communicating from one person to another, even if that communication is indirect.

Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘How can we maintain wonder?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘How do you think others see you?’

With that in mind, does the audience for a work of art have any responsibility to the artist? Do they owe serious consideration, honest emotion, setting an appropriate context, or even learning about the intention during creation?

Does it vary from artist to artist, and/or from audience to audience? Does it depend on the type of art created? For example, does someone looking at a painting have a different obligation to the painter than someone listening to some music owes the composer and/or performer? What about a play, or some other public performance?

Related questions: What is art? Art: Create or consume? How important is the artist to art?

How Do You Use Music To Alter Your Mood?

One of the great aspects to music is the way it interacts with our emotions. Do you ever consciously use music to alter your mood?

There are many examples of music intensifying or changing how we feel. A morose soundtrack at a particularly poignant moment of a movie can bring us to tears. A song with a powerful beat can get us on the dance floor. At a rally, an inspirational song can make us feel like anything is possible.

However, these are all examples of how others might use music to make you feel the way they want you to feel. You can also do this yourself, and probably do, to some extent. When you feel angry, you might list to some heavy metal. You may have a workout mix that you listen to at the gym. Some classical music might be good music to study to. You may even have a particular set of songs that help you fall asleep at night.

Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘What does your favorite music say about you?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘Where does authority come from?’

To follow that idea to its logical conclusion, you could use music as a way of changing or modifying how you feel.

For example, if you are feeling depressed, you might listen to some depressing music to heighten that mood. Alternately, you might choose to upbeat music to try and chase away the blues.

Similarly, soothing music might calm anxious nerves. Or the reverse, with fast-paced music waking you up in the morning. If you are facing a long drive and are feeling drowsy, some dance music might help you stay awake.

Are there times you purposefully use music to make you feel a particular way? Or if you feel a certain way and you don’t want to, do you use music to alter your mood?

Related questions: Why does music evoke emotion? What is the right amount of emotion? What is necessary to change your mind? How much of our thoughts are our own?