Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Sound of Music: 1. The Classics - Ephemeral

I love music. It makes life more rich and more wonderful. Music makes me feel, and helps me think, and inspires me to dream and create. Music has the power to change people; it can communicate and express thoughts and ideas more effectively than words. Music is everything and yet, at the same time, it's nothing you can touch and hold in your hands. But you can feel its effect on you and the whole world around you.

Music brings us together and binds us closer to one another. It gives us the strength to pick ourselves up and keep going when the road gets tough. It renews us and reminds us of who we are, where we're going, and who and what is really important in life.

The milestones of our lives are often marked and made more meaningful with music. How many times has a song stopped you and immediately made you think of someone or a place or an event that was meaningful and important in your life? How many times did a song remind you of a loved one, of those who've passed on and those still here?

Music is the universal language, the language of the cosmos. Music is mathematics and art. And it's also fantastic, great, and essential for dancing and fun!

But music also motivates. And for me, work is easier and more enjoyable with music. This is especially true when it comes to cleaning. I like a clean place. I try to keep organized, because I am a packrat who tends to keep things "just in case"; I feel like I'm being wasteful for tossing out something that is perfectly fine, even if I have no need nor use for it.

The problem is, all that stuff accumulates and takes up space. I need to clean and sort regularly to keep the junk out and maintain a clean, well organize home. A clean home helps me relax, and I want my home to be clean, a place where I can relax and make visitors feel welcomed. So to keep the place organized, I have to clean regularly. And cleaning is a lot of work.

Thankfully, I have music to motivate me and make cleaning and doing chores a more pleasant experience. And the music that motivates me to clean is Classical music. That's right. Classical music makes me want to clean.

Surprised? Well, even I surprise myself. Most people who are familiar with me wouldn't guess that I like Classical music. Rock? Yes. Hip Hop? For sure. Dance? Definitely. And it's because I play these types of songs a lot, along with some Country, Pop, and lot of Retro/Vintage tunes from the past decades/century.

But Classical? Heck, even I don't consider myself a Classical music kind of guy. Classical music makes me think of upper class, stiff, somewhat smug and high and mighty people, intellectuals and stuffy shirts. Definitely not a reflection of the down to Earth, laid back, casual image that I have of myself.

But when I sat down and looked at my music collection, I was flabbergasted to discover that I had a lot of Classical music in my collection. And I listen to a lot of it, especially when I'm cleaning. And I've decided to share some of these Classical tunes with you all.

Why? Because I like sharing good finds, and I am always thankful and appreciative of finding new tunes by myself and from others. And a lot of you wonderful friends have certainly shared with me such great finds. Just this past month alone, a few of you have led me to some great discoveries. For example, I can always count on Mago to share some wonderful (and new to me) tune on his Sunday music series, and I would never have found such fantastic new songs on my own.

I enjoy the oldies/classics/retro songs Savannah posts sometimes. And I can count on IDV (InexplicableDevice) to keep me updated on the latest and greatest from the dance, electronic, pop frontier with the finds he shares on his blog. In my blog's comments alone, I am grateful for LX for telling me about Rusty & Doug Kershaw's Louisiana Man. Luv 'em! And I am quite thankful to MJ for sharing with me the delightful and enchanting Lesley Gore. Luv her! I was familiar with two of her songs, having heard them before, but I had no clue who she was. And I've had a lot fun discovering her other songs.

So thank you very much readers and friends for sharing such fantastic finds with me. And in the spirit of sharing, I'm starting on a new series I'm calling The Sound of Music, to share some of the music that I like. Also, I like the reference to that entertaining musical, The Sound of Music. And these Classical songs are a few of my favorite things!

For each post in The Sound of Music series, I will focus on a theme or genre, and I'll share what songs I put into that particular theme. For the next few posts, I'm focusing on Classical music, because I was cleaning on Sunday and doing laundry to Classical tunes when the idea of doing a series of music posts came to me. And also, I was quite surprised to discover just how much Classical music I am familiar with, especially when I was dusting and reorganizing my CDs shelf. And I bet that chances are, you'd be surprised to learn just how much Classical music you know and enjoy, too.

