Suggestions of relaxing pieces

June 30, 2018, 4:06 AM · Hello everyone,

Music of different kinds can create different emotions. I am looking for pieces that create a state of peace of mind in both the player and the listener : a feeling to stop thinking and be mindful, not a desire to cry or dance or fall in love.

I know it's easier to find this kind of music with other instruments (flute, piano, traditional asian instuments...).

One example i found is air on the G string :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLk8OILr72U

Do you have any suggestions of sources or pieces ?

Thank you anyway

Replies (13)

June 30, 2018, 4:40 AM · Arvo Pärt, Spiegel im Spiegel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hV4LlCtvgwE
June 30, 2018, 4:52 AM · 2nd movement of Brahms D minor violin sonata.

That piece gives gives me an "out-of-body" type of experience every time I've ever performed it.

It still amazes me to this day. I've played it so many times, every note is complete ingrained, I know exactly what's coming at every turn. There should be no surprises left by now.

And yet as soon as my bow starts to draw across the G string my mind always enters a special, ethereal zone without fail. A place seemingly reserved for that piece alone.

June 30, 2018, 6:55 AM · Granted that some music has a more relaxing effect than others. And some famous soprano sax players make me agitated regardless of style of music. But relaxation is an internal state, and it can arise despite contrary external stimuli. My playing and learning is better when I have a more relaxed attitude and state, without compromise, and it needs to be so, independently of the type of music.
Edited: June 30, 2018, 7:36 AM · Tchaikovsky Melodie is very calming to me, but it is a bit gushy. I have always felt the most peace when listening to Bach’s music. Not the dramatic parts like the Chaconne, but Gavotte en Rondeau/Loure/Minuettes from the E major Partita, any of the Fugues, or the Sarabande from Partita 2. I know a lot of these are dance movements, but there’s just something about Bach that puts me at ease.
July 4, 2018, 12:04 PM · Svendson Romance. This is the first thing that came to mind. (I had a cat who used to climb my legs whenever I would play this piece. Never figured out why and he never climbed me any other time.)

Rebecca Clarke Lullaby

Rachel Barton Pine has a collection out of lullabies.

July 4, 2018, 12:15 PM · 2nd movement of Bach Concerto for Two Violins.

July 4, 2018, 3:25 PM · Choum,

For a short piece: the theme from "The Mission" a.k.a., Gabriel's Oboe. Short, soulful, meditative, beautiful and repeats are always welcome.

July 4, 2018, 3:36 PM · Check out consort music recorded by Fretwork. Another option is renesanse Music... Gregorian chants and vocal music from Orthodox Christian tradition.
July 4, 2018, 3:45 PM · Song to the Moon from Rusalka by Dvorak
Casta Diva from Norma by Bellini
Ave Maria by Schubert
Meditation from Thais
The Swan
July 5, 2018, 12:05 AM · Might as well add the slow movement of Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante for violin, viola and orchestra.
July 5, 2018, 10:58 AM · 2nd movement of the bruch and mendelssohn violin concertos.
July 6, 2018, 5:56 PM · If you are looking to relax with music in the background, I find atonal music doing a good job of blocking any other thoughts, perhaps because I respond to it similar to the way I respond to white noise, unless I am deliberately and intently listening. I find myself blocking out the background completely if I'm listening to tonal music in the background, often wandering in other thoughts instead, which in itself is tiring for me.

If you want music to listen to intently and feel relaxed, I usually find Schubert doing the trick because his music sounds relatively simpler than most other composers. I think slow Baroque music works in a similar way: simple embellishments, relatively expected progression, usually with a basso continuo, etc.

If you want less emotional focus, what about pastoral music instead of absolute music?

July 6, 2018, 6:43 PM · For me, meditative music should be repetitive, not emotion-inducing (which a lot of the slow Mozart movements are). I think the Part suggestion was spot on.

I recently heard a very fine performance of a Philip Glass piano concerto and was struggling to stay awake. But it strikes me that such a piece would suit the bill perfectly.

From earlier eras, some of the solo piano repertoire by Debussy and Ravel could also be good. And maybe the Goldberg Variations?



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