Words can be comforting during times of difficulty, but what role does music play in the lives of our musicians? Can music exist as both a negative and positive impact in our character’s lives or will music always be something that they associate with painful and heartbreaking experiences? Song-Ah explores her relationship with music and comes to discovering that maybe there is so much more to music than she previously thought or knew.
Do You Like Brahms? Episode 3: Inning, Heartfelt
After bidding farewell to each other, Song-Ah makes her way to the subway station when she suddenly remembers about Joon-young’s two albums that she had purchased from the album store earlier. She returns to the restaurant where Joon-young is located to show him the album and she requests for an autograph from him. She’s a fan. Joon-young is in disbelief at first considering they’re already colleagues, but he does it for her anyways. With Joon-young’s approval, Song-Ah seats herself next to the pianist to join him that night after ignoring a text from Min-sung who wants to have a drink together.
After chatting a bit about Joon-young’s love for classical music, he goes on to share about a story he experienced from one of his earlier overseas competitions. The one thing Joon-young notices the most during competitions is the silence and quietness that comes along with it. He’s reminded of an earlier competition when he and all the other contestants stayed at the same hotel together with a piano in each room. Every morning, he would hear multiple pianos playing simultaneously, but at the days passed and contestants started to get eliminated, the sound of the pianos began to decrease more and more. Eventually, Joon-young came around to hearing just pure silence as he wounded up as the winner of the competition. It’s an experience he will never forget for years to come.
Eventually, our two colleagues conclude their dinner time and they go their separate ways. On his way home, Joon-young receives a text from Jung-kyung who suggests that they go to Hyun-ho’s concert that following weekend. He’s the guest cellist so they should go support him which Joon-young agrees to. Song-Ah worries about Min-sung as she’s not replying back to her text messages. While at work, Team Leader Cha calls Director Na to update her on the urgent situation regarding one of their accompanying pianist for the upcoming concert. The pianist isn’t feeling the best so they’ll have to sit out of the performance putting the rest of the team in a difficult spot. They contact Joon-young in hopes of asking him to play despite him being on sabbatical leave, but Joon-young isn’t picking up his phone so Song-Ah is sent on a mission to find him.
Using the details that Joon-young shared with her from the night before, Song-Ah visits the library as well as Gyeonghui palace where Joon-young mentioned that he usually visits to kill time. The intern eventually discovers Joon-young hanging out at Gyeonghui palace by himself and she notifies him about the situation. After returning Team Leader Cha’s call, he apologizes to Song-Ah for all the trouble. He had forgotten his phone back at his house. When Song-Ah returns to the office, she overhears the team conversing about Seung Ji-min’s participation in the performance. Joon-young denied the opportunity since the piano piece is by Brahms and he’s not familiar with any of Brahm’s tracks.
While sitting at her desk, Song-Ah reads an article about Jung-kyung, Hyun-ho, and Joon-young’s upcoming collaboration for Kyunghoo’s charity concert and compares her friendship with Min-sung and Dong-yoon to the friendship between Jung-kyung, Hyun-ho, and Joon-young. While both Joon-young and Song-Ah are the Brahms in their respective lives, Joon-young’s theme is more about “unattainable love” while her life is more centered around the friendship of three people.
When Song-Ah arrives home that night, her mom hands her two tickets to the upcoming concert that Hyun-ho and Seung Ji-min will be performing at. She first inquires Min-sung about the concert, but Min-sung is quick to reject the offer so Song-Ah extends the invitation to Dong-yoon who doesn’t respond back to Song-Ah. And so Song-Ah attends the concert alone. Joon-young and Jung-kyung too are at the concert when they overhear the couple sitting in the row before them gossiping about Joon-young and his decision to not perform at the concert. Jung-kyung purposely points out Joon-young’s presence in front of the couple, but Joon-young can care less. He doesn’t care when people compare him to Seung Ji-min, but Jung-kyung herself isn’t okay with the comparisons. Eventually, Song-Ah finds herself sitting in the same row as Jung-kyung and Joon-young when she arrives at the concert venue and she sits a seat away from them.
