best movie scores

Quiz: Which Well-Known Symphonic Movie Score Represents You?

best movie scores

Summertime is a prime time for blockbuster movies, and 2016 is no exception!

But even with all the new movies on the way, there’s nothing quite like the classics. Think about the movies that took you on great adventures, pulled at your heartstrings, and got your adrenaline racing. Which ones top your list?

Now think: can you recall the movie score? For many of the acclaimed films from the last few decades, the music behind it is integral. After all, where would Jaws be without the iconic two-note theme? Would Star Wars be the same without its epic intro?

Although not all movie-goers recognize it, it’s the music that leads you on the journey and coaxes your emotions out.

So, let’s have a little fun. Out of the best movie scores, which one represents you? Is your personality more adventurous… or more romantic?

Find out with this fun quiz from Connolly Music:

What’s YOUR soundtrack? Leave a comment below and share your results!

Want to learn more about the best movie scores, and how to get started composing your own? Continue exploring with these links:

Photo by Andrés Nieto Porras

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benefits of listening to classical music

10 Shocking Benefits of Listening to Classical Music [Infographic]

benefits of listening to classical music

Chances are you’ve heard that there are several benefits of listening to classical music. But is there any actual truth behind this statement? According to numerous studies, there absolutely is.

There are a ton of brainy benefits one derives from listening to classical music. From pain management to improved sleep quality, listening to classical music has both mental and physical benefits.

In fact, simply listening to classical music as background noise can have a significant impact on your mood, productivity, and creativity.

I guess those old guys were really onto something, huh.

Below are some surprising benefits of listening to classical music backed by actual science.

benefits of listening to classical music

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10 Benefits of Listening to Classical Music

1. Decreases blood pressure

Want to keep your heart healthy? According to an Oxford University study, listening to classical music can help reduce one’s blood pressure.

In the study, researchers played participants different styles of music, including rap, pop, techno, and classical.

Classical music was effective at lowering participant’s blood pressure, while rap, pop, and techno actually raised blood pressure.

2. Boosts memory

Did you know that listening to Mozart can actually help improve your memory? According to a study, people who listened to Mozart’s music showed an increase in brain wave activity that’s linked directly to memory.

So next time you have to memorize a big speech or presentation, put on some Mozart while you practice.

3. Sparks creativity

To get your creative juices flowing, listen to some classical music. While listening to classical music won’t instantly make you creative, it will help put into a more creative mindset.

Next time you need to brainstorm, try listening to some Mozart or Bach to get your mind thinking outside the box.

4. Reduces stress levels

If you’re feeling particularly stressed, listen to some classical tunes. A study found that pregnant women who listened to classical music were less likely to feel stressed throughout their pregnancy.

Scientists claim that classical music’s tempo is similar to the human heart, which eases both anxiety and depression.

5. Supercharges brainpower

Do you have a big test or project coming up? Boost your brainpower by listening to some classical music.

In a study, French researchers found that students who listened to a lecture in which classical music was played in the background scored better on a test compared to other students.

6. Fights depression

When you’re feeling down in the dumps, ditch the donuts and opt for some classical music instead.

Several studies have proven that classical music helps relieve depression and melancholy.

In fact, a study from Mexico discovered that listening to classical music can help ease symptoms of depression.

7. Puts you to sleep

Do you toss and turn for hours before finally falling asleep? Rather than squeeze in another episode of Games of Thrones or New Girl, listen to classical music.

According to a study of people with sleep issues, listening to classical music for just 45 minutes prior to bed can help improve sleep quality.

8. Relieves pain

Instead of reaching for another Tylenol, you might want to consider playing a Bach or Beethoven playlist. Multiple studies have shown that listening to classical music can help relieve pain.

According to researchers in London, patients listening to classical music used significantly less pain medication.

9. Makes you happy

Want to get out of that bad mood you’re in? Listening to classical music can help increase dopamine secretion, which activates the brain’s reward and pleasure center.

In fact, a 2013 study found that music can help put people in a better mood.

10. Improves productivity

It’s a Monday morning and you can’t seem to get it together. To help boost productivity, listen to some classical music.

