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    Happy Birthday Chopin

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    This March 1st we celebrate French composer Fredrick Chopin’s 206th birthday.

    His music is a gift to us now and for all generations to come.

    Chopin composed roughly 244 pieces. He had a hauntingly beautiful stlye of writing.

    Happy Birthday Chopin. Thank you for making our lives richer.

    Musicnotes.com is celebrating Chopin’s 206th birthday with a 20% sale. Click here for great discounts on music from one of our most beloved composers.

    http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/sale/chopin-birthday-sale/502100095?d=Email_ChopinBirthdayLC20160225&utm_source=Promotions&utm_campaign=18ce118379-EmailChopinIntro20160225&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b1f28cdcad-18ce118379-81202957&goal=0_b1f28cdcad-18ce118379-81202957&mc_cid=18ce118379&mc_eid=3261dbc977

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    Classical Music Is Soothing For Cats Going Under The Knife

    Just when we thought we had the music tastes of our feline friends all figured out, new research comes out that makes us rethink our notions.

     

    According to research conducted by veterinary clinicians at the University of Lisbon in Portugal, cats prefer classical music when they are undergoing surgery. Given that the other choices were pop and hard rock music, the option of classical music sounds logical, doesn’t it? When given a stressful situation, we think classical music — in this case, Barber’s “Adagio for Strings (Opus 11) — can be comforting.

     

    According to Time.com: “The results showed that the cats were in a more relaxed state (as determined by their lower values for respiratory rate and pupil diameter) under the influence of classical music, with the pop music producing intermediate values. And perhaps unsurprisingly, listening to AC/DC while being spayed induced “a more stressful situation.”

     

    What we find a bit confusing is that we recently learned that cats actually do not prefer human music. They prefer their own brand of music that is more aligned with their heartbeats and shrilling vocal range. Oh well, perhaps there is still hope for humans and cats to share their musical tastes with each other!

     

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    Classical Music Calms Dogs

    Maybe there was a good reason Snoopy liked listening to Schroeder’s music.

     

    A recent study revealed that classical music has a calming effect on dogs who are living in kennels. The report, published in the journal Physiology and Behaviour, found that dogs who were exposed to classical music had lower heart rates and displayed less anxious behavior than dogs who went about their day in silence.

     

    Finding ways to soothe dogs is important topic to animal welfare advocates as it is well documented that long-term life in a kennel or shelter can cause stress and negative behavior, even mental illness among canines. Given that dogs can be boarded in a kennel as long as a year, finding ways to improve a dog’s quality of life is important.

     

    Gilly Mendes Ferreira, education and research manager for the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals lead the research team on dog behavior.

     

    “Although by the end of the week their heart rates and behaviour associated with kennel stress had returned to normal, the initial findings are very encouraging and show that classical music does have a positive impact on the dogs’ welfare,” Ferreira said. “We want to make each dog’s time with us as comfortable as possible and this research is at the very forefront of animal welfare.”

     

    We know that classical music can assist you as you study for tests, help you get a date, and help you become more productive at work. It was only a matter of time before scientists started tracking these benefits to animals.

     

    So, the next time you see Fido. Skip the bone and play some Mozart!

     

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    Get Submerged in John Luther Adams’ Music

    If there is anyone that may be sad to see the end of 2014 it may be John Luther Adams.

     

    He had a wonderful year in which he won the Pulitzer Prize for music, was named on many critics “Best of” list for his “Become Ocean” with the Seattle Symphony and continued to receive praise for his newest work “Sila: The Breath of The World” that is performed outdoors without any barrier betweens musicians and the audience and, in which, performers play apart in groups without a conductor.

     

    So, if you’re still looking for holiday gifts or want to widen your musical interests in 2015, check out Adams’ work.

     

    You can buy, stream or download “Become Ocean” now and you don’t have to be a music expert to get the distinct feeling of being submerged in water.  On a deeper level, the piece is about climate change and Adams made an apocalyptic reference in his program notes:

     

    “Life on this earth first emerged in the sea. As the polar ice melts and sea level rises, we humans find ourselves facing the prospect that once again, we might quite literally ‘become ocean.’”

     

    In describing his work, Northern Public Radio noted: “‘Become Ocean’ ushers you in and swallows you up. It’s gorgeous, darkly beautiful and ultimately unsettling.”

