Classical Symphony Orchestras – Do They Need Conductors?

“A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.” – Max Lucado

My paraphrase: Whatever it is you wish to accomplish in life, you must ignore the naysayers.

What Is A Classical Symphony Orchestra?


Of course, when we think of the word ‘classical ‘ our musical minds go back to the classical period (1775-1825).

Whereas classical music refers to a particular genre or style of music the term itself is broadly used to describe all types of orchestral music.

Some of the greatest composers and masterminds of that period include Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang A. Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Schubert.

So, what is a Classical as opposed to Symphony orchestra?

Classical vs. Symphony Orchestra

A classical orchestra is considered to be smaller than a symphony orchestra and has fewer instruments.

A symphony orchestra, meanwhile, is a large classical orchestra, consisting of a mixture of instruments, inclusive of percussion, double bass, woodwinds, and strings family.


The Amazing One-Man Band

According to Wikipedia, a one-man band (or woman) is a musician who plays a number of instruments simultaneously using his hands, feet, limbs or other body parts.

You have probably heard about an amazing one-man-band street performer (Cigo man band.)       

Apparently, this guy, a singer, accompanies himself on the acoustic guitar, with a harmonica strapped below his mouth. He also has a flute or clarinet attached to his neck with cymbals between the knees. Additionally, a bass drum is attached to his back triggered by a pedal tied to his feet.
How he moves about and performs is truly remarkable, but, additionally, he has tambourines and maracas attached to his limbs.

He walks the streets displaying his talents, and patrons reward him with monetary donations gifts in a special pouch extending from his neck.

What’s more, one-band men (and women) are becoming more and more commonplace worldwide.


Throughout the years, the music industry has produced many great, world famous multi-instrumentalist.
Take the renowned Prince for example. He is reported to have played over 27 musical instruments, all really well.
These include clavinet, percussion, saxophone, harmonica, piano, keyboard, drums, and the beat goes on.

Watch the conductor

The story is told of Joshua Bell, one of the world’s most prominent violinist and conductor. Renowned for his passion, and multi-faceted musical interest, Joshua has a very unusual way of conducting his 44-member chamber orchestra.

Rather than waving a baton, he directs when playing his own violin, by sending signals and direction that orchestra understands. For instance, every dip in his violin, raise in his eyebrow or the way he draws the bow, communicates the sound he’s looking for.

Winner of many awards including Grammy, he is also a soloist, chamber musician and recording artist. He won an Oscar for his soundtrack, the Red Violin, one of over 40 CD’s he has recorded. Joshua is an outspoken advocate for classical music and a strong proponent of musical education in the classrooms.

To Conduct Or Not To Conduct 

Do orchestras really need conductors?

Are conductors merely overpaid showman stealing the performer’s thunder by their arm-waving, body twisting antics?

Can’t the band members read and interpret the music themselves?

Yes, an orchestra can, in theory, keep time without a conductor.

However, despite the fact that conductorless orchestras are becoming more commonplace, research suggests that there is, indeed,  a …

Need For A Conductor

  • Without a conductor, there is the temptation of each band member to interpret the music for himself, thus creating disharmony and timing issues.
  • Synchronize the movements of all band members particularly in large orchestras where there is a time-lag in sound from the back to the front of the players.
  • A scientific study revealed that a conductor’s influence over the players is tremendous. Orchestras with conductors produced an overall much more delightful performance than those without.

What do you think?



Hope this article has helped you in some way. Your questions, comments, and suggestions are always greatly appreciated. Please leave me a comment below.

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Sources: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The Cavan Project

Seattle Symphony

NPR Classical

Classical Acoustic-Electric Guitar – Review

Classical Acoustic-Electric Guitar / My Review

“The guitar is the easiest instrument to play, and the hardest to play well.” – Andres Segovia.

Brief History Of The Guitar

We owe the name guitar’ (kithara) to the ancient Greeks, although its existence in some form predates recorded history.

Carved images of stringed guitar-like instruments can be traced as far back as 3,000 years ago during the Mesopotamian and Babylonian empires.

Guitar Cousins & Ancestors

Two musical instruments, the European Lute and the Arabian Oud, were most important in guitar’s history and development. These instruments are often referred to as the cousins of the guitar, according to scholars.

