Some classical compositions really seem to speak of the beauty of farms, fields, nature, and animals. In some of these cases, the composer was specifically attempting to draw the listener's attention to these details, and in others the pastoral theme is more subtle.
Music is often most affecting when a performance is so natural, and a composition so well-crafted, that a listener is able to let go and relax into a state of pure experience. But what is it that allows music to bestow this state upon a listener?
Starting Thursday, Sept. 1, patients at Mayo Clinic hospitals around the U.S. will be able to relax to a custom blend of classical music provided by YourClassical. The collaboration between YourClassical and Mayo Clinic is intended to promote healing and comfort for patients.
Scientists have found that music can reduce sympathetic nervous system activity; decrease anxiety, blood pressure, heart and respiratory rate; and possibly have positive effects on sleep in regards to muscle relaxation and distraction from vexing thoughts.
Is it possible to help people feel relaxed and at home in places such as cinemas and airport lounges? In this video from Monocle Magazine, two interior designers describe how elements like lighting, patterns, furniture and textiles can help people feel at ease and welcome in public spaces.
In a new video, cellist Maya Beiser plays with time and memory, turning back the clock to when she first heard J.S. Bach's music on a scratchy old LP. It remains, she says, a timeless lodestar for her art.