Music is an art form and cultural activity whose medium is sound
organized in time. The common elements of music are pitch (which
governs melody and harmony), rhythm (and its associated concepts
tempo, meter, and articulation), dynamics (loudness and softness), and
the sonic qualities of timbre and texture (which are sometimes termed
the "color" of a musical sound). Different styles or types of music
may emphasize, de-emphasize or omit some of these elements.
performed with a vast range of instruments and vocal techniques
ranging from singing to rapping; there are solely instrumental pieces,
solely vocal pieces (such as songs without instrumental accompaniment)
and pieces that combine singing and instruments. The word derives from
Greek μουσική (mousike; "art of the Muses"). See glossary of
In its most general form, the activities describing music as an art
form or cultural activity include the creation of works of music
(songs, tunes, symphonies, and so on), the criticism of music, the
study of the history of music, and the aesthetic examination of music.
Ancient Greek and Indian philosophers defined music as tones ordered
horizontally as melodies and vertically as harmonies. Common sayings
such as "the harmony of the spheres" and "it is music to my ears"
point to the notion that music is often ordered and pleasant to listen
to. However, 20th-century composer
John Cage thought that any sound
can be music, saying, for example, "There is no noise, only sound."
The creation, performance, significance, and even the definition of
music vary according to culture and social context. Indeed, throughout
history, some new forms or styles of music have been criticized as
"not being music", including Beethoven's
Grosse Fuge string quartet in
1825, early jazz in the beginning of the 1900s and hardcore punk
in the 1980s. There are many types of music, including popular
music, traditional music, art music, music written for religious
ceremonies and work songs such as chanteys.
Music ranges from strictly
organized compositions–such as
Classical music symphonies from the
1700s and 1800s, through to spontaneously played improvisational music
such as jazz, and avant-garde styles of chance-based contemporary
music from the 20th and 21st centuries.
Music can be divided into genres (e.g., country music) and genres can
be further divided into subgenres (e.g., country blues and pop country
are two of the many country subgenres), although the dividing lines
and relationships between music genres are often subtle, sometimes
open to personal interpretation, and occasionally controversial. For
example, it can be hard to draw the line between some early 1980s hard
rock and heavy metal. Within the arts, music may be classified as a
performing art, a fine art or as an auditory art.
Music may be played
or sung and heard live at a rock concert or orchestra performance,
heard live as part of a dramatic work (a music theater show or opera),
or it may be recorded and listened to on a radio, MP3 player, CD
player, smartphone or as film score or TV show.
In many cultures, music is an important part of people's way of life,
as it plays a key role in religious rituals, rite of passage
ceremonies (e.g., graduation and marriage), social activities (e.g.,
dancing) and cultural activities ranging from amateur karaoke singing
to playing in an amateur funk band or singing in a community choir.
People may make music as a hobby, like a teen playing cello in a youth
orchestra, or work as a professional musician or singer. The music
industry includes the individuals who create new songs and musical
pieces (such as songwriters and composers), individuals who perform
music (which include orchestra, jazz band and rock band musicians,
singers and conductors), individuals who record music (music producers
and sound engineers), individuals who organize concert tours, and
individuals who sell recordings and sheet music and scores to
2 As a form of art or entertainment
3.1 Rudimentary elements
3.2 Perceptual elements
3.3 Analysis of styles
3.4 Description of elements
3.4.1 Pitch and melody
Harmony and chords
Timbre or "tone color"
4.1 Early history
4.2 Ancient Egypt
4.3 Asian cultures
4.4 References in the Bible
4.5 Ancient Greece
4.6 Middle Ages
4.11 20th- and 21st-century music
5.1 Oral and aural tradition
6 Philosophy and aesthetics
7.1 Cognitive neuroscience of music
7.2 Cognitive musicology
7.4 Evolutionary musicology
Culture in music cognition
8 Sociological aspects
8.1 Role of women
9 Media and technology
10.1 Intellectual property laws
11.2 Professional training
13 See also
15 Further reading
16 External links
In Greek mythology, the nine
Muses were the inspiration for many
creative endeavors, including the arts.
The word derives from Greek μουσική (mousike; "art of the
Muses"). In Greek mythology, the nine
Muses were the goddesses who
inspired literature, science, and the arts and who were the source of
the knowledge embodied in the poetry, song-lyrics, and myths in the
Greek culture. According to the Online Etymological Dictionary, the
term "music" is derived from "mid-13c., musike, from Old French
musique (12c.) and directly from
Latin musica "the art of music," also
including poetry (also [the] source of Spanish musica, Italian musica,
Old High German
Old High German mosica, German Musik, Dutch muziek, Danish musik)."
This is derived from the "...Greek mousike (techne) "(art) of the
Muses," from fem. of mousikos "pertaining to the Muses," from Mousa
"Muse" (see muse (n.)). Modern spelling [dates] from [the] 1630s. In
classical Greece, [the term "music" refers to] any art in which the
Muses presided, but especially music and lyric poetry."
As a form of art or entertainment
Jean-Gabriel Ferlan (fr) performing at a 2008 concert at the
collège-lycée Saint-François Xavier
Music is composed and performed for many purposes, ranging from
aesthetic pleasure, religious or ceremonial purposes, or as an
entertainment product for the marketplace. When music was only
available through sheet music scores, such as during the Classical and
Romantic eras, music lovers would buy the sheet music of their
favourite pieces and songs so that they could perform them at home on
the piano. With the advent of sound recording, records of popular
songs, rather than sheet music became the dominant way that music
lovers would enjoy their favourite songs. With the advent of home tape
recorders in the 1980s and digital music in the 1990s, music lovers
could make tapes or playlists of their favourite songs and take them
with them on a portable cassette player or MP3 player. Some music
lovers create mix tapes of their favorite songs, which serve as a
"self-portrait, a gesture of friendship, prescription for an ideal
party... [and] an environment consisting solely of what is most
Amateur musicians can compose or perform music for their own pleasure,
and derive their income elsewhere. Professional musicians are employed
by a range of institutions and organisations, including armed forces
(in marching bands, concert bands and popular music groups), churches
and synagogues, symphony orchestras, broadcasting or film production
companies, and music schools. Professional musicians sometimes work as
freelancers or session musicians, seeking contracts and engagements in
a variety of settings. There are often many links between amateur and
professional musicians. Beginning amateur musicians take lessons with
professional musicians. In community settings, advanced amateur
musicians perform with professional musicians in a variety of
ensembles such as community concert bands and community orchestras.
A distinction is often made between music performed for a live
audience and music that is performed in a studio so that it can be
recorded and distributed through the music retail system or the
broadcasting system. However, there are also many cases where a live
performance in front of an audience is also recorded and distributed.
Live concert recordings are popular in both classical music and in
popular music forms such as rock, where illegally taped live concerts
are prized by music lovers. In the jam band scene, live, improvised
jam sessions are preferred to studio recordings.
Main article: Musical composition
People composing music in 2013 using electronic keyboards and
Baroque music composer
Michel Richard Delalande
Michel Richard Delalande (1657–1726),
pen in hand.
"Composition" is the act or practice of creating a song, an
instrumental music piece, a work with both singing and instruments, or
another type of music. In many cultures, including Western classical
music, the act of composing also includes the creation of music
notation, such as a sheet music "score", which is then performed by
the composer or by other singers or musicians. In popular music and
traditional music, the act of composing, which is typically called
songwriting, may involve the creation of a basic outline of the song,
called the lead sheet, which sets out the melody, lyrics and chord
progression. In classical music, the composer typically orchestrates
his or her own compositions, but in musical theatre and in pop music,
songwriters may hire an arranger to do the orchestration. In some
cases, a songwriter may not use notation at all, and instead compose
the song in her mind and then play or record it from memory. In jazz
and popular music, notable recordings by influential performers are
given the weight that written scores play in classical music.
Even when music is notated relatively precisely, as in classical
music, there are many decisions that a performer has to make, because
notation does not specify all of the elements of music precisely. The
process of deciding how to perform music that has been previously
composed and notated is termed "interpretation". Different performers'
interpretations of the same work of music can vary widely, in terms of
the tempos that are chosen and the playing or singing style or
phrasing of the melodies. Composers and songwriters who present their
own music are interpreting their songs, just as much as those who
perform the music of others. The standard body of choices and
techniques present at a given time and a given place is referred to as
performance practice, whereas interpretation is generally used to mean
the individual choices of a performer.
Although a musical composition often uses musical notation and has a
single author, this is not always the case. A work of music can have
multiple composers, which often occurs in popular music when a band
collaborates to write a song, or in musical theatre, when one person
writes the melodies, a second person writes the lyrics, and a third
person orchestrates the songs. In some styles of music, such as the
blues, a composer/songwriter may create, perform and record new songs
or pieces without ever writing them down in music notation. A piece of
music can also be composed with words, images, or computer programs
that explain or notate how the singer or musician should create
musical sounds. Examples range from avant-garde music that uses
graphic notation, to text compositions such as Aus den sieben Tagen,
to computer programs that select sounds for musical pieces.
makes heavy use of randomness and chance is called aleatoric music,
and is associated with contemporary composers active in the 20th
century, such as John Cage, Morton Feldman, and Witold Lutosławski. A
more commonly known example of chance-based music is the sound of wind
chimes jingling in a breeze.
The study of composition has traditionally been dominated by
examination of methods and practice of Western classical music, but
the definition of composition is broad enough to include the creation
of popular music and traditional music songs and instrumental pieces
as well as spontaneously improvised works like those of free jazz
performers and African percussionists such as Ewe drummers.
Main article: Musical notation
Sheet music is written representation of music. This is a homorhythmic
(i.e., hymn-style) arrangement of a traditional piece entitled "Adeste
Fideles", in standard two-staff format for mixed voices.
In the 2000s, music notation typically means the written expression of
music notes and rhythms on paper using symbols. When music is written
down, the pitches and rhythm of the music, such as the notes of a
melody, are notated.
Music notation also often provides instructions
on how to perform the music. For example, the sheet music for a song
may state that the song is a "slow blues" or a "fast swing", which
indicates the tempo and the genre. To read music notation, a person
must have an understanding of music theory, harmony and the
performance practice associated with a particular song or piece's
Written notation varies with style and period of music. In the 2000s,
notated music is produced as sheet music or, for individuals with
computer scorewriter programs, as an image on a computer screen. In
ancient times, music notation was put onto stone or clay tablets. To
perform music from notation, a singer or instrumentalist requires an
understanding of the rhythmic and pitch elements embodied in the
symbols and the performance practice that is associated with a piece
of music or a genre. In genres requiring musical improvisation, the
performer often plays from music where only the chord changes and form
of the song are written, requiring the performer to have a great
understanding of the music's structure, harmony and the styles of a
particular genre (e.g., jazz or country music).
In Western art music, the most common types of written notation are
scores, which include all the music parts of an ensemble piece, and
parts, which are the music notation for the individual performers or
singers. In popular music, jazz, and blues, the standard musical
notation is the lead sheet, which notates the melody, chords, lyrics
(if it is a vocal piece), and structure of the music. Fake books are
also used in jazz; they may consist of lead sheets or simply chord
charts, which permit rhythm section members to improvise an
accompaniment part to jazz songs. Scores and parts are also used in
popular music and jazz, particularly in large ensembles such as jazz
"big bands." In popular music, guitarists and electric bass players
often read music notated in tablature (often abbreviated as "tab"),
which indicates the location of the notes to be played on the
instrument using a diagram of the guitar or bass fingerboard.
Tabulature was also used in the
Baroque era to notate music for the
lute, a stringed, fretted instrument.
