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:
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.
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