Bach for Today

Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. –Plato

When I, or my children can’t seem to focus I put on Bach’s Goldberg Variations or Handel’s Water Music. It does the trick. Everyone quiets down and finds something to work on.  It’s like magic.

Educator Chris Bower recommends Baroque music for use in elementary school classrooms. Bower says,

Baroque music, such as that composed by Bach, Handel or Telemann, that is 50 to 80 beats per minute creates an atmosphere of focus that leads students into deep concentration in the alpha brain wave state.

Highly Creative people love music and use it at times to reduce mental entropy and focus on the task at hand or to rest from Creation.

Designer John Besmer says,

If you’re working on a project that’s elegant and beautiful, you might listen to something like jazz, something that puts you in that mood. But if you’re designing an in-your-face project, you want music that gets you there. After all, you wouldn’t go to the gym and want to work out to a lullaby, right? Music shapes the message.

Music affects more than your mood.  Cardiologist Michael Miller says,

When patients in my research study listened to joyful music, their blood vessels dilated by 26% — a very healthy response. It’s similar in magnitude to the response seen after aerobic exercise.

Albert Einstein played violin and enjoyed joyful classical music best. Einstein said,
If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician.  I often think in music.  I see my life in terms of music…I get most joy in life out of music.

Bach, Mozart, and some old Italian and English composers are my
favorites in music. Beethoven considerably less… Beethoven is for me too dramatic and too personal.

Neuroscientist Daniel Levitin says,

Music lights up almost every area of the brain, which shouldn’t be a surprise since it makes people tap their feet, encourages the recollection of vivid memories and has the potential to lighten the mood.

I’ve got a busy day today.  My children and I must rush around here at home to get ready for classes and projects. But first, I think I’ll put on some Bach, hoping for some background magic to lighten moods and heighten order.