Classical Music Saves Lives

Classical Music Saves Lives

“Pie .. before I die”

The story is told of a husband on his sick bed who was about to die. He  motioned to his son, sitting at his bedside and whispered, “Son, I have one wish before I die.”

What is it, Dad?” the son asked. ”

“I would like a piece of Mom’s apple-strudel pie. Please ask Mom to send  a piece for me.”

“Okay, Dad,” the son responded, and off he went.

“Ah,” his father said to himself, patiently waiting, “Mom’s apple-strudel pie.”

Hearing  his  son return to his room, he said -” bring it right here, son.”

“No Dad, I’m sorry,” the son responded, “Mom said you can’t have any.”

Shocked, his  Dad replied, “what do you mean, I can’t have any?”

“Mom said the pie is for after the funeral.”


Influence Of Classical Music On Sick Or Dying Patients

Whereas the role of music in intensive care patients, is somewhat unclear, it has been documented that  relaxing music is very important in intensive care medicine. Studies  suggest music decreases anxiety and stress levels  for patients in preoperative settings, and may contribute to a faster recovery rate.

Whereas  some benefits can be obtained from  other forms of music, classical (Bach, Mozart, or Italian composers) and meditation music provided the most health benefits in intensive care patients.  This type of music has come to be known as the “ideal” therapy for “treating” patients with

  • anxiety
  • depressive syndromes
  • cardiovascular disturbances
  • pain, stress or
  • sleep disturbances.

However, studies also suggest and warn against listening to heavy mental or techno music as these are not only ineffective but may lead to life-threatening conditions for intensive care patients. This music can cause both heart rate and blood pressure to increase  by encourages rage, disappointment and aggressive behavior.

“Must hear music before you die “

There are so many  highly acclaimed classical musical masterpieces. Below are just three of the recommended  must hear before you die,” all time greats. More on this subject at a later date.

  • Handel’s Messiah
    George F. Handel

    a fixture for the Christmas  season, this piece was written by a man  Ludwig Van Beethoven described as the “greatest composer who ever lived”George Frederick Handel. It stills mesmerizes listeners 250 years after the composers’ death, from the opening line “comfort ye, comfort ye, my people, saith your God” to the very end.

  • Vivaldi – the four seasons. – This is the best known of Vivaldi’s works. It consists of a group of 4 violin concerts – by Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi, each giving expression to the season of the year. In fact, listening to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons has been described as the new brain food.
  • The Marriage Of Figaro
Wolfgang A. Mozart

The characters come alive in this hilarious opera, described as the greatest ever written, by the renowned composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Regarding this piece- a journalist wrote –  “contains so many beauties, and such richness of thought, that could only come from a genius.”

What do you think?

What are some of your “must-hear” classical favorites?


Your comments, questions or suggestions are greatly appreciated



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Sources: Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia Library Of Medicine/Nat.Institute Of Health

New York Times/Music/Oct.26/2016


Classical Music Changes Lives

Classical Music Changes Lives 

Can Classical Music Change Lives?

Can classical music improve a person’s  mental, physical or emotional well-being?

Is there any documented evidence or empirical study to support this claim?

 Cow’s Milk, Anyone?        

Back in the year 2001, a team of research scientists from the University Of Leicester in the UK found that when cows were fed a daily dose of classical music, the quality of their milk improved.

If classical music can do that for cows, imagine what it can do for me and you?

Who has not heard of the Mozart effect?

Wolfgang F. Mozart

A team of researchers published a study* to quantify the connection between listening to Mozart and a child’s Intelligence Quotient. The results showed exponential growth in the child’s intelligence in just a few short years.

Additionally, exposing prematurely born children to Mozart for just 30 minutes a day, resulted in their increased growth and development.

Ever heard about the Vivaldi effect?

Antonio Vivaldi was a virtuoso violinist and composer, whose was best remembered for his masterpiece, “The Four Seasons.”

Antonio Vivaldi

According to Northumbria university study, subjects showed improved accuracy and less response time in the performance of tasks, after listening to Vivaldi.

New Brain Food.

In fact, listening to Vivaldi’sFour seasons,” has been heralded as the new brain food.

We’ve already discussed several benefits of music therapy in Music & Medicine

There is a plethora of research documenting the  benefits of  listening to classical music – such as:

Higher IQ

Improved alertness and Memory

Better quality of sleep

Depression and dementia

High blood pressure a problem? 

Blood Pressure Check Anyone?

Now there is hope for high blood pressure victims.

Research from the University of San Diego* found that listening to classical music for only 1/2 hour a day can help stabilize raising blood pressure levels.

But who would have thought of using classical music as a crime-fighting prevention vehicle?



Classic Music & Crime                 

Can music actually play a part in reducing violent crime, drug addiction and a host of societal ills?

In the year 2003,  city officials started playing classical music at several train stations in London.

The reasoning was that, since a lot of crime is impulsive, external stimuli – such as classical music  –  could have a soothing effect on primeval behavior.

Did it work?

It is often said that the proof of the pudding is in the eating – and the results were simply astounding.

In as little as 18 months – there were substantial decreases in robberies, assaults on staff and vandalism. In fact, the plan was so successful that a similar strategy was implemented in Portland, with police calls decreasing by some 40%.

