Understanding the power of instrumental music through YouTube’s comments section

A year ago when I moved to Bangalore, I often started my days at 12 am due to the nature of my job. As a result, I had lots of time to kill alone. In the lull of the night, I found the joy of music devoid of lyrics by a fortunate accident. Daft Punk’s Voyager was the first one I discovered myself.

When I thought about why I like instrumental music, I only had one answer, that it lets you imagine the words rather than the lyrics shaping the message for you. I found this answer on Quora as well and wasn’t surprised that many people on the internet feel the same way.

Below, you will find some songs that I have listened to the most in the last 12 months and below each song are the comments from different people across the world, posted as YouTube comments. I often have the habit of scrolling down to the YouTube comments section to read what other people think of the songs and also figured that YouTube comments section is one of the most honest places on the internet. Often I find comments I relate to and some that offer a different meaning to the music.  Hence I decided to go through the comments again and lift some of them as it is, to help one understand what people think when they listen to music devoid of any vocals.

Daft Punk – Voyager

“Everyone talks about how this (and all the other songs on this album) bring back memories. Sad I’m getting into it just now. Why didn’t I know about this when I was a child?”

“It is a good song to listen to while driving under the countless stars that burn a flame through our hearts”

“long ass drives in the night. all your friends are in the backseat/passenger seat dead asleep. you’ve got Daft Punk playing low on the stereo to keep yourself awake. after an hour or so of driving fidgets awake. “…hey, is this Daft Punk?” they inquire with a sleepy rasp. “Uh, yeah” you whisper, careful to wake anyone else. “…fuck yeah” they reply, squirming back into a comfortable position to fall back to sleep. you drive on into the night, feeling nothing but the road and the music and the void outside your car. there is nothing more theraputic in the world.”

“This song is amazing. its my number one track when i go snowboarding, cruising down with this song makes it great every time”

“Once this song got stuck in my head for so long, I couldn’t sleep for a couple days”

“I just want to dance, I can’t control my body ! This song makes me feel immortal”

“I’m not in my room anymore.”

Daft Punk – Aerodynamic

“Bought this when I was very young, and working on forest property moving branches and fallen trees. It kept me going and interested as I collected firewood for the house. Miss it”

“This song is underrated.”

“I was loving this song until the trash happened at 3:33” The song is 3:32 seconds long

“It sounds like a robot pooping, but still amazing”

“some day i will have a heart atack listen to this”

Bonobo – Kerala

“try to blink with every beat, makes it even more mindblowing”

“as a professional editor this edit earned my respect….also gave me a nervous breakdown.”

“Wow, impressive! This video gave me goosebumps and I felt weird but in a good way. In my understanding she’s a glitch in the matrix, alone and afraid, when normal people make an order in things so they look normal she sees the world raw as it is. Ofc loops can reflect her mental state as someone mentioned but they are mostly for us and to capture those moments. I don’t know if my interpretation is too obvious or the opposite, may be is not deep enough and the video is full of metaphors but I like it this way :)”

“So what I take away from this video is that it’s about schizophrenia/mental illness. The frames loop to match the beat of the song but it also reflects her mental state along with all the weird things happening around her and the way she is freaked out. Really very moving if you’ve had people in your life that have suffered such illnesses. It honestly almost brought a tear to my eye when I realized the symbolism.”

God is an Astronaut – All is bright all is violent

“A Warm Place”

“chills down my eyes, tears in my spine.”

“Wish it could last the rest of my life, 4 minutes isn’t enough”

Bonobo – Black Sands

“You suddenly feel nostalgic of the life you never had”

“This makes me visualize life from birth to death. Anyone else?”

“Can’t stop listening this, i’m listening this for over year now and it’s still like the first time”

“listening to this on a rainy day is magic”

Ludovico Einaudi – Time Lapse

“what a man he can take you to places you have never been before with his music. run is my favourite but there are so many more, it helps you to reflect and put things into perspective. what a brilliant musician.”

“this is the soundtrack of my life”

“clouds, ravens, mountains…”

 

Chromatics- Tick of the Clock

“I listen to this while I drive my grandma to pick up her medication”

“Listen to this song anytime you want a regular situation to be intense. You listen to this shit while walking to class, and you’re expecting for some serious shit to go down”

“I wanna slowly drive trough my town and look at people suspiciously to this music.”

“listen to this while taking a shit, trust me it intensifies the moment”

“Imagine listening to this while your delivering pizzas.”

Eric Prydz – Opus

“When you’re trying to finish your exam under 10 minutes.”

“Where did all the dislikes come from though…”

“Music doesnt need lyrics to tell a story…”

“A unsung legend…”

“The intro brings feels of an ending, this is it, this is where it ends. But, the ending is ok, you’ve accepted it, your smiling, its ok, you finally understand, its actually beautiful and everything will be ok. Everything comes together. Peace is restored. A ending and a beginning, all in one.”

Thomas Bergersen – Final Frontier

“They need to play this for the launch of the mission to Mars.”

“this song makes you feel: ” alright, alright, alright!”

“when the mexicans see the wall”

“If you look long enough the clouds move”

“Just imagine standing in front of an orchester that is playing this track… ”

“ts feels so liberating and its so epic”

Hans Zimmer – Interstellar main theme 

“The music reminds me of my mum who died of gastric cancer last week. Mum, I love u and I miss u”

“So, who else feels the chills every time you hear this? :)”
“Because of bad luck, I threw up and I screwed the public university entrance exam of my country. Everything has since been and will be ruined for the rest of my life. I come here every now and then to appease myself.”
“wouldn’t it be amazing if all war on earth stopped? If instead (like Star Trek) we focused our money and resources into space exploration? Even the thought of it takes my breath away.”
“To me, the recurring high-pitched synthetically sounding strings (i don’t know what it’s called) are like the revolving lights on a lighthouse, or the beeps of a sonar, in their search for the meaning of life. As the music gets louder, the hope of humanity increases, only to pass that point and continue further in a vain attempt to find what can’t be found.”

 

Ramin Djawadi -Game of Thrones, Light of the Seven

“This leaves me speechless. More than half a year later, I still get full-body ghoosebumps listening to this score.”

“This was the greatest opening to a TV show I’ve ever seen, it was legitimately mesmerizing!”

“Just came here because of the Second trailer today…had to hear it again”

“This piece of music was the highlight of my year.”

“37 DAYS LEFT!!!!!!!!”

“This is now my alarm.”

 

Yann Tiersen –Comptine d’un autre été (Piano) 

 

“bad memories…”

“Why is everyone commenting in their own language tho”

“this is so beautiful. It makes me calm and happy.”

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