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5 ways classical music affects your brain and body: Part 4

Mind: Ambient noise can improve creativity

Ever wondered why some people find themselves more productive when taking their home office to a cafe instead? No, it’s not the free wifi or the endless supply of caffeine - it’s all got to do with ambient noise.

This study talks about how mid-range ambient noise can encourage creativity, and finding the right level is key. Modest ambient noise (around 70 decibels) triggers the part of our brains responsible for creative thinking. So, pumping out your favourite opera at full volume, or even working in an office where shrill phone rings interrupt your flow could be impeding your focus and creativity.

Now, we might be biased but classical music and its cousins can be pretty awesome ambient noise-makers. The piano works of Eric Satie or Phillip Glass, and the minimal, loopy creations of Steve Reich are background enough to not be distracting, yet engaging enough to trigger that all-important part of our brain responsible for creative thinking.

Give this playlist a go next time you’re working on a creative project.

Read 5 ways music affects your brain and body part 1: Your Brain - the Mozart Effect

Read 5 ways music affects your brain and body part 2: Your Body - Go for Baroque

Read 5 ways music affects your brain and body part 3: Your Health - lower your blood pressure

5 ways classical music affects your brain and body: Part 3

Health: Lower your blood pressure

Now, you don’t need to be a heart surgeon to understand the logic behind listening to relaxing music or meditative sounds to help de-stress. And nobody ever said you’d feel relaxed after listening to a 30 minute David Guetta DJ set (maybe closer to slow rocking in a corner, fingers in ears).

But, according to a bunch of different research projects it’s not just classical music that can help release your hypertension, it’s all got to do with the tempo. So let’s not go painting the entire classical back catalogue with the same fix-everything brush…there’s a big difference between Adagio for Strings and The Flight of the Bumblebee.

According to this study, listening to “rhythmically homogenous” music for just 30 minutes a day can encourage better breathing patterns and in turn reduce “ambulatory blood pressure”, that is, your blood pressure can drop over the course of an entire day - not just when you’re listening to the music.

Of course, you don’t always have to stick to the classics for the remedy, Indian Raga music has been proven to provide a similar effect, and even contemporary performers like Air, Nils Frahm, Sigur Ros, and Spiritualized are included on many a chill-out album.

Next time you’re feeling stressed, pop this rhythmically homogenous playlist on.

Read 5 ways music affects your brain and body part 1: Your Brain - the Mozart Effect

Read 5 ways music affects your brain and body part 2: Your Body - Go for Baroque

5 ways classical music affects your brain and body: Part 2

Body: Go for Baroque

Look, let’s be honest. It’s no secret that working out to a favourite playlist can inspire you to push yourself just that little bit harder - but have you ever thought of adding some Beethoven or Bach to the mix?

Not only will some upbeat and energetic classical help increase your strength and endurance, but studies have shown that the soothing qualities of the classical music tone can reduce heart rate, blood pressure and lower perceived exertion, and in some cases to lower levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.

When compiling playlist, think about the tempo of the music in relation to where you want your heart rate to be. A faster beat will ‘instruct’ your brain to energise your body. Not rocket science, right?

Get sweaty with this Spotify playlist next time you’re at the gym

Read 5 ways music affects your brain and body part 1: Your Brain - the Mozart Effect

Read 5 ways music affects your brain and body part 3: Your Health - lower your blood pressure

guardianmusic:

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OI, HAVE YOU TAKEN OUR BOWIE MUSIC VIDEO QUIZ YET?

In light of his announcement to release a shedload of music on November 17, we’re reliving some of his best videos. And quizzing you on how many you reckon you can identify from a deftly chosen* screengrab. Click away, and show off your Bowie knowledge (or lack thereof, if you’re so inclined).

*hilariously blurry because there was no HD video then

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Welcome to our new talk-free classical music stream.

You can listen online by launching the radio player, or by choosing the Classic 2 icon on your ABC Radio app. Stick around for a different perspective on classical - you might be surprised.

ABC Classic 2. Simply classical.