I am a newcomer to western classical music. Until recently I’d never heard of Mozart or Beethoven, let alone others who have given us such beautiful compositions. I’m a complete novice to its format, having grown up listening to Bollywood numbers, which anyone who has ever been to India will know, are inescapable. They blare out from shops, roadside tea shacks, in taxis. Passers by can even be heard humming songs from the latest Bollywood movie.
I was drawn towards classical music when my children started taking music lessons and I found the pieces they learnt to play exhilarating. For a short-lived period I even took piano lessons myself, before the rather more mundane pressures of life got in the way. I would like to take it up again sometime in future.
But I love listening to good music. I have discovered that listening to classical music is akin to meditation in itself. The trusted radio medium suits me well; I can continue to work in my lab and still listen to beautiful music, whether it is 5am or midnight. I’ve learnt a lot from listening to various presenters, their guests, features and so much more that is always on offer on Radio 3. I particularly like Schubert’s B Flat major Piano Sonata, it’s bliss. This piece in particular demonstrates the similarities between classical music and meditation. The first two movements are moderate in pace, a bit like settling down in meditative mood and it is in the third movement a sort of meaningful dialogue takes place. It is like the state you want to be when your body has relaxed enough to enjoy the ultimate state in meditation, what can be described as out of your body experience.
Listening and trying to understand classical music gives me inspiration and helps me concentrate. I often wonder how the minds and imagination of talented composers worked. Listening to Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, Mozart’s Requiem, Ravel’s Bolero, or Vaughn William’s Lark Ascending, I feel completely captivated and can’t stop wondering if these people were from a different planet.
I believe that people who write such music are saints and true spiritualists. Also are the musicians who can reproduce it with the same feeling of passion and precision.
Music is good for our mind and body. Our face rests softly, we relax our frowns, and take in deep breaths. It is essential food for our soul, which then transcends to our bodies and ultimately reflects in our skin.
These moments of solace, regardless of their duration, are invaluable. They allow us to rest our skin; to let it breathe naturally.