Best Way to Use Music to Relax

People respond to music on a highly individual level. What one person may find relaxing and soothing, another may find boring or irritating. When we hear a piece of music we may recall the emotional experiences of other times we heard that music. There are, however, particular pieces of music that are likely to assist you in achieving a relaxed state.

When choosing music for relaxation, it is important to establish what you want to achieve. Do you want to reach a state of deep relaxation? Or do you wish to focus while you work or study? Perhaps you need a boost of energy.

Use Music To Relax Best Way to Use Music to Relax

Music whose tempo is faster than our resting heartbeat will often have the effect of increasing our heart rare, breathing, and blood pressure. Similarly, music with a slower tempo can assist in lowering them.

To relax deeply, music with a slow tempo and even rhythm is most effective. Much of the new music written for relaxation utilizes long, sustained notes and may incorporate sounds from nature such as bird song.

Pieces for solo instruments, two instruments, or for small chamber groups help the mind focus. Most music of the Baroque period is useful for this purpose. Energizing music will generally have a faster pace and may be more complex in its instrumentation.

Calming and soothing music

From the Baroque period

  • Canon in ID by Pachelbel (violins and basso continuo)
  • Adagio in G minor by Albinoni (strings and organ)

From the Classical period

  • “Laudate Dominum” aria from Vesperae solennes de confessore, K339 by Mozart (soprano and orchestra)
  • Slow movements from Piano Concertos Nos. 20, 21, 23, 24 by Mozart
  • Clarinet Concerto in A, 2nd movement, by Mozart
  • Piano Sonata Op. 27 No. 2. 1st movement, by Beethoven (“Moonlight”)
  • Symphony No. 7, slow movement, by Beethoven

From the Romantic period

  • The complete Nocturnes by Chopin (piano solo)
  • Piano Quintet in A Op. 81 by Dvorak (piano and string quartet)
  • Largo from Symphony No. 9 in E minor Op. 95 by Dvorak (“From The New World”)

Use Music To Relax 1 Best Way to Use Music to Relax

From the French Impressionists and early 20th century

  • La Mer by Debussy (orchestral)
  • Deux Arabesques Nos. 1 & 2 by Ravel (piano solo)
  • “Clair de Lune” from Suite bergamasque by Debussy (piano solo)
  • Pavane for a Dead Princess by Ravel (orchestral or piano version)
  • Arrangements for flute and harp of pieces by Debussy, Ravel, Faure, and others
  • Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis by Vaughan Williams (orchestral)

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