Since then the instrument has traveled across all continents, countries, and cultures which have greatly influenced its development.

The Classical Guitar

The classical guitar is often called the first modern guitar in history, thanks primarily to Antonio de Torres Jurado (1817 – 1892)

Antonio -de-torres

*Antonio Torres was a Spanish guitarist and luthier who has been described as “the most important guitar maker of the 19th century.”

He is the credited most for the development of the modern classical guitar. His design of the classical guitar was far superior to any known at the time and has become the standard for acoustic guitars today.

Another influential Spanish guitarist, Andres Segovia improvised upon Torres‘ classical guitar to the point where it is now used as a concert instrument.

Classical Acoustic-Electrical Guitars / Distinction

Since we are reviewing a Classical Acoustic-Electrical guitar, it behooves us to know the distinguishing feature(s)

Whereas shapes and sizes are ever evolving, the most obvious difference between the three guitars are the strings.

While acoustic and electrical guitars use steel strings, Classical guitar use nylon strings.

Another important distinction is in the production of sound. Both the Classical and Acoustic guitars produce sound by the vibration of the strings through their bodies.

However, with the electric guitar, the string’s vibration is routed via a cable into an amplifier. Without an amplifier, you will be unable to hear the sound.

2nd Most Popular Musical Instrument

The twentieth century saw the transitioning of the classical guitar from a background musical instruments to the forefront.

From its humble beginning some 3500 years, the guitar is widely acclaimed as the second most popular instrument in the world. Second only, that is, to the piano.

Ibanez AEG10N11 Grand Concert Classical Acoustic – Electrical Guitar

Looking for an exceptional Grand Concert Classical Acoustic-Electric Guitar at a great price?

The Ibanez AEG10N11 may be what you are looking for.

This gem combines a classical guitar styling with an acoustic-electric grand concert body.

The slim body facilitates easy playing and a clear, rich sound. It has a spruce top with mahogany back and sides,

and includes a built-in tuner and a Sonicare Fisherman’s pickup.

Choice of two colors Black and Tangerine.

Product Overview

PRODUCT: Ibanez AEG10N11 Grand Classical Concert Acoustic-Electric Guitar

PRICE: $299.99

CHEAPEST PLACE TO BUY:                                     

USER RATING: * * * * *                                                                           


FEATURES: * * * * *

QUALITY: * * * * *

SOUND: * * * * *

VALUE: * * * * *

EASE OF USE: * * * * *

WOW FACTOR: * * * * *

Warranty: 1-year warranty on NEW instruments from original purchaser with proof of purchase.

My Conclusion

This guitar is not recommended for entry-level guitarists, but for the more mature guitarists. The entry-level guitarist may click here to for My Review: Best Acoustic Guitars For Beginners Or Old Pro.

Sure, there are many more comparable Grand Classical Concert Acoustic-Electric Guitars on the market, but if you want value for money, the Ibanez AEG10N11 is hard to beat. 


Has this review been helpful? Please leave your questions or comments below.


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Sources: Guitar History Facts 2017 *Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia”

History Of The Guitar October 2016

Liberty Park Music




Proms, Pageantry And Popularity

Why couldn’t the quartet find the composer? Because he was HADYN”
“Actually, classical music is pretty cool – but some people just can’t HANDEL it.”

Is Classical Music Popular?

Question: What other genres of music written over 500 years ago can still excite audiences – both young and old – in a contemporary setting today?

Answer: Classical music, of course.

Everyone is familiar with the pomp, pageantry, and popularity of classical music concerts.
Now, even at Proms classical music is fast becoming the pace-setter.

See You AT The Prom

At a packed London’s famous Royal Albert Hall on July 29, 2017, the audience was captivated by a night of traditional and contemporary classical music.

Prom Night At London’s Royal Albert Hall

It was Prom night, and, for many, the thrill of a lifetime. This night, an audience would be served Piano Concerto #1, by Stephen Hough, and an opportunity to hear works by living composers for the first time.

The hot temperature under the dome only seemed to ignite the audiences’ passion through their exuberance and enthusiastic applause.

Indeed, the BBC Proms demonstrate classical music’s appeal to the many as well as the few.

There was a time when classical music was considered ‘elitist’ – it’s listeners mostly old, white, rich or retirees.

