Music I’ve Fallen in Love With Since Becoming a Music Student

It’s not all Mozart and Chopin

I never thought of myself as a musician. In fact, I was originally going to study Physics. When that didn’t work out, however, I applied to study Music instead.

Since beginning my degree, I’ve found a new love for all kinds of music. I appreciate it more now that I’m studying it every day. Here are some examples of my favourite music I’ve discovered so far:

 ‘Sweeney Todd’ by Stephen Sondheim

Credit (both): CriticOnline

Sweeney Todd is probably most well-known for the film adaptation starring Jonny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter.

At the end of Fresher's week, we put on a condensed performance of Sweeney Todd in the chapel. This was a great opportunity to get to know everyone, and a chance to play as a whole year group before we each began our degree. Two years later, we still jokingly sing the songs in class.

‘Carmina Burana’ by Carl Orff

Credit: SheetMusicPlus

The most well-known song from this cantata is ‘O Fortuna’. You may know it from Glee in the scenes with Will Schuester and Sue Sylvester, or when the judges enter on the live X Factor shows. The cantata explores the idea of the wheel of fortune through the story of Blanziflor and Helena.

This was my first ‘professional’ performance at university with the AU Choral Society. I was full of excitement from the first crash of drums to the very last (loooooooong) note. I had the great opportunity to sing this with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra a year later. My favourite song from the cycle is ‘In XIV Taberna Quando Sumus’. It’s hard to keep up with the rhythm, but when you finally get it, it feels amazing.

Beethoven’s 9th Symphony

Credit: Caleb and Linda Pirtle

I’ve always known this song from its appearance in films but never really listened to it properly. Performing this song with the AU Choral Society brought the piece into a new light for me. It has a firm place in my ‘Favourite Music’ playlist and makes up most of my German knowledge. Freude!

The Beatles

Credit: Amazon

I’ve never really been one to listen to The Beatles. I began listening to their music on repeat around March this year and was hooked. My favourites are ‘Eleanor Rigby’, ‘Penny Lane’, and ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’. I admire their ability to blend somewhat commercial music with an exploration into areas of composition. I often look to their use of rhythm when writing my own compositions.

Elton John

Credit: David Dagley/Rex Features Via The Guardian

Elton John’s music has always been in the background of my life. I remember ‘Are You Ready for Love’ being played a lot in my childhood.

It was the release of ‘Rocketman’ that really sparked my interest. Not only is Elton an excellent composer (credit to Bernie Taupin for his lyrical contribution), he is a wonderful performer who really knows how to work the stage. Currently, ‘Bennie and the Jets’ is my favourite song of his. It’s a great song without meaning to be.

I think this obsession is here to stay!