Music to Live By

Manila Bulletin, August 10, 2008 | Go to article overview

Music to Live By


Many of us have read of the experiments of Dr. Thomas Verny. In his book, "The Secret Life of the Unborn Child" (NY: Dell Publishing Co., 1981), he described the effects of different kinds of music on the unborn fetus. Fetal distress was measured while different types of music were played. Even early in pregnancy, the unborn child favored Mozart and Vivaldi: "...fetal heart rates invariably steadied and kicking declined. The music of Brahms and Beethoven, and all forms of rock, on the other hand, drove most fetuses to distraction. They kicked violently when records of these composers were played to their pregnant mothers." An enterprising young mother has purveyed this study into big business with CDs and DVDs especially of Mozart for the pregnant mothers to listen to and the infants to listen to and to watch, purportedly to increase their IQs (the Baby Einstein, Baby Mozart, etc. series.).

Classical music can soothe, calm, heal, energize. Why classical music? "Music therapists and brain scientists who have studied the effects of music on the brain/mind agree that it has the greatest therapeutic value for enhancing self-knowledge and self-development" (Stephanie Meritt, "Mind, Music, and Imagery," NY: Penguin Books, 1990).

As we all have experienced, music can release all kinds of emotions. Music is a resource that is often untapped, unfortunately. Music can give vigor to the mind and body, health, creativity. It gives serenity and joy. The right kind of music can give needed catharsis and can release negative and stressful emotions like fear, anger, grief, frustration. Just as tears wash away negative feelings, "angry" compositions like those of Wagner and Beethoven can release stress. So we who are so busy that we hardly can feel the natural rhythms of day and night, the stress-releasing rhythms of our breathing out and breathing in, should really take the time to access our sound environment and arrange it to be helpful to us, and to bring rhythm, order, and beautiful sound into our lives. It takes so little effort, what with the wide range of classical selections available in CDs and in all sorts of technological ways (downloads, iPods, even cell phones). One can also simplify the "classifications and periods" of music, as labels are not all that important. Go with gut feel, that most important criterion of criticism. If you like it, patronize and savor it; if you don't, no matter what the critics say, delete it. Anyway, if you want to, just be conversant: Baroque music (1600-1750) is highly structured, precise, dramatic, e.g., Bach. Classical (1750-1820) has lots of tone color, lots of flexible rhythmic patterns and surprises, e.g., Beethoven, Mozart. Romantic (1820-1920) consists of very personal, individualistic, emotional outpourings, e.g. Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Wagner. Impressionistic (19th-20th c.) is dreamlike, evocative, nuanced, fluid, e.g. Ravel, Debussy.

Listen. Listen. Listen. Choose the music you respond to. Take note of your kind of response (invigorating? restful? irritating?). You can start your day with an energizing selection like Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, or Mozart's flute concertos, or Bach's Brandenburg Concertos. Dress to the music of Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. Hit the ground running with Beethoven's Symphony No. 5. To stimulate creativity and to keep you energized throughout the day, you have a wide choice: Brandenburg Concertos can be a perpetual sound bath for you. Or Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony No. 6, or Handel's Water Music. When you want to unwind as the day begins to end, listen to Corelli's Concerto Grossi (beautiful!) or to Telemann's Flute Sonatas. As the night deepens, there's the intimate music of Chopin's Etude No. 3, Lizst's Libestraum, Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Overture, and the elegant Piano Concerto No. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Music to Live By
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.