However, Proms are breaking down those barriers and leveling the playing field as one of the most popular classical music festivals in the world. They are easily accessible and do not discriminate in its appeal to black and white, rich or poor.

So again the question …..


Is it still relevant in today’s society? Has technology and the influence of pop and rock concerts eclipsed that of classical music?

On the surface it may appear so, however, in many ways, not only is classical music popular, but this genre of music is actually growing stronger.

The historical importance of classical music is well documented. Famous composers were lauded for their works while the violin and keyboard were the instruments of choice.

Other genres of music like Jazz, rock and pop were introduced during the 20th century. This new and more danceable music became more popular and casual. This greatly impacted traditional chamber music and composers, which had to take a backseat to the new craze for a while.

So what are some of the things symphony orchestras are doing today to increase their popularity?

Outdoor summer concert series – where audiences enjoy classical and movie favorites at a picnic.
More pop concerts in a casual setting which draw more diverse audiences
Classical Outdoor Summer Concert
Making more orchestral and classical music accessible to casual audiences.
Composing more film music, such as themes from Star Wars, adding to the excitement and relevance.

Active Engagement

Classical music is not only about passive listening but about active engagement. It provides an opportunity for resurrecting your creative genius by learning an instrument or composing a piece.

Playing and creating contributes to brain health and a child’s mental development, according to verifiable scientific data.

Moreover, what on earth can compare with the mellifluous melodies of a HADYN or HANDEL?


Classical music’s influence

It comprises a complexity of different styles, countries, and cultures over hundreds of years.
This lends itself to the uniqueness and popularity of this genre of music, as well as providing many unforgettable moments of listening enjoyment.

The music of Mozart, Brahms or Beethoven, represents excellence at its highest level and is sure to guarantee a life-enriching experience.

Whether proms, concerts or movies, Classical music’s influence is inescapable.

Is classical music popular?

You be the judge.

What do you think?

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

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Sources: The Carolinian – Sept.6/17

– Evening Standard – July 14/17

Photos courtesy – Wikimedia Commons/













Health Benefits Of Classical Music

“Classical music is the kind we keep thinking will turn into a tune.”                                                                                                                                                                      –Kin Hubbard


 You’re heard it so many times, it sounds like a scorched record – yet, there are…

Amazing Health Benefits of listening to Classical Music

In fact, these health benefits are simply amazing, accessible  – but also easily verifiable and scientifically proven.

What’s even more amazing is classical music’s affordability, and your wallet will be none the wiser for it.

In this post, we will examine just a few of those benefits.

Truth be told, however, there are benefits to be had from listening to any genre of music, 

so what’s so special about Classical music?

Health Benefits: boost brain power and memory.

The Mozart Effect

“The Mozart effect” is based on an experiment first published in Nature which suggested that listening to the music of  Mozart boosts scores on students IQ tests.  Research results also saw short-term improvement in certain kinds  “mental tasks” called spatial-temporal reasoning. In short, it makes you smarter.

Mood changer and stress reliever

Feeling anxious and stressed out?  Chances are you need a  classical music massage

Taking a few minutes to listen to classical music has the same physiological effect as a message, researchers have found.  This simple technique helps to relieve stress and depression by causing a positive chemical reaction within your brain and reducing cortisol levels in the body. This, in turn, allows subjects to relax to the max.

By all means, avoid listening to hard rock or club music when feeling anxious or depressed,  as this will only make a bad situation worse.

Health Benefits: calms minds, relaxes the body and facilitates sleep.

A random study of college students substituted random sleep aids for just 45 minutes of classical music therapy.

Unsurprisingly, the students showed vast improvement in the duration and quality of sleep.


Improves Physical Performance

Not Just Exercise – It’s Physical Therapy

What is your favorite sport?  Running, working out in the gym?  Whatever it is, you  can maximize your workout  by listening to your favorite “selection of songs.”

According to scientific studies conducted, the right music mix boosts endurance and improves overall motivation.

Research, however,  also suggest that any genre of music  – not merely classical – will produce the same benefits. 


Classical Music May Help Normalize Blood Pressure

Okay, so what if I suffer from High Blood pressure – can classical music do anything for me?

You betcha!

