Can we use the expression 'heavy music' when we mean music like 'heavy metal' or other very loud music?

for example: Heavy music drives me crazy.

I've tried looking it up online and in dictionaries, but couldn't find it anywhere. All I found was that it was used in the title of a song:


I'd be grateful for your comments.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Drew, jimm101, Nigel J, Skooba, RaceYouAnytime Dec 6 '17 at 22:44

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • The terminology used to discuss music is a language in and of itself, only distantly related to English. – Hot Licks Dec 2 '17 at 19:25
  • 2
    No. Except for "Heavy Metal," there is no such thing as "heavy music." "Loud music drives me crazy" is just fine. – Mark Hubbard Dec 2 '17 at 20:33
  • You can use whatever you damn please to describe music, or anything else. I mean....heavy music could mean many different things. Who knows what that person meant? It is not a term of art. – Lambie Dec 2 '17 at 22:27
  • Though I can understand the POB close-vote and wouldn't criticise it, I can also see that a discussion of the various relevant senses of 'heavy' (as in @Global Charm's answer) is useful and non-trivial if not leading to a definitive answer. Perhaps it's unsurprising that most dictionaries seem to avoid listing a 'music'-tagged sense. / 'Light music' is a familiar term, though where the boundaries actually come is of course in dispute. – Edwin Ashworth Dec 3 '17 at 13:17

Heavy music is a somewhat dated term now. Once upon a time, you could have used it to distinguish between, say, Schoenberg (heavy, serious, intellectual) and Gershwin (light, entertaining). The heavy music demands more of the listener.

Heavy can also mean somber. The funeral march from Beethoven's Heroic Symphony (the 3rd) is heavy. A nocturne by Chopin is light and delicate in comparison.

Heavy can also mean loud and oppressive, as the OP points out. With present day amplification, however, almost anything can be made heavy. Attributing "heaviness" to a particular style or genre of music is mostly a matter of taste.

On the other hand, any of these could drive a person crazy.

  • Heavy, dude, heavy! – Hot Licks Dec 2 '17 at 23:06
  • Well, personally I find that flute music gets seriously on my nerves. If it went on for too long, I'm not sure I could hold out. – Global Charm Dec 3 '17 at 0:10
  • My wife often practices flute while I lay down for a nap. Helps drown my "It's a Small World" earworm. – Hot Licks Dec 3 '17 at 0:41

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