As I mentioned last week, I think that both poetry and music can have a great effect on our moods. In fact I believe that music has an even greater effect on our moods than poetry, partly because much of it – and certainly the music that I enjoy most – is made by lots of people working together.
I think that if I had to choose eight discs to take to a desert island (I still think of pieces of music on discs – “Desert Island mp3s” doesn’t have quite the same alliterative ring to it!) many of the pieces of music would be from 100 years ago and further back. That’s not because I don’t like modern music – I do – but because most pieces of music written these days are short and generally focused on one emotion – love, longing, anger, hope – so to get all those emotions in popular music written since the 1960s I would have to choose four “discs”. However, if I were to choose “Messiah” (just to take one example of an older work) I would have all those emotions and more on one “disc”.
I don’t want this note to be longer than about 10 pages (I’ll bet some of you just skipped to the bottom to see if it IS that long! :-)) so I am only going to write about music that helps me to feel better if I’m fed up. I won’t include music that might be helpful in other stressful situations – for example, if I had a job interview coming up, or if I had a difficult decision to make; if I were ill or if I needed to focus for the day ahead – though of course some of the music I listen to if I’m fed up can also be helpful in these situations.
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