According to a study in the Journal Of Health Psychology, participants who listened to classical music significantly lowered their blood pressure levels as opposed to those who did not.   Researchers found that listening to the music relieves stress, improving better heart rhythm and thus normalizing blood pressure levels.

More Productivity in the Workplace

Whistling in the workplace?  

Researchers have discovered an almost effortless way to increase accuracy and productivity in the workplace.

Yes, playing Bach or Baroque music in the reading room at hospitals also increased work satisfaction, according to research from the University of Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Who knows, it may even leave you whistling in the workplace.

Better, Healthier Relationships

What is your personality type?  Are you an introvert, apathetic individual?

Research is ongoing about the emotional effects of listening to classical music, but so far they are revolutionary.

Volunteers were required, in a study by the Southern Methodist University, to write about the most significant event in their lives. Some participants had classical music playing in the background, while others didn’t. The results showed that the former group was much more willing to disclose information than the latter.

Beyond the page – classical music can help you open up to new friendships and relationships.

As incredible as it may sound, listening to classical music can actually improve your emotional state – and actually put a smile on the most melancholy face.

So what are you waiting for? Just pass the medicine.



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*Sources: Wikipedia, the free enclclopedia

                – Health Wire – June 4, 2015

               -Readers /Journal of Behavioural Medicine

-Photos: Courtesy Pixabay

               – Infographic courtesy of


My Product Review:Best Acoustic Guitar For Beginner Or Old Pro


Epiphone DR-100 Performance Acoustic Guitar

Best Acoustic Guitar For Beginners Or Old Pro

You’ve been dreaming about it for a long time.

You know you’ve always wanted to play the acoustic guitar, but the price, among other things has always been a factor.
Or perhaps, you just wanted to bless your child or teenager with the perfect gift to begin the journey of guitar playing.
Whether you are a new player looking for a first guitar or old pro needing an affordable  guitar to keep around the house,

the New Epiphone DR-100  Performance  Acoustic Guitar maybe the answer to your dreams.


Firstly, a definition …

What is an acoustic guitar?

An acoustic guitar is one which  “produces its sound by transmitting the vibration of sounds to the ear, as opposed to electrical amplification…”      – Wikipedia

The Free dictionary explains that an acoustic guitar is one which produces its normal sounds through the sounding board,  and does not require electrical amplification.”

In simplest terms, an acoustic guitar is  “a traditional, unamplified guitar.”

Finding the right acoustic guitar

So, how do you know which acoustic guitar is right for you?
The sound and feel of the guitar are key to the answer to this question and are necessary to bring out your best playing.
Additionally, a combination of some key elements combines to bring out the strings’ most stimulating sounds:
  1. It’s tonewood
  2. Body shape
  3. Construction and
  4. the unique touch of the guitarist

Still, there is much variety in the acoustic realm.  The acoustic-electric, 12 string, nylon string and travel-sized – make a case for anyone’s taste.

The Epiphone DR-100 Performance Guitar


features a mahogany body, with rosewood fretboard and spruce top neck.  

3 Models To Choose From:

Ebony, Natural & Vintage Sunburst

The Epiphone DR-100 balances quality with economy. Looking for the utmost in quality and sound?  This baby delivers!  As a second of backup guitar, countless players have been amazed by its tone quality and stability.

Other Features Include

  • Nickel hardware
  • Precision Construction and a
  • Comfortable Rosewood fingerboard with dot inlays.

With the Epiphone emblem, this elegantly designed guitar is as attractive as its price tag.

Epiphone DR-100 Performance Acoustic Guitar

Guilty Pleasure

An economical, entry-level instrument, you’re sure to fall in love with this new Performance Series modelIt has a  sweet sound, smooth tone, and such great feel that you cannot hold it for long without playing. In fact, a buyer has described playing the Epiphone DR-100 Acoustic Guitar as guilty pleasure‘ and anticipates many years of sheer enjoyment.



OVERALL      *****

FEATURES   *****

QUALITY      *****


SOUND         *****


VALUE    *****



Product: Epiphone DR-100 Acoustic Guitar 


Price: $129.00   

WarrantyLimited Life-Time warranty  with 24/7/365   

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*Source Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Contagious Classical Music




Contagious Coughing Avalanches At Classical Concerts


What is Classical Music?

