Crank Up Some Classical Music
Classical music can sometimes have a bad rap; some say it's not "cool." I'm here to tell you that it's not all about tearjerking violins and operas sung in a different language - this genre of music truly has something for everybody. I'm a firm believer that music should be enjoyed at the right volume, and in this post, I want to share songs that should be played LOUD. There's an intrinsic "cool factor" to pieces like these, because they were written so long ago, long before some of the known composers of these times were even born.
So, put your headphones on - the better the headphones the better the experience. I'm listening to this first one on my Bose Quietcomfort QC15 headphones... you won't get the full effect on EarPods, but either way; if it's all you've got, put them on and crank it up to full.
1. Mars: The Bringer of War - Gustav Holst, from "The Planets" -- Two reasons I love this: It's written in 5/4 time, and it was clearly an influence for a well-known film composer that's scored many box office mega movies. Can you identify the composer I'm referring to? Take a listen!
2. Also sprach Zarathustra - Richard Strauss - This was the opening to one of the greatest movies of all-time: 2001: A Space Odyssey which, if you hadn't seen it, you really should. I really love the emphasis on the percussion section, and that this piece incorporates a pipe organ. One of the many items on my bucket list is to see this performed live in-person. Until that happens, listening to this with the volume turned up on a good set of headphones or speakers gets me every time. This particular performance has a few special treats... and I'm not referring to the visual of the conductor and what you hear being out of sync... enjoy!
3. 1812 Overture - Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky - One of the few composer's names that make me grateful for copy-and-paste. This piece is most often heard around July 4th, but it's mostly known because the percussion section gets to use cannons. Yes, you read that right: cannons! If cannons aren't available, though, whomever is playing the bass drum is given free reign to put the mallet through the head. They're expected to hit it quite hard... I remember being in high school band playing this piece... in the percussion section... damn, that was fun. The epic part of this is toward the end, so if the video doesn't automatically do so, start around 11m40s. The rest of the piece is nice, but the loud part is from that part and onwards. Enjoy, and look out for incoming cannon fire.
4. Carmina Burana: O Fortuna: - Carl Orff -- I don't know much about this piece, but it makes the list of epic pieces for sure. For whatever reason, it seems that Hollywood made us all think this music is, shall we say, "evil in nature." - It really isn't, it's just intense. I think there's a difference. Whatever it is, it's big, it's epic, it's loud, and it's damn beautiful.
5. The Ride of the Valkyries - Richard Wagner - "Kill the wabbit, kill the wabbit..." I couldn't complete this list without this one, and this is certainly not all there is out there when it comes to pieces of music best enjoyed at a higher-than-reasonable volume.
The above were written long before any of us were even born, but I offer you this from the not-too-distant past:
Whatever your music preference, always enjoy your music at a reasonable volume unless you've got good pair of headphones, and you don't subject your ears to it that often.
Sure, it's great to listen to music and truly feel it, but don't forget about hearing safety. Just like anything, enjoy in moderation, but every now and then, enjoy it LOUD.
Any pieces you think would be a good fit? Throw a comment, let me know!