To clear things up, I am definitely not a music expert. But I do know what I like (and don't like). I also don't know much about Classical music, other than I recognize it when I hear it. I have heard the terms Baroque and Romantic before. But a quick internet search led me to learn that Classical music is categorized into four general groups: Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Contemporary. And they all overlap each other.

I am not going to waste time by trying to sort out the music styles. What I am going to do is share with you the themes that I think that these songs share. And I'll discuss a little bit of what the songs make me think and feel. And I hope that you, too, get to share your own finds, ideas, feelings, and thoughts with me.

This new series of posts is also an ongoing experiment. I am trying to figure out how to incorporate music into my blog without linking to YouTube or some other video site. I just want a clip of the song available in the post or blog, preferably without an mp3 player. So I'm testing out some coding advice I gleaned from some very smart people who are offering knowledgeable tips and info. For this post, I'm including some clips (no video, just songs). Most of the time, they'll all load correctly. But if you should come across one that says "Invalid Source" or "Decode Error", that just means you need to refresh/reload your browser/page. Click on the refresh/reload icon. BUT before you click the refresh/reload button, try listening to the other clips that have loaded. You can tell these are the ones with the times/duration of the songs noted. You can always refresh/reload the page after you listen to the other clips.

I'm trying to limit the clips to 10MB or less. So it may take some time to load--like YouTube vids sometimes take a while to load or need a page refresh/reload. Sorry. If I can find smaller clips that don't compromise the quality of the pieces, then I would share them and update appropriately. This is a work in progress, so please be patient. As soon as I figure out how to fix the bugs in the system, I'll let you know. In the meantime, I'm updating this post so you can click on the artist's name so you can open or download the piece. Clicking Open just opens and plays the music clip, like how a vid would load and start playing when you press the Play icon. If you want to save piece for your own enjoyment or use, then click download. Let me know what you think.

Blogger isn't designed to host music clips for now. Though there was an embedded mp3 player option at one point in the past. But then Google removed it for some reason, leading to a lot of frustration. That being said, there is a possibility of working something out. Though there is no way to directly upload a music clip to Blogger, like the way you can easily upload a pic or vid, there are a few workarounds. And this post is a test of one such workaround. If it works, then I'm creating a Blogging Tips page to add to the sidebar. But until all testing is successful and the kinks worked out, please be patient as I try to work through this. Thank you.

So here we go. For the first of The Sound of Music posts, I've chosen Classical Music, and the theme these songs share is "Ephemeral". Why Ephemeral? Because these songs make me think of the quick passage of time, of the seasons, change, and even nature. And a little bit of magic.

As a side note, my friends like to call this collection and the next one I'll post about as the Wedding and Ball Collection, because the songs in these two themes are most popular at weddings and fancy balls and social events. In fact, a few have borrowed these two collections for their social functions and gatherings.

But for me, these songs make me think of ephemeral things and the wonders and beauty of the world. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present the list of Classical songs that make me think of Spring, time, nature, and magic:

First up, nothing says nature, charm, and enchantment like:

Edvard Grieg: Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46: Morning Mood

The first time that I heard this song, Morning Mood, was on the Smurfs during Saturday morning cartoons. And isn't that a wonderful way to introduce kids to Classical music? Through cartoons. The song made the Smurfs seem genuine and possibly real. It made my imagination go wild, and my brothers and I decided to look for magical creatures living in the woods. We didn't find any, but we had some great adventures exploring the forest. To this day, this song still holds a magical, captivating quality.

Morning Mood is a lovely song to wake up to, and it makes me think of spring, sprites, and otherworldly delights. It makes me want to clean, so that visitors (and nature spirits) can feel welcomed in my home. It is also a great song to relax to and have a drink or two. And it makes me want to run, and twirl, and dance, and romp through the woods with some sprites.

