Whenever I listen to classical music, especially when I listen to the works of Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, & many other of the great composers in classical music, I feel almost at peace with myself.
It’s no secret that music is not what it used to be: while technical advancements have made great strides in the modern world & music industry, mainstream artists & film composers tend to simplify their music so that the every-man may enjoy it without any sort of musical experience or knowledge in the field.
Personally I believe this is a good thing! I think music can and should be for anyone & everyone. I do, however, believe that in spite of this revelation, the complexity of music has been simplified, which isn’t bad, but it does make me appreciate classical music more, especially with the several studies that seem to show classical music benefiting our everyday lives.
Many medical studies show that listening to classical music may lower blood pressure and stress; may decrease pain (especially after surgery); may increase attention and relaxation; and may even make you smarter (though I’m not sure on that one, despite the several studies shown on the PubMed® website).
Additionally, many studies have been done on modern pop music, but they seem to do more with the business side instead of the benefits, save a few that show that some people are “turned off” by complex musical styles.
But why classical music? What makes it so different from modern music that it would have a positive effect on people?
Now, I’m no music expert. Far from it! In fact, I still struggle to read notes on sheet music, even after working with music for over 9 years! But I think there’s a certain structure to classical music that has fallen out of popular use over the decades; still used in sparsity, but not to the extent that it used to have been.
What is that structure? Well, that’s hard to answer: if you pick out a classical piece & listen through it, then pick out another piece from another composer or perhaps even the same composer, the composition may be so different that you may not even know what to look for. I don’t believe I would even know what to look for!
But I think the composition, instrumentation & complexity of the classical pieces lend themselves to their very essence & style, and why they’re so interesting & unique.
If you listen to Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata“, then listen to “Fur Elise“, they have a sort of similar somber vibrancy, yet they’re so dramatically different in composition and execution, yet still written by the same man!
We can do the same for the works of Claude Debussy: if you listen to his famous “Clair de Lune“, a very calm and beautiful piece, then listen to “La plus que lente“, they both are similar sounding, yet their style and execution are divergent.
Now, this formula doesn’t have to be just for classical music: you can use this for any artist and compare their hits to their lesser known songs, and the style will be different I’m sure! I only used this as an example of how less is often more: when you have less tools at your disposal, you’re often encouraged to become more creative in how your execute your project.
So, in closing, I do think classical music is very much worth listening to. It’s not as funky or beat-driven as pop music or hip-hop, but it has a certain beauty and charm that’s hard to find anywhere else, and is a driving force in my aspiration to become a better and more talented composer.
Thank you for reading, wishing you a lovely weekend!