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Change Your Mood With Music

Shel Horowitz's Monthly Frugal Fun Tip for July, 2003

This Month's Tip: Improve Your Mood With Music

Since I've been ushering for a whole bunch of concerts lately, music has been on my mind.

Music can energize, calm, inspire.

I've often relied on music to get me out of a funk. And depending on my mood, I'll go for a wide range of types.

You'll probably have your own list of favorites; here are 10 of mine:

Pete Seeger, Wimoweh: a rousing South African inspirational, recorded in many versions. Seeger's '60's recordings show the full range of his voice at the peak of his powers, and are far more satisfying than the much more popish "Lion Sleeps Tonight" version that was a hit for The Tokens in the '60's. There are also some really great South African versions of this song, often under the name, Mbube--but I don't own them...yet.

Beethoven's 9th Symphony, 4th movement ("Ode to Joy". Burned into my consciousness at an early age, this was the first piece of classical choral music that resonated with me, and its infectious melody can lift my mood easily.

The Who, "We Don't Get Fooled Again." If I'm angry at the world, this loud, intense song of distrusting government has me burning up calories and frustrations, dancing in my living room.

Rachmaninoff: "Prelude in c Sharp Minor" A piano instrumental of incredible passion. Heart music for me! I hope my daughter will record it someday; she plays it beautifully.

Howlin' Wolf: "Smokestack Lightning." The bluesiest blues song I know, and a great voice.

Jefferson Airplane: "White Rabbit." Another song I love to dance to, that simply allows my body to take over and take my mind off whatever's been wearing it down.

Joan Baez: "Diamonds and Rust." Her angst-filled relationship with Dylan is more interesting than whatever I'm worrying about at the time.

Bruch: "Violin Concerto in G Minor, Op. 26." A beautiful concerto that demonstrates the full range of beautiful sounds a violin can make, with a mix of tempos.

George Harrison, "What Is Life." That guitar part is sooo happy!

For #10, I'm going to cheat: the Rolling Stones, Neil Diamond, ethnic music from South Africa, Brittany, or the Jewish ghettos of Eastern Europe, Janis Joplin, Crosby Stills Nash and about a thousand other pieces of music that I turn when I need a certain mood.

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