A series of studies have proven that music makes repetitive tasks more enjoyable.

A study performed by researchers at the University of Maryland found that Baroque classical music in the reading room can help improve radiologists’ efficiency and accuracy.

Give it a Try!

While classical music can’t raise your IQ 10 points, there are a ton of benefits of listening to classical music. Not sure where to start? Our friends at Merriam Music put together a great beginner’s guide here.

Whether you need to cram for an important presentation or you simply want a good night’s sleep, classical music can help. But Don’t just take our word for it. Try it out for yourself and let us know what benefits of listening to classical music you experience!

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Classical Music Concert

Concerts in San Francisco: Inside the Classical Music Scene

Classical Music Concert In San FranciscoWith so many different types of music in San Francisco and so many cultural activities to explore, it can be easy to forget that SF has an incredible classical music scene! Here’s your guide to classical concerts in San Francisco, plus other ways to listen to Wagner, Haydn, Stravinsky, Bach, and Chopin while living in the City by the Bay.

Classical Music on the Radio in San Francisco

The radio is your daily connection to classical music, whether you’re commuting in your car, working at your desk, jogging with headphones, or relaxing before bed. These are the best stations for classical music in San Francisco:

  • KDFC 90.3 FM: KDFC is the giant of classical music in San Francisco. They play classical music and opera day and night, with special programs such as Baroque by the Bay and Mozart in the Morning.

  • KALW 91.7 FM: With a wide variety of programming, classical music isn’t the only thing featured on this public radio station in SF, but it’s a big part. Their Open Air show hosts interviews with renowned conductors and live orchestras. Revolutions Per Minute plays classical and contemporary music on vintage vinyl records, and The Record Shelf discusses the lives and techniques of legendary classical composers while playing their music.

Live Classical Music in San Francisco

After listening to the greatest works of Beethoven and Bach on your radio all week, when the weekend comes, it’s time to go experience the magic of a live orchestra. Luckily, classical music concerts in San Francisco are easy to find if you know where to look. Here are the top venues for classical music:

  • San Francisco Chamber Orchestra: Sometimes, instead of hearing a full orchestra, it’s nice to focus on just a few instruments and enjoy the intimacy of a small venue. The San Francisco Chamber Orchestra plays free concerts of classical chamber music, usually in the Nourse Theater (275 Hayes Street), the First Congregational Church in Nob Hill (2345 Channing Way) and the First United Methodist Church of Palo Alto (625 Hamilton Avenue). They also have ticketed events at the Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse in downtown Berkeley (2020 Addison Street).

  • Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra: This orchestra lets you travel into the past and hear classical music in its original form. They use instruments created in antique styles and play in the manner of the time period each classical work was composed. Their concerts are held at the Herbst Theatre in Civic Center (401 Van Ness Avenue).

  • San Francisco Symphony: The San Francisco Symphony is one of the best in the world. Music fans can experience the glory of classical music at the Davies Symphony Hall in Civic Center.

  • Midsummer Mozart Festival: This festival is all about Mozart! Performances are held around the Bay Area, with concerts in San Francisco taking place at the Florence Gould Theater in Outer Richmond (100 34th Avenue).

  • American Bach Soloists: This group hosts both a concert series that lasts from December through May and a summer music festival in July. In addition to Bach, they also perform the works of Handel, Vivaldi, and other greats. The festival and many of their seasonal concerts are held at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (50 Oak Street).

San Francisco’s vibrant classical music scene is as good as any in the country. Check out these venues, festivals, and radio stations to hear some of the best music in history. Enjoy!


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Concerts in Dallas: Inside the Classical Music Scene

Classical Music Concerts In The Dallas AreaLovers of Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, and Wagner have plenty to enjoy in Dallas. Amid the country and jazz, oldies and gospel, religious and Latino tunes, there is a vibrant and active classical music scene in D-Town for you to enjoy. You can easily find classical concerts in Dallas at some of the most breathtaking venues.