Main article: Musical improvisation
Musical improvisation is the creation of spontaneous music, often
within (or based on) a pre-existing harmonic framework or chord
Improvisation is the act of instantaneous composition by
performers, where compositional techniques are employed with or
Improvisation is a major part of some types of
music, such as blues, jazz, and jazz fusion, in which instrumental
performers improvise solos, melody lines and accompaniment parts. In
the Western art music tradition, improvisation was an important skill
Baroque era and during the Classical era. In the Baroque
era, performers improvised ornaments and basso continuo keyboard
players improvised chord voicings based on figured bass notation. In
the Classical era, solo performers and singers improvised virtuoso
cadenzas during concerts. However, in the 20th and early 21st century,
as "common practice" Western art music performance became
institutionalized in symphony orchestras, opera houses and ballets,
improvisation has played a smaller role. At the same time, some modern
composers have increasingly included improvisation in their creative
work. In Indian classical music, improvisation is a core component and
an essential criterion of performances.
Music theory encompasses the nature and mechanics of music. It often
involves identifying patterns that govern composers' techniques and
examining the language and notation of music. In a grand sense, music
theory distills and analyzes the parameters or elements of music –
rhythm, harmony (harmonic function), melody, structure, form, and
texture. Broadly, music theory may include any statement, belief, or
conception of or about music. People who study these properties are
known as music theorists. Some have applied acoustics, human
physiology, and psychology to the explanation of how and why music is
Main article: Aspect of music
Music has many different fundamentals or elements. Depending on the
definition of "element" being used, these can include: pitch, beat or
pulse, tempo, rhythm, melody, harmony, texture, style, allocation of
voices, timbre or color, dynamics, expression, articulation, form and
structure. The elements of music feature prominently in the music
curriculums of Australia, UK and US. All three curriculums identify
pitch, dynamics, timbre and texture as elements, but the other
identified elements of music are far from universally agreed. Below is
a list of the three official versions of the "elements of music":
Australia: pitch, timbre, texture, dynamics and expression, rhythm,
form and structure.
UK: pitch, timbre, texture, dynamics, duration, tempo, structure.
USA: pitch, timbre, texture, dynamics, rhythm, form, harmony,
In relation to the UK curriculum, in 2013 the term: "appropriate
musical notations" was added to their list of elements and the title
of the list was changed from the "elements of music" to the
"inter-related dimensions of music". The inter-related dimensions of
music are listed as: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre,
texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.
The phrase "the elements of music" is used in a number of different
contexts. The two most common contexts can be differentiated by
describing them as the "rudimentary elements of music" and the
"perceptual elements of music".
In the 1800s, the phrases "the elements of music" and "the rudiments
of music" were used interchangeably. The elements described in
these documents refer to aspects of music that are needed in order to
become a musician, Recent writers such as Estrella  seem to be
using the phrase "elements of music" in a similar manner. A definition
which most accurately reflects this usage is: "the rudimentary
principles of an art, science, etc.: the elements of grammar." The
UK's curriculum switch to the "inter-related dimensions of music"
seems to be a move back to using the rudimentary elements of music.
Since the emergence of the study of psychoacoustics in the 1930s, most
lists of elements of music have related more to how we hear music than
how we learn to play it or study it. C.E. Seashore, in his book
Psychology of Music, identified four "psychological attributes of
sound". These were: "pitch, loudness, time, and timbre" (p. 3).
He did not call them the "elements of music" but referred to them as
"elemental components" (p. 2). Nonetheless these elemental
components link precisely with four of the most common musical
elements: "Pitch" and "timbre" match exactly, "loudness" links with
dynamics and "time" links with the time-based elements of rhythm,
duration and tempo. This usage of the phrase "the elements of music"
links more closely with Webster's New 20th Century Dictionary
definition of an element as: "a substance which cannot be divided into
a simpler form by known methods" and educational institutions'
lists of elements generally align with this definition as well.
Although writers of lists of "rudimentary elements of music" can vary
their lists depending on their personal (or institutional) priorities,
the perceptual elements of music should consist of an established (or
proven) list of discrete elements which can be independently
manipulated to achieve an intended musical effect. It seems at this
stage that there is still research to be done in this area.
Analysis of styles
Funk places most of its emphasis on rhythm and groove, with entire
songs based around a vamp on a single chord. Pictured are the
influential funk musicians George Clinton and
Parliament Funkadelic in
Some styles of music place an emphasis on certain of these
fundamentals, while others place less emphasis on certain elements. To
give one example, while Bebop-era jazz makes use of very complex
chords, including altered dominants and challenging chord
progressions, with chords changing two or more times per bar and keys
changing several times in a tune, funk places most of its emphasis on
rhythm and groove, with entire songs based around a vamp on a single
chord. While Romantic era classical music from the mid- to late-1800s
makes great use of dramatic changes of dynamics, from whispering
pianissimo sections to thunderous fortissimo sections, some entire
Baroque dance suites for harpsichord from the early 1700s may use a
single dynamic. To give another example, while some art music pieces,
such as symphonies are very long, some pop songs are just a few
Description of elements
Pitch and melody
Pitch is an aspect of a sound that we can hear, reflecting whether one
musical sound, note or tone is "higher" or "lower" than another
musical sound, note or tone. We can talk about the highness or lowness
of pitch in the more general sense, such as the way a listener hears a
piercingly high piccolo note or whistling tone as higher in pitch than
a deep thump of a bass drum. We also talk about pitch in the precise
sense associated with musical melodies, basslines and chords. Precise
pitch can only be determined in sounds that have a frequency that is
clear and stable enough to distinguish from noise. For example, it is
much easier for listeners to discern the pitch of a single note played
on a piano than to try to discern the pitch of a crash cymbal that is
The melody to the traditional song "Pop Goes the Weasel"
A melody (also called a "tune") is a series of pitches (notes)
sounding in succession (one after the other), often in a rising and
falling pattern. The notes of a melody are typically created using
pitch systems such as scales or modes. Melodies also often contain
notes from the chords used in the song. The melodies in simple folk
songs and traditional songs may use only the notes of a single scale,
the scale associated with the tonic note or key of a given song. For
example, a folk song in the key of C (also referred to as C major) may
have a melody that uses only the notes of the C major scale (the
individual notes C, D, E, F, G, A, B and C; these are the "white
notes" on a piano keyboard. On the other hand, Bebop-era jazz from the
1940s and contemporary music from the 20th and 21st centuries may use
melodies with many chromatic notes (i.e., notes in addition to the
notes of the major scale; on a piano, a chromatic scale would include
all the notes on the keyboard, including the "white notes" and "black
notes" and unusual scales, such as the whole tone scale (a whole tone
scale in the key of C would contain the notes C, D, E, F♯, G♯ and
A♯). A low, deep musical line played by bass instruments such as
double bass, electric bass or tuba is called a bassline.
Harmony and chords
When musicians play three or more different notes at the same time,
this creates a chord. In Western music, including classical music, pop
music, rock music and many related styles, the most common chords are
triads– three notes usually played at the same time. The most
commonly used chords are the major chord and the minor chord. An
example of a major chord is the three pitches C, E and G. An example
of a minor chord is the three pitches A, C and E. (Pictured is a
guitar player performing a chord on a guitar).
Harmony refers to the "vertical" sounds of pitches in music, which
means pitches that are played or sung together at the same time to
create a chord. Usually this means the notes are played at the same
time, although harmony may also be implied by a melody that outlines a
harmonic structure (i.e., by using melody notes that are played one
after the other, outlining the notes of a chord). In music written
using the system of major-minor tonality ("keys"), which includes most
classical music written from 1600 to 1900 and most Western pop, rock
and traditional music, the key of a piece determines the scale used,
which centres around the "home note" or tonic of the key. Simple
classical pieces and many pop and traditional music songs are written
so that all the music is in a single key. More complex Classical, pop
and traditional music songs and pieces may have two keys (and in some
cases three or more keys).
Classical music from the Romantic era
(written from about 1820–1900) often contains multiple keys, as does
Bebop jazz from the 1940s, in which the key or "home
note" of a song may change every four bars or even every two bars.
Rhythm is the arrangement of sounds and silences in time. Meter
animates time in regular pulse groupings, called measures or bars,
which in Western classical, popular and traditional music often group
notes in sets of two (e.g., 2/4 time), three (e.g., 3/4 time, also
Waltz time, or 3/8 time), or four (e.g., 4/4 time). Meters
are made easier to hear because songs and pieces often (but not
always) place an emphasis on the first beat of each grouping. Notable
exceptions exist, such as the backbeat used in much Western pop and
rock, in which a song that uses a measure that consists of four beats
(called 4/4 time or common time) will have accents on beats two and
four, which are typically performed by the drummer on the snare drum,
a loud and distinctive-sounding percussion instrument. In pop and
rock, the rhythm parts of a song are played by the rhythm section,
which includes chord-playing instruments (e.g., electric guitar,
acoustic guitar, piano, or other keyboard instruments), a bass
instrument (typically electric bass or for some styles such as jazz
and bluegrass, double bass) and a drum kit player.
Musical texture is the overall sound of a piece of music or song. The
texture of a piece or sing is determined by how the melodic, rhythmic,
and harmonic materials are combined in a composition, thus determining
the overall nature of the sound in a piece. Texture is often described
in regard to the density, or thickness, and range, or width, between
lowest and highest pitches, in relative terms as well as more
specifically distinguished according to the number of voices, or
parts, and the relationship between these voices (see common types
below). For example, a thick texture contains many 'layers' of
instruments. One of these layers could be a string section, or another
brass. The thickness also is affected by the amount and the richness
of the instruments. Texture is commonly described according to the
number of and relationship between parts or lines of music:
monophony: a single melody (or "tune") with neither instrumental
accompaniment nor a harmony part. A mother singing a lullaby to her
baby would be an example.
heterophony: two or more instruments or singers playing/singing the
same melody, but with each performer slightly varying the rhythm or
speed of the melody or adding different ornaments to the melody. Two
bluegrass fiddlers playing the same traditional fiddle tune together
will typically each vary the melody a bit and each add different
polyphony: multiple independent melody lines that interweave together,
which are sung or played at the same time. Choral music written in the
Renaissance music era was typically written in this style. A round,
which is a song such as "Row, Row, Row Your Boat", which different
groups of singers all start to sing at a different time, is a simple
example of polyphony.
homophony: a clear melody supported by chordal accompaniment. Most
Western popular music songs from the 19th century onward are written
in this texture.
Music that contains a large number of independent parts (e.g., a
double concerto accompanied by 100 orchestral instruments with many
interweaving melodic lines) is generally said to have a "thicker" or
"denser" texture than a work with few parts (e.g., a solo flute melody
accompanied by a single cello).
Timbre or "tone color"
Timbre, sometimes called "color" or "tone color" is the quality or
sound of a voice or instrument.
Timbre is what makes a particular
musical sound different from another, even when they have the same
pitch and loudness. For example, a 440 Hz A note sounds different
when it is played on oboe, piano, violin or electric guitar. Even if
different players of the same instrument play the same note, their
notes might sound different due to differences in instrumental
technique (e.g., different embouchures), different types of
accessories (e.g., mouthpieces for brass players, reeds for oboe and
bassoon players) or strings made out of different materials for string
players (e.g., gut strings versus steel strings). Even two
instrumentalists playing the same note on the same instrument (one
after the other) may sound different due to different ways of playing
the instrument (e.g., two string players might hold the bow
The physical characteristics of sound that determine the perception of
timbre include the spectrum, envelope and overtones of a note or
musical sound. For electric instruments developed in the 20th century,
such as electric guitar, electric bass and electric piano, the
performer can also change the tone by adjusting equalizer controls,
tone controls on the instrument, and by using electronic effects units
such as distortion pedals. The tone of the electric
Hammond organ is
controlled by adjusting drawbars.
