Music Sooths the Savage Beast

You may have noticed that my daily series have gone slightly off the rails, I plan to reign everything back in after the wedding and honeymoon. Effectively that will be November. I made this quote the title because as forward as it is, it is true.

Savage Beast

This quote comes from English playwright and poet, William Congreve. This line is often misattributed to Shakespeare and mostly, misquoted. The quote actually states ‘music has charms to sooth a savage breast’, but through time and interpretation we now recognize the bastardized version I’ve used for the title as correct. William Congreve’s literary career lasted only seven years and was not very successful, so I think we will make sure that Old Bill doesn’t get credit for this one.


What made me think of today’s blog post was, shockingly enough, planning my wedding. I will be the first one to admit that I have a shorter temper than most, there may be an incoming over-share here, so look away if you’re really sensitive. My temper gets cut in half when I am hormonal. Today was a particularly trying day because I KNOW I am hormonal and I’ve been running in circles all day. I had a vendor ask me for some specific information that required a lot of thought and careful selection.

I spent all day scraping together this information and sent it off. I felt an internal sigh of a mission accomplished. They messaged me Monday (while I was on my deathbed with the flu) and said they needed this info by the absolute latest on Wednesday. Very little notice, but I got the job done.
They emailed me back with a list three times as long… at 4pm. I… was… livid. I was also at work with people stopping by my desk and giving me work etc. Not the best place to be in hulk-like rage mode.
I plugged in and kept listening to my podcasts, but after a few minutes I was still really angry. I decided to switch over to music and turned on songza. Since my catastrophic iPhone meltdown, I haven’t signed into songza, so my username and password were not saved… put the metaphorical hammer down and back away slowly. Stuck with only the music on my phone, I didn’t think this would be the best time to listen to the Chicago soundtrack… or something of a similar feel.

I settled on my contemporary classical playlist, which is mostly comprised of The Piano Guys. I like listening to classical music, but sometimes I need something that really makes me want to dance and in a moment like I was having, I definitely needed something a little dancier than Bach. This worked perfectly, I really got into the music and it helped me center myself a little bit.

Strange as it sounds, but I actually haven’t been listening to all that much music. Sure there is music in the background all the time, but I am not actually listening to it; it’s just a kind of ambient noise. Music has all sorts of great effects on your mood and brain, especially classical.
Classical music effects how we see neutral faces, if you play happier classical, you see neutral faces in a positive way and if you play sad classical you see them in a negative light. The music effects your mood, which effects how you interpret a person’s face and the underlying mood associated with that face.
All the people who make up a new playlist to go to the gym have got a good habit to keep. When exercising while listening to music helps your body ignore the brains cries of fatigue.

Music has been a proven and effective means of calming, healing and behavioral therapy. I play piano, and when I listen to cello music, there is something about it that resonates with my soul. I would love to eventually learn how to play the cello, I’ve always loved the sound and have no idea why. Maybe I played in a past life? Listening to contemporary classical can bring me from 60 to zero in minutes, but with a higher tempo I can get a really good workout at the gym. With all these uses, it’s easy to let music become an ambient noise in the background at malls and in the car, but it does so much more when you actually listen.