A new grocery store opened up in town recently. So, shopping list in hand, The Mister and I checked it out. Within the first five minutes we knew we weren’t the target shopper. How did we know? By the music playing the background. It was aggressive, edgy, and loud. We went into the store curious. We left totally stressed out.
The Mister felt the urge to go home and yell at someone to get off of his lawn. I just wanted to lie down with a cold compress.
Instead, I turned on some “beautiful music.” If you’ve seen a mid-20th century romantic movie, you’ve heard what has been called beautiful music. This genre of music is characterized by lush orchestral arrangements. During the mid-century, supermarkets, doctors’ offices, and, yes, even elevators, played beautiful music in the background. In the movies, this type of music was designed to convey a certain domestic serenity and so beautiful music also became known as “mood music.” Eventually, the term mood music expanded to mean music that fits the mood you are in, such as “road trip music.”
A lot of people don’t realize this but Jackie Gleason (yes, THAT, one) was a master at putting studio musicians together to create outstanding albums*. Under the headline, “Jackie Gleason Presents…” we are provided with lush music that enables us to imagine that we are starring in our own movies about gracious living.
Beautiful Music on YouTube
I discovered high quality beautiful music while rummaging around in YouTube one day. After that, I was hooked. And the best part is that the best playlists give me hours of uninterrupted music from aficionados who are dedicated to finding and transferring the original vinyl records into digital format for the rest of us to enjoy.
Who to Follow
- Gustavo Morales Battaglini – It seems like most of my favorite albums have been uploaded by “GMB” as he tags them. It may be my imagination but the albums are usually quite romantic.
- Dr. Hofmann’s Electric Kool-Aid Party – His collection is more eclectic than GMB’s but still worth following.
- Brian Hendricks – It was Brian’s albums and playlists that introduced me to the world of beautiful music. He specializes in jazz (how I came across his collection) and space pop (fun but not my style of music).
Three Favorite YouTube Playlists
This playlist consists of mostly “Jackie Gleason presents” music. There are a couple of jarring additions to the list but I usually just skip those albums using the >| button on the YouTube player.
This playlist primarily features albums by Paul Weston, another master of lush orchestral music.
This playlist is for those quiet evenings at home. This is the playlist that reminds me the most of background music in mid-century romantic movies.
What We Listen to Impacts How We See the World
There is a reciprocal relationship between the music we listen to and how we see the world. In a study, researchers found that visual perception was impacted by the mood of the music the subjects were listening to. Essentially, subjects who listened to happy music (chosen by the subjects) saw happy faces. Subjects who listened to sad music (again, chosen by the subjects), saw sad faces. There were also “false positives” during the study. For example, subjects listening to sad music would claim that happy faces shown to them were sad faces. It is not far fetched to assume that other types of mood music also impact how we view the world.
Since we are striving for a gracious lifestyle, it is important that we examine the kind of music we are listening to. Does the music support our desire to live serenely and graciously, or is it having a negative impact on helping us be the kind of women we want to be?
In the comments, below, or on the Modern Retro Woman Facebook page share with us how music impacts your moods.
Until next time, have a fabulous Technicolor day!
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Image source: Pepsi advertisement, 1957, courtesy of Classic Film on Flickr.com
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