Singers add expression to the melodies they sing using many methods,
including changing the tone of their singing, adding vibrato to
certain notes, and emphasizing important words in the lyrics.
Expressive qualities are those elements in music that create change in
music without changing the main pitches or substantially changing the
rhythms of the melody and its accompaniment. Performers, including
singers and instrumentalists, can add musical expression to a song or
piece by adding phrasing, by adding effects such as vibrato (with
voice and some instruments, such as guitar, violin, brass instruments
and woodwinds), dynamics (the loudness or softness of piece or a
section of it), tempo fluctuations (e.g., ritardando or accelerando,
which are, respectively slowing down and speeding up the tempo), by
adding pauses or fermatas on a cadence, and by changing the
articulation of the notes (e.g., making notes more pronounced or
accented, by making notes more legato, which means smoothly connected,
or by making notes shorter).
Expression is achieved through the manipulation of pitch (such as
inflection, vibrato, slides etc.), volume (dynamics, accent, tremolo
etc.), duration (tempo fluctuations, rhythmic changes, changing note
duration such as with legato and staccato, etc.), timbre (e.g.
changing vocal timbre from a light to a resonant voice) and sometimes
even texture (e.g. doubling the bass note for a richer effect in a
piano piece). Expression therefore can be seen as a manipulation of
all elements in order to convey "an indication of mood, spirit,
character etc."  and as such cannot be included as a unique
perceptual element of music, although it can be considered an
important rudimentary element of music.
Strophic form, Binary form, Ternary form,
Variation (music), and Musical development
Sheet music notation for the chorus (refrain) of the Christmas song
"Jingle Bells" Play (help·info)
In music, form describes how the overall structure or plan of a song
or piece of music, and it describes the layout of a composition as
divided into sections. In the early 20th century, Tin Pan Alley
Broadway musical songs were often in AABA 32 bar form, in
which the A sections repeated the same eight bar melody and the B
section provided a contrasting melody and/or harmony for 8 bars. From
the 1960s onward, Western pop and rock songs are often in verse-chorus
form, which is based around a sequence of verse and chorus ("refrain")
sections, with new lyrics for most verses and repeating lyrics for the
Popular music often makes use of strophic form, sometimes in
conjunction with the twelve bar blues.
In the tenth edition of The Oxford Companion to Music, Percy Scholes
defines musical form as "a series of strategies designed to find a
successful mean between the opposite extremes of unrelieved repetition
and unrelieved alteration." Examples of common forms of Western
music include the fugue, the invention, sonata-allegro, canon,
strophic, theme and variations, and rondo. Scholes states that
European classical music
European classical music had only six stand-alone forms: simple
binary, simple ternary, compound binary, rondo, air with variations,
and fugue (although musicologist Alfred Mann emphasized that the fugue
is primarily a method of composition that has sometimes taken on
certain structural conventions.)
Where a piece cannot readily be broken down into sectional units
(though it might borrow some form from a poem, story or programme), it
is said to be through-composed. Such is often the case with a
fantasia, prelude, rhapsody, etude (or study), symphonic poem,
Bagatelle, impromptu, etc. Professor Charles Keil
classified forms and formal detail as "sectional, developmental, or
This form is built from a sequence of clear-cut units that may be
referred to by letters but also often have generic names such as
introduction and coda, exposition, development and recapitulation,
verse, chorus or refrain, and bridge. Introductions and codas, when
they are no more than that, are frequently excluded from formal
analysis. All such units may typically be eight measures long.
Sectional forms include:
This form is defined by its "unrelieved repetition" (AAAA...).
Medley, potpourri is the extreme opposite, that of "unrelieved
variation": it is simply an indefinite sequence of self-contained
sections (ABCD...), sometimes with repeats (AABBCCDD...). Examples
include orchestral overtures, which are sometimes no more than a
string of the best tunes of the musical theatre show or opera to come.
Binary form in major and minor keys. Each section must be at least
three phrases long.
This form uses two sections (AB...), each often repeated (AABB...). In
18th-century Western classical music, "simple binary" form was often
used for dances and carried with it the convention that the two
sections should be in different musical keys but same rhythm, duration
and tone. The alternation of two tunes gives enough variety to permit
a dance to be extended for as long as desired.
This form has three parts. In Western classical music a simple ternary
form has a third section that is a recapitulation of the first (ABA).
Often, the first section is repeated (AABA). This approach was popular
in the 18th-century operatic aria, and was called da
capo (i.e. "repeat from the top") form. Later, it gave rise to the
32-bar song, with the B section then often referred to as the "middle
eight". A song has more need than a dance of a self-contained form
with a beginning and an end of course.
This form has a recurring theme alternating with different (usually
contrasting) sections called "episodes". It may be asymmetrical
(ABACADAEA) or symmetrical (ABACABA). A recurring section, especially
the main theme, is sometimes more thoroughly varied, or else one
episode may be a "development" of it. A similar arrangement is the
ritornello form of the
Baroque concerto grosso.
Arch form (ABCBA)
resembles a symmetrical rondo without intermediate repetitions of the
main theme. It is normally used in a round.
Variational forms are those in which variation is an important
Theme and Variations: a theme, which in itself can be of any shorter
form (binary, ternary, etc.), forms the only "section" and is repeated
indefinitely (as in strophic form) but is varied each time (A, B, A,
F, Z, A), so as to make a sort of sectional chain form. An important
variant of this, much used in 17th-century British music and in the
Passacaglia and Chaconne, was that of the ground bass – a repeating
bass theme or basso ostinato over and around which the rest of the
structure unfolds, often, but not always, spinning polyphonic or
contrapuntal threads, or improvising divisions and descants. This is
said by Scholes (1977) to be the form par excellence of unaccompanied
or accompanied solo instrumental music. The
Rondo is often found with
sections varied (AA1BA2CA3BA4) or (ABA1CA2B1A).
Developmental forms are built directly from smaller units, such as
motifs. A well-known Classical piece with a motif is Beethoven's fifth
symphony, which starts with three short repeated notes and then a long
note. In Classical pieces that are based on motifs, the motif is
usually combined, varied and worked out in different ways, perhaps
having a symmetrical or arch-like underpinning and a progressive
development from beginning to end. By far the most important
developmental form in Western classical music is
Sonata form. This
form, also known as sonata form, first movement form, compound binary,
ternary and a variety of other names,[example needed] developed from
the binary-formed dance movement described above but is almost always
cast in a greater ternary form having the nominal subdivisions of
Exposition, Development and Recapitulation. Usually, but not always,
the "A" parts (Exposition and Recapitulation, respectively) may be
subdivided into two or three themes or theme groups which are taken
asunder and recombined to form the "B" part (the development) – thus
e. g. (AabB[dev. of a and/or b]A1ab1+coda). This developmental form is
generally confined to certain sections of the piece, as to the middle
section of the first movement of a sonata, though 19th-century
composers such as Berlioz, Liszt and
Wagner made valiant efforts to
derive large-scale works purely or mainly from the motif.
Main article: History of music
A bone flute which is over 41,000 years old.
Prehistoric music can only be theorized based on findings from
paleolithic archaeology sites. Flutes are often discovered, carved
from bones in which lateral holes have been pierced; these are thought
to have been blown at one end like the Japanese shakuhachi. The Divje
Babe flute, carved from a cave bear femur, is thought to be at least
40,000 years old. Instruments such as the seven-holed flute and
various types of stringed instruments, such as the Ravanahatha, have
been recovered from the
Indus Valley Civilization
Indus Valley Civilization archaeological
sites. India has one of the oldest musical traditions in the
Indian classical music
Indian classical music (marga) are found in the
Vedas, ancient scriptures of the
Hindu tradition. The earliest and
largest collection of prehistoric musical instruments was found in
China and dates back to between 7000 and 6600 BC. The
Hymn to Nikkal", found on clay tablets that date back to
approximately 1400 BC, is the oldest surviving notated work of
Music of Egypt
Musicians of Amun, Tomb of Nakht, 18th Dynasty, Western Thebes
Egyptians credited one of their gods, Thoth, with the
invention of music, with
Osiris in turn used as part of his effort to
civilize the world. The earliest material and representational
evidence of Egyptian musical instruments dates to the Predynastic
period, but the evidence is more securely attested in the Old Kingdom
when harps, flutes and double clarinets were played. Percussion
instruments, lyres and lutes were added to orchestras by the Middle
Kingdom. Cymbals frequently accompanied music and dance, much as
they still do in
Egypt today. Egyptian folk music, including the
traditional Sufi dhikr rituals, are the closest contemporary music
genre to ancient Egyptian music, having preserved many of its
features, rhythms and instruments.
Indian women dressed in regional attire playing a variety of musical
instruments popular in different parts of India
Music of Iran,
Music of Afghanistan,
Music of Tajikistan,
Music of Sri Lanka, and
Music of Uzbekistan
Indian classical music
Indian classical music is one of the oldest musical traditions in the
Indus Valley civilization
Indus Valley civilization has sculptures that show
dance and old musical instruments, like the seven holed flute.
Various types of stringed instruments and drums have been recovered
Harappa and Mohenjo Daro by excavations carried out by Sir
Mortimer Wheeler. The
Rigveda has elements of present Indian
music, with a musical notation to denote the metre and the mode of
Indian classical music
Indian classical music (marga) is monophonic, and based
on a single melody line or raga rhythmically organized through talas.
Ilango Adigal provides information about how new
scales can be formed by modal shifting of the tonic from an existing
scale. Hindustani music was influenced by the Persian performance
practices of the Afghan Mughals. Carnatic music, popular in the
southern states, is largely devotional; the majority of the songs are
addressed to the
Hindu deities. There are also many songs emphasising
love and other social issues.
Asian music covers the music cultures of Arabia, Central Asia, East
Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. Chinese classical music, the
traditional art or court music of China, has a history stretching over
around three thousand years. It has its own unique systems of musical
notation, as well as musical tuning and pitch, musical instruments and
styles or musical genres. Chinese music is pentatonic-diatonic, having
a scale of twelve notes to an octave (5 + 7 = 12)
as does European-influenced music. Persian music is the music of
Persia and Persian language countries: musiqi, the science and art of
music, and muzik, the sound and performance of music (Sakata 1983).
References in the Bible
History of music
History of music in the biblical period
"David with his harp" Paris Psalter,
c. 960, Constantinople
Music and theatre scholars studying the history and anthropology of
Semitic and early
Judeo-Christian culture have discovered common links
in theatrical and musical activity between the classical cultures of
Hebrews and those of later
Greeks and Romans. The common area of
performance is found in a "social phenomenon called litany," a form of
prayer consisting of a series of invocations or supplications. The
Journal of Religion and
Theatre notes that among the earliest forms of
litany, "Hebrew litany was accompanied by a rich musical
"While Genesis 4.21 identifies Jubal as the "father of all such as
handle the harp and pipe," the Pentateuch is nearly silent about the
practice and instruction of music in the early life of Israel. Then,
in I Samuel 10 and the texts that follow, a curious thing happens.
"One finds in the biblical text," writes Alfred Sendrey, "a sudden and
unexplained upsurge of large choirs and orchestras, consisting of
thoroughly organized and trained musical groups, which would be
virtually inconceivable without lengthy, methodical preparation." This
has led some scholars to believe that the prophet Samuel was the
patriarch of a school, which taught not only prophets and holy men,
but also sacred-rite musicians. This public music school, perhaps the
earliest in recorded history, was not restricted to a priestly
class—which is how the shepherd boy David appears on the scene as a
minstrel to King Saul."
Epitaph of Seikilos
Melody sung in an approximation of
Koine Greek pronunciation and in
modern popular vocal style.