And if you'd had enough to drink, I'm sure you'd join me in a woodlands frolic, too. No? Then you're not drinking enough.

Jules Massenet: Thaïs: Méditation

Thaïs: Méditation is a haunting piece that makes me feel as if I'm made of air and rising, being carried off by the winds to see all corners of the world. It carries with it the hope of better things and the longing and sadness for the loss of time and love. This piece puts me in a relaxed frame of mind to meditate, or at least daydream of all the possibilities.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: The Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66, Act I: No.6 Waltz

I first heard this song on Disney's Sleeping Beauty cartoon film. I thought it was a Disney creation. But as it turns out, it's a Tchaikovsky work, for his Sleeping Beauty ballet!

That's the fun thing about making discoveries and learning new things. Until I sat down and researched the appropriate names of these classical songs, I had no clue as to the many brilliant artists who created these masterpieces. And Tchaikovsky is most certainly a prolific and incredibly gifted artist. And Sleeping Beauty is a wonderful, charming, delightful, and timeless work of art.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Concerto in A Major for Clarinet and Orchestra, K. 622: II. Adagio

Mozart. The name alone conjures up Classical music. This brilliant artist crafted so many magnificent works. And I was astounded to learn about them. And I'm still discovering more of his treasures.

This piece, Concerto in A Major for Clarinet and Orchestra, K. 622: II. Adagio, is a pleasing, serene, and intricate work of art. This song makes me feel relaxed and pure and think of pastoral fields and the peace and beauty of the countryside.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Concerto No. 21 in C Major for Piano and Orchestra, K. 467: Andante

Another Classics Standard by Mozart. This song exudes sophistication, and it makes me feel as if I'm surrounded the finest life has to offer, and I'm a part of life's treasures.

And treasure should be guarded and well cared for, so I am compelled to clean my house and belongings, because they are mine, and I need to sort out the true treasures and dispose of the unnecessary and the trash appropriately.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Serenade No. 13 in G Major, K. 525, "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik": Allegro

An icon of Classical music, this Mozart work is full of life, spirit, and fun. It also makes me want to dance. Eine Kleine Nachtmusik is a vivacious and festive celebration of life and love and beauty.

Johann Strauss II: An der schönen blauen Donau (On the Beautiful Blue Danube), Op. 314

The Blue Danube, the epitome of waltz and an icon of Classical music. This is Johann Strauss II's most perfect and most elegant, supreme masterpiece. And he himself is the creator of so many fine works of art. But for me, the Blue Danube is the defining song of Classical music. Ask anyone or play this song to anyone, and chances are pretty good they'll identify this piece, if not by name, then by its use for the waltz and as a classical work of art.

As a side note, I've seen pictures of the river Danube, and it's not blue; rather, it's kind of brown, from all the rich sediment that washed down from the mountains and stirred up by the current and moving boat traffic. Perhaps it is blue in some places. I've never been there. But maybe someone here has. Is the Danube blue anywhere or was Strauss Jr drunk or dreaming when he came up with the piece? However it got its name, Blue Danube is most appropriate, and it sounds a lot more inviting and pleasing than Brown Danube.

Ridolfo Luigi Boccherini: Minuet From String Quintet In E, Op.13, No.5

I've never heard of Ridolfo Luigi Boccherini before researching for this post. But this piece of his, I am quite familiar with and find quite mesmerizing, delicate, and dazzling. It makes me feel light and uplifted. And it makes me feel classy and noble, sophisticated and enlightened. That's the power of good music. And this music is absolutely exquisite.

And there you have it, the Ephemeral Classics that motivate me to clean house and help me relax and enjoy life at the same time. Music is a wonderful treasure, and I hope you enjoyed some of these pieces and others I'll share in the future. And thank you for sharing with me some of the music that you enjoy. Music makes the world better, and beautiful music makes the world a more beautiful and more magnificent place to live.


Thank you to the readers like MJ and Mago for alerting me to the issues/bugs in the site/experiment/work in progress. Knowing where a problem is happening allows me locate and fix the issues. Your assistance is very appreciated and welcomed.

