Classical composers that will boost your productivity

By: Frederik van Deurs co-founder of , 27. aug 2015                             

A big thing in the entrepreneurial world is motivation, work habits and triggers for productivity. Yuccies are constantly searching for new ways to hack life and hack productivity. Obviously, as a yuccie, you have to know your classical music. Classical music is named by many a creator, to be among the best soundtracks for creation. This blogpost gives you a brief introduction to five of the absolutely most influencial classical composers of all times.

Each composer has a “cool conversational show-off line” memorise these and drop them in discussion to earn easy cultural knowledge points. Impress cultural snobs and/or other yuccies with these 1-liners that instantly demonstrate cultural education.

Why is this important?

When talking about habits, habit formation, creativity and productivity, I find music to be one of the most powerful drivers. When i write academic papers, I put on Beethovens collected work, push ctrl+alt+cmd+8 (this command inverts colours so you have black screen and write in white). I have never done anything but written academic work in this setup. This makes it super easy for me to fall into the same track of highly productive time, everytime I repeat the ritual. This might be my personal #1 yuccie hack.

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart might be the most well-known classical composer of all times. If you need an introduction to classical music, Mozart is a great place to start. Mozart was a prodigal child and mastered the piano from an early age. During his lifetime he managed to put out more than 600 music pieces – quite impressive when you know that he only lived for 35 years. Mozart is renown for having made popular, the classical piano concert.

Cool conversational show-off line:

Mozart spent a lot of time performing for European royalty, his music looked back to the contrapuntal of the late baroque era.

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Ludwig van Beethoven is by far my favourite composer of all times. His music reflects a sort of order through chaos with an amount of predictability that I really appreciate. He was born in Germany and worked in transition from the Classical period to the Romantic period. He became almost deaf by the end of his career, but this didn't stop him from composing one of his absolutely best works, the 9t symphony.

He is especially famous for his 5th symphony (the da-da-da-daaaa one). Also, he wrote Für Elise, the one that Nas sampled for his monster hit “I Know I Can”.

Cool conversational show-off line:

Beethoven had a habit of submerging his head in cold water, in order to help him stay awake. I know what you're thinking yuccie “great idea, I'll submerge my head right away!” - but this little habit of his, might have been the cause of his loss of hearing, go easy on the head submerging soldier!

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Some of the best work music in the classical genre is composed by Johann Sebastian Bach. Bach was a German, like Beethoven, and composed in the Baroque Era (before Mozart and Beethoven). He lived to be 65 years and produced more than 1100 pieces of music – making him as productive as Mozart, considering Mozart's shorter life.

If you want to get to know him, start getting familiar with his Brandenburg Concertos.

Cool conversational show-off line:

Bach didn't gain wide international renown until the middle of the 19th century (long after his death in 1750). Today he is recognised as one of the best composers of all times.

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Frederic Chopin was another child prodigy that lived to become a famous composer. He wrote almost exclusively for solo piano in the romantic period – he might be one of the best piano players ever. He was born in Poland, but moved to France and gained French citizenship. Because his work is mainly solo-piano, it works great to get into a work flow, as you do not have the same unpredictability of various instruments playing their seperate roles.

All his music is pretty easy to get started with – right now these words are written to the soundtrack of his Nocturnes, Op. 48, no 2: no 14, adantino F sharp Major.q

Cool conversational show-off line:

In Chopins work you can trace a strong influence from Mozart and Bach, whom he admired highly.

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We'll end this yuccie top5 with the oldest one of the five. Vivaldi is most known for his Four Seasons, listen to the opening of Spring, and I bet you'll recognise it instantly. Vivaldi composed in the Baroque period in Italy. His work has a tendency to emphasise the violin, as Vivaldi himself was a virtuoso on this instrument. Notice the violin solos when you listen to this.

Vivaldi also composed the coral masterpiece Gloria – check it out if you haven't already.

Cool conversational show-off line:

Vivaldi died impoverished aged 63 in the house of the widow of a saddle-maker in Vienna. The music taste of the time changed so quickly that Vivaldi lost his livelihood due to the change in musical interests.

I hope you enjoyed this yuccie introduction to classical music, most of all I hope you've tapped in to some new and creativity inducing classical music.

Until next time – stay creating!