Problems playing this file? See media help.
Music was an important part of social and cultural life in ancient
Greece. Musicians and singers played a prominent role in Greek
theater. Mixed-gender choruses performed for entertainment,
celebration, and spiritual ceremonies. Instruments included the
double-reed aulos and a plucked string instrument, the lyre,
principally the special kind called a kithara.
Music was an important
part of education, and boys were taught music starting at age six.
Greek musical literacy created a flowering of music development. Greek
music theory included the Greek musical modes, that eventually became
the basis for Western religious and classical music. Later, influences
from the Roman Empire, Eastern Europe, and the Byzantine Empire
changed Greek music. The
Seikilos epitaph is the oldest surviving
example of a complete musical composition, including musical notation,
from anywhere in the world. The oldest surviving work written on
the subject of music theory is Harmonika Stoicheia by Aristoxenus.
Léonin or Pérotin
Breves dies hominis
Musical notation from a Catholic Missal, c. 1310–1320
The medieval era (476 to 1400), which took place during the Middle
Ages, started with the introduction of monophonic (single melodic
line) chanting into
Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church services. Musical notation
was used since Ancient times in Greek culture, but in the Middle Ages,
notation was first introduced by the
Catholic church so that the chant
melodies could be written down, to facilitate the use of the same
melodies for religious music across the entire Catholic empire. The
only European Medieval repertory that has been found in written form
from before 800 is the monophonic liturgical plainsong chant of the
Roman Catholic Church, the central tradition of which was called
Gregorian chant. Alongside these traditions of sacred and church music
there existed a vibrant tradition of secular song (non-religious
songs). Examples of composers from this period are Léonin, Pérotin,
Guillaume de Machaut, and Walther von der Vogelweide.
T.L. de Victoria
Allegory of Music, by Filippino Lippi
Renaissance music (c. 1400 to 1600) was more focused on secular
(non-religious) themes, such as courtly love. Around 1450, the
printing press was invented, which made printed sheet music much less
expensive and easier to mass-produce (prior to the invention of the
printing press, all notated music was hand-copied). The increased
availability of sheet music helped to spread musical styles more
quickly and across a larger area. Musicians and singers often worked
for the church, courts and towns. Church choirs grew in size, and the
church remained an important patron of music. By the middle of the
15th century, composers wrote richly polyphonic sacred music, in which
different melody lines were interwoven simultaneously. Prominent
composers from this era include Guillaume Dufay, Giovanni Pierluigi da
Palestrina, Thomas Morley, and Orlande de Lassus. As musical activity
shifted from the church to the aristocratic courts, kings, queens and
princes competed for the finest composers. Many leading important
composers came from the Netherlands, Belgium, and northern France.
They are called the Franco-Flemish composers. They held important
positions throughout Europe, especially in Italy. Other countries with
vibrant musical activity included Germany, England, and Spain.
Toccata and Fugue
Baroque era of music took place from 1600 to 1750, as the Baroque
artistic style flourished across Europe; and during this time, music
expanded in its range and complexity.
Baroque music began when the
first operas (dramatic solo vocal music accompanied by orchestra) were
written. During the
Baroque era, polyphonic contrapuntal music, in
which multiple, simultaneous independent melody lines were used,
remained important (counterpoint was important in the vocal music of
the Medieval era). German
Baroque composers wrote for small ensembles
including strings, brass, and woodwinds, as well as for choirs and
keyboard instruments such as pipe organ, harpsichord, and clavichord.
During this period several major music forms were defined that lasted
into later periods when they were expanded and evolved further,
including the fugue, the invention, the sonata, and the concerto.
Baroque style was polyphonically complex and richly
ornamented. Important composers from the
Baroque era include Johann
Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel,
Georg Philipp Telemann
Georg Philipp Telemann and
Antonio Lucio Vivaldi.
Symphony 40 g-moll
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (seated at the keyboard) was a child prodigy
virtuoso performer on the piano and violin. Even before he became a
celebrated composer, he was widely known as a gifted performer and
The music of the Classical period (1730 to 1820) aimed to imitate what
were seen as the key elements of the art and philosophy of Ancient
Greece and Rome: the ideals of balance, proportion and disciplined
expression. (Note: the music from the Classical period should not be
Classical music in general, a term which refers to
Western art music from the 5th century to the 2000s, which includes
the Classical period as one of a number of periods).
Music from the
Classical period has a lighter, clearer and considerably simpler
texture than the
Baroque music which preceded it. The main style was
homophony, where a prominent melody and a subordinate chordal
accompaniment part are clearly distinct. Classical instrumental
melodies tended to be almost voicelike and singable. New genres were
developed, and the fortepiano, the forerunner to the modern piano,
Baroque era harpsichord and pipe organ as the main
Importance was given to instrumental music. It was dominated by
further development of musical forms initially defined in the Baroque
period: the sonata, the concerto, and the symphony. Others main kinds
were the trio, string quartet, serenade and divertimento. The sonata
was the most important and developed form. Although
also wrote sonatas, the Classical style of sonata is completely
distinct. All of the main instrumental forms of the Classical era,
from string quartets to symphonies and concertos, were based on the
structure of the sonata. The instruments used chamber music and
orchestra became more standardized. In place of the basso continuo
group of the
Baroque era, which consisted of harpsichord, organ or
lute along with a number of bass instruments selected at the
discretion of the group leader (e.g., viol, cello, theorbo, serpent),
Classical chamber groups used specified, standardized instruments
(e.g., a string quartet would be performed by two violins, a viola and
a cello). The
Baroque era improvised chord-playing of the continuo
keyboardist or lute player was gradually phased out between 1750 and
One of the most important changes made in the Classical period was the
development of public concerts. The aristocracy still played a
significant role in the sponsorship of concerts and compositions, but
it was now possible for composers to survive without being permanent
employees of queens or princes. The increasing popularity of classical
music led to a growth in the number and types of orchestras. The
expansion of orchestral concerts necessitated the building of large
public performance spaces. Symphonic music including symphonies,
musical accompaniment to ballet and mixed vocal/instrumental genres
such as opera and oratorio became more popular.
The best known composers of Classicism are Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach,
Christoph Willibald Gluck, Johann Christian Bach, Joseph Haydn,
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,
Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Schubert.
Beethoven and Schubert are also considered to be composers in the
later part of the Classical era, as it began to move towards
The piano was the centrepiece of social activity for middle-class
urbanites in the 19th century (Moritz von Schwind, 1868). The man at
the piano is composer Franz Schubert.
Romantic music (c. 1810 to 1900) from the 19th century had many
elements in common with the Romantic styles in literature and painting
of the era.
Romanticism was an artistic, literary, and intellectual
movement was characterized by its emphasis on emotion and
individualism as well as glorification of all the past and nature.
Romantic music expanded beyond the rigid styles and forms of the
Classical era into more passionate, dramatic expressive pieces and
songs. Romantic composers such as
Brahms attempted to
increase emotional expression and power in their music to describe
deeper truths or human feelings. With symphonic tone poems, composers
tried to tell stories and evoke images or landscapes using
instrumental music. Some composers promoted nationalistic pride with
patriotic orchestral music inspired by folk music. The emotional and
expressive qualities of music came to take precedence over tradition.
Romantic composers grew in idiosyncrasy, and went further in the
syncretism of exploring different art-forms in a musical context,
(such as literature), history (historical figures and legends), or
Romantic love or longing was a prevalent theme in many
works composed during this period. In some cases the formal structures
from the classical period continued to be used (e.g., the sonata form
used in string quartets and symphonies), but these forms were expanded
and altered. In many cases, new approaches were explored for existing
genres, forms, and functions. Also, new forms were created that were
deemed better suited to the new subject matter. Composers continued to
develop opera and ballet music, exploring new styles and themes.
In the years after 1800, the music developed by Ludwig van Beethoven
Franz Schubert introduced a more dramatic, expressive style. In
Beethoven's case, short motifs, developed organically, came to replace
melody as the most significant compositional unit (an example is the
distinctive four note figure used in his Fifth Symphony). Later
Romantic composers such as Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Antonín
Gustav Mahler used more unusual chords and more
dissonance to create dramatic tension. They generated complex and
often much longer musical works. During the late Romantic period,
composers explored dramatic chromatic alterations of tonality, such as
extended chords and altered chords, which created new sound "colours".
The late 19th century saw a dramatic expansion in the size of the
orchestra, and the industrial revolution helped to create better
instruments, creating a more powerful sound. Public concerts became an
important part of well-to-do urban society. It also saw a new
diversity in theatre music, including operetta, and musical comedy and
other forms of musical theatre.
20th- and 21st-century music
Main article: 20th-century music
A jazz group consisting of double bassist Reggie Workman, tenor
saxophone player Pharoah Sanders, and drummer Idris Muhammad,
performing in 1978
In the 19th century, one of the key ways that new compositions became
known to the public was by the sales of sheet music, which middle
class amateur music lovers would perform at home on their piano or
other common instruments, such as violin. With 20th-century music, the
invention of new electric technologies such as radio broadcasting and
the mass market availability of gramophone records meant that sound
recordings of songs and pieces heard by listeners (either on the radio
or on their record player) became the main way to learn about new
songs and pieces. There was a vast increase in music listening as the
radio gained popularity and phonographs were used to replay and
distribute music, because whereas in the 19th century, the focus on
sheet music restricted access to new music to the middle class and
upper-class people who could read music and who owned pianos and
instruments, in the 20th century, anyone with a radio or record player
could hear operas, symphonies and big bands right in their own living
room. This allowed lower-income people, who would never be able to
afford an opera or symphony concert ticket to hear this music. It also
meant that people could hear music from different parts of the
country, or even different parts of the world, even if they could not
afford to travel to these locations. This helped to spread musical
The focus of art music in the 20th century was characterized by
exploration of new rhythms, styles, and sounds. The horrors of World
War I influenced many of the arts, including music, and some composers
began exploring darker, harsher sounds.
Traditional music styles such
as jazz and folk music were used by composers as a source of ideas for
classical music. Igor Stravinsky, Arnold Schoenberg, and John Cage
were all influential composers in 20th-century art music. The
invention of sound recording and the ability to edit music gave rise
to new subgenre of classical music, including the acousmatic and
Musique concrète schools of electronic composition. Sound recording
was also a major influence on the development of popular music genres,
because it enabled recordings of songs and bands to be widely
distributed. The introduction of the multitrack recording system had a
major influence on rock music, because it could do much more than
record a band's performance. Using a multitrack system, a band and
their music producer could overdub many layers of instrument tracks
and vocals, creating new sounds that would not be possible in a live
Jazz evolved and became an important genre of music over the course of
the 20th century, and during the second half of that century, rock
music did the same.
Jazz is an American musical artform that
originated in the beginning of the 20th century in African American
communities in the Southern United States from a confluence of African
and European music traditions. The style's West African pedigree is
evident in its use of blue notes, improvisation, polyrhythms,
syncopation, and the swung note. From its early development until
the present, jazz has also incorporated music from 19th- and
20th-century American popular music.
Jazz has, from its
early-20th-century inception, spawned a variety of subgenres, ranging
Dixieland (1910s) to 1970s and 1980s-era jazz-rock
Rock music is a genre of popular music that developed in the 1960s
from 1950s rock and roll, rockabilly, blues, and country music.
The sound of rock often revolves around the electric guitar or
acoustic guitar, and it uses a strong back beat laid down by a rhythm
section of electric bass guitar, drums, and keyboard instruments such
as organ, piano, or, since the 1970s, analog synthesizers and digital
ones and computers since the 1990s. Along with the guitar or
keyboards, saxophone and blues-style harmonica are used as soloing
instruments. In its "purest form," it "has three chords, a strong,
insistent back beat, and a catchy melody." In the late 1960s and
early 1970s, it branched out into different subgenres, ranging from
blues rock and jazz-rock fusion to heavy metal and punk rock, as well
as the more classical influenced genre of progressive rock and several
types of experimental rock genres.
