MINDFUL MOMENTS

Why geniuses listen to classical music and you should too

Classical music inspires the world's smartest people. 
The IDAGIO
 app opens up their musical universe to everyone.

4 min • 40.1K reads

When the BBC’s Desert Island Discs radio show quizzed scientist Stephen Hawking about the music he’d like have with him if stranded alone on a desert island, music by Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, Wagner and Puccini were among his choices – alongside songs by the Beatles and Edith Piaf. 

ABOUT THE WRITER

Regina is a journalist and content editor from Berlin. Although her own musical career was cut short due to lack of talent and practice, she is an admirer and avid listener of classical music.  

Regina Leuwer

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The way we listen to music today has moved on: the walkman – disc or tape – has gone from must-have listening tool to retro accessory. Today's desert island castaway would only need a smartphone and the IDAGIO app to have thousands of recordings with them (as long as there's somewhere to charge it). Mozart & Co, however, remain constant. So does the fact the classical music remains the choice of some of the world's most successful and creative people.

But if classical's a world you're not familiar with or only just starting out to explore, IDAGIO, the new streaming service designed specifically for classical music, can give you a head-start, too.
For the uninitiated, it's often difficult to know where to start: Mozart himself wrote over 600 pieces, varying in mood and length; some pieces for piano, some for orchestra, some for singers – or permutations of all three or more. IDAGIO's expert curators cut through the catalogue numbers and the key signatures to take you straight to the music you want – and need. 

Does classical music make us smarter - or do smart people listen to classical?

Why are classical music lovers more successful?  

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Does classical music make us smarter - or do smart people listen to classical?

Looking back at history, then, you probably won't be surprised to finds dozens of examples of great thinkers who were classical fans. Albert Einstein was an amateur violinist who said that Mozart’s music "was so pure that it seemed to have been ever-present in the universe." For the philosopher Friedrich Nietszche, the great Austrian composer found his inspiration "not by listening to music, but in the observation of life."

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And if he could only take one recording with him? "It would have to be the Mozart Requiem," he answered, referring to the choral work, composed as a mass for the dead, that the composer famously left unfinished at his own death at the age of just 36. "I could listen to that until the batteries in my disc Walkman ran out," Hawking added. 

The benefits of classical music – playing it as well as listening to it – are well proven. Studies repeatedly show that playing an instrument can improve motor skills and concentration among young children. Classical music is great art, but great art with unmatched lifestyle benefits: while pop or jazz have the same restorative effect on high-blood pressure as total silence, classical music has been shown in experiments to allow subjects to relax much more quickly.
For the stressed – and who doesn't get stressed these days? – classical music offers escape and space. In a world of instant gratification and swipe-left dismissal of anything that's not immediately attractive, classical music invites you to take time, to savour, to rediscover the pleasure of slow-release. It's a craft brew in a world of quick-fix fizz and buzz; but music that offers a special sort of complex, rich and rewarding intoxication and trance.
 

And you might be surprised to hear the musical pedigree of other major figures today. A 2013 feature in the New York Times asked the following question: "What is it about serious musical training that seems to correlate with outsize success in other fields?" The same article went on to list multiple examples: Condoleezza Rice trained as a concert pianist; finance whizz and billionaire Bruce Kovner a musician who trained at New York's prestigious Juilliard School. "Look carefully", the writer says, "and you’ll find musicians at the top of almost any industry." The article concludes by asking us to "consider the qualities these high achievers say music has sharpened: collaboration, creativity, discipline and the capacity to reconcile conflicting ideas." 

The Berlin-based streaming service, designed specifically for classical, offers carefully selected playlists to fit any mood or requirement. Classical music, we've seen, has been proven to help concentration, and IDAGIO's 'Stay Focused' playlist gives you the perfect selection to help cut out the noise of the everyday. It features music by well-known names (Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Satie) as well as composers that take you into more specialist territory. "Uncomplicated music," IDAGIO curator Arno Lücker writes, "with a clear sense of direction...a mixture of stimulation and calm."
Other playlists introduce you to 'Slow piano', offer classics to help cool you down in the midsummer heat, introduce you to great composers and capture any mood. Improve your concentration, unleash your potential and find your inner calm all at once. Discover classical music...discover IDAGIO.

At IDAGIO, we are building the ultimate streaming service for classical music. We have developed a proprietary data model and our own unique technological solution to structure and display classical music in a clear, clean way. This is why users, musicians, and labels alike affirm that IDAGIO has developed the very best interface for classical music.

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BY REGINA LEUWER | NOVEMBER 17, 2018

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