The freshman course to understanding classical music


Entering into some hobbies is near impossible. But starting yourself on classical music comes with ease. Investing time listening to it returns the benefits of stress relief, better sleep, lower blood pressure, improved memory, and improved learning. Even if you do not like classical music, you still ought to play it in the background for its beneficial effect. Before playing it, you first must learn of the primary composers. Then you must learn which composer’s music fits you best for optimum effect.

Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach is a composer whose music is slow and highly intellectual. His music is excellent for those who sit and ruminate on the universe for lengthy periods of time. His works frequently involve organs, with nearly the same sound as choir music. His choir-like works are attributable to his time as a choirboy. They also come from his organ-playing skill. He was so skilled that at 18 he got the organist position at New Church.

To get started, some of his greatest works are the Brandenburg Concertos and the Well-Tempered Clavier. Numerous experts have praised the former as a great work of the baroque period. And they’ve praised the latter as one of Western classical music’s greatest works. While the concerto has instruments in the violin family, the clavier has the piano. You can, then, begin with him if you wish.

Frederic Chopin

Born in Poland, Frederic Chopin was mainly a pianist that came to live in France. His music is highly technical and soft. His music is perfect for falling asleep, becoming romantically wistful, or being purely sorrowful. At other times the music is full of vibrant, living emotion, so listening to him is an emotional whirlwind. Therefore, anyone can enjoy his music. He devoted himself to the piano. So, you will not find many of his works containing violins or trumpets. But, the piano will be enough to satisfy you.

You can start with his Nocturnes, Fantaisie-Impromptu, or Waltz Op. 64 No. 2. The Nocturnes are sorrowful, the Impromptu light, and the Waltz is a waltz.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Skilled in playing instruments from youth, Wolfgang Mozart started performing at a young age. His music ranges far and wide, from pieces of only violin to those of only piano. The music is more energetic than it is romantic. His music therefore ranges in emotion. His Requiem is one of his most sorrowful pieces. You may already know his Serenade No.10, which is more energetic. To display his range, he delved into opera buffa to produce the Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni. Another piece you can try out is his Piano Sonata No. 16 in C major. If you want music from him that’s a bit more of a delight, you can try his Turkish March. All in all, Mozart has a broad range of music, over 600 complete works, you can try. Listen to more than the ones recommended here.

Ludwig Van Beethoven

Of the great composers, Beethoven is the last. He is the beginning of the Romantic Era in classical music. And he is thought to be the greatest of all composers in Western art music. He left school at 11. Although his father attempted making him a child prodigy, he became recognized only later in life, around his teens and early 20s.

Now, in emotion he is singular. His turbulent personality is responsible for his music’s emotion. At times he would be abrasive even to his patrons. Once he met Goethe. And Goethe commented, ‘An utterly untamed personality.’ Beethoven said that Goethe showed too much respect to courtiers and nobles, showing Beethoven’s dislike for the upper class and any authority. Combined with this searing hatred was Beethoven’s crippling shyness.

So, his personality informs you that his work ranges from daunting and near abrasive, like his Fifth Symphony, to the sorrow of his Moonlight Sonata. Then it can go to his touching Für Elise and after to the exuberant end to the Ninth Symphony. But, Beethoven produced a great and diverse number of pieces, so do not limit yourself to only these.


There are more composers if you wish to learn of them. But, mainly, you should begin with these and get the benefits of listening to classical music.


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