Classical Music Radio in Dallas

In the car or at home, tune your radio to WRR Classical 101.1. Not only does this station entertain and uplift listeners with music from the world’s most fabulous composers, conductors, and performers, it offers a website that serves as a portal to all things cultural in the thriving Dallas community.

Visit the WWR website at the link above to learn about all of the upcoming performances by the nationally acclaimed Dallas Symphony, as well as other news and information about other artistic performances, such as plays and other live music in Dallas.

Classical Music Festivals in Dallas

If you are into classical music, you simply can’t miss the Big “D” Classic festival! This event takes place on several dates throughout the spring, and at several different locations, so check the website and schedule for the details. You can enjoy this festival at places like Majestic Theater, the MacGorman Performing Arts Center, the Meyerson Symphony Center, and City Performance Hall. The festival features various classical and choral performances.

Classical Music Venues in Dallas

The Meyerson Symphony Center is the home of the nationally recognized Dallas Symphony orchestra, which has performed in the Dallas area since 1900. Season tickets to the symphony are a fantastic gift you can give (or get for yourself) if you’re a Dallas music lover. However, this isn’t the only venue where you can find classical concerts in Dallas.

Majestic Theater is operated by the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs and hosts a variety of concerts, plus other entertainment from comedy acts to local cultural events. Check the Event Calendar on their website to find out what’s coming up that you might be interested in.

The MacGorman Performing Arts Center is the largest center in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for hosting performances. In addition to various classical music concerts, the venue features a variety of cultural activities to enjoy, including archaeological exhibits like the Dead Sea Scrolls. The venue often invites experts in the field to hold informative lectures about the exhibits. Keep your eyes on the website for upcoming concerts in Dallas, as well as other cultural opportunities.

Situated conveniently in the Dallas Arts District is the Dallas City Performance Hall, which often hosts the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, as well as visiting orchestras and other live performances. Here, you can see fashion shows, stand-up comedians, choral performances, dance performances, music festivals, and much more.

Finding classical music and concerts in Dallas doesn’t have to be difficult. With the right resources at your fingertips, you can find something fun and enriching to do practically any night of the week. You might be surprised at how much there is to check out in Dallas!


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Students Listening to Music While Studying Can Help

Students – Listening to Music While Studying Can Help!

studying with music

Ah, the power of music!  Recent research has found that fast-paced beats can increase your exercise intensity and slow, quiet music can even reduce stress. But what type of music is best to help you study?  Los Angeles teacher Kelly K. shares her findings here…


It is widely accepted that the best environment for concentration is a quiet one; however the majority of students in the US say they prefer to study while listening to music, and in fact the highest achieving students are even guiltier of this.  Why do students do this?  To block out more distracting noise, to motivate themselves, to stay awake or to calm nerves… Whatever the reason, it’s important to find music that will serve your needs, while causing the least amount of distraction. The type of music a student listens to while studying contributes to how much information she can retain and how well she can focus.  The most common type of music students report listening to while studying is popular music.  However, if a person chooses to listen to music while trying to complete a task, is popular music really the best choice?

No!  Classical instrumental is by far the better choice.  Inspired by the findings of “The Mozart Effect,” I researched this further for my senior thesis in college.  I had 112 participants and my results were statistically significant.  I found that, on average, students score 90% on spatial reasoning tasks conducted in silence, 83% when listening to classical instrumental music, and 72% while listening to popular music with lyrics.  This means that your choice of music could affect your GPA by a whole letter grade!  One of the reasons for this may be that, due to a person’s capacity for attention, lyrics inhibit ability to focus.

Interestingly enough, I found that women are not only more likely to listen to music while trying to complete a task, but they are also more likely to become distracted by it.  So, girls: try to study in a quiet environment, but if you must listen to music, make a good choice and go for classical rather than popular!

No matter what the reason, students are more likely to study while listening to music than to study in silence.  So, make a smart decision and go for classical instead of popular – it could make the difference of a whole letter grade!

KellyKKelly K. teaches piano to students of all ages and levels in Los Angeles, CA.  She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a minor in Music from Scripps College, and joined the TakeLessons team in August 2011. Sign up for lessons with Kelly here!



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