Classical music is art music, rooted in the tradition of Western music, including both liturgical and secular music. More specifically, it refers to an era commonly called the classical period (AD1750 – 1820) – Wikipedia

But is Classical Music Contagious?

According to Webster’s dictionary – one definition of Contagious is “exciting similar emotions or conduct in others.”


Contagious clapping at chamber concerts

 Contagious Clapping At  Chamber Concerts
A new study by Swedish Researchers in the Journal Of Royal Society suggests that there is social pressure both to start and stop clapping at concerts. “You have this social pressure to start clapping, but, once started, there is equal pressure not to stop until someone initiates that stopping.” Moreover, the study suggests that applause has little to do with the quality of performance. Once one or two members begin or stop clapping, others follow suit.

Conventions surrounding applause vary from country to country.

In Bergen, Norway, the audience will erupt into an extended rhythmic applause if they like the orchestra, but will not cheer or scream.

Meanwhile in America, standing ovations are the normal way of showing appreciation and they are instant, usually accompanied by a lot of vocals.

However, in Germany, there is an abrupt silence after the final note and before the applause. However, after the aura of silence which lasts for about 5-seconds, the applause continues ad infinitum.

The question is then, “what effect does it have on you?

Contagious Coughing Avalanches 

Classical audiences cough on purpose to a chamber performance – according to *Professor Andres Wagoner, from the University Of Hannover. According to the study, coughing spells are intentional and particularly prevalent among classical audiences. The research found that the average concertgoer coughs more 36 times a day, more than twice the norm.
However, maintains the professor, although the volume of the coughing fluctuates, it is more disruptive during the quieter, boring moments rather than the more interesting parts.

Contagious Cascading Coughing Avalanches

Moreover, the professor refers coughs in concerts as mysteriously contagious and likens them to coughing avalanches, cascading through the audiences.


          Chamber Orchestra In Concert

The story is told in The Telegraph about an enthusiastic Classical music lover and Royal Society Of Arts Fellow.

This fellow was so overly excited by the performance of “Hallelujah Chorus” he attempted to crowd-surf, his hand raised and whooping while lurching from side to side.
However, his enthusiasm was not contagious. Rather than “exciting similar emotion or conduct in others,” the audience became so distracted that they proceeded to physically eject him from the theatre.

Positive Effects 

The amazing benefits of classical music upon humans are well documented.  Among others – memory improvement, sleep inducement and even lowering blood pressure are just a few.  In fact, click here for my prior posts for research showing how classical music calms cats and canines, and positively impacts plant growth.



But back to the original question – is classical music contagious?

The answer to that question lies in what it does for you.

For me, it certainly excites the emotions – whether it’s clapping of hands or just a shaking of the head to the beat.

Suddenly, all is well with the world – no matter what’s going on. In short, it’s my mood changer – from sullen to satisfied.

And when I’m in a good mood – everybody knows including pets and plants, cats and canines.


What do you think?

I trust this article has helped you in some way. I love to hear from my readers.

Any questions, comments, or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.



Sources: Classic, BBC Music Official Website /June 2013

*Limelight, Australia’s Classical Musical and Arts Magazine

The Telegraph – 30 June/2014.




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Concentration & Classical Music

                 Concentration & Classical Music

The Power Of Music

We’re all familiar with the song, “The Power Of Love,” by Celine Dion.

But just how potent is the Power Of Music in our daily lives?

Positive effects of Classical Music in primary schools

Can exposing children to classical music in the primary schools aid in better concentration and social skills?

Susan Hallam, a professor of education and music psychology conducted a study on 252 children in nine primary schools in East London. Children, ages 7 – 10 were exposed to well-known classical works such as  Beethoven, Haydn & Mozart.

Here are some of the results reported in UK’s Daily Telegraph:

  • Enhanced listening skills
  • increased concentration & social skills
  • Positive attitude
  • Increase in musical knowledge
  • Improvements in English comprehension.
               Classical Music & Concentration

Is it possible for music to provoke a change in the learning environment, resulting in improved focus and results? 


According to an article in USC News, perhaps the greatest and least expensive study aid one can have is – you guessed it –  classical music.

Numerous academic studies were conducted focusing on the connection of classical music on learning.

A French Research…

…  published in Learning and Individual Differences substantiates such findings.