Minutes before the concert is to begin, Joon-young checks up on Song-Ah and asks if her friend will be late to the concert or not. Song-Ah isn’t so sure either and Jung-kyung can’t help but notice how friendly the two are with each other. Eventually, the concert begins and Hyun-ho as well as Seung Ji-min make their way onto the stage. Joon-young smiles upon seeing the pianist enter the stage, but the smile fades as Seung Ji-min begins to perform. Although she doesn’t make it obvious, Song-Ah is mindful of Joon-young’s behavior and she notices how he’s feeling.
After the concert, Joon-young greets Ji-min while Hyun-ho reunites with Jung-kyung. Song-Ah takes the time to visit the stage and she’s reminded of the moment when she was dismissed by the conductor at what would have been her debut performance. Joon-young catches Song-Ah staring at the stage and he’s about to grab her attention, but he remains quiet instead and observes her secretly from behind. Eventually, our Fantastic Four team head to the restaurant located directly under Dong-yoon’s workshop room. Song-Ah attempts to contact Dong-yoon who she refers to as CEO Dong-yoon which Hyun-ho is curious about. Why does she call him that? Are they not close to each other? Song-Ah claims that they are close, but she doesn’t quite have a definite answer for them.
Joon-young heads to the hallway where the restroom is located to wash his hands when he overhears a conversation between Min-sung and Dong-yoon at the stairs. Dong-yoon pleads for Min-sung to not tell Song-Ah about what happened the other night when they drank and ended up sleeping with each other. Song-Ah wouldn’t like it. Min-sung agrees and she leaves shortly afterwards. Joon-young quickly turns around to make his way back out to the restaurant when he finds Song-Ah also trying to open the door. However, Joon-young closes the door on Song-Ah so she wouldn’t hear or see Min-sung before opening the door a few seconds later. He feigns that he had trouble opening the door, but it’s obvious that he was doing it for other reasons.
Dong-yoon joins our Fantastic Four shortly afterwards and questions about his actions confuse Hyun-ho. Why wasn’t he picking up Song-Ah’s phone calls? Didn’t Song-Ah go upstairs to check up on him? Joon-young jumps in to clarify things and explains that he was the one who went upstairs to check up on Dong-yoon. While eating dinner, the five chat about Brahms and his love for Clara as Brahm’s ‘Violin Sonata No. 1’ begins to play at the restaurant. Jung-kyung explains the story behind the creation of the song and notes that music was more comfortable to Brahms than words was, similar to like how Joon-young is. After the few seconds of awkward silence, Dong-yoon proposes the topic of music and whether or not it can really offer consolation better than words. Song-Ah argues that music can comfort and console people. After all, they are musicians, right?
The dinner date comes to an end and Hyun-ho and Jung-kyung heads home together. Before heading up to the workshop room with Dong-yoon, Song-Ah bids farewell with Joon-young who walks home. However, he still feels guilty about the conversation he heard from Min-sung and Dong-yoon earlier that evening and remains conflicted on whether to tell Song-Ah or not. Meanwhile, Song-Ah visits Dong-yoon’s workshop to grab her violin. She asks about the other night when Min-sung was craving for some drinks and if Dong-yoon and Min-sung met up that night. While Dong-yoon admits that they did indeed meet for drinks, he lies that they didn’t drink that much and of course, he keeps quiet about the fact that they slept together that night.
The next day, Director Na and Joon-young head out for a walk together. They chat about topics like Joon-young’s plans now that he’s back in Korea as well as his dating life in which he claims that he’s not in a relationship nor does he like anyone. Song-Ah heads out to grab some food for lunch. While waiting at the stop light, she receives a text from Min-sung who wishes her a happy early birthday. Joon-young runs into her and the two greet each other again. Song-Ah explains about the text messages that she’s receiving from her friend so Joon-young checks to confirm whether the sender is Dong-yoon. Song-Ah is quick to deny the assumption and she grows curious as to why Joon-young mentioned Dong-yoon. Joon-young comes up with an excuse for his question and the two eventually bid farewell with each other.
