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Wednesday , 15 August 2018
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Music of the Mind

music mind

Think back to as a child learning the nursery rhyme songs to “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” The Alphabet, and “Itsy Bitsy Spider.” Remember how simple and memorable these lyrics where as a kid; yet, ask any teen or adult today, and they probably could recite all the words to these songs. It is interesting how sounds and music have been embedded into our memories and childhoods and continue to play an active role in our lives and society today.There was a popular theory called “Mozart Effect,” which was thought that listening to Classical music could enhance one’s capabilities to learn informationand become more intelligent. While there have been many studies that dispute and find little evidence that this method actually works, a question emerges if any music at all can help a person while studying. In this age of the high-speed internet and streaming-services, the people of today have never before been more able to access instruments and music composed thousands of years ago to the present-day so quickly. With this seemingly limitless library of musical content to select, I believe that there is not a sole type of music that will work for everyone to enhance his or her way of studying, but a possible checklist that one can consider to find an individualized choice of music. Based on criteria like a music’s ability to keep someone focused, alert, and overall satisfied with their study session, I found that the best option for me has consistently been orchestral music; however, this term can be an oversimplification of how this art form has developed and evolved from our past into the modern age.

            Orchestral music, which is often used inter-changeably as classical music, can find its origins in Western Culture dating back to the Middle Ages within Europe. Over thousands of years, this music as found its way both though religious and secular contexts while transforming in its sounds and expressions. Historians often categorize this music into time sections like the Baroque, Classical, or Romantic Eras. Some of these time periods found rise to famous composers like Bach, Mozart, and Chopin whose music is still covered and played by musicians and concert halls today. What is most interesting is how this music has crossed all types of people and borders with names like the Russian composer Tchaikovsky or the American composer Aaron Copland, showing how their music still resonates in all kinds of cultures. The landscape of classical music has changed in the medium and venue as well:while it may not seem the most apparent, movie orchestration is one branch of this wide categorization of the classical music genre.From the iconic brass trumpets in the “Imperial March” from Star Wars, to the enchanting melodies from the Harry Potter movies, these themes proved to be crucial in world-building and immersing the audience into these lands. Arranged by the composer John Williams, his inspiration behind these accompanying sounds of these films inspired from other composers like Wagner and Holst further helped to inspired his contemporaries to hone their craft and develop scores and sounds within other films. Similarly, Koji Kondo is another contemporary classical composer whose work you may be familiar with in the Super Mario or The Legend of Zelda video games by Nintendo. To any listener,classical music encompasses a complex and wide range of instruments, themes, and ideas that is a testament to the ingenuity and creativity of the human mind.

            An important trait that I have looked for in music to study with is the ability for the music to keep me awake. At times when I needed to finish an English paper, complete a lab report, or study for an exam in school the next day, listening to music was one method that helped to keep me active. While there may be a belief that classical music is boring or makes people feel sleepy, I urge anyone to really explore the thousands of other different composers. While some may write music to specifically create a calming effect like Brahms’ famous “Lullaby: Good Evening,Good Night,” it is safe to say that the music reserved for study should not try to make you fall asleep where many other composers have created interesting, and livelier-melodies. A defining quality of orchestra music is its ability to invoke emotions, and that can often be expressed through a composer’s choice of volume, amplitude, instrumentation, or tempo. One recommendation that I would suggest is Gustav Holst’s “Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity” from The Planets Suite. This particular movement is filled with fast-moving scores that help to emulate the grandness and power of the Roman god Jupiter while including a memorable choral section packed with emotion and depth that makes it a more enjoyable piece of music. Another classical composer’s music that I would also recommend to listen to is Antonín Dvořák’s American Quartet. He made these pieces inspired by the sounds and environments of American that fully utilized the four string sections to make an interesting and complex layering.