Main article: Performance
Chinese Naxi musicians
Assyrians playing zurna and Davul, instruments that go back thousands
Performance is the physical expression of music, which occurs when a
song is sung or when a piano piece, electric guitar melody, symphony,
drum beat or other musical part is played by musicians. In classical
music, a musical work is written in music notation by a composer and
then it is performed once the composer is satisfied with its structure
and instrumentation. However, as it gets performed, the interpretation
of a song or piece can evolve and change. In classical music,
instrumental performers, singers or conductors may gradually make
changes to the phrasing or tempo of a piece. In popular and
traditional music, the performers have a lot more freedom to make
changes to the form of a song or piece. As such, in popular and
traditional music styles, even when a band plays a cover song, they
can make changes to it such as adding a guitar solo to or inserting an
A performance can either be planned out and rehearsed
(practiced)—which is the norm in classical music, with jazz big
bands and many popular music styles–or improvised over a chord
progression (a sequence of chords), which is the norm in small jazz
and blues groups. Rehearsals of orchestras, concert bands and choirs
are led by a conductor. Rock, blues and jazz bands are usually led by
the bandleader. A rehearsal is a structured repetition of a song or
piece by the performers until it can be sung and/or played correctly
and, if it is a song or piece for more than one musician, until the
parts are together from a rhythmic and tuning perspective.
Improvisation is the creation of a musical idea–a melody or other
musical line–created on the spot, often based on scales or
pre-existing melodic riffs.
Many cultures have strong traditions of solo performance (in which one
singer or instrumentalist performs), such as in Indian classical
music, and in the Western art-music tradition. Other cultures, such as
in Bali, include strong traditions of group performance. All cultures
include a mixture of both, and performance may range from improvised
solo playing to highly planned and organised performances such as the
modern classical concert, religious processions, classical music
festivals or music competitions. Chamber music, which is music for a
small ensemble with only a few of each type of instrument, is often
seen as more intimate than large symphonic works.
Oral and aural tradition
Many types of music, such as traditional blues and folk music were not
written down in sheet music; instead, they were originally preserved
in the memory of performers, and the songs were handed down orally,
from one musician or singer to another, or aurally, in which a
performer learns a song "by ear". When the composer of a song or piece
is no longer known, this music is often classified as "traditional" or
as a "folk song". Different musical traditions have different
attitudes towards how and where to make changes to the original source
material, from quite strict, to those that demand improvisation or
modification to the music. A culture's history and stories may also be
passed on by ear through song.
Main article: Ornament (music)
In a score or on a performer's music part, this sign indicates that
the musician should perform a trill—a rapid alternation between two
notes. Play (help·info)
In music, an "ornament" is a decoration to a melody, bassline or other
musical part. The detail included explicitly in the music notation
varies between genres and historical periods. In general, art music
notation from the 17th through the 19th centuries required performers
to have a great deal of contextual knowledge about performing styles.
For example, in the 17th and 18th centuries, music notated for solo
performers typically indicated a simple, unadorned melody. However,
performers were expected to know how to add stylistically appropriate
ornaments to add interest to the music, such as trills and turns.
In the 19th century, art music for solo performers may give a general
instruction such as to perform the music expressively, without
describing in detail how the performer should do this. The performer
was expected to know how to use tempo changes, accentuation, and
pauses (among other devices) to obtain this "expressive" performance
style. In the 20th century, art music notation often became more
explicit and used a range of markings and annotations to indicate to
performers how they should play or sing the piece.
In popular music and jazz, music notation almost always indicates only
the basic framework of the melody, harmony, or performance approach;
musicians and singers are expected to know the performance conventions
and styles associated with specific genres and pieces. For example,
the "lead sheet" for a jazz tune may only indicate the melody and the
chord changes. The performers in the jazz ensemble are expected to
know how to "flesh out" this basic structure by adding ornaments,
improvised music, and chordal accompaniment.
Philosophy and aesthetics
Philosophy of music
Philosophy of music and
Aesthetics of music
A painting by Boldini of a woman playing the piano.
Philosophy of music
Philosophy of music is a subfield of philosophy. The philosophy of
music is the study of fundamental questions regarding music. The
philosophical study of music has many connections with philosophical
questions in metaphysics and aesthetics. Some basic questions in the
philosophy of music are:
What is the definition of music? (What are the necessary and
sufficient conditions for classifying something as music?)
What is the relationship between music and mind?
What does musical history reveal to us about the world?
What is the connection between music and emotions?
What is meaning in relation to music?
In ancient times, such as with the Ancient Greeks, the aesthetics of
music explored the mathematical and cosmological dimensions of
rhythmic and harmonic organization. In the 18th century, focus shifted
to the experience of hearing music, and thus to questions about its
beauty and human enjoyment (plaisir and jouissance) of music. The
origin of this philosophic shift is sometimes attributed to Baumgarten
in the 18th century, followed by Kant. Through their writing, the
ancient term 'aesthetics', meaning sensory perception, received its
present-day connotation. In the 2000s, philosophers have tended to
emphasize issues besides beauty and enjoyment. For example, music's
capacity to express emotion has been a central issue.
In the 20th century, important contributions were made by Peter Kivy,
Jerrold Levinson, Roger Scruton, and Stephen Davies. However, many
musicians, music critics, and other non-philosophers have contributed
to the aesthetics of music. In the 19th century, a significant debate
arose between Eduard Hanslick, a music critic and musicologist, and
Richard Wagner regarding whether music can express meaning.
Harry Partch and some other musicologists, such as Kyle Gann, have
studied and tried to popularize microtonal music and the usage of
alternate musical scales. Also many modern composers like La Monte
Rhys Chatham and
Glenn Branca paid much attention to a scale
called just intonation.
It is often thought that music has the ability to affect our emotions,
intellect, and psychology; it can assuage our loneliness or incite our
passions. The philosopher
Plato suggests in the Republic that music
has a direct effect on the soul. Therefore, he proposes that in the
ideal regime music would be closely regulated by the state. (
There has been a strong tendency in the aesthetics of music to
emphasize the paramount importance of compositional structure;
however, other issues concerning the aesthetics of music include
lyricism, harmony, hypnotism, emotiveness, temporal dynamics,
resonance, playfulness, and color (see also musical development).
Modern music psychology aims to explain and understand musical
behavior and experience. Research in this field and its subfields
are primarily empirical; their knowledge tends to advance on the basis
of interpretations of data collected by systematic observation of and
interaction with human participants. In addition to its focus on
fundamental perceptions and cognitive processes, music psychology is a
field of research with practical relevance for many areas, including
music performance, composition, education, criticism, and therapy, as
well as investigations of human aptitude, skill, intelligence,
creativity, and social behavior.
Cognitive neuroscience of music
Main article: Cognitive neuroscience of music
The primary auditory cortex is one of the main areas associated with
superior pitch resolution.
Cognitive neuroscience of music
Cognitive neuroscience of music is the scientific study of brain-based
mechanisms involved in the cognitive processes underlying music. These
behaviours include music listening, performing, composing, reading,
writing, and ancillary activities. It also is increasingly concerned
with the brain basis for musical aesthetics and musical emotion. The
field is distinguished by its reliance on direct observations of the
brain, using such techniques as functional magnetic resonance imaging
(fMRI), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS),
magnetoencephalography (MEG), electroencephalography (EEG), and
positron emission tomography (PET).
Main article: Cognitive musicology
Cognitive musicology is a branch of cognitive science concerned with
computationally modeling musical knowledge with the goal of
understanding both music and cognition. The use of computer models
provides an exacting, interactive medium in which to formulate and
test theories and has roots in artificial intelligence and cognitive
This interdisciplinary field investigates topics such as the parallels
between language and music in the brain. Biologically inspired models
of computation are often included in research, such as neural networks
and evolutionary programs. This field seeks to model how musical
knowledge is represented, stored, perceived, performed, and generated.
By using a well-structured computer environment, the systematic
structures of these cognitive phenomena can be investigated.
Main article: Psychoacoustics
Further information: Hearing (sense)
Psychoacoustics is the scientific study of sound perception. More
specifically, it is the branch of science studying the psychological
and physiological responses associated with sound (including speech
and music). It can be further categorized as a branch of
Main article: Evolutionary musicology
Evolutionary musicology concerns the "origins of music, the question
of animal song, selection pressures underlying music evolution", and
"music evolution and human evolution". It seeks to understand
music perception and activity in the context of evolutionary theory.
Charles Darwin speculated that music may have held an adaptive
advantage and functioned as a protolanguage, a view which has
spawned several competing theories of music evolution. An
alternate view sees music as a by-product of linguistic evolution; a
type of "auditory cheesecake" that pleases the senses without
providing any adaptive function. This view has been directly
countered by numerous music researchers.
Culture in music cognition
Culture in music cognition
See also: Ethnomusicology
An individual's culture or ethnicity plays a role in their music
cognition, including their preferences, emotional reaction, and
musical memory. Musical preferences are biased toward culturally
familiar musical traditions beginning in infancy, and adults'
classification of the emotion of a musical piece depends on both
culturally specific and universal structural features.
Additionally, individuals' musical memory abilities are greater for
culturally familiar music than for culturally unfamiliar
Main article: Sociomusicology
Song Dynasty (960–1279) painting, entitled the "Night Revels of
Han Xizai," shows Chinese musicians entertaining guests at a party in
a 10th-century household.
Many ethnographic studies demonstrate that music is a participatory,
Music is experienced by individuals
in a range of social settings ranging from being alone to attending a
large concert, forming a music community, which cannot be understood
as a function of individual will or accident; it includes both
commercial and non-commercial participants with a shared set of common
values. Musical performances take different forms in different
cultures and socioeconomic milieus. In Europe and North America, there
is often a divide between what types of music are viewed as a "high
culture" and "low culture." "High culture" types of music typically
include Western art music such as Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and
modern-era symphonies, concertos, and solo works, and are typically
heard in formal concerts in concert halls and churches, with the
audience sitting quietly in seats.
Other types of music—including, but not limited to, jazz, blues,
soul, and country—are often performed in bars, nightclubs, and
theatres, where the audience may be able to drink, dance, and express
themselves by cheering. Until the later 20th century, the division
between "high" and "low" musical forms was widely accepted as a valid
distinction that separated out better quality, more advanced "art
music" from the popular styles of music heard in bars and dance halls.
However, in the 1980s and 1990s, musicologists studying this perceived
divide between "high" and "low" musical genres argued that this
distinction is not based on the musical value or quality of the
different types of music. Rather, they argued that
this distinction was based largely on the socioeconomics standing or
social class of the performers or audience of the different types of
music. For example, whereas the audience for
Classical symphony concerts typically have above-average incomes, the
audience for a rap concert in an inner-city area may have
below-average incomes. Even though the performers,
audience, or venue where non-"art" music is performed may have a lower
socioeconomic status, the music that is performed, such as blues, rap,
punk, funk, or ska may be very complex and sophisticated.
When composers introduce styles of music that break with convention,
there can be a strong resistance from academic music experts and
popular culture. Late-period Beethoven string quartets, Stravinsky
ballet scores, serialism, bebop-era jazz, hip hop, punk rock, and
electronica have all been considered non-music by some critics when
they were first introduced. Such themes are examined
in the sociology of music. The sociological study of music, sometimes
called sociomusicology, is often pursued in departments of sociology,
media studies, or music, and is closely related to the field of
Role of women
Main article: Women in music
Nineteenth-century composer and pianist Clara Schumann.