In this study, students were required to listen to classical music in the background for on hour while attending a lecture. The results showed that these students scored significantly higher on a quiz than those who had no music playing.

The researchers concluded that listening to classical music made the students more receptive to information by heightening their emotional state.

This raises an interesting question.

Is the power of music always positive?

We all heard about the negative influences of rap and heavy metal music but…


The Study

A study was published in the Psychology Of Music Journal by an Israeli researcher, Naomi Ziv. The study involved 120 students who were asked to carry out mundane written tasks for about 90 seconds.

Some of the students had upbeat music playing in the background, while others worked in silence.

They were then asked to tell a lie to another student about a certain scenario.

The Findings

Surprisingly, about  65% of those who listened to the music agreed to do it,  compared to  45% who worked in silence.

In a similar,  more controlled study,  the results were even more surprising.  About 80% of those who listened to their favorite music agreed to lie, compared to 33% of those working in silence.

The Experiment

Meanwhile, in Finland, a study was conducted on a group of teenagers taking part in a gambling game. In this study by the Helsinki Aalto University,  the stakes were low  but while gambling,

  • for 1/4 of the time music they liked was played in the background
  • for another 1/4 of the time music they disliked was played in the background
  • for the remainder of the time, the game was played in silence.

The Findings

Do You Know What Your Kids Are Listening To?

The sound of their favorite songs increased risk-taking compared to silence.

The Conclusion

Listening to your favorite music may subconsciously increase risk-taking. It may also lead to uncharacteristic or unethical behavior.

What do you think?

I would love to hear from you.

Any questions, comments or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Say, what is your passion?

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Sources  Limelight: Australia’s Classical Music & Arts Magazine, Jan.10, 2014.

                 Limelight:Sharon Benson, Sept.2, 2015.

USC News, Dec.5, 2014

Photos Courtesy Pixabay


Insomnia & Classical Music Music

Classical Music & Insomnia

“As the day turns into night, keep your worries out of sight.

Close your eyes and go to sleep. All your thoughts are yours to keep.”

Ideally, we sleep 1/3 of our lives on average. But how much do we know about sleep?  What are the reasons for insomnia and what is the cure?

What part does music and particularly, classical music play in sleep inducement?

A record not to attempt

The world’s record for a period without sleep is:

18 days, 21 hours, 40 minutes

However, if you aspire to break that record, be prepared for hallucinations, paranoia, and blurred vision and a host of other symptoms.

         Causes Of Insomnia


Lack of exercise

Irregular bedtime schedules

Eating too much late in the evening

Caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol



Sleep Needs

  • Women need an hour  more sleep than men
  • School-aged children  8 – 11 hours
  • Teens need about 10-hours of sleep.
  • About 10% of people suffer from sleep apnea – i.e. they stop breathing for a very short time (from a few seconds to minutes) while they sleep.

Simple Sleep Secrets

Ambiance – Keep bedroom comfortable

Distractions –  remove tv from in the bedroom

Sleep ritual – go to bed approx. same time every night

drink a glass of warm milk

-take a bath

listen to calming music

Can Music Arrest Insomnia?

Regardless of the causes, quantitative evidence strongly suggests that music, in particular, classical music, can induce sleep.

A friend of mine tells me that watching tv late at night puts him to sleep.

For others, simply reading a good book does the job.

And yet,  for others,  listening to a relaxing tone pushes our snooze button and sends us off.

Whereas, some other methods might work, “music can help people fall asleep,”  says  *Dr. Michael Breus, Ph.D. It is important, however,  to choose music with a slow beat  – approximately 60 beats per minute range.

Jules Massenet

The classical masterpiece “Meditation” from the opera Thais,  by the French composer, Jules Massenet is a good example.

If you choose music like  “Guns & Roses” instead, your chances of falling to sleep are slim.

Music-Sleep Connection

Supported by studies worldwide, this connection has no age or gender bias. Even schizophrenics and persons with chronic and short-term sleep problems have been helped.  

The Tempo Makes A Difference

In typical studies, people listen to relaxing music (such as classical)  about 45 minutes before retiring.

According to Dr. Edward R. Laworski from the Mayo Clinic,  “A normal resting heart rate for adults ranges from 60 – 100 beats a minute.”

It is not surprising then that  “Music with a rhythm of about 60-beats a minute helps people fall asleep, ” according to Dr. Breus. 

