8 Reasons To Love Classical Music

8 Reasons To Love Classical Music

You should really love it too.
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For the majority of my life, I have been in love with the classical music genre. However, my obsession didn’t fully mature until I made music the center of my studies in college. As a result, that gives my friends cause to make fun of me mercilessly. But bias aside, classical music’s coolness is often under-appreciated, so I have compiled a list of some of the aspects of classical music that make it uniquely delicious:

1. It’s the most fun type of music to air conduct.

But actually, have you ever tried to air conduct pop music? It gets really boring really quick. I tried that once, and I’m pretty sure it gave me tendonitis...

2. The music history behind pieces and composers is super interesting.

Did you know that, after going deaf, Beethoven went to the extent of sawing off the legs of his piano so he could “hear” the notes in the floor so he could keep composing? Did you know that Haydn’s 94th symphony, the “Surprise Symphony,” was so long that the orchestra members would fall asleep, and that his response was to write random loud notes every so often to wake up sleeping musicians? Did you know that Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel, sister to famous composer Felix Mendelssohn, would sometimes compose under her brother’s name so her pieces would be performed and recognized? Well, now you know, and you have to admit that classical music isn’t so boring now.

3. Music theory is also pretty fascinating.

If you’re a pretentious music snob (like I am), then you most definitely geek out about listening for music theory concepts in class. For example, I usually play a game with myself or a friend in which I listen to a classical music piece and guess the key and listen for certain cadences in a piece. Sometimes, for an extra challenge, I guess what composer and era the piece belongs to based on the musical style. Another really cool thing is 12-tone music theory, which is weird, fascinating and oddly beautiful.

4. It’s a good excuse to be a pretentious snob.

With classical music, especially if you know a lot of music theory, you and your fellow classical music nerd friends can get together to listen and discuss the musicality of a piece. Trust me, nothing feels more snobby than discussing serialism, theme and variation or Music Color Theory with someone while your plebeian friends watch in disgust and confusion.

5. A lot of Classical music influenced music we listen to today.

A lot of classical pieces written in the romantic era have influenced movie scores, such as anything by John Williams ("Star Wars, Indiana Jones") or Hans Zimmer ("Interstellar," "Pirates of the Caribbean"). Also, a lot of modern day pop derives its basic chord progressions from early classical pieces. So, whether you like it or not, classical music is actually important to music today.

6. Professional classical musicians are so entertaining to watch when you see them live.

Have you seen Joshua Bell, aka the violin god of our time, perform? His hair does a thing that makes the entire audience swoon. I saw him live once and can attest to this fact. But seriously, between the hair and enthusiastic upper body movement, seeing him play is entrancing.

7. It conveys emotions and experiences in ways that words simply cannot.

As cliché as this quote is, there is an essential truth to the statement. One of my favorite pieces right now is John Tavener’s “The Protecting Veil,” which is a multi-movement cello concerto based on an Eastern Orthodox icon of the Virgin Mary. Though each movement name involves parts of the life of Jesus, each section looks at those experiences through the lens of Mary, His mother. It’s definitely a spiritual and emotional experience that couldn’t be given justice if it was expressed through spoken language.

8. It just sounds cool.

Each instrument used in classical music makes really unique and cool sounds. When you layer each kind of sound with different but complimentary parts, it just sounds fantastic. Give it a listen, and see if you don't agree!
Cover Image Credit: Classic FM

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Christian Boys Vs. Godly Men

It is time to stop settling for the lesser of the two.
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Ladies, there is a huge difference between a Christian boy and a Godly man; therefore, it is time to stop settling for the lesser of the two.

So many times I hear girls saying:

“Well, he’s a Christian.”

“He goes to church with me.”

“He listens to Christian music.”

“He went to church camp.”

“He has a favorite bible verse.”

SEE ALSO: What An Attractive Man Looks Like

Well, all of those things are just peachy and there is nothing wrong with doing those things. I mean, they’re all good things to do. But how is his personal relationship with God? How is his prayer life? Does he talk about his relationship with God, with you? Is he truly a follower of the one true God in all aspects of his life? These are some of the characteristics you should be looking for that makes a Godly man.

Ladies, a man will love you great when he loves God greater.

A Godly man will pursue an honest relationship with you. He will be clear of his intentions. A Godly man will worship, pray and passionately praise God with you. Whereas, a Christian boy might open the door for you, a Godly man will open his bible and explore God’s word with you so that you both may grow spiritually, together. While a Christian boy may put on an outward show, a Godly man will live out the love of Jesus daily.

So ladies, are you catching on to this ongoing trend? A Godly man does more because you deserve more.

