The power of music to provide comfort and solace in our troubled world is well researched. As singers we understand this implicitly and music therapy has been a well-established and highly regarded discipline for many years.

The field is a fascinating one. New research from Princeton University published this week considers the impact that cultural background as on the different stories listeners conjure up when listening to the same piece of music, whilst another recent study from Belgium examined Spotify activity during the COVID-19 lockdowns which revealed that music consumption shifted in terms of nostalgia throughout the months of the pandemic.

This captured our collective imagination at Brighton Festival Chorus. The outbreak of the war in Ukraine represented another cataclysmic world event and so we surveyed BFC members to find out what choral music we turn to to provide comfort and solace at times of trouble in the world and in our lives. Have a listen to the resultant playlist on Spotify here:

Brighton Festival Chorus’s Choral Music for Comfort & Solace Playlist

The final three tracks on the playlist are in marked contrast to some of the earlier ones and lend credence to the fact that we all perceive and respond to music as differently as we do times of uncertainty.

What choral pieces – or movements of larger works – would you add to the list? Head over to Facebook and let us know!

Find more comfort and take some time away from our troubled world by coming to see Brighton Festival Chorus in live performance. We will be at the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday 22 May for A Classical Gala and at Brighton Dome Sunday 28 May for Vaughan Williams A Sea Symphony, the closing concert of the Brighton Festival.