Abstracts of issue 9 (1997)

Markos F. Dragoumis

Depression and Composers

Among the composers well known to the large public, some were absolutely psychologically sane (Bach, Haydn, Janacek), where others were subject to various neuroses, of which the most significant is depression. The degree of depression and the reaction towards it varied according to the individual composer. There have been cases in which depression led certain composers to cancel the composition of a given work or to destroy some marvellous scores (some of which have mercifully survived despite the composers will) and to interrupt either partly or totally their creative progress. Many are the pages in music literature which express sadness, but few of them are directly related to the term melancholy. Most of the composers mentioned in the present article found in composition an outlet to their problems, even by writing gay music. The public is, nevertheless, grateful to them, because through their works, it is relieved of its own melancholy.