El Sistema

El Sistema is a voluntary music education founded by a  Venezuela  musician, educator and activist                                                                                              Antonio Abreu, in 1975.

Silver Bolivar Youth Orchestra

“El” Sistema” simply means “system” and is synonymous with  the word “network.”

      The social action for music program has become so successful in impacting the lives of children in Venezuela that it has been adopted in the U.S., England and other countries.

Over 300,000 children in Venezuela have had their lives changed by the program, and they love to boast about it.

“I would have been dead, or still smoking pot,” said a French horn player from the Silver Bolivar Youth Orchestra. “Joining the orchestra not only changed my life but my whole family’s.”

He went on to say that his father was drinking far too much, and his brothers had dropped out of school.

“But when I got hooked on my instrument, my father stopped drinking and one by one, my brothers went back to school.”

So back to the original question – Can classical music change your life?

Answer:  Classic music not only changes lives – but saves them too.

I’d love to hear from you. Your questions, comments or suggestions are greatly appreciated.


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Sources: The Telegraph, article by Julian LLoyd Webber, 6th November, 2008.

WQXR – April 8/13

Return Of Kings – Jon Antoni  Jan 10, 2016.

*JSRM – April 2001

Classical Music In The Sanctuary

Classical Music In The Sanctuary

How has classical music transitioned from the “secular” to the “holy” ground?

Is secular music satanic?

Does classical music have a place in the sanctuary?

Can God use any form of music for His glory?



The Purpose Of Music

Ask a million people and you will get a million different answers. To many, the purpose of music is entertainment and enjoyment.  To others, it is for relaxation and meditation, while for other persons, music isn’t music unless it excites the passions and stimulates the senses.

But according to one of the world’s  foremost  musicians and composers:

The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul. If heed is not paid to this it is not true music but a diabolical bawling and twanging.”    Johann Sebastian Bach.

How has classical music transitioned from the “secular” to the “holy” ground?

Genesis & Early Beginnings

What is religious music?

Religious or sacred music finds its roots way back in the Biblical days. David, shepherd boy who later became king of Israel, was one of the most prolific composers of songs.

Most of the Psalms in the bible was set to music and used in the temple service. Even today, Jews used them in synagogue worship.

In fact, many worship leaders today are still known as Psalmist. Even certain portions of the New Testament have been put to music and sung in the Orthodox liturgy.

While many composers have been inspired by their religion, music has been composed to complement religion.

Still, forms of traditional music have been adapted for religious purposes by such greats as G. Palestrina and Johann Sebastian Bach.

The former wrote masses for the Roman Catholic Church while the latter wrote music for the Lutheran Church.

Early Contributors To Church Music

Hildegard Of Bingen (1098 – 1179)

 A nun attached to a convent in Germany, Hildegard later founded her own convent. Highly intellectual, over the years, she set a liturgical text to music, writing hymns and religious songs. Some of her music been recorded and preserved down through the ages.

Many other classical composers who contributed to church music during the baroque and classical periods include Antoni Vivaldi and Johann S. Bach. Even Beethoven contributed with many Requiems and Masses and Mendelssohn with his repertoire of hymns and songs.

Patron Saint Of Music

Saint Cecelia is known as the Patron Saint of Music and church music in particular.

St. Cecelia – Patron Saint Of Music

Living in Roman times, she is said to have been the inspiration behind many composers and musicians  and is usually depicted with a  musical instrument in her hands. 

She is said to have heard heavenly music when she was married and told her husband that she had taken the vow of virginity and her guardian angels were protecting her.

She was martyred for her beliefs, and have had tribute paid to her by such notable composers as Henry Purcell and George Frederick Handel. November 22nd is known as her feast day and, one of Rome’s famous classical music venues – the National Academy Of Saint Cecelia has been named in her honor.

Music In The Sanctuary Today

During the nineteenth century, not a few classical composers have written some of the popular hymns still sung in many churches today. Still, others have had their music adapted as hymns, such as Handel’s Largo by George Fredric Handel.

Perhaps the best known and endearing hymn ever written was  Amazing Grace by John Newton, an Englishman, in 1772. The hymn was born out Newton’s repentance from the evils of slave-trading. Although written by John Newton, it was the American composer William Walker who first put Newton’s Amazing Grace to music.

Finally,  we dare not forget music by classical composers for special occasions, such as Wedding March, by Felix Mendelssohn, Bridal Chorus, by Richard Wagner, and Canon in D, by John Pachabel.

Should Christians listen to secular music?

Is secular music satanic?

Where do we draw the line?

What’s wrong with “Christian rock concert music?

While the Bible does not condemn any particular style of music, it does admonish us to focus on things “whatever things are true noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable.” Phil. 4:8

Whereas everyone’s taste may differ, Christians are called to a higher standard.  In fact, the apostle Paul admonishes us, in 1st Cor.10:31 ..” Therefore, whether we eat or drink or whatever we do, do it all to the glory of God.”

So the big question then, for the Christian,  is whether or not the music glorifies God.

And if the music glorifies God,  then its purpose, style and lyrics must be considered.

But can God use any style of music for His glory?

My answer is a resounding yes.

What do you think?

Any questions, comments or constructive criticism will be greatly appreciated.


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Sources:Got Questions?Org.

– New World Encyclopedia

–  Mfiles, Wikipedia

-Photos courtesy of Pixabay