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How to Gradually Appreciate Classical Music

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This summer, I decided to take a Music Appreciation course because of the convenience (it was online) and to fulfill an area requirement for my major. Since I already had an eclectic taste in music, I didn’t expect to appreciate anything new. Yet, to my surprise, I came out with a small taste in classical music.

You’d think that since I listen to scores from various tv shows, movies, video games, and cartoons, I would have developed a taste in classical music sooner. However, I was only able to enjoy the scores because the music in those media were connected to a moment that I emotionally responded to. With classical music, the music wasn’t composed for anything in particular. Until I took the Music Appreciation course, I avoided classical music because I figured it would be boring for me.

Once I realized that I could enjoy some classical music, I noticed there were a few things that led to it.

1.  Listening to scores and learning about their connection to classical music

I would have never gave classical music a chance if I hadn’t known about scores and their connection to classical music. You see, when movie scores were first created for moments in movies, those composers were classified as Romantic composers.  Originally, Romantic composers were people like Chopin and Brahms who composed music that focused on freedom of expression. Their influence eventually led to new styles of music and new methods of composing music.

When I first started listening to scores, I wasn’t trying hard to notice them. As I already said, I just noticed the music that played during certain moments. During the opening titles of the Toby McGuire Spider-Man movie, there is powerful opening music. I appreciate how it represents Spider Man as a superhero and a human who is learning important things.

Spider Man Main Titles  Music-

2.  Realizing what musical instruments I enjoy most

For me, those instruments were piano and violin.  I realized this after noticing why I enjoyed certain songs from scores. There were times that I would think, “That piano or violin sounds very beautiful on this track.” While I also enjoy other instruments and sometimes vocals on scores, piano and violin pieces will always be my favorite. As a result, some of the classical music I like are either piano or violin pieces.

I first learned about the beauty of the violin while watching season 3 of Sailor Moon. There were these characters known as the Outer Sailor Scouts and they had this theme that would play whenever they would transform into their Sailor Scout form. When it comes to piano music and orchestral music, I got into it with two video games known as Tales of Legendia and Kingdom Hearts II. Of the two, the music of Kingdom Hearts video game series is my favorite. One of the most memorable pieces of music from the series is a track called “Dearly Beloved.”

The Outer Senshis (Transformation Scene and Music)-

Dearly Beloved (Kingdom Hearts II Version)-

3.  Watch films about classical composers

The only film I’ve seen like this is Amadeus. I watched it for a class called Introduction to Film and ended up enjoyed a couple of pieces of Mozart. As with any other film, I enjoyed some of the music because I noticed it during certain moments. The only difference is that a film about a composer of classical music gives you plenty of opportunities to appreciate the music.

4.  Use YouTube and click on random videos

Basically, this is what I did to get twelve songs to go on my iPod.  I typed in the name of a piece on YouTube that I knew I already liked. After I listened to it to make sure it was the right one, I just looked on the right side of the screen and clicked on another video. Sometimes, I would do the same composer I looked up, sometimes I wouldn’t.

It is not too hard to learn to appreciate classical music, but it may take some time. It took me a while to find a CD’s worth of music that suited my taste! However, it is well worth doing. Classical music is all around us and you may be surprised where it could lead you once you notice it.

Written by Serena Zola

August 3, 2013 at 6:48 PM

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