What is music?

Music is a complex amalgam of melody, harmony, rhythm, timbre and silence in a particular (intended) structure: Hanslick

Music is an art form, an art of sound in time that expresses ideas and emotions in significant forms. Since times immemorial, music has been one of the most influential art form. Music can put a baby to sleep and also incite a riot.

The popular form of music of a period reflects its culture.”There were times and places — in the Europe of the Middle Ages, as an example — where music might remain largely the same for hundreds of years,” says Selwyn Duke in “Influential Beats: The Cultural Impact of Music.” “And it is no coincidence that in medieval times something else also remained quite constant: culture. It is clear to me that changes in music hew closely to changes in society’s consensus worldview. This explains why musical tastes change so quickly today: With no dominant cultural stabilizer, such as the Catholic Church (whose medieval influence is undeniable); the ability to transmit ideas worldwide at a button’s touch via modern media…society is prone to continual arbitrary change.” .

Music is one of the very few activities which involve the most parts of the brain including including auditory, motor, and limbic. Studies have suggested that music plays an important role in the socialization of children and adolescents. Listening to music can improve your concentration, increase your attention span, improve athletic performance, motor control, and even intelligence. As a background activity, listening to music can reduce stress, aid relaxation, uplift your mood, and induce sleep too.

So, here is a beautiful piece of music by Frédéric Chopin


Next up: Why music theory?

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