If you continue to have problems opening/downloading the files by clicking on the artist name, click here to go directly to the google site hosting the files. Find the files on the page, and click on "Download" to open/download the file. Here is the site:

eroswings music

Enjoy! And please feel free to let me know if you come across any problems that I need to correct in this ongoing experiment. Thank you.

Related Links
The Sound of Music: 2 Classics Ethereal
The Sound of Music: Classics - The Nutcracker
The Sound of Music: Holidays Classics Vol 1
The Sound of Music: Holidays Classics Vol 2
The Sound of Music 3: The Classics - Ebullient
The Sound of Music: Classics - Swan Lake
The Sound of Music: Classics - Requiem
The Sound of Music: Classics - Opera Part 1


  1. I was on the Danube last year during a riverboat cruise. It was not blue, more of a murky green-brown.

    Nice musical selections!

    1. Thank you for the compliment and for the eye witness confirmation of the Danube's color. Most large, powerful, and heavily trafficked rivers are usually turbid from all the sediments they carry from the land and churn in their strong current. I know for sure that the Mississippi is muddy colored, and so is the Rio Grande, even during the dry season when it turns into a smaller creek.

  2. I'm guessing now wouldn't be the time to mention Zydeco?

    1. MJ, I can say with absolute confidence that Zydeco will NOT be featured in the music series.

  3. When I click on an artist's name, I'm taken to my Gmail account and it says, "To continue, first verify it's you."

    This is odd, considering I'm already signed into Gmail.

    And no, I didn't verify because I don't know what's going on.

    1. MJ, My apologies for the problem you encountered, and Thank You Very Much for bringing this issue to my attention.

      I am experimenting with using a google site with my blog. And I did not pay attention when I set the permissions and access settings to private. There was a default setting that allowed for the creation of a list of users who would be given access, once the invitations were sent out. Those on the access/permitted list were suppose to sign in with Gmail to get access.

      I have fixed the problem, so that no one should have to sign in to get access. You should be able to click on the name now and have the option to open or download the file without any problems.

      But please feel free to let me know of any more problems. Your assistance is greatly appreciated in improving this blog and fixing the bugs in my experiment.

    2. Yay! It works! Thank you, Eros.

      p.s. As you mentioned, cartoons ARE a wonderful way to introduce children to classical music.

      I have Bugs Bunny to thank for my interest in classical music. I'm well acquainted with The Rabbit of Seville, er, The Barber of Seville, for example.

    3. I'm glad it's working. There may still be some bugs to work out, so I appreciate y'all letting me know where the problems are, so I can fix them. Thank you for your help and for the shout out!

      I love those Bugs Bunny opera cartoons! I even remember the Wagner one with Elmer Fudd!

  4. An interesting collection. Maybe as addition to the Danube, Smetana's Moldau is something you could like ?
    Sadly I could not hear Strauß and Boccherini, all other clips start when I click the symbol and I hear them on my headphones, the last two do not want.
    When I clicked the name "Tschaykowsky" the clip automatically downloaded and I was offered to run it with my player here, Clementine. If it worked with Pjotr, it will work with the others too.
    I just have no idea why the last two clips do not start, maybe google's servers are overloaded.
    I think this is a good idea, wonder what you will show n coming lists !

    1. Mago, Thank you for the wonderful recommendation. I love finding new music. It's like discovering new treasure. Thank you for being a treasure map to fantastic music.

      My apologies for the problem you encountered trying to download Strauss and Boccherini. Thank You Very Much for bringing this issue to my attention.

      I have attempted to fix the problems. I suspect it is caused by two things: One, the size of both clips are over 8MB, pretty big compared to the others that hover around 5MB. But I couldn't find any acceptable smaller clips of Strauss and Boccherini that would open/download faster, because the smaller clips lacked the quality and lost the clarity of the bigger size clips. So I stuck with the bigger clips, so the quality and clarity come through.