Women have played a major role in music throughout history, as
composers, songwriters, instrumental performers, singers, conductors,
music scholars, music educators, music critics/music journalists and
other musical professions. As well, it describes music movements,
events and genres related to women, women's issues and feminism. In
the 2010s, while women comprise a significant proportion of popular
music and classical music singers, and a significant proportion of
songwriters (many of them being singer-songwriters), there are few
women record producers, rock critics and rock instrumentalists.
Although there have been a huge number of women composers in classical
music, from the Medieval period to the present day, women composers
are significantly underrepresented in the commonly performed classical
music repertoire, music history textbooks and music encyclopedias; for
example, in the Concise Oxford History of Music,
Clara Schumann is one
of the only female composers who is mentioned.
Women comprise a significant proportion of instrumental soloists in
classical music and the percentage of women in orchestras is
increasing. A 2015 article on concerto soloists in major Canadian
orchestras, however, indicated that 84% of the soloists with the
Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal
Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal were men. In 2012, women still made
up just 6% of the top-ranked
Vienna Philharmonic orchestra. Women are
less common as instrumental players in popular music genres such as
rock and heavy metal, although there have been a number of notable
female instrumentalists and all-female bands. Women are particularly
underrepresented in extreme metal genres. In the 1960s pop music
scene, "[l]ike most aspects of the...music business, [in the 1960s,]
songwriting was a male-dominated field. Though there were plenty of
female singers on the radio, women ...were primarily seen as
Singing was sometimes an acceptable pastime for a girl,
but playing an instrument, writing songs, or producing records simply
wasn't done." Young women "...were not socialized to see
themselves as people who create [music]."
Women are also underrepresented in orchestral conducting, music
criticism/music journalism, music producing, and sound engineering.
While women were discouraged from composing in the 19th century, and
there are few women musicologists, women became involved in music
education "...to such a degree that women dominated [this field]
during the later half of the 19th century and well into the 20th
According to Jessica Duchen, a music writer for London's The
Independent, women musicians in classical music are "...too often
judged for their appearances, rather than their talent" and they face
pressure "...to look sexy onstage and in photos." Duchen states
that while "[t]here are women musicians who refuse to play on their
looks,...the ones who do tend to be more materially successful."
According to the UK's Radio 3 editor, Edwina Wolstencroft, the music
industry has long been open to having women in performance or
entertainment roles, but women are much less likely to have positions
of authority, such as being the leader of an orchestra. In popular
music, while there are many women singers recording songs, there are
very few women behind the audio console acting as music producers, the
individuals who direct and manage the recording process. One of
the most recorded artists is Asha Bhosle, an Indian singer best known
as a playback singer in Hindi cinema.
Media and technology
Computer music and
Music production in the 2000s using a digital audio workstation (DAW)
with an electronic keyboard and a multi-monitor set-up.
The music that composers make can be heard through several media; the
most traditional way is to hear it live, in the presence of the
musicians (or as one of the musicians), in an outdoor or indoor space
such as an amphitheatre, concert hall, cabaret room or theatre. Since
the 20th century, live music can also be broadcast over the radio,
television or the Internet, or recorded and listened to on a CD player
or Mp3 player. Some musical styles focus on producing a sound for a
performance, while others focus on producing a recording that mixes
together sounds that were never played "live." Recording, even of
essentially live styles such as rock, often uses the ability to edit
and splice to produce recordings that may be considered "better" than
the actual performance.
Technology has had an influence on music since prehistoric times, when
cave people used simple tools to bore holes into bone flutes 41,000
years ago. Technology continued to influence music throughout the
history of music, as it enabled new instruments and music notation
reproduction systems to be used, with one of the watershed moments in
music notation being the invention of the printing press in the 1400s,
which meant music scores no longer had to be hand copied. In the 19th
century, music technology led to the development of a more powerful,
louder piano and led to the development of new valves brass
instruments. In the early 20th century (in the late 1920s), as talking
pictures emerged in the early 20th century, with their prerecorded
musical tracks, an increasing number of moviehouse orchestra musicians
found themselves out of work. During the 1920s live musical
performances by orchestras, pianists, and theater organists were
common at first-run theaters. With the coming of the talking
motion pictures, those featured performances were largely eliminated.
American Federation of Musicians
American Federation of Musicians (AFM) took out newspaper
advertisements protesting the replacement of live musicians with
mechanical playing devices. One 1929 ad that appeared in the
Pittsburgh Press features an image of a can labeled "Canned
Noise Brand / Guaranteed to Produce No Intellectual or Emotional
Since legislation introduced to help protect performers, composers,
publishers and producers, including the
Audio Home Recording Act
Audio Home Recording Act of
1992 in the United States, and the 1979 revised Berne Convention for
the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works in the United Kingdom,
recordings and live performances have also become more accessible
through computers, devices and Internet in a form that is commonly
known as Music-On-Demand.
In many cultures, there is less distinction between performing and
listening to music, since virtually everyone is involved in some sort
of musical activity, often communal. In industrialized countries,
listening to music through a recorded form, such as sound recording or
watching a music video, became more common than experiencing live
performance, roughly in the middle of the 20th century.
Sometimes, live performances incorporate prerecorded sounds. For
example, a disc jockey uses disc records for scratching, and some
20th-century works have a solo for an instrument or voice that is
performed along with music that is prerecorded onto a tape. Computers
and many keyboards can be programmed to produce and play Musical
Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) music. Audiences can also become
performers by participating in karaoke, an activity of Japanese origin
centered on a device that plays voice-eliminated versions of
well-known songs. Most karaoke machines also have video screens that
show lyrics to songs being performed; performers can follow the lyrics
as they sing over the instrumental tracks.
YouTube presents pop singer Taylor Swift.
The advent of the Internet and widespread high-speed broadband access
has transformed the experience of music, partly through the increased
ease of access to recordings of music via streaming video and vastly
increased choice of music for consumers. Chris Anderson, in his book
The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More,
suggests that while the traditional economic model of supply and
demand describes scarcity, the Internet retail model is based on
abundance. Digital storage costs are low, so a company can afford to
make its whole recording inventory available online, giving customers
as much choice as possible. It has thus become economically viable to
offer music recordings that very few people are interested in.
Consumers' growing awareness of their increased choice results in a
closer association between listening tastes and social identity, and
the creation of thousands of niche markets.
Another effect of the Internet arose with online communities and
social media websites like
YouTube and Facebook, a social networking
service. These sites make it easier for aspiring singers and amateur
bands to distribute videos of their songs, connect with other
musicians, and gain audience interest. Professional musicians also use
YouTube as a free publisher of promotional material.
for example, no longer only download and listen to MP3s, but also
actively create their own. According to
Don Tapscott and Anthony D.
Williams, in their book Wikinomics, there has been a shift from a
traditional consumer role to what they call a "prosumer" role, a
consumer who both creates content and consumes. Manifestations of this
in music include the production of mashes, remixes, and music videos
The music industry refers to the businesses connected with the
creation and sale of music. It consists of songwriters and composers
who create new songs and musical pieces, music producers and sound
engineers who record songs and pieces, record labels and publishers
that distribute recorded music products and sheet music
internationally and that often control the rights to those products.
Some music labels are "independent," while others are subsidiaries of
larger corporate entities or international media groups. In the 2000s,
the increasing popularity of listening to music as digital music files
on MP3 players, iPods, or computers, and of trading music on file
sharing websites or buying it online in the form of digital files had
a major impact on the traditional music business. Many smaller
independent CD stores went out of business as music buyers decreased
their purchases of CDs, and many labels had lower CD sales. Some
companies did well with the change to a digital format, though, such
as Apple's iTunes, an online music store that sells digital files of
songs over the Internet.
Intellectual property laws
Main article: Royalty_payment § Music_royalties
In spite of some international copyright treaties, determining which
music is in the public domain is complicated by the variety of
national copyright laws that may be applicable. US copyright law
formerly protected printed music published after 1923 for 28 years and
with renewal for another 28 years, but the
Copyright Act of 1976
Copyright Act of 1976 made
renewal automatic, and the
Digital Millennium Copyright Act
Digital Millennium Copyright Act changed
the calculation of the copyright term to 70 years after the death of
the creator. Recorded sound falls under mechanical licensing, often
covered by a confusing patchwork of state laws; most cover versions
are licensed through the Harry Fox Agency.
Performance rights may be
obtained by either performers or the performance venue; the two major
organizations for licensing are BMI and ASCAP. Two online sources for
public domain music are IMSLP (International
Music Score Library
Choral Public Domain Library (CPDL).
A Suzuki violin recital with students of varying ages.
The incorporation of some music or singing training into general
education from preschool to post secondary education is common in
North America and Europe. Involvement in playing and singing music is
thought to teach basic skills such as concentration, counting,
listening, and cooperation while also promoting understanding of
language, improving the ability to recall information, and creating an
environment more conducive to learning in other areas. In
elementary schools, children often learn to play instruments such as
the recorder, sing in small choirs, and learn about the history of
Western art music and traditional music. Some elementary school
children also learn about popular music styles. In religious schools,
children sing hymns and other religious music. In secondary schools
(and less commonly in elementary schools), students may have the
opportunity to perform in some types of musical ensembles, such as
choirs (a group of singers), marching bands, concert bands, jazz
bands, or orchestras. In some school systems, music lessons on how to
play instruments may be provided. Some students also take private
music lessons after school with a singing teacher or instrument
teacher. Amateur musicians typically learn basic musical rudiments
(e.g., learning about musical notation for musical scales and rhythms)
and beginner- to intermediate-level singing or instrument-playing
At the university level, students in most arts and humanities programs
can receive credit for taking a few music courses, which typically
take the form of an overview course on the history of music, or a
music appreciation course that focuses on listening to music and
learning about different musical styles. In addition, most North
American and European universities have some types of musical
ensembles that students in arts and humanities are able to participate
in, such as choirs, marching bands, concert bands, or orchestras. The
study of Western art music is increasingly common outside of North
America and Europe, such as the Indonesian Institute of the Arts in
Yogyakarta, Indonesia, or the classical music programs that are
available in Asian countries such as South Korea, Japan, and China. At
the same time, Western universities and colleges are widening their
curriculum to include music of non-Western cultures, such as the music
of Africa or
Manhattan School of Music
Manhattan School of Music professor and professional double bass
Timothy Cobb teaching a bass lesson in the late 2000s. His bass
has a low C extension with a metal "machine" with buttons for playing
the pitches on the extension.
Individuals aiming to become professional musicians, singers,
composers, songwriters, music teachers and practitioners of other
music-related professions such as music history professors, sound
engineers, and so on study in specialized post-secondary programs
offered by colleges, universities and music conservatories. Some
institutions that train individuals for careers in music offer
training in a wide range of professions, as is the case with many of
the top U.S. universities, which offer degrees in music performance
(including singing and playing instruments), music history, music
theory, music composition, music education (for individuals aiming to
become elementary or high school music teachers) and, in some cases,
conducting. On the other hand, some small colleges may only offer
training in a single profession (e.g., sound recording).
While most university and conservatory music programs focus on
training students in classical music, there are a number of
universities and colleges that train musicians for careers as jazz or
popular music musicians and composers, with notable U.S. examples
Manhattan School of Music
Manhattan School of Music and the Berklee College of
Music. Two important schools in Canada which offer professional jazz
McGill University and Humber College. Individuals aiming
at careers in some types of music, such as heavy metal music, country
music or blues are less likely to become professionals by completing
degrees or diplomas in colleges or universities. Instead, they
typically learn about their style of music by singing and/or playing
in many bands (often beginning in amateur bands, cover bands and
tribute bands), studying recordings available on CD, DVD and the
Internet and working with already-established professionals in their
style of music, either through informal mentoring or regular music
lessons. Since the 2000s, the increasing popularity and availability
of Internet forums and
YouTube "how-to" videos have enabled many
singers and musicians from metal, blues and similar genres to improve
their skills. Many pop, rock and country singers train informally with
vocal coaches and singing teachers.
