This I Believe

Ryan - Healdsburg, California
Entered on March 19, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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The Power of Classical Music

Not many people know it, but I enjoy listening to classical music. The reason not many people know is because talking about 18th century composers isn’t a real conversation starter. Not that I would talk about Tchaikovsky or Schubert anyways, but who knows. The music some of these composers have created is incredible to say the least. Not to bash Green Day, Fall Out Boy, The All American Rejects, or MC Lars, but they have the musical talent of a brain damaged Kevin Federline compared to George Gershwin. In fact, Mozart had composed his first minuet by age 5, his first symphonies before his ninth birthday, his first oratorio by 11, and his first opera by age 12. Johann Sebastian Bach was the author of more than 1000 known compositions, at least 664 more than the “Beatles.” The music they create is truly masterful.

For me classical music is something I can listen to doing homework, falling asleep, or whenever. If I were to put on Metallica a while at the same time attempt to do geometry homework, it just wouldn’t work. Classical is something that gets me to focus on what I’m doing, and puts me in a rhythm, with the task at hand. When I can’t focus, I turn on my iPod to “The Hebrides Overture”, by Mendelssohn. When I need to sleep I go to, Scenes from Childhood, Op 15, otherwise known as (‘Of Foreign Lands and Peoples’). Even if I need to get jacked up for a sporting event or some challenge, I know to scroll my iPod down to “Hall of the Mountain King” by Greig.

Sometimes I can almost see Frédéric Chopin sitting next to his piano late at night. He dips his quill into a small glass container with ink. When he presses the quill onto the paper a masterpiece springs from the tip. It is a wonder that I am able to listen to that today.

However, the most fascinating though of all is the complexity of the composition. Who cares about how many compositions Bach created, how hard was it to make? Frankly the skill it took to compose an entire symphony is incredible. The minimum number of different instruments in an orchestra is about 24. Many of these are in a different key meaning that one could play a C on a trumpet and it would sound different then a C on a trombone. It blows my mind to think that in just 24 days, Handel wrote a 3 hours piece called “The Messiah.”

Everything about classical music relaxes me, excites me, baffles me, and fascinates me in a way that no other music, or for that matter anything, does.