During a meeting at work, Song-Ah and the rest of the team discuss about a talk concert that one of Kyunghoo’s subsidiaries wants to host with Joon-young at a middle school. While Sung-jae argues that Joon-young can simply participate in the talk concert and share about his life experiences, Team Leader Cha ultimately makes the final decision to reject the opportunity. It is Joon-young’s sabbatical year and he shouldn’t attend any official events other than the upcoming charity concert that will be hosted by Kyunghoo Cultural Foundation. Team Leader Cha checks in with Director Na on the list of judges she’s selected for the upcoming charity concert. Director Na doesn’t have too much feedback on the document other than to remove Jung-kyung from the list of judges. She’s not qualified just yet to be a judge although she was a prodigy in the past. Director Na encourages Team Leader Cha to be direct with her on how they plan on taking care of Jung-kyung now that she’s back in Korea. She doesn’t need to beat around the bush with Director Na.
Speaking of Jung-kyung, Sung-jae and Da-woon have a conversation about her and Hyun-ho. Are Hyun-ho and Jung-kyung going to get married or will they eventually break up? Song-Ah listens in on Sung-jae’s assumption and his guess that the two will break up. As long as they break up after the year-end collaboration with Joon-young at the charity concert, that’s all that matters to Sung-jae. Doing so anytime before then will make things too awkward and uncomfortable with Joon-young who’s best friends with the couple.
While in the rehearsal room, Joon-young reflects on his conversation earlier that day with Director Na about whether he likes anyone. He’s eventually joined by Sung-jae who asks him to give the talk concert another thought. He suggests Joon-young participate in the event as it’ll help Director Na when it comes to budget talks with the Chairman and the CEO’s of the other subsidiaries. When Sung-jae finishes talking with Joon-young, he calls someone on the phone afterwards and reminds the caller to give him money if the event goes through. Meanwhile, Team Leader Cha and Hyun-ho grab some dinner together. There, Team Leader Cha poses the question of what Hyun-ho plans on doing if he was to get accepted into an orchestra team in the United States while Jung-kyung stays as a professor in Korea.
Since Hyun-ho doesn’t have a concrete plan just yet, he jokes around that he’ll visit Jung-kyung as much as possible and spend all his money on flights. Speaking of flights, it reminds him of the times when he would fly for auditions throughout the United States. Since these flights were always delayed, Hyun-ho would miss events such as Joon-young’s New York recital. Although Hyun-ho might have missed the recital, Team Leader Cha is glad that Jung-kyung didn’t and that she was able to make it to his recital on that night. Of course, this comes as a huge surprise to Hyun-ho who assumed all this time that Jung-kyung didn’t attend the recital either, but things also now makes sense to him. OMGGGGEE.
That night, Song-Ah spends some time searching up Joon-young and she clicks on an article where Joon-young talks about how music consoled him during difficult times. Hyun-ho does some reflecting of his own after hearing the shocking news from Team Leader Cha about Jung-kyung’s attendance at Joon-young’s New York recital. Jung-kyung spends some time listening to some music while Joon-young himself calls it a night after practicing the piano. Song-Ah reflects on her statement about how music can console people and she notes,
Can we really receive consolation through music? I said we should believe that. But I can’t remember when I actually received consolation through music. The only thing I remember were the moments when I was heartbroken.
Song-Ah is reminded of the times when she continually got rejected from Seoryeong University over the years. Those times truly were heartbreaking. It’s the anniversary of Jung-kyung’s mom’s passing and both she and Director Na head to the memorial site to pay their respects. They learn from the staff member that a young man came by earlier to also visit and it’s obvious to both Director Na and Jung-kyung that the man was none other than Joon-young. On their way back home, Director Na asks if Joon-young notified Jung-kyung about his visit to her mother’s memorial site. Jung-kyung answers that she didn’t hear anything from Joon-young, but she’s not so surprised. As she mentioned before, he’s someone who’s more comfortable with music than words.
Our Kyunghoo team celebrates Song-Ah’s birthday at the office which comes as a surprise to Song-Ah who was not expecting it at all. She also receives a text from Dong-yoon who plans on stopping by at Song-Ah’s birthday party later on that night. While at Gyeonghui palace, Joon-young remains indecisive and conflicted on whether to text Jung-kyung or not. He changes his mind at the last minute and can’t bring himself to contact her. At home, Jung-kyung seats herself at the piano that once belonged to her mother. She’s reminded of the time back in middle school when she first met Joon-young and listened to him play Brahm’s ‘Träumerei.’ She bursted into tears upon hearing the song as it was her mother’s favorite song and was how she came about to getting her name. In the present, Jung-kyung is also reminded of the time when Joon-young played the song in the rehearsal room in front of her, Hyun-ho, and Song-Ah. She revisits the CD collection that Joon-young’s sent to her the past few years and she’s even kept the packages that he sent them in.