Undergraduate university degrees in music, including the Bachelor of
Bachelor of Music Education, and the Bachelor of Arts (with
a major in music) typically take about four years to complete. These
degrees provide students with a grounding in music theory and music
history, and many students also study an instrument or learn singing
technique as part of their program. Graduates of undergraduate music
programs can seek employment or go on to further study in music
graduate programs. Bachelor's degree graduates are also eligible to
apply to some graduate programs and professional schools outside of
music (e.g., public administration, business administration, library
science, and, in some jurisdictions, teacher's college, law school or
Graduate music degrees include the Master of Music, the Master of Arts
(in musicology, music theory or another music field), the Doctor of
Philosophy (Ph.D.) (e.g., in musicology or music theory), and more
recently, the Doctor of Musical Arts, or DMA. The Master of Music
degree, which takes one to two years to complete, is typically awarded
to students studying the performance of an instrument, education,
voice (singing) or composition. The Master of Arts degree, which takes
one to two years to complete and often requires a thesis, is typically
awarded to students studying musicology, music history, music theory
The PhD, which is required for students who want to work as university
professors in musicology, music history, or music theory, takes three
to five years of study after the master's degree, during which time
the student will complete advanced courses and undertake research for
a dissertation. The DMA is a relatively new degree that was created to
provide a credential for professional performers or composers that
want to work as university professors in musical performance or
composition. The DMA takes three to five years after a master's
degree, and includes advanced courses, projects, and performances. In
Medieval times, the study of music was one of the
Quadrivium of the
seven Liberal Arts and considered vital to higher learning. Within the
quantitative Quadrivium, music, or more accurately harmonics, was the
study of rational proportions.
Musicology, the academic study of the subject of music, is studied in
universities and music conservatories. The earliest definitions from
the 19th century defined three sub-disciplines of musicology:
systematic musicology, historical musicology, and comparative
musicology or ethnomusicology. In 2010-era scholarship, one is more
likely to encounter a division of the discipline into music theory,
music history, and ethnomusicology. Research in musicology has often
been enriched by cross-disciplinary work, for example in the field of
psychoacoustics. The study of music of non-Western cultures, and the
cultural study of music, is called ethnomusicology. Students can
pursue the undergraduate study of musicology, ethnomusicology, music
history, and music theory through several different types of degrees,
including bachelor's degrees, master's degrees and PhD degrees.
Music theory is the study of music, generally in a highly technical
manner outside of other disciplines. More broadly it refers to any
study of music, usually related in some form with compositional
concerns, and may include mathematics, physics, and anthropology. What
is most commonly taught in beginning music theory classes are
guidelines to write in the style of the common practice period, or
tonal music. Theory, even of music of the common practice period, may
take many other forms. Musical set theory is the application of
mathematical set theory to music, first applied to atonal music.
Speculative music theory, contrasted with analytic music theory, is
devoted to the analysis and synthesis of music materials, for example
tuning systems, generally as preparation for composition.
Zoomusicology is the study of the music of non-human animals, or the
musical aspects of sounds produced by non-human animals. As George
Herzog (1941) asked, "do animals have music?" François-Bernard
Mâche's Musique, mythe, nature, ou les Dauphins d'Arion (1983), a
study of "ornitho-musicology" using a technique of Nicolas Ruwet's
Langage, musique, poésie (1972) paradigmatic segmentation analysis,
shows that bird songs are organised according to a
repetition-transformation principle. Jean-Jacques Nattiez (1990),
argues that "in the last analysis, it is a human being who decides
what is and is not musical, even when the sound is not of human
origin. If we acknowledge that sound is not organised and
conceptualised (that is, made to form music) merely by its producer,
but by the mind that perceives it, then music is uniquely human."
Main article: Ethnomusicology
Frances Densmore recording
Blackfoot chief Mountain
Chief for the
Bureau of American Ethnology
Bureau of American Ethnology (1916)
In the West, much of the history of music that is taught deals with
the Western civilization's art music, which is known as classical
music. The history of music in non-Western cultures ("world music" or
the field of "ethnomusicology"), which typically covers music from
Africa and Asia is also taught in Western universities. This includes
the documented classical traditions of Asian countries outside the
influence of Western Europe, as well as the folk or indigenous music
of various other cultures. Popular or folk styles of music in
non-Western countries varied widely from culture to culture, and from
period to period. Different cultures emphasised different instruments,
techniques, singing styles and uses for music.
Music has been used for
entertainment, ceremonies, rituals, religious purposes and for
practical and artistic communication. Non-Western music has also been
used for propaganda purposes, as was the case with Chinese opera
during the Cultural Revolution.
There is a host of music classifications for non-Western music, many
of which are caught up in the argument over the definition of music.
Among the largest of these is the division between classical music (or
"art" music), and popular music (or commercial music – including
non-Western styles of rock, country, and pop music-related styles).
Some genres do not fit neatly into one of these "big two"
classifications, (such as folk music, world music, or jazz-related
As world cultures have come into greater global contact, their
indigenous musical styles have often merged with other styles, which
produces new styles. For example, the United States bluegrass style
contains elements from Anglo-Irish, Scottish, Irish, German and
African instrumental and vocal traditions, which were able to fuse in
the United States' multi-ethnic "melting pot" society. Some types of
world music contain a mixture of non-Western indigenous styles with
Western pop music elements. Genres of music are determined as much by
tradition and presentation as by the actual music. Some works, like
George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, are claimed by both jazz and
classical music, while Gershwin's
Porgy and Bess
Porgy and Bess and Leonard
Bernstein's West Side Story are claimed by both opera and the Broadway
musical tradition. Many current music festivals for non-Western music
include bands and singers from a particular musical genre, such as
Indian music, for example, is one of the oldest and longest living
types of music, and is still widely heard and performed in South Asia,
as well as internationally (especially since the 1960s). Indian music
has mainly three forms of classical music, Hindustani, Carnatic, and
Dhrupad styles. It has also a large repertoire of styles, which
involve only percussion music such as the talavadya performances
famous in South India.
Por una cabeza
Carlos Gardel and Alfredo on Por una cabeza.
Problems playing this file? See media help.
A music therapist from a "
Blues in the Schools" program plays
harmonica with a US Navy sailor at a Naval Therapy Center.
Music therapy is an interpersonal process in which a trained therapist
uses music and all of its facets—physical, emotional, mental,
social, aesthetic, and spiritual—to help clients to improve or
maintain their health. In some instances, the client's needs are
addressed directly through music; in others they are addressed through
the relationships that develop between the client and therapist. Music
therapy is used with individuals of all ages and with a variety of
conditions, including: psychiatric disorders, medical problems,
physical disabilities, sensory impairments, developmental
disabilities, substance abuse issues, communication disorders,
interpersonal problems, and aging. It is also used to improve
learning, build self-esteem, reduce stress, support physical exercise,
and facilitate a host of other health-related activities. Music
therapists may encourage clients to sing, play instruments, create
songs, or do other musical activities.
One of the earliest mentions of music therapy was in Al-Farabi's (c.
872–950) treatise Meanings of the Intellect, which described the
therapeutic effects of music on the soul.[verification needed]
Music has long been used to help people deal with their emotions. In
the 17th century, the scholar Robert Burton's The Anatomy of
Melancholy argued that music and dance were critical in treating
mental illness, especially melancholia. He noted that music has an
"excellent power ...to expel many other diseases" and he called it "a
sovereign remedy against despair and melancholy." He pointed out that
in Antiquity, Canus, a Rhodian fiddler, used music to "make a
melancholy man merry, ...a lover more enamoured, a religious man more
devout." In the Ottoman Empire, mental illnesses were
treated with music. In November 2006, Dr. Michael J. Crawford
and his colleagues also found that music therapy helped schizophrenic
Albert Einstein had a lifelong love of music (particularly the works
of Bach and Mozart), once stating that life without playing music
would be inconceivable to him. In some interviews Einstein even
attributed much of his scientific intuition to music, with his son
Hans recounting that "whenever he felt that he had come to the end of
the road or into a difficult situation in his work, he would take
refuge in music, and that would usually resolve all his difficulties."
Something in the music, according to Michele and Robert Root-Bernstein
Psychology Today, "would guide his thoughts in new and creative
directions." It has been said that Einstein considered Mozart's
music to reveal a universal harmony that Einstein believed existed in
the universe, "as if the great Wolfgang Amadeus did not 'create' his
beautifully clear music at all, but simply discovered it already made.
This perspective parallels, remarkably, Einstein’s views on the
ultimate simplicity of nature and its explanation and statement via
essentially simple mathematical expressions." A review suggests
that music may be effective for improving subjective sleep quality in
adults with insomnia symptoms.
Outline of music and Index of music articles
Lists of musicians
List of musicology topics
List of music software
Music and emotion
Women in music
History of music
^ a b "Mousike, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek–English
Lexicon, at Perseus". perseus.tufts.edu. Retrieved 27 October
^ Kozinn, Allen (13 August 1992). "John Cage, 79, a Minimalist
Enchanted With Sound, Dies". New York Times. Retrieved 11 September
^ Watson 2009, 109–10.
^ Reiland Rabaka. Hip Hop's Amnesia: From
Blues and the Black Women's
Club Movement to Rap and the Hip Hop Movement. Lexington Books, 2012.
^ Manabe, Noriko. The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Protest Music
After Fukushima. Oxford University Press, 2015. p. 163.
^ "music". Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper. Retrieved 27
^ Kirszner, Laurie G. (January 2012). Patterns for College Writing.
Bedford/St. Martin's. p. 520. ISBN 978-0-312-67684-1
^ Boretz, Benjamin (1995). Meta-Variations: studies in the foundations
of musical thought…. Open Space.
^ ACARA. (2015).
Music glossary. v7.5. Retrieved 28 May 2015, 2015,
from "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-01-26.
^ Education.gov.uk. (2011).
Music – Schools. Retrieved 12 July 2013,
^ NAfME. (2015). Core music standards glossary.
^ Gov.uk. (2013). National curriculum in England: music programmes of
study. Retrieved 6 January 2016, from
^ Clementi, M. (1974). Introduction to the art of playing on the piano
forte: Da Capo Pr. Cohen, D., & Dubnov, S. (1997). Gestalt
phenomena in musical texture: Springer
^ Niecks, F. (1884). A concise dictionary of musical terms. The
Musical Times and
Singing Class Circular, 25(498), 473. doi:
^ Estrella, E. (2015). The Elements of music. Retrieved 15 Jan. 2015,
^ Element. (n.d.). In Dictionary.com unabridged. Retrieved 10 Jun
2015, from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/element
^ Seashore, C. E. (1938).
Psychology of music: New York: Dover
^ Webster, N. (Ed.) (1947) Webster's New Twentieth Century Dictionary.
Clevelend Ohio: The World Publishing Company.
^ Harnsberger, Lindsey. "Articulation." Essential Dictionary of Music.
Alfred Publishing Co., Inc. Los Angeles, CA.
^ "the definition of expression". Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com.
Retrieved 22 October 2017.
^ Burton, Russell (2015). "The elements of music: What are they, and
who cares?". Educating for life. ASME XXth National Conference
Proceeding. Australian Society for
Music Education.: 22.
^ Schmidt-Jones, Catherine (11 March 2011). "Form in Music".
