We all tend to associate classical music with sophistication, technical skill and expression, all of which are true. However, did you know that classical music is actually beneficial for you to listen to it?
Classical music originated at the turn of the seventeenth century in Europe and has continued to persist until now. It is a sophisticated, rather rich (in harmony, melody, density and form), organized genre of music that has become an outlet for sheer creativity for genius composers and performers. Its enormous depth and beauty has allowed it to become immortalized, thus it has not faded with fashion or trends and never will be.
Several eras have marked the advance of classical music. These are, chronologically: Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Impressionistic and Contemporary. Though each a sub-genre, they collectively comprise the genre we know today as classical music.
European royalty has traditionally endorsed this special type of music. Therefore, it has always possessed an association with intellectualism, high class and prestige. It can be secular or liturgical. Sometimes, it incorporates nationalistic elements, such as folk tunes and dances; stellar examples being composers Borodin, Chopin, Khachaturian and Rimsky-Korsakov, among others.
One of the hallmarks is its refinement. It traditionally seeks to attain a high level of technical perfection and polished composition.
Scientific studies from the nineties has concluded that listening to classical music can be quite beneficial to Mankind. It has proven to raise IQ, lower stress, increase learning ability and improve logical reasoning in the individual. It is also conducive to healing. Western cultures often broadcast classical music in hospitals, waiting rooms, restaurants and shopping centers. Where it has been routinely played in these various social environments, coincidentally, crime rates have been reduced. It is commonly used in the scoring of movies, certain advertisements and even cartoons. Therefore, the average person has heard more classical music than he/she knows they have.
It has even been proven to benefit animals. Dairy cows yield more milk when it is played for them. Dogs and cats have even been known to behave calmer around it.
Due to its vast benefits, it behooves one then to listen to classical music to whatever degree. You should do so with your own volition and integrity. You need not wait for it to become a trendy matter in order to get into it. For example, yoga, a very beneficial activity, is now so popularized that it has become commercialized and done because many of its participants want to simply keep up with the Jones'. This music has persisted for about 500 years so far without ever 'selling out' and is certainly not mainstream today. Simply listen to it for your own benefit.
Recommended composers to start with would be: Beethoven, Bach, Mozart and Chopin. Seek original works as opposed to others' alterations of them (such as jazz improvisations, simplified versions, etc). A good way to start would be to listen overnight while sleeping at a reduced volume, as if it were background music. This is particularly recommended for children and babies. You ought to notice an improvement in your life in general. Then start listening to it while working, driving, exercising, etc. Somehow incorporate it into your routines and you might start noticing significant improvements in various aspects of your life. Try it!
Do this and encourage others to do so as well and we will have a better society as a result.
by Evelyn Simonian
2011. Evelyn Simonian
Evelyn Simonian is a pianist and music teacher who applies music with movement to her students. She has been featured in televised interviews as well as several magazine and newspaper articles.