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Preface: I ask this as a devil's advocate; so please don't challenge my premise of trying to hear Dissonant Postmodern Music (hereafter DPM) as merry, enraptured, paradisical music, e.g. that by Copland, Händel, Haydn or Mozart.

After 1 year of daily listening to them, I have not progressed. So what more can I do?

I enjoy, and have no problems with:

  1. anything by Berg, Messiaen, Schönberg, Penderecki except his Threnody.
  2. John Cage's solo piano music, and Piano Concerto.
  3. some pieces of Ligeti, like his Piano Concerto and Piano Études.

But my brain still judges cacophonous and obstreperous, and resists:

  1. all by Harrison Birwistle
  2. some pieces of Ligeti, like his Violin and Cello Concertos.
  3. most pieces of John Cage besides 2 above, like his Prepared Piano Concerto.
  • I'd try finding their easier to stomach influencers. Unless they used some white noise to generate the tunes, there is a chance to find some harmony in there. But hearing that as uplifting, sounds a lot like music biology question. – Magicsowon Jul 9 '17 at 20:06
  • This is still just as subjective as it was on Music SE. We can't make you enjoy any type of music or tell you how best to associate it with with something especially when it's very likely that's not the point of it. For example, if you were to call Quartet for the End of Time blissful or uplifting that would be very counter the composer's intentions. – Dom Jul 10 '17 at 19:40
  • @Dom please delete this post. – user7708 Jan 30 at 6:34
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If you are bound and determined to attach arbitrary associations to a type of music entirely outside of that music's actual characteristics, then your best bet is just to associate them via coincidence. In other words, whenever you feel blissfully merry, play some John Cage.

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