A Godly man will be a leader. Trust me, I know that in today’s society Godly men are few and far between while Christian boys come in plenty. But you deserve a man who is after God’s heart not just a boy who goes to church. And I know that this Christian boy may seem great and have some really stellar qualities at the time but money and looks fade, whereas, an ongoing love for our savior will not.

The greatest thing a man can do for a woman is to lead her closer to God than himself. (Yes, yes, yes).

SEE ALSO: As Christians, Life Isn't Supposed To Be Hard

So I beg of you, do not settle. Do not settle just because you’re tired of being single, it’s convenient or because you want the relationship your friend has. Single does not equal available and a relationship status does not define you. God uses your season of singleness to prepare you for what is to come. And if you’re dating a Christian boy, he needs to step it up or you need to move on. Wait for a Godly man who is ready to lead you. God’s timing is always better, always. No matter the circumstance. So, do not rush God. (I mean, He is, after all, pretty good at His job). Therefore, turn your full focus to Him and He will direct your path.

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

Cover Image Credit: Christina Sharp

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To Percy Jackson, I Hope You're Well...

Percy Jackson and the Olympians and the Heroes of Olympus are both series which helped shape my life. I want to share my love for them here, with you.

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Two days before I moved from New Jersey to California, I had a late night at a friend's house. Just a few miles outside of my small town of Morris Plains, his house was out of the way and a safe haven for myself and my mother during a harrowing and strenuous move. My father had been across the country already for almost two months trying to hold down his new job and prove himself. His absence was trying on me (at the tender young age of nine years old) and my mother, and we often spent time at my friend's home, as our mothers got along well.

That night came the time to say goodbye for the very last time, and as our mothers were tearfully embracing at the door, he ran up to me and shoved a book in my hands. Bewildered and confused, I tried to give him my thanks but he was already gone - running away in a childish fit that expressed his hurt at my leaving more than any words he could've said. I looked down at the book in my hands. It was a battered copy of Rick Riordan's "The Lightning Thief," with its binding bulging slightly out in a strange fashion, the cover slightly torn and bent, and quite a few pages dog-eared. The book wasn't in good condition, but I took the time to read it. I was ensnared and enchanted by the lurid descriptions of mythology, of the lovable characters of Percy, Annabeth, and Grover, and the upside-down world they lived in. Over the course of the move and our eventual settling into our new California home, I devoured the series adamantly, reading "The Battle of the Labyrinth" almost five times in the fifth grade and eventually finishing out with "The Last Olympian." The series accompanied me through a difficult move and a whirlwhind of early puberty; by that time, Percy and friends I knew intimately as my own companions. When the series ended, I happily parted with it, and began other literary conquests (namely in the realm of classics).

After an almost year-long break, I re-discovered the series in sixth grade. I hadn't realized that there was a companion series to the first, in fact, a continuation - The Heroes of Olympus. I lapped up "The Lost Hero" and "The Son of Neptune" with greed, and eagerly awaited the arrival of "The Mark of Athena" the following year.

One of my most vivid memories of middle school was sneaking downstairs the morning of the Kindle release of "The Mark of Athena", sneaking past my parents' bedroom as stealthily as I could in the wee hours of the morning to get my kindle and immerse myself in the world. I believe I finished it in about two days. For the next two books in the series, I followed the same pattern: get up early, read it as fast as I could get my hands on it. "The Blood of Olympus", the last book in the series, came out in my freshman year of high school. After finishing the second series, I shelved my much-loved paperbacks for good, and turned myself to other literary pursuits. I eventually relocated to Virginia, and went to college. Percy and friends were almost forgotten until my first year at the University of Virginia.

I was devastatingly alone my first semester at university. I didn't know what to do with myself, entombed by my loneliness. However, at the bottom of my suitcase, I found my old Kindle Paperwhite, with both of Percy's series neatly installed for me. I made a resolution with myself: I would reread both series, reading only at mealtimes where I sat alone. By the time I was finished, I wanted to see where I was compared to when I started.

Re-reading the series was like coming home. It was nostalgia, sadness, and ecstasy wrapped into one. I delighted in revisiting Percy's old haunts, his friends, his challenges. However, it was sad, knowing I had grown up and left them behind while they had stayed the same. It was a riveting memory train which made me look forward to meals, and eased my loneliness at school. Gradually, as the semester progressed, I was reading on Percy's tales less and less, as I found my friends, clubs, and organizations that gradually took up more and more time.

I still haven't finished my re-read, and am about halfway through "The Blood of Olympus". I've come a long way in the almost decade since I first received that tattered copy of "The Lightning Thief", and I still have some ways to go. So thanks, Percy, Annabeth, Grover, Jason, Piper, Reyna, Nico, Frank, Hazel, Leo. Thank you for growing up with me. I'll never forget you.

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