Music is defined as the science or art that expresses ideas, emotions, feelings and messages by arranging sounds (vocal or instrumental) in succession to produce a certain composition. The word music was derived from a Greek word “Mousike” which translates to “The art of the muses.”
Music: The Power of “Food to the Soul”
“Music was my refuge, I would crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness”- Maya Angelou.
Music can be grouped into different genres (e.g. country music) which are then sub-divided into subgenres (e.g. country blues). As a form of art it can be classified as performing art, auditory art, or fine art.
Music plays a key role in people’s lives. Some consume it as a hobby and others practice it as a career (e.g. professional singers/musicians and music producers). It is also used in ceremonies, (e.g. weddings), rituals, social and cultural activities etc. As Berthold Anerbach once said “music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” This is a proof that everyone loves music irrespective of the different preferences and cultures.
Power of Music
“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything” – Plato.
“Music can change the world because it can change people”- Bono, U2.
Music possesses a great influence over people, animals, and nature. It has been in existence for a long period of time, and has been continuously affecting people in different ways. It is part of our daily lifestyles, culture and traditions. Music inspires, uplifts, heals and soothes the soul creating a relaxed feeling. It expresses emotions such as relaxation, romance, happiness, anger, etc. and touches the inner heart.
Music unites people together by enabling people to experience the same emotions. It is a universal language that speaks where words have failed and touches everyone emotionally inconsiderable of status, culture, background or financial class. It is the only component that the soul understands, but cannot translate.
From the works of Hazrat Inayat Khan, she argues that a person does not hear sound through the ears only, he also hears the sound through every pore of his body. It permeates the entire being… either wakening or soothing the nervous system. It arouses a person to greater passions and calms him by bringing him peace.
Elements of Music
There are many different types of music styles that exist in the world. Each style has its own class of consumers. Irrespective of style, all music shares the same elements that are used to classify them. Some of these elements include:
- Pitch (melody and harmony)
- Dynamics (loudness and softness)
- Texture ‘color’ – it is the overall sound of a song
- Rhythm (tempo, articulation and meter)
- Style and many other elements.
Some of these styles are known to many and attributed to famous musicians. Music styles include Jazz, Classics, Reggae, Hip Hop, Pop, Folk music, R&B/ Soul, Karaoke, Rock, Hindustan, Country, Dance and many others. These music styles are played, sung and heard either at a live show or recorded and later listened to on radios, Smartphone, film/TV shows or in Mp3 players.
Evolution of Music
One of the oldest type of commercial music was in form of sheet music (homorhythmic). It was composed of written pieces and songs on sheets which one would buy and later play at home using a piano. Sound recordings in the 1980s changed the music scene completely. People were able to record the music and listen on and on compared to the traditional sheet music.
Apart from sheet music being played on pianos, flutes were also used. The oldest invented flutes were carved from bones where lateral holes were pierced in them. These flutes are said to be over 41,000 years old and are conserved in various archaeological sites in India, China and Egypt.
New Technology advancement
Since the 20th century, the music world has undergone various changes and advancements in its composing, recording and distribution. Traditional music has been replaced with the new modern genres and equipment too. In this century, music is now very easily accessible. It is broadcasted live over the radios, televisions, internet and also accessed from storage equipment like the common memory cards, compact disks and now flash drives.
Music creators are now able to create and distribute their content easily and cheaply to their consumers. Musicians can now connect well with their fans and other parties through digital platforms.
“Music cleanses the understanding, inspires it and lifts it into a realm which it would not reach if it were left to itself”- Henry Ward Beecher (American Congregation Clergyman, 1813-1887)