     

    How is that for praise?

     

    If you would like to hear more of Adams’ work try listening to the more upbeat “songbirdsong.”

     

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    Have Tests Coming Up? Play Classical Music

    Even when you are not actively listening to classical music you are still benefiting from it.

    Does that make sense? Let us explain.

    The University of Southern California’s news page cited several studies that show the benefits of passively listening to classical music. One study published in Human Physiology found that children who listened to an hour of classical music a day had greater levels of relaxation, even if they were never explicitly told to pay attention to it. Another published report discovered that students scored higher on tests when their lecture included classical music playing in the background.

    “The researchers speculated that the music put students in a heightened emotional state, making
 them more receptive to information,” USC wrote.

    This information can be useful reminder to college and high school students facing finals during this time of year. If you want to be relaxed, focused and retain information, listen to classical music! It is just what your brain needs.

    Yet, not all classical music is created equal for studying.

    Alan Chapman, host and producer for KUSC (USC’s nonprofit classical music station) explains that orchestral pieces that ranges from  “whispers to booming cannons” are too distracting. Instead, choose solo piano pieces, including Mozart sonatas or French piano music by Poulenc,
 Debussy or Fauré. Chapman also recommend guitar and lute music. To jumpstart your music listening, we included one of our favorite pieces, “Claire de Lune,” which we find so soothing.

    Enjoy!

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    Telling the Story of the Human Race Through Music

    If alien life forms ever discovered human existence, how would you describe our life to them?

    Interestingly enough, scientists pondered this question in the 1970s and we love that they thought music was an important aspect of human life.

    NASA scientists created the Golden Record, a time capsule of sorts, which is a 12-inch gold-plated copper phonograph disk strapped aboard Voyager I and II that is traveling in the outer edges of the solar system as we write this post (In fact, the probes have surpassed the distance of Pluto). The phonograph includes 115 images and sounds of nature and life on Earth photos as well as greetings in 50 different languages.

    However, the part we’re most interested in is the music. Scientists, led by famed astronomer Carl Sagan, filled the Golden Record with 90 minutes worth of music. Given the the decade, we are not surprised that it leans heavily toward Western music, especially European classical music such as Mozart’s “The Magic Flute,” Beethoven’s “Fifth Symphony” and Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring.” There’s also a nod to American including Louis Armstrong’s “Melancholy Blues,” Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” and Navajo night chants as well as music from Bulgaria, Peru and India. You can read the full list here.

    The Voyager missions are expected to end 2025 and no one yet knows if they will be replaced. Still, we like to think that scientists will create another time capsule for outer space as there are so many new songs and sights from plant Earth since the project was completed  in 1977. What songs would you add to the song selection? We think the next version should include more world music and we would like to hear more contemporary music. Would adding Outkast’s “Hey ya” and Paharrell’s “Happy” sound tless historical? We want alien life forms to think we’re a happy race, don’t we? What songs would you pick to describe humans?

     

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    Inspiring A Love of Classical Music

    The British Broadcasting Corporation is concerned that children do not know enough about classical music. Now, they’re trying to fix that problem with a massive outreach program.

    The program, referred to as Ten Pieces, focuses on 10 classical works that range from Beethoven to Handel to Stravinsky. To add a modern touch, John Williams’ “Short Ride in a Fast Machine” and Anna Meredith’s edgier “Connect It” are also among the Ten Pieces.

    “Historically there has been this whole issue around classical music being elite and our role is to break down that barrier,” says Suzanne Hay, head of partnerships and learning at the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

    BBC created a 50-minute film and attempts to explain the music through visuals. From sophisticated digital effects to scenes from outer space, there is a serious attempt to engage children. Fortunately, schools seem to be embracing the project. In one week, 100,00 students visited the movie theater to watch the BBC film.

    Once children leave the theater there are many ways to continue fostering a love of classical music. For example, brief videos on the Ten Pieces website explains the meaning of the music composition as well as provide facts about the composer. Children are also encouraged to respond to the music through art, dance, poetry and their own music making.

    Although the Ten Pieces website is accessible throughout the world, the videos on BBC iPlayer are not. BBC uses geo-IP technology to limit users outside of the BBC viewing area, which is disappointing. We think children around the world would benefit learning more about classical music.

    What do you think of the project? Could Ten Pieces be brought to the United States?

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