            The type of music that is best while studying should also encourage a mindset of concentration.That being said, when playing any type of music, it is important that it only remains complementary and a background feature to the studying activity. This is why it is important according to Audio Reputation that the music you would choose to study to is not deafening and will not distract you from studying.Moreover, keeping an appropriate volume is crucial not only while studying for a prolong period of time as to avoid permanent ear damage, but so that your music does not become a distraction to others around you such as in a dorm room or apartment complex.For many reasons, I would recommend classical music over genres like pop or country because I believe you would receive an overall better experience. I often find that pop or country music can sometimes be overplayed in areas and activities like going to the gym, the supermarket, or on the radio; putting yourself in the right conditions for committing time to study needs a difference in sensory environment that includes a good mindset. Reserving classical music does not restrict you from enjoying what is popular on the radio, but I believe helps to make a subconscious difference in the brain to tell when an appropriate time to study is. Furthermore, orchestral music is helpful in the fact that it often holds the sounds of instruments without spoken word.If you are trying to study while reading, songs that have words and lyrics could potentially distract you and may be problematic in memorizing, reading, and recalling lines and passages of a textbook.Even music without words like ambient music can sometimes cause a distraction by looping through specific noises where over a period of prolong exposure can start to feel repetitive and dragging. I think what makes orchestral music better that most other genres can also be length of songs a well; rock or pop singles may last only a for a few minutes at a time, whereas classical music can have fewer breaks to cause a distraction from concentration.

            I believe an important aspect for music to choose to listen to while studying should leave a person with an overall satisfactory experience. Playing music that is irritating to the ears and unpleasant would not make the study session tolerable and would discourage someone from really learning their materials. It should not be a punishment to sit down to study, but a time where extra focus is needed and made more pleasant with the help of music. Even when someone is opposed to or dislikes classical music, I find that this genre has a lot to offer in terms of variety and quality. Symphonic orchestra pieces, for example, may be comprised of a wide ensemble of sections and sounds that many other genres may not utilize. From woodwinds, brass, percussion, or strings; composers can truly create intricate auditory networks that produce vivid and full-sounding works of art. At the same time, other classical composers may have pieces that feature a soloist or highlight a small collection of musicians out of a full orchestra in a performance. While this is not to say that all orchestra music is strictly better than smaller bands or groups of musicians in terms of numbers, I find that this type of music has a certain versatility that can appeal to a wider and more diverse audience of tastes and particular styles.It is a genre without explicit language or swear words that is appropriate for the young as well as the old. Some classical pieces like Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons,” Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee,” and Debussy’s “Clare de Lune” have shown how the instruments of humanity not only tell stories but also imitate the noises of nature. The use of music to elicit emotions of happiness like Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” or some of despair and passion like Mozart’s “Requiem” tell how this genre has embraced a wide spectrum of sounds. I find that there is a deliberate appreciation of instruments that these composers have written for that have allowed us to use, enjoy, and remember.

            Music plays an integral part in our lives and is one of the most important discoveries and inventions of our humanity. It is built into our technology from our car alarms to our phone alerts that make it still relevant within our culture. It is with us during the exciting times during parties and celebrations and during the monotony of car traffic jams and slow elevators. Being played during marching band parades and amusement parks, it is effective in creating atmospheres of emotion and feeling. Even in the important moments of our lives, like during birthdays, weddings, and anniversaries; music has given us a way to express and deliver the thoughts of our consciousness into reality. Still, there are musicians and artists who continue to create works of art through sound that offer everyone a new perspective, interpretation, and idea into the world. For composers, music can simply be a single note on the scoring staff, or a wave of melodies and voices on a page. As this literature continues to grow and expand, new forms and trends take shape that help to inspire the present and future.

            While there may never be a single type of music that is best for everyone to listen to while studying, I believe there can be a specific set features that someone can look for while searching for different types of music that can help to narrow the countless options. Music played during a time of study should be non-obtrusive or distract the listener from focusing on the task at hand. He or she should consider the song’s volume for health and safety concerns as well as the effectiveness in maintaining levels of alertness. This music should promote concentration and serve in a way to create an auditory environment that benefits the listener. At the same time, the sounds should be somewhat pleasant to the listener as to not agitate him or her that would make a study session unbearable to sit through. Based on these criteria and personal experiences with other genres of music, I found that classical, or orchestral music had the most promise in providing me with the best outcome and enjoyment. Not only was this type one of the most diverse categories of music but satisfied my needs with the thousands of artists to choose from. Themes ranging from the Baroque Era to the present-day have introduced many different sounds patterns and melodies that have only made my search for other artists and composers more satisfying. This music expresses lots of emotions that keeps the arrangements interesting, but also allows for enough variety that it deserves to be explored. From musicals, films, video games, and concert halls; this music has garnered a staggering number of composers connecting over thousands of years to give the audience and listener an experience unique and wonderful. It may not be the most popular or consumed by current standards but has evolved and transformed over time that has become a gift for all to share.

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