Hello and welcome to the first “episode” of Tracklisting Thursdays – or the new incarnation of what’s better known as Tracklisting Tuesdays (I’ve moved it to make way for Top Ten Tuesday when I feel like doing it – see my first post HERE!)
As you may have gathered from the title, today I’m going to be
extolling the virtues of discussing instrumental music. But not classical instrumental music (well, not much, anyway). Lately, as the nights draw in and really just as I’m doing SO MUCH HALF TERM HOMEWORK IT’S UNREAL (seriously, teachers – why do you all believe you’re going to be the only one setting half term homework, therefore we have endless time to do it in? ‘Cos SPOILER ALERT: you’re not, and I would like to spend some time engaging in typical teenager-on-half-term activities (i.e., sleeping), I’m starting to listen to some slightly new stuff on Spotify. Way back when I was studying for my Year 9 science midyear exams I discovered various instrumental playlists on 8tracks, generally featuring instrumental covers of popular songs (my favourites being this playlist, and this one) to use as backgroud instrumental music. Since then, however, I moved on a bit from instrumental music, although I did compile a “homework” playlist on Spotify full of it. This half term, however, I’ve rediscovered it with a vengeance.
My favourite instrumental group at the moment has to be the Vitamin String Quartet. They cover tons of popular music (Fall Out Boy, Imagine Dragons, Walk The Moon, Bastille, Omi, Rachel Platten, Ed Sheeran, Hozier, U2 and a ton more) as well as a few TV show and even video game theme tunes (The Walking Dead) and film themes (Harry Potter, Star Wars, The Princess Bride, Star Trek). I believe they also arrange sheet music for string groups and have written a few original songs. I’ve recently taken a liking to strings in pop music anyway (I blame the cinematic film orchestra of Pompeii by Bastille which features strings GALORE and is absolutely glorious while doing so), so VSQ is kinda just a natural continuation of that.
I find instrumental music great for revision and homework because you can listen to all your favourite songs and pieces, just without being distracted or singing along (though, confession time, I have been known to sing along anyway. I’m telling you now, violins have a much higher range than my voice does!) (or even tessitura, if we’re getting GCSE music-level technical 😉 ). It’s also great for background music while reading or browsing the internet, or like I’m currently doing, lying in bed blogging with about ten zillion strings of fairy lights around my newly-cleaned bedroom :).
Other instrumental artists that do similar things in equally awesome ways include The Piano Guys and 2Cellos. I’ve also heard that Lindsey Stirling is supposed to be good. Piano Guys especially often mix up contemporary music and classical pieces, if that’s your kind of thing. If you like this kind of music, I highly recommend you set up a Spotify artist radio for VSQ or one of the other artists I mentioned! Let me know if you’ve heard VSQ or any of the others before, what you think of them and if you have any other instrumental music recommendations! 🙂