What Is Great Music?

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April 16, 2018
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May 3, 2018

What do Mozart, Chopin, U2, Adele, Ed Sheeran, and Bruno Mars have in common? In plain English, all of their music can have an impact on our emotions. Some say that classical music can heal and even relieve muscle pain and tension. It can calm us down in general. I think that is true for other types of music, too. For example, I sometimes have tears in my eyes when I listen to U2’s “One.” Without sounding overly dramatic, “One” just touches my heart everytime I listen to it. It also helps that Bono is not just a cool, interesting celebrity, but he is someone who has a vision for how the world should be and for how great it could become.


I recently watched an episode of 60 Minutes featuring Bruno Mars during my flight from Hong Kong to London. During the show Bruno Mars was asked the question, “How do you write great music?” As a songwriter and composer myself, I get asked this question all the time -what feels like thousands of times- so I was curious as to how Bruno Mars would answer. With a big smile on his face, Bruno looked at the interviewer and said, “Well, you just have to keep on trying. Some days are better than the others. It could take few minutes to years before I can come up with a great tune and great rhythm.” I couldn’t agree more; you just have to keep trying. Listening to different genres of music, roaming around YouTube, and going to a variety of concerts can all inspire you to be a better composer, songwriter, and producer.

We all need to be inspired at different points in our lives. Mozart loved Haydn’s music. Haydn was, of course, the great master in classical music. Furthermore, lots of Hollywood film composers love to use Holst’s “The Planets” as a bible for composing film music. Some might not know Holst as a household name. He’s an influential, but largely under-appreciated, British composer.

This goes to show how impactful music can be. From Haydn to Holst to Bono and Bruno Mars, the list of musicians capable of affecting our emotions through great music plays on.

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