Do you have a favorite song or band? Have you ever played an instrument or been to a concert? Let's explore what music is and some terms and characteristics important to it.
What Is Music?
Sounds are all around us, from birds chirping and waves lapping against a coastline to cars honking in traffic. But sometimes sounds are put together in purposeful ways to create a specific atmosphere or to express ideas or emotions. Such organized sounds are called music.
Music is a collection of coordinated sound or sounds. Making music is the process of putting sounds and tones in an order, often combining them to create a unified composition. People who make music creatively organize sounds for a desired result, like a Beethoven symphony or one of Duke Ellington's jazz songs. Music is made of sounds, vibrations, and silent moments, and it doesn't always have to be pleasant or pretty. It can be used to convey a whole range of experiences, environments, and emotions.
Almost every human culture has a tradition of making music. Examples of early instruments like flutes and drums have been found dating back thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians used music in religious ceremonies. Many other African cultures have traditions related to drumming for important rituals. Today, rock and pop musicians tour and perform around the world, singing the songs that made them famous. All of these are examples of music.
Music is a form of art; an expression of emotions through harmonic frequencies. Music is also a form of entertainment that puts sounds together in a way that people like, find interesting or dance to. Most music includes people singing with their voices or playing musical instruments, such as the piano, guitar, drums or violin.
The word music comes from the Greek word (mousike), which means "(art) of the Muses". In Ancient Greece the Muses included the goddesses of music, poetry, art, and dance. Someone who makes music is known as a musician.