The heart -rate begins to slow-moving toward that 60-beat per minute range, as you are falling asleep. In other words, your heartbeat is “tuned” toward the sleep zone, to the slow music.

But what if classical music is not your cup of tea? No problem. There are other forms of relaxing music which clock in at 60-beats a minute.  “The better choice,” says Dr. Breus” is always music without words.”

He warns, however,  against listening to anything that evokes strong emotions, whether positive or negative, before bed.

Dr. Breus recommends listening to music in bed, but not with the use of earphones. Rather than earphones which may damage the ear canal, pillow sneakers with speakers are the ideal. Designed to allow you to comfortably listen to music in bed, the sneaker comes in a variety of prices and sizes.

“A good laugh and a long sleep  are the best cures in the doctor’s book.”Irish Proverb

What do you think? I would love to hear from you.

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

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*Expert & author of the Sleep Doctors Diet Plan

Sources: WebMD/

                -Mayo clinic

              – BabaMail


               -Harward Health Publications 7/12


Classical Music Mysteries

Young or old, which one of us is not fascinated by an unsolved mystery or watching a thrilling suspense movie? Especially if it has a  happy ending, right?

 Similarly,  throughout the years there have been – not a few classical music mysteries –  many remaining to this day.

Music From Dead Classical Music Composers?

In 1970, Rosemary Brown, a Londoner and mediocre pianist, claimed to have had a direct communication channel with long-dead great composers.

Rosemary Brown

Apparently famous composers like Beethoven, Schumann and Bach were all lining up to dictate their works to her. Among other pieces supposedly channeled to her were Beethoven’ s  10th & 11th  symphonies.

Unlike other mediums who could, at best, improvise, Rosemary distinguished herself by actually writing down the music.

She was so gifted and convincing that she received accolades from Litz experts,  after performing classical music channeled from dead composers.

Two Skulls In A Tomb

Joseph Haydn (1732 – 1809) was an Austrian composer. He was without question, one of the most important figures in classical music’s development during the 18th century.

He had been buried for only eight days when, two phrenologists, wanting to find the source of the composer’s genius, stole his head.  

The robbery was not discovered until eleven years later, when Haydn’s patron,  Prince Nicholas Esterhazy, wanted his remains transferred. Then the quick-witted phrenologists gave him a different skull to bury the body. 

In 1895, however, the real skull was found and willed to one of Vienna’s music societies.

The grand reunion between the real skull and rest of the body took place in 1954. However, the substitute skull was not removed and so there lies two skulls in a tomb.

But which one is Haydn’s and to whom does the other one belong?

That is the question.

Who murdered composer Alessandro  Stradella?

Alessandro Stradella is best remembered for his breathtakingly beautiful chamber music.

Alessandro Stradella

He had also distinguished himself by writing music for the Queen of Sweden.

Yet he lived a colorful,  but immoral lifestyle.  His embellishment of money from the church and his high-profile affairs with married women resulted in his downfall and eventual death.

After several failed attempts on his life, he was stabbed to death by an assassin in 1682.

Who done it?

The killer’s identity remains a mystery to this day.

How Did Beethoven Die?

How many of the following symptoms does one need in order to die?

  • Abdominal pain

    Ludwig von Beethoven

  • Bronchitis
  • Poor digestion
  • Deafness
  • liver damage
  • excess of fluid in the skull
  • a swollen spleen
  • a shrunken pancreas
  • lead poisoning

These, among others, were among a catalog of symptoms which may have contributed to the composer’s death.

But the actual cause of death still remains a mystery to historians and doctors.

Last Song On The Titanic               

The Unsinkable Titanic

Gallant acts of self-sacrifice, unwavering courage, and stories of bravery and heroism.

What was the last song played by the  Titanic’s musicians?

Mere words cannot describe the last moments aboard the ill-fated Titanic, during its maiden voyage in the early morning hours of April 15, 1912.  From the engine room crew to the wireless operators, it was all hands on the deck which helped to minimize the number of deaths.

From Dance To Gospel Music

However, some of the real unsung heroes were the Titanic’s musicians. This gallant band stayed on board performing until the last lifeboat was loaded.  But what was that last song that was played and why was that important?      

