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KEEPING COMPOSURE: Despite being centuries old, many classical composers’ pieces are still significant today

Karen Zhang

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In celebration of mozart’s 262nd birthday this Saturday, the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra will perform along with pianist Sean Chen at the Schrott Center for the Arts.

Despite dying such a long time ago, Mozart and other classical composers and their pieces continue to stay relevant to this day. Junior Grace Field said she believes one reason is because these composers form the foundation of what music is today.

“Classical music is so popular even though it’s been centuries (since they lived) because (those composers) started it all. We wouldn’t have the music we have today if they didn’t write those pieces,” Field said. “They’re the foundation of what music has become today in different shapes and forms.”

KEEPIN’ IT CLASSIC:
Senior Lauren Salmon reads off her stand. As part of the Symphony ensemble, Salmon said she believes music provides a variety of benefits.
AMY ZHOU | PHOTOS

Director of orchestras Elisabeth Ohly-Davis said she agrees with Field. She also believes classical music is still popular today due to its skill and quality composition.

“I think there’s a lot of quality writing in classical music. What I mean is that the classical composers whose music still proliferates our own culture is extremely well constructed,” Ohly-Davis said. “For example, there’s a form that engages our interest along with notes and chords arranged in a way that are very appealing acoustically and aesthetically.”

Field composes her own music and she said one of her pieces was inspired by a classical composer.

“One of my favorite compositions and one of my first compositions is called ‘I Can’ and it was inspired by Pachelbel’s Canon in D,” Field said. “In the song I try to send the message that you can overcome your troubles; people overcome their hardships in different ways, but you can do this.”

So far, Field has composed seven pieces, and she said she created each piece with an idea in mind.

“Composing is kind of in the moment and pretty random. Every composer is a little different, but for me, I start off with an idea,” Field said. “I always try to have a story behind my songs and usually is based off of an idea or emotion. It also takes a lot of focus because it’s not easy to come up with something. You have to be creative too. You have to learn what sounds good and hear that balance in your ear and you just have to go for it.”

While she does not compose music, senior Lauren Salmon said she listens to a wide variety of compositions and believes classical music has several benefits to the listener.

“(Classical music) is also a great example of the period that it came from. It offers a good perspective of that time,” Salmon said. “Also, whenever I study, I listen to classical music. I think it stimulates focus and is also relaxing. It can also make you feel very creative and different expressive emotions from the artist.”

Ohly-Davis said she agrees with Salmon and said that other genres besides classical music also have an impact on listeners.

“For me personally, I think music takes me to different places, depending on what type of music is being played,” Ohly-Davis said, “it evokes a feeling, memory or even a wish. I think music has the opportunity to take people to certain places or to create different moods. For classical music especially, because it is so far from our own time, you just need to realize that people were human just like we are human today, even though the circumstances have changed, and the music from that time can still be relevant.”

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