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Enjoying Opera As A Newbie

don-quixote-1170907_640Opera used to be the domain of only the rich and famous, conjuring images of high society and snobbish etiquette. Things have been gradually changing as of late. Opera has become more mainstream, finding its way to pubs, restaurants and most public places. Given the complexity and sophistication that comes with the genre, it may be intimidating for a newcomer. There are however some pointers one can take to better acclimatize with the dramatic world of opera.

The first thing that one needs to do, is to free oneself from the stigma and preconceived ideas that most people associate with opera. Looking at it as an elitist practice which is both archaic and pretentious will obviously make it inaccessible. By keeping an open mind and being accommodating to new experiences and possibilities, you put yourself in a space where you can actually take pleasure in attending a show.

Another thing to take into consideration is the entry price. Most opera shows come at a small fortune largely due to the high demand and sense of class that has long been attached to the genre. It is also usual to find that the artists and poets are often overworked due to busy performing schedules. To avoid feeling short-changed it may be a great idea to start with local listings and artists that are not highly priced. It is often the case that young and coming artists try to make a name for themselves in the industry and as such will usually perform better.

It is of importance to keep dress code in mind. To avoid running the risk of feeling underdressed, when visiting upmarket venues, evening wear is a must. On the other hand, lower level houses are not as uptight about the subject. Depending on what you are going for, an upscale opera house may or may not be up your street.

Finally, like anything else, when going to the opera, preparation is key. Taking some time to read on the history of the show and having a bit of groundwork allows an individual to familiarize with the culture. Some performances are in English while the more ritzy performances come in exotic languages. With a bit of homework you can be sure to enjoy your inaugural opera experience.

Choosing A Device For Your Music Preference

mobile-616012_640Over the years, technology has developed at an amazing pace, so much so that, sometimes it’s difficult just to keep up. Gone are the days of lugging a walkman with bulky headphones in tow. In today’s world small high powered gadgets can deliver quality music with surprising sound and bass capabilities. In this labyrinth of tools and equipment, it may be difficult to choose the most appropriate apparatus that will meet all your entertainment needs.

Because smartphone producers are continuously pushing the enveloping when it comes to capacity and specifications, there are a few great picks on the market, that can deliver superior quality audio at relatively reasonable rates. Please note, however, that they are not listed in any particular order, but are rather a collective of similarly good quality gadgets.

One of the prime brands whose name is synonymous with great build quality and innovation is Apple. Their latest offering, the iPhone 6 range, is right at the top when it comes to impressive musical output. Using the groundbreaking A8 chip, the smartphone is able to handle multiple audio files and yield studio quality music output effortlessly. When using headphones, the surround sound is captivating, although played on the built – in speaker, output is a bit limited.

Another contender when it comes to musical quality is the Sony Xperia Z3. The tech company has created a complete mobile environment around the phone, that determines how the phone manipulates music files. Using ‘xcloud’ software and apps, the gadget is able to deliver music at high volumes without distorting the clarity of each track . This makes the Z3 a great choice when listening in public spaces or places where there are numerous ambient noises.

Microsoft is the other big name that comes up when reviewing entertainment – based smartware. For this, one can summon the Microsoft Lumia 525. The allure of this gadget is the fact that it is actually a budget phone. This means that you can access great quality music at a much lesser cost than the other devices mentioned. Designed as a variant to the pioneering Lumia 520, which went on to become the most sold Windows mobile device ever, the 525 lives up to the demands of any audiophile while causing an insignificant dent on your budget.

Selecting any one of these will guarantee endless hours of entertainment.



Healing Through Music

musicIt can’t be denied that music has the capacity to get someone pumped up, while simultaneously being able to calm you down if needed. It is this seemingly magical quality, that in recent years, spurred researchers to look deeper into the therapeutic value of music. Consequent studies have had rather interesting results.

Essentially, it has been found that music is a consistent and efficient way to lower anxiety and psycho – social related stress. In some instances, listeners have proven to enter into a peaceful phase of calm akin to a meditative state while listening to the right kind of music. Classical music for instance, with strings and wind instruments, was found to induce a calm sense of being in which the research participants reportedly felt less anxiety and stress when they listened to lulling violins and serene cellos, than to nothing at all.

Just like a drug or medical therapy, music can go a step further than just inducing a feeling of tranquillity. In situations where people are faced with actual physiological anxiety, dread or pain, music has long been used to act as a distraction and to an extent an auxiliary to whatever sedative is used in the process. As an example, hospital bound patients going through infamous medical procedures such as a root canal  or wound dressing, reportedly find soothing compositions in genres such as folk, indie, alternative, contemporary and new age to be extremely helpful in getting through the process. In exceptional circumstances, music has been used to lighten the psychological pressure besetting radiation and chemotherapy patients.

Though it is a relatively avant – garde  field of study, whose validity some medical professionals dismiss altogether, if the desired outcome is realized in the sufferer, then little can be said to refute the benefits associated. The reach and impact of music in this perspective has even expanded to social conditions such as depressive disorders. Claims are that not only can the brain respond to music in easing pain, anxiety and depression but it can also enhance creativity. So next time you turn on your stereo system or click on your favorite tune on iTunes, keep in mind that you are assisting your brain in helping you to have a more positive outlook on life. A type of feel – good drug, if you may!