My Two Weeks With Classical Music

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I was sitting at home alone on a Wednesday night when I decided to spend the rest of my night watching a movie on Netflix. I had never heard of it prior to choosing it, but something intrigued me about the film ‘Liberal Arts.’ It most likely was the decent rating and 97 minute runtime that primarily drew me to it, but I also like to think me and the film had some form of an agreement to be watched.

For the most part the film is a relatively simple love and friendship story, but there is one part to the film that inspired me to challenge myself in my own life. Within the film, one of the characters introduces the other to the idea of listening to classical music in replacement of whatever they were normally accustomed to listening to. The character then began to listen to the suggested playlist when driving, traveling to work, while walking in the park, etc.  Through this process the character becomes amazed by both the experiential process he is going through, and the impact the music is having on his life. The overall impact this segment has within the entirety of the film is minimal, but it still managed to inspire me to try it out in my own life.

For the past two weeks, aside from when at public places where I could not control the music or when watching a film or playing a game that had other music within it, I listened to nothing but classical music. I listened to it while driving, writing, working out, walking, you name it! And I have to say I really enjoyed the experience. Here are some of the highlights I’d like to share in regards to what I noticed:

  • Unlike other music (and I am sure there are exceptions), classical music promotes creativity rather then disempowering it by drawing all of your attention. It is easily fades into the background and allowed me to stay focused on whatever it was that I was doing at the same time.
  • It helped to keep me in the moment. It was as if it took the place of the mind chatter I had gotten so accustomed to, allowing me to more easily focus and fully experience everything that I did.
  • The world seemed like a truly beautiful creation. It seemed like every person, animal and experience I came across was that much easier to appreciate rather then judge or just passively dismiss.
  • The music always sounds new. I only downloaded four 15-minute songs before starting this process and I can tell you now despite hearing each one numerous times I never knew what was coming. It always seemed like a completely new experience, which is the polar opposite to what I am used to, as even the songs I have no interest or intention of becoming familiar with I somehow find myself singing along to as they play on the radio.
  • I never found myself irritated by or tired of what I was listening to. The same 4 songs somehow always stayed fresh and interesting, or as I like to look at it: they stayed as the perfect soundtrack to those two weeks of life.

So do I plan to listen to only classical music for the rest of my life? No, certainly not, but I definitely have a greater appreciation for it and will always be open to listening to it whenever I feel pulled to. Whether you are already familiar with classical music or not, I’d suggest trying this out even just for a day. I can’t promise the same results or experiences that I had/ found, but it definitely is worth trying.

For those that are interested the four songs I listened to were all non-vocal classical music written by one of the great composers but performed and recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra. Did I choose these on purpose? No, they just were the first to come up in my ITunes search. :)

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  1. COfeline

    Thank you, Mark. I too find most music distracting when I am driving, writing, or working. I most often drive with no music or radio on. Never gave a thought to how classical music might be different. I will watch the movie and give classical a try. I love music, just not the type that grabs your attention and is more of a disruption and distraction when one is concentrating. It was different when I was a kid but so was the music.

  2. waltinseattle

    lucky chance selections. there is academic modern classic (lacking other pidgeonholes) music i and i bet you also, cant put on the backburner and stay serene with. wwars had lots to do with that. ” how can artists be about beauty after” or something like that meaning after that ugliness we must represent this ugly world. sounds like hip hop doent it. just being real. some my favorite is preclassic. so tell us your playlist? and that pne composers name. p.s. what about sountracks in “classic”mold?

    • - Collective Evolution

      The four songs I primarily listened to were:

      1) Symphony No. 8 in G, Allegro Ma Non Troppo
      2) Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Allegro Con Brio
      3) Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Allegro Vivace e con Brio
      4) Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Allegretto

      Aside from those I also regularly listened to some of the classical radio stations on ITunes. The one thing I always avoided was classical music with vocals. I just preferred it without.

      • Beethoven. So awesome. The Allegretto is one of my favourite individual movements from his symphonies.

  3. Darkrenaissance

    Nothing beats CHopin’s Nocturne’s for an emotional trip through your own self,,, and the mind of Chopin…

  4. waltinseattle

    full spectrum f.m. is so better than crappy digital itunes!

  5. Hey Mark! I loved this article and it really resonated with me. “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination
    and life to everything.” Plato
    I’d venture to say that you end up tuning into the frequency of whatever ‘noise’ you are listening to….
    that being said, my roommate always plays these killer zombie games and all i ever hear from the game is ‘insta kill, bullet shots, max amo, zombie noise….’ and I was having freakin nightmares alot!
    When I plugged earphones into my laptop and drowned out the noise with my own choice of noise, the nightmares faded away….
    you are onto something! and you inspired me to start expanding my taste in music! Thank you!

    Isabelle Beenen :)

  6. Kayleen

    i try to listen to classical music on Pandora throughout the day at work. I don’t have a stressful job by any means but i feel more calm, more peaceful at the end of the day. It’s hard to describe.

  7. michael

    Also try listening to Indian / Hindustani Classical Music. Such as sitar maestro Ustad Vilayat Khan.

  8. jennifer

    I was just thinking about classical musical today, ( i also watched the movie liberal arts) and started experimenting with it today while driving home… so nice to read this article today as well… :)) thanks CE

  9. Necros

    My father forced classical music on to me from a very young age. I did not really appreciate that, but in contrast, I learnt to appreciate classical music at a much younger age than most of my peers, from 14-15 years of age. It is the only type of music I can listen to while studying. I find that most of my friends do not appreciate classical music and that’s a shame. The grace, power and sublime beauty is something our world could use more of today. I believe animals and plants respond extremely positively to classical music.

    A new world will open up for you Mark, un’esperianza bellissima ti aspetta.

  10. Elly

    omg, maybe we’ll do a segment on Beethoven’s 6th in summer school – it’s always been one of my favorites!

  11. Indi

    Classical music is definitely a nice pace and soothing to the soul… But you don’t know what you are missing out on, when soul searching, if you don’t tune into Psychedelic Trance Progressive music… It doesn’t just go to the background when you are doing stuff… It totally takes what you are doing or witnessing, or feeling to the next level of spiritual connectedness with lots of oomphf! Always centering you to be in the NOW!!!


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