Before heading to her birthday party, Song-Ah prepares to practice her violin in the rehearsal room for a few minutes. Before she can even get started, she meets up with Min-sung who waits for her outside her work building. After wishing Song-Ah a happy birthday and giving her a gift, Min-sung breaks the news to Song-Ah about the incident the other night. Min-sung and Dong-yoon slept with each other. On the night that Song-Ah was at the concert, Min-sung met with Dong-yoon to talk about the incident and wanted to come clean about things with Song-Ah. However, Dong-yoon encouraged Min-sung to stay quiet about things so that’s why she couldn’t say anything to Song-Ah until now. Min-sung breaks down into tears upon sharing the information with Song-Ah and blames Dong-yoon for not knowing how how she feels. Song-Ah consoles her friend, but she too is going through many emotions with the sudden news. Standing not too far away is Joon-young who quietly and shyly greets Song-Ah before entering the building.
After the talk with Min-sung, Song-Ah heads back inside the office and sits quietly at her desk. Even though she has tons of text messages coming in from her friends including Min-sung and Dong-yoon, she’s not in the mood to celebrate her birthday. She returns to the rehearsal room where Joon-young is also located to grab her violin. She notices that one of the strings to her violin has snapped, but that’s not the primary concern on her mind at the moment. Instead, she confronts Joon-young about the night when they were all at the restaurant. After connecting the dots and realizing that Joon-young was trying to protect Song-Ah from learning the truth about Min-sung and Dong-yoon’s incident, Song-Ah pleads for Joon-young to never do such a thing again. She never asked for him to protect her or to help her. She would rather feel hurt from the truth than be a fool, embarrass herself, and not know.
Just as she’s cleaning up, Joon-young rushes back to the piano to play Song-Ah’s favorite piece, ‘Moonlight Sonata.’ She pleads for him to stop playing it as it’s one of her favorite songs, but it isn’t until Joon-young switches from playing ‘Moonlight Sonata’ to his rendition of the happy birthday song that Song-Ah stops talking. Standing outside the rehearsal room is Jung-kyung who listens in on everything that’s happening inside the room while Hyun-ho slowly makes his way inside the building where everyone else is. Upon hearing Joon-young play her favorite song, Song-Ah notes,
I said we could receive consolation through music, but I couldn’t remember when I actually received consolation through music. But that night, I realized.. because of this person who spoke to me with music instead of words.
It isn’t until Joon-young finishes playing the song that he finally expresses what he had been feeling and thinking all along. He requests to be friends with Song-Ah. He wants to be friends with her. A few seconds of silence passes when Joon-young takes it up a notch and decides that they must be friends. He wraps his arms around Song-Ah and gives her a silent hug — as a friend.
One day, if there is a moment when I need consolation again, I will think of right this moment. So, that night, I realized that I will continue to love even if I continue to get hurt over and over again.
Song-Ah slowly tugs at Joon-young’s clothing as she cries her heart out in his arms. This night is a night she will never forget.
Wow, that was probably one of the most dramatic ways that I’ve ever seen two people befriend each other in a drama, but like at the same time, I’m not complaining. The last few minutes to the episode was probably the most dramatic and heated moment that we’ve seen just yet from this drama, but it made good sense and something fruitful also came of it. I really liked how full circle the episode came about with the theme of music and the ways that it consoles people. Up until the moment when Joon-young hugged Song-Ah, music only reminded Song-Ah of heartbreaking and painful moments. Whether it was years and years of rejection or even present concerns like whether music is really the path for her, music only gave Song-Ah more pain and hurt than it did good or consolation. Therefore, the hug from Joon-young as well as him playing her favorite piano piece was finally that first example of how music can indeed comfort her. Just like Song-Ah mentioned, she’s never going to forget this moment with Joon-young as she finally feels like someone can understand her.
