London Symphony Orchestra performs during opening ceremony of London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium

Now this may seem like a frivolous Friday post, and in some sense it is. But I do have a few very practical reasons for making these suggestions.

The first is that football is a sport practically designed for musical accompaniment. Two uninterrupted forty-five minute happens neatly match the length of two 18th century symphonies or concertos. Though you may want to hear the dulcet improvisations of people like Martin Tyler, you should remember that announcers of his esteem are often accompanied by the likes of Michael Owen, added for “colour”. Chances are you’re not going to miss much, except maybe some ace clever digs from the stands.

Second, though many of us would like to expand our musical horizons, we find concentrating on unfamiliar and sometimes esoteric music difficult. Some elitists believe the music’s natural environment is the concert hall, but the reality is the hall was once the necessary vehicle for any music requiring technically gifted players to assemble. Now with high definition recording and MP3s, they’re no longer required. And so you can avoid twiddling your thumbs and being totally still and instead watch a nice football match, allowing you to listen without being forced to concentrate.

Finally, listening to music allows us to focus on the football without some “expert” immediately telling us what to think. It allows for a greater appreciation for the game at hand. Much like watching the game live gives you a much different sense of how games unfold, so does turning off the play by play now and again. And so, some listening recommendations for this weekend’s fixtures, available on iTunes or Spotify or Rdio or Youtube I’m sure.

Note the lengths will not always correspond to the game lengths…this is to encourage you to seek out your own choices.

Chelsea vs Everton

Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 1

Manchester City vs Stoke

Shostakovich Symphony No. 7

Crystal Palace vs Man United

Feldman ‘For Samuel Beckett’

Real Sociedad vs Barcelona

Bach, Goldberg Variations

Norwich City vs Tottenham

Elgar, Cello concerto

Juventus vs Torino

Gabrieli, Sonate e Canzoni

Twente vs Feyenoord

Sweelinck, Choral works

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