[dropcap]L[/dropcap]istening to music is one of the most complex things you can do. Many parts of your brain have to work together to comprehend even the simplest tune. So here are how music influences some of the world’s greatest minds.
Ludwig van Beethoven- George Friderich Handel
On more than one occasion, Beethoven said that Handel was “the greatest composer that ever lived.” He also referred to Handel as his “grand master.” At one point, Beethoven copied down Handel’s Messiah in his own hand in order to get a “feeling of its intricacies.” So, yeah. You could say he was a pretty big fan.
Hunter S Thompson- The Rolling Stones
As a staff member for Rolling Stone, it’s no surprise that Hunter S. Thompson’s music tastes were vast and varied. He often listened to music while he wrote, but writing his most famous work Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas he listened to the Rolling Stones album Let it Bleed.
Albert Einstein- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Although Einstein studied the violin from a young age (and never traveled without his beloved violin “Lina”), he didn’t truly fall in love with music until he discovered the music of Mozart at age 13. Einstein wrote often in his journals about Mozart’s music, saying it “was so pure that it seemed to have been ever-present in the universe, waiting to be discovered by the master.”
Mark Twain- Thomas Wiggins
While on a lecture tour in 1869, Mark Twain crossed paths with a musician named Thomas Wiggins (although he went by the name “Blind Tom.” Wiggins was a blind and possibly autistic former slave who played the piano and completely enthralled Mark Twain. So much so, that Twain attended Wiggins’ concert three nights in a row. After that, Mark Twain spoke and wrote often about the musician, saying that he never missed a chance to hear the man perform.
Stephen Hawking- Rod Stewart
In a recent Reddit AMA, Stephen Hawking was asked what his favorite song of all time is. His answer? The song “Have I Told You Lately” by none other than Rod Stewart.
Abraham Lincoln- Stephen Foster
Abraham Lincoln was a fan of many styles of music from opera to traditional folk hymns (the song “Dixie” was a particular favorite). Lincoln especially enjoyed the sentimental ballads of Stephen Foster, who is known today as the father of American music. Foster wrote over 200 songs, including “Oh! Susanna,” “Camptown Races” and “My Old Kentucky Home.”