I think the hug speaks volume about Joon-young’s connection to Song-Ah. They both understand each other in a way that no one else can because they’re both going through similar situations where they feel this pressure and expectation to excel even beyond what they’ve already accomplished, but I also think it’s their understanding of each other that stands out. Joon-young knows Song-Ah already so well despite them only being colleagues up until the end of this episode and he gave her a hug because he knew what she was feeling and the troubles she was going through in regards to Min-sung and Dong-yoon. It doesn’t help that she took in all of this information and news on a day that was supposed to be a great and happy day for her. Joon-young ultimately wanted to offer Song-Ah his support and comfort because he knew that it was something she’d appreciate but also because he cares for her.
I love the fact that it was Joon-young who initiated the friendship part first; although it was obvious that Joon-young and Song-Ah got along well and both were interested in each other platonically, Joon-young was the one to take that first step in offering the idea of being friends and then solidifying it. And Song-Ah didn’t even need to give him her approval to his request because he knew that it was also something that she wanted or would eventually come around to accepting so he just went ahead and hugged her at the end. Again, this friendship stems from the fact that they understand each other in subtle and small ways that no one else will ever be able to and that’s why Joon-young and Song-Ah can never stay away from each other. They keep finding themselves back to each other – coincidentally or not – because they’re drawn to each other. Establishing a friendship is the first step in maintaining that strong connection with each other that I think the both of them knew was a thing but was just too shy to admit. They both knew that they had this strange but strong connection with each other, but maybe just kept on brushing it off or placing it aside. It wasn’t until Song-Ah confronted Joon-young and this connection was at risk of breaking that Joon-young went in to rescue it before things got worst. He wants this friendship just as much as she does and the ending to this episode proved that.
I’m not as opposed to the two love triangles in this drama as others might be and it was sort of getting messy in this episode with Hyun-ho knowing about Jung-kyung’s attendance at Joon-young’s New York recital and then Dong-yoon and Min-sung sleeping with each other. While I hope this isn’t the focus of the drama and I would much rather see Joon-young and Song-Ah’s path to success, I can understand why the drama is choosing to make the two love triangles a thing (this drama is loosely based off of musician Brahms after all). While I support Joon-young and Song-Ah and I hope they’re the end couple, I can see why Jung-kyung has a soft spot for Joon-young of some sort. I’m not completely certain if she does have hidden feelings for him and isn’t saying anything because she’s in a relationship with Hyun-ho or if she’s just confused on whether or not she likes Joon-young.
Regardless, we received more insight on her relationship with Joon-young and why he means so much to her. Of course, it’s going to suck for Hyun-ho who’s going to eventually learn more about the suppressing, complicated, and suffocating relationship between Joon-young and Jung-kyung and I just sort of wish they would come clean about things to him too. It’s not going to be pretty and drama wise, it’s not going to happen all at once, but I hope that Hyun-ho will eventually come around to learning the truth through Joon-young and Jung-kyung instead of being kept in the dark about things. It’s not fair for him who – up until this point – has been fair and honest with both individuals. He too deserves to know the truth.
The hug at the end between Joon-young and Song-Ah was a hug to confirm their friendship, but it also sort of felt as if there was some underlying meaning or feeling to it. It felt as if it was a hug between two almost lovers or two similar individuals interested in each other. I know Song-Ah and Joon-young will eventually come around to developing feelings for each other (if they haven’t already) and they will share many more hugs in the future with different meanings, but that hug between them at the end really said a lot about so many things. Even if Joon-young didn’t verbally say anything, we already kind of knew and saw the two form their friendship with each other. The verbal confirmation at the end was nice, but Song-Ah and Joon-young’s actions so far already proved that they are comfortable around each other.
To Joon-young, music is more comfortable to him than words which could explain as to why he played Song-Ah’s favorite piece in the ending episode. He himself was probably stressed out at that moment, but his main focus was on consoling Song-Ah. He wanted to comfort her, but since he wasn’t so good with words, he consoled her with what he knew which was music and then eventually his hug. Sometimes, music does console and comfort people in ways that words can’t, but physical actions can prove to be just as powerful and impactful. To Song-Ah, she’s now familiar with the more positive impact that music can play in her life and she now knows the powerful combination that is music, words, and physical actions. This formula is something she can go back to revisit during difficult times and now she can relax a little bit more peacefully.