Connexions. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
^ Brandt, Anthony (11 January 2007). "Musical Form". Connexions.
Retrieved 11 September 2011.
^ Scholes, Percy A. (1977). "Form".
The Oxford Companion to Music
The Oxford Companion to Music (10
ed.). Oxford University Press.
^ Mann, Alfred (1958). The Study of Fugue. W.W.Norton and Co.
^ Keil, Charles (1966). Urban blues. ISBN 0-226-42960-1.
^ Wennerstrom, Mary (1975). "Form in Twentieth Century Music". In
Wittlich, Gary. Aspects of Twentieth-Century Music. Englewood Cliffs,
New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. ISBN 0-13-049346-5.
^ White, John D. (1976). The Analysis of Music, p. 50.
^ Reginald Massey; Jamila Massey (1996). The
Music of India. Abhinav
Publications. p. 11. ISBN 978-81-7017-332-8.
^ Brown, RE (1971). "India's Music". Readings in
^ Wilkinson, Endymion (2000). Chinese history. Harvard University Asia
^ Stolba, K. Marie (1995). The Development of Western Music: A History
(brief second ed.). Madison: Brown & Benchmark Publishers.
^ West, Martin Litchfield (May 1994). "The Babylonian Musical Notation
and the Hurrian Melodic Texts".
Music and Letters. 75.
Music of Ancient
Egypt Archived 2015-10-13 at the Wayback Machine..
Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
^ "UC 33268". digitalegypt.ucl.ac.uk. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
^ Hickmann, Hans (1957). "Un Zikr Dans le Mastaba de Debhen, Guîzah
(IVème Dynastie)". Journal of the International Folk
9: 59–62. doi:10.2307/834982. JSTOR 834982.
^ ______. "Rythme, mètre et mesure de la musique instrumentale et
vocale des anciens Egyptiens." Acta Musicologica, Vol. 32, Fasc. 1.
(Jan.–Mar., 1960), pp. 11-22.
^ Richard O. Nidel, World Music: The Basics, p. 219.
^ Charles Kahn, World History: Societies of the Past, p. 98.
^ World History: Societies of the Past By Charles Kahn (p. 11)
^ World Music: The Basics By Nidel Nidel, Richard O. Nidel (p. 10)
^ Rajagopal, Geetha (2009).
Music rituals in the temples of South
India, Volume 1. D. K. Printworld. pp. 111–112.
^ a b "A
Theatre Before the World:
Performance History at the
Intersection of Hebrew, Greek, and Roman Religious Processional" The
Journal of Religion and Theatre, Vol. 5, No. 1, Summer 2006.
^ a b c Savage, Roger. "Incidental music", Grove
Music Online. Oxford
Music Online, accessed 13 August 2012 (subscription required)
^ West, Martin Litchfield (1994). Ancient Greek music. Oxford
^ Winnington-Ingram, Reginald P. (October 1929). "Ancient Greek Music:
Music & Letters. 10 (4). JSTOR 726126.
^ Aristoxenus, Henry Stewart Macran (1902). Harmonika Stoicheia (The
Harmonics of Aristoxenus). Georg Olms Verlag.
ISBN 978-3487405100. OCLC 123175755.
Music by Elaine Thornburgh and Jack Logan, Ph.D."
trumpet.sdsu.edu. Archived from the original on 5 September 2015.
Retrieved 27 October 2015.
^ Blume, Friedrich. Classic and Romantic Music: A Comprehensive
Survey. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1970. Print.
^ Schaeffer, P. (1966), Traité des objets musicaux, Le Seuil, Paris.
^ Alyn Shipton, A New History of Jazz, 2nd. ed., Continuum, 2007, pp.
^ Bill Kirchner, The Oxford Companion to Jazz, Oxford University
Press, 2005, chapter two.
^ Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 55 – Crammer: A lively cram course
on the history of rock and some other things" (audio). Pop Chronicles.
University of North Texas Libraries.
^ allmusic – Rock and Roll
^ Tan, Siu-Lan; Pfordresher, Peter; Harré, Rom (2010).
Music: From Sound to Significance. New York:
p. 2. ISBN 978-1-84169-868-7.
^ Laske, Otto (1999). Navigating New Musical Horizons (Contributions
to the Study of
Music and Dance). Westport: Greenwood Press.
^ Laske, O. (1999). AI and music: A cornerstone of cognitive
musicology. In M. Balaban, K. Ebcioglu, & O. Laske (Eds.),
Understanding music with ai: Perspectives on music cognition.
Cambridge: The MIT Press.
^ Graci, C. (2009–2010) A brief tour of the learning sciences
featuring a cognitive tool for investigating melodic phenomena.
Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 38(2), 181–211.
^ Hamman, M., 1999. "Structure as Performance: Cognitive Musicology
and the Objectification of Procedure," in Otto Laske: Navigating New
Musical Horizons, ed. J. Tabor. New York: Greenwood Press.
^ Wallin, Nils L./Björn Merker/Steven Brown (1999): "An Introduction
to Evolutionary Musicology." In: Wallin, Nils L./Björn Merker/Steven
Brown (Eds., 1999): The Origins of Music, pp. 5–6.
^ "The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex". 1871.
Chapter III; Language
^ Nils L. Wallin, Björn Merker, and Steven Brown (Editors) (2000).
The Origins of Music. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
ISBN 0-262-23206-5. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list
(link) CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
^ Steven Mithen, The
Singing Neanderthals: the Origins of Music,
Language, Mind and Body, Harvard University Press, 2006.
^ Hagen, Edward H; Hammerstein P (2009). "Did Neanderthals and other
early humans sing? Seeking the biological roots of music in the loud
calls of primates, lions, hyenas, and wolves" (PDF). Musicae
^ Pinker, Steven (1997). How the Mind Works. New York: W. W. Norton.
p. 534. ISBN 978-0-393-04535-2.
^ Perlovsky L. Music. Cognitive Function, Origin, And Evolution Of
Musical Emotions. WebmedCentral PSYCHOLOGY 2011;2(2):WMC001494
^ Alison Abbott. 2002. "Neurobiology: Music, maestro, please!" Nature
416, 12–14 (7 March 2002) doi:10.1038/416012a
^ Carroll, Joseph (1998). "Steven Pinker's Cheesecake For The Mind".
Cogweb.ucla.edu. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
^ Soley, G.; Hannon, E. E. (2010). "Infants prefer the musical meter
of their own culture: A cross-cultural comparison". Developmental
Psychology. 46 (1): 286–292. doi:10.1037/a0017555.
^ Balkwill, L.; Thompson, W. F.; Matsunaga, R. (2004). "Recognition of
emotion in Japanese, Western, and Hindustani music by Japanese
Psychological Research. 46 (4): 337–349.
^ Demorest, S. M.; Morrison, S. J.; Beken, M. N.; Jungbluth, D.
(2008). "Lost in translation: An enculturation effect in music memory
Music Perception. 25 (3): 213–223.
^ Groussard, M.; Rauchs, G.; Landeau, B.; Viader, F.; Desgranges, B.;
Eustache, F.; Platel, H. (2010). "The neural substrates of musical
memory revealed by fMRI and two semantic tasks". NeuroImage. 53 (4):
^ Grazian, David. "The Symbolic Economy of Authenticity in the Chicago
Blues Scene." in
Music Scenes: Local, Translocal, and Virtual. ed.
Bennett, Andy and Richard A. Peterson. Nashville: Vanderbilt
University Press, 2004. pp. 31–47
^ Rebecca Elizabeth Ball (2010). Portland's Independent
Formation of Community Identities and Alternative Urban Cultural
Landscapes, p. 27
^ Julian Schaap and Pauwke Berkers. "Grunting Alone? Online Gender
Inequality in Extreme Metal Music" in Journal of the International
Association for the Study of Popular Music. Vol. 4, no. 1 (2014) p.
^ a b Erika White (2015-01-28). "
Music History Primer: 3 Pioneering
Female Songwriters of the '60s REBEAT Magazine". Rebeatmag.com.
^ "Women Composers In American Popular Song". Parlorsongs.com.
1911-03-25. p. 1. Retrieved 2016-01-20.
^ a b
Archived 2016-03-01 at the Wayback Machine.
^ Jessica Duchen. "Why the male domination of classical music might be
coming to an end Music". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-01-20.
^ Ncube, Rosina (September 2013). "Sounding Off: Why So Few Women In
Audio?". Sound on Sound.
^ "American Federation of Musicians/History". Archived from the
original on 2007-04-05.
^ Hubbard (1985), p. 429.
Music on Trial" part of Duke University's Ad*Access project.
^ Anderson, Chris (2006). The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is
Selling Less of More. Hyperion. ISBN 1-4013-0237-8.
^ Tapscott, Don; Williams, Anthony D. (2006-12-28). Wikinomics: How
Mass Collaboration Changes Everything. Portfolio Hardcover.
^ Woodall and Ziembroski, 2002
^ Haque, Amber (2004). "
Psychology from Islamic Perspective:
Contributions of Early Muslim Scholars and Challenges to Contemporary
Muslim Psychologists". Journal of Religion and Health. 43 (4):
357–377 . doi:10.1007/s10943-004-4302-z.
^ cf. The Anatomy of Melancholy, Robert Burton, subsection 3, on and
after line 3,480, "
Music a Remedy"
^ Ismenias the Theban, Chiron the centaur, is said to have cured this
and many other diseases by music alone: as now thy do those, saith
Bodine, that are troubled with St. Vitus's Bedlam dance. Project
Gutenberg's The Anatomy of Melancholy, by Democritus Junior
Humanities are the Hormones: A Tarantella Comes to Newfoundland.
What should we do about it?" Archived 2015-02-15 at the Wayback
Machine. by Dr. John Crellin, MUNMED, newsletter of the Faculty of
Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland, 1996.
^ Aung, Steven K.H., Lee, Mathew H.M., "Music, Sounds, Medicine, and
Meditation: An Integrative Approach to the Healing Arts," Alternative
& Complementary Therapies, Oct 2004, Vol. 10, No. 5: 266–270.
^ Treatment of Mental Illnesses With
Music Therapy – A different
approach from history Archived December 1, 2013, at the Wayback
^ Dr. Michael J. Crawford page at Imperial College London, Faculty of
Medicine, Department of
^ Crawford, Mike J.; Talwar, Nakul; et al. (November 2006). "Music
therapy for in-patients with schizophrenia: Exploratory randomised
controlled trial". The British Journal of Psychiatry. 189 (5):
405–409. doi:10.1192/bjp.bp.105.015073. PMID 17077429. Music
therapy may provide a means of improving mental health among people
with schizophrenia, but its effects in acute psychoses have not been
^ Foster, Brian (2005). "Einstein and his love of music" (PDF).
Physics World. Retrieved August 14, 2017.
^ Root-Bernstein, Michele; Root-Bernstein, Robert (March 31, 2010).
"Einstein On Creative Thinking:
Music and the Intuitive Art of
Psychology Today. Retrieved August 14,
^ "The Musical Mind of Albert Einstein: Great Physicist, Amateur
Violinist and Devotee of Mozart". Open Culture. June 25, 2013.
Retrieved August 14, 2017.
^ Jesperson, Kira (13 August 2015). "
Music for insomnia in adults".
The Cochrane Library. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD010459.pub2.
Colles, Henry Cope (1913). The Growth of Music: The age of sonata,
from C.P.E. Bach to Beethoven. Clarendon Press.
Harwood, Dane (1976). "Universals in Music: A Perspective from
Cognitive Psychology". Ethnomusicology. 20 (3): 521–533.
doi:10.2307/851047. JSTOR 851047.
Small, Christopher (1977). Music, Society, Education. John Calder
Publishers, London. ISBN 0-7145-3614-8
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