Does music have the power to emotionally transport you?

HISTORICALLY MUSIC HAS BEEN USED A SOURCE of entertainment and a means of expression. a lot can be shared about our moods or feelings by the kind of music we’re listening to. but is there a more profound effect of music on our emotions?

On this week’s podcast, Fearne sat down with the wonderful Joanna Lumley and Stephen Barlow. The two share a deep love of music, in particular classical music. This genre of music may not always be the kind of songs you’d opt to play first, but Joanna points out that the use of classical music in ads and commercials has helped audiences become more familiar with the beauty of these melodies.

Regardless of your age or interests, classical music has been proven to help mental focus and relaxation. So perhaps it’s time we open up our tastes and interests to more eclectic sounds. The structure and slow rhythms of classical music calms the listener by releasing dopamine (the body’s happy chemical) which helps prevent the release of stress.


When it comes to classical music, there is a rare kind of physiological response that takes place whilst listening. The way these slow rhythms occur alongside complementary harmonies can trigger our senses. Whether it’s the rekindling of old memories, a spark that pushes you towards new experiences, or just pure awe…listening to classical music releases a tension within us all. 


There’s something moving about stripping away the lyrics and focusing purely on the rich melodies of classical pieces. To introduce you to the emotional power of music, we’ve asked Joanna and Stephen to share some of their favourite classical pieces to get you started. 

Joanna Lumley’s list:

  1. Bach Prelude No 1. In C major, BWV 846, from The Well Tempered Clavier
  1. Claude Debussy Clair de Lune from Suite Bergamasque
  1. Tchaikovsky Arabian Dance from Nutcracker Ballet
  1. Antonin Dvorak Song to the Moon from the Opera Rusalka
  1. Beethoven Symphony No. 7, 2nd Movement, Allegretto

 Stephen Barlow’s list: 

  1. Saint-Saens Symphony No. 3 (Organ Symphony)
  1. Tchaikovsky Romeo and Juliet Overture
  1. Richard Strauss Dance of the 7 Veils from the opera Salome
  1. Samuel Barber Violin Concerto
  1. Felix Mendelssohn Octet in E flat major Op. 20

Listen to Joanna and Stephen’s playlist on Spotify. Let us know what you feel and learn when listening, and send us some of your own recommendations of powerful music? 

Joanna & The Maestro is available to listen to on all podcast platforms.


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