In the absence of conclusive evidence, the three  contenders  are:

…And the band played on…

“Nearer My God To Thee?”          

“Autumn” or

“Oh God, Our  Help In Ages Past.

But that last song played still remains a mystery.

What is also somewhat of a mystery is why the musicians chose to stay on board until all hope of rescue was gone. Yet, who can say how many lives were saved or hope restored because of the music?

One thing is certain –  eternal in the heavens lives the memory of that gallant band.


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Classic fm


Classical Music-Calming Cat & Canine

Can Classical Music Calm Your Cat & Canine?

Violin Strings From Cats Guts?

Legend has it that the strings of a violin were once made from cats guts. Perhaps that explains, in part, why playing a piece of classical music to your cat has such a calming effect. 

Not only cats but canines and plants respond positively when fed a dose of classical music, studies now reveal.

Why Cats Prefer Classical

Cat listening to calming Classical Music

“Most cats like classical music, particularly George Handel compositions,” according to Dr.Miguel Carriera, a veterinary surgeon at the University Of Lisbon, Portugal. During clinical evaluation, the cats display a calmer, tolerant and confident behavior.

Studies have suggested that classic music is the cat’s preference because it contains frequencies and tempos that match a cat’s purring and high-pitched meows.


Calming  Music For Cats

Psychologists at the University of Wisconsin, Maryland are writing music – just for cats. The music mimics a pulsating cat’s purr and meows. The intent is to enrich the cat’s environment while helping them remain calm and relaxed.

Can Classical Music Calm Your Canine?

A Dog’s Best friend?

It was once thought that man was a dog’s best friend, and vice versa. Now new studies suggest that man could be replaced by music as a dog’s best friend.

Through A Dog’s Ears

Canine Enjoying Soothing Classical Sounds

We all have different musical tastes and preferences.Have you ever wondered what music sound like through a  dog’s ears?  What genre of music can contribute to a calmer, happier dog?

One such study published in the journal  ‘Physiology & Behaviour,’  in which dogs were separated into two separate groups.

More Bach, Less Bark

One group of dogs were observed in silence while the other group had classical music by Bach pumped into their kennels.  In the second week, the roles were reversed. The dog’s heart rates, saliva samples, and behavioral traits were observed for a two-week period.

At the end of the second week,  the dogs’ stress levels in both groups decreased significantly after listening to classical music. Furthermore, when music was being played, the dogs spent less time standing and barking.

While studies on other genres of music upon dogs are inconclusive, listening to classical music has been proven beneficial to them.

Playing To Your Plants

Much closer, please.

Ever heard of a plant caressing a speaker?

Yet, that is exactly what happened in an experiment conducted by a group of university students in 1970. The plants were exposed to different genres of music.

The plants actually entwined themselves around

the speakers when the music of Beethoven, Brahms, Haydn & Schubert was played. However, when rock music was played, the plants actually leaned away from the source.

So does playing music to your plants really cause them to grow better?

Yes – but not just any genre of music but more specifically, classical or baroque. And if a single instrument is engaged, the violin seems to be the instrument of choice.

In fact, new studies have found that the best way to boost plant growth is through the soothing rhythms of classical music.

To this end, experiments in 1962 by Dr. T. C. Singh, head of the Botany department of Annamalia University, proved quite interesting. He concluded that balsam plants exposed to classical music accelerated 20% in height and 72% in biomass.

In another experiment,  wheat produced a 66% increase in yield, when exposed to Baroque sounds and a J.S.Bach violin sonata.

The theory behind the science

Violin – Plants’ Instrument Of Choice
It’s In The Protoplasm.

According to Webster’s dictionary, “Protoplasm is defined as the usually colorless substance which is  that living part of animal and plant cells.”

The theory is that the vibrations from your favorite piece of music accelerate the protoplasmic movement in the cells. This, in turn, aids in the plant’s growth and results in a stronger, more vibrant plant.

So, pick up the violin and play to your plants. It’s a win, win.

…But keep an eye on your speakers.

What do you think?


Please let me have your comments below.


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Sources:Mail On Line- Science & Tech.

BBC News 2 Mar.2015-‘Classical Music Helps Dogs Relax’

Classical fm  – the world’s greatest music

Photos courtesy of Pixabay & Wyevale Garden Centres