What Is Music? Part 2

Read Part 1

For our purposes, music is defined as: a pattern of sound organized to communicate on a physical, emotional, intellectual and/or spiritual level.

  • A Pattern – Patterns are what distinguish music from random noise. Even non-pitched rhythm instruments which basically produce “noise” are played in particular patterns. Pitched instruments play a pattern of vibrations, which are then put into rhythmic patterns.
  • Of Sound – Music is the art form dealing with sounds. Other effects can be added to or associated with music, such as visual effects, but the word “music” refers exclusively to aural vibrations.
  • Organized – Music is performed on purpose. Whether it is a person sitting on a hollow log beating out a rhythm or a first chair violinist, the composer/artist/performer organized a pattern of sounds to suit his own taste.
  • To Communicate – Music is a tool of communication, just as any other art form. It has it’s own capabilities to mimic movement, emotions, ideas, and physical objects. It can be constructed in such a way to carry a message from the performer to the listener, whether the ultimate audience is himself, God, or others.
  • On a Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, or Spiritual Level – Music speaks to the listener on multiple planes simultaneously. The rhythm is capable of completely bypassing the intellect to speak directly to the body. The melody can communicate with the intellect and spirit of a man. The harmony can please or displease a person’s aesthetic sensibilities. The structure of a piece, and it’s expressive elements all say something to the listener.

As a tool of artistic communication, music has the ability to amplify any message the composer or performer wishes to convey. It can be, and has been, used for both good and evil purposes. It is, therefore, vitally important that we become aware of what is being communicated, and how it is being communicated.

Mr. Noteman wishes to be a help in training young people to understand how music communicates, and then learning to use music as a power tool to glorify God, and to be a blessing to others.

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