Figure Skating Music at the Olympics

Russian pairs skating Sochi OlympicsHave you been watching the Sochi Olympics? I have to admit that the winter Olympics have always intrigued me more than the summer games — mostly because of figure skating, but even other sports. Somehow, it’s more thrilling to watch someone ski down a hill than run on a track.

But back to figure skating. Have you ever considered what a huge part of it is the music? Imagine a skater doing his or her jumps and spins — in silence. It just wouldn’t have the same feel or even look. I recently read a piece on how skaters choose their music. Some takeaways:

  • Skaters with graceful, ballet-type styles usually choose a classical, flowing piece. More muscular, athletic type skaters might go with music that is contemporary or dramatic.
  • Skaters may choose music with the performance venue in mind. US skater Gracie Gold chose music from “Sleeping Beauty” because “it’s Russian” and “traditional” — perfect for an Olympics set in Russia. Judges’ preferences must be considered as well. Gold’s coach rejected modern music for her short program, fearing that it would not be popular with the Sochi judges.
  • The skater must relate to and “feel” the music, and as a musician I understand this. It’s obvious when watching skaters that some are more “on the beat” with the music than others. When a skater works with their music, it’s pretty magical.

My favorite recent figure skating moment? US men’s skater Jason Brown. Take a few minutes to watch his program, and see if it doesn’t brighten your day a little. Perfect blend of skill, choreography, and music.

4 thoughts on “Figure Skating Music at the Olympics

  1. For some unknown reason, I barely ever even turn the Olympics on, every time! The teacher I work for said she & her sons got watching curling the other night and the more they watched, the more confused they got trying to understand how the game is played. I’ve never watched curling. Have you?

  2. Wow! What a performance. I didn’t see that earlier.

    I watched the curling, too. I couldn’t understand it until a friend on Facebook told me it’s basically shuffleboard on ice.

    My next door neighbor fell during the time I was watching the opening ceremony. Because I had the TV on in the main room, away from the side of my apartment next to that neighbor’s apartment, I didn’t hear her calling, as I had earlier in the week. She lay on the floor for at least 12 hours before someone came to get her up. I feel badly!

  3. The figure skating is my favorite. Lots of great performances so far. I especially liked the Chinese pair skating to music from Les Miserables.

  4. Yes, the figure skating is the BEST thing about the Olympics in my book! The couples skating last night (Feb. 17) were quite spectacular, and I was especially happy when the Americans won! Such precision I have never seen very often. When I was a young girl, we had a farm pond that would be frozen over all winter long. Most days after school I would skate on it while pretending to be an accomplished performer. I did accomplish skating backwards, figure 8s, and a few other tricks, but the best thing was just being outdoors breathing the crisp, fresh air, and getting so much exercising in without even being aware of that. No wonder that I was a skinny kid back then, weighing only 118 at 5’7″!

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