      Two: You hit the nail on the head. The google site I'm using is tiny, only a 100MB capacity, and it lacks the support other bigger google projects like Gmail, Blogger, and even YouTube gets. Still, it is a free site. But I did have problems with the servers slowing/not working last night for two hours, before I could fix things. So, slow downs are going to happen, but hopefully, not too often.

      In the meantime, I have an alternative fix in case you still have trouble opening/downloading the the clips. Below is the google website I am experimenting with. It holds the files. Click on the link and it will take you directly to the google site, and you can click on the BLUE DOWNLOAD ARROW on the far right to open/download the song directly. But DO NOT CLICK ON "V.#" 1, 2, or 3 etc. It will ask for your Gmail sign in. IGNORE IT AND GO BACK. That V stands for version, and only the administrator (me) can access and make changes and updates to the files and site. So, stick to the blue arrows on the far right to open/download the piece. No sign in required.

      Click here at eroswingsmusic to go to the site and access the files directly.

      I am updating this post to reflect the website name and direct link. Thank you for the compliment and for bringing my attention to this problem. Your assistance is very welcomed and valuable in improving this site and ongoing experiment. Please feel free to let know if anything else needs my attention.

    2. UPDATE: Mago, in the few minutes since I posted the above reply, I made some changes to the site to make it easier for users to follow. Instead of blue arrows, you should be able to see the artist name, the piece's name, and the Download link right underneath the piece you want to open/download. This is much simpler and easier to follow. Let me know if you run into other issues. Thanks.

    3. All works well for me here, no issues.

      (Just for info : OS is BSD, browser is Chromium (Not Chrome), player is Clementine. Download time is fast for the bigger files.)

    4. Thank you for letting me know that all is well now. I'm very glad the files are working as they should. I appreciate your feedback and assistance, Mago, in helping me improve this site.

  5. Thanks for the shoutout and sharing your music! Here's one of my favorite: Erik Satie - Gymnopédie No.1

    1. Savannah, You're very welcomed!

      And thank you and MJ for the enthusiastic recommendation. I look forward to adding this gem to my music treasure collection.

  6. I shall be back tomorrow for a good listen. Off to bed now after a tiring day dealing with sisters, nieces, and nephews!

  7. This is a wonderful post, Eros, and must have taken a lot of time and effort to put together, so thank you!
    Grieg's "Morning Mood" certainly has put me in the mood, and as it's a bright and sunny (although cold) morning here, I'm off out to the beach to make the most of it. However, I couldn't help but listen to Strauss' "An der schönen blauen Donau" before I go (I also squeezed in Massenet's "Thaïs: Méditation"and Tchaikovsky's "Sleeping Beaty waltz").

    When I'm back, I'm going to have a look through my CDs for some of my favourites.

    1. I thought I had more classical music than I actually have, but Gustav Holst's "The Planets" is a favourite - especially Mars and Jupiter. And Johann Strauss' "Kaiser-Walzer" (op.437) and his "Die Fledermas Ouverture" often find themselves in my classical playlist.
      While I'm not really a fan of Mozart, "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" has never been performed better than by the Eastwick School Orchestra!

    2. IDV, Thank you for the compliment. I quite enjoyed working on this post. I'm glad to hear you listened to the music to put you in a good mood for your stroll.

      Thank you for the recommendations. I love these little gems of fantastic tunes that people share with me to add to my music treasure. They are wonderful additions.

      I think the Eastwick School Orchestra is about ready for a world tour! As soon as they add a few more numbers to justify charging expensive ticket prices to pay for the tour.

  8. I love Morning Mood. We were ushered into assembly at Primary School to this one, and it brings back happy memories. I have surprised myself.... I own a bit of Grieg, and Tchaikovsky !

    1. Scarlet, What a wonderful way to gather for an assembly. It would certainly put people into a relaxing, happy mood for sure!

      It is amazing when we discover things about ourselves that reveal we have excellent taste and are a lot more cultured and worldly than we realized.