Music is a form of art that uses the medium of silence and sound. The performance, the significance, the creation, and the meaning of music differ according to the social and cultural context. Music varies from strict compositions that are organized, as well as their performance recreation, through aleatoric forms to improvisational music. Music is divided into subgenres and genres, even though the relationship and the dividing lines between the genres of music are seldom subtle, at times open to the interpretation of an individual, and rarely controversial. Music can be grouped as a fine art, performing art or an auditory art. It can also be grouped in folk music and art music. Music can be heard or played alive, can be dramatic film or work or can be recorded (Kaye & LeBrecht, 2000). This essay describes the meaning of music, the sources of music, the elements of music, and how music impacts human beings.
Sources of music are musical instruments, as well as human beings since they have the potential to sing. Instruments of music include clarinet, trombone, triangle – percussion, banjo, drums – percussion, piano, spoons, guitar, organ, as well as a violin. There are also several things that can produce music. Things that can replicate music that is already made are also sources of music. They include tapes, compact disks, records, speakers and stereo, video games and movies (Medearis & Medearis, 1997).
The elements of music make something to be musical. They include rhythm, harmony, melody, texture, key and form. Rhythm is how music flows through time. The aspects of rhythm include meter, beat, tempo, syncopation and accent. On the other hand, melody is a single series of tones that sum up to a recognizable sound. Melody starts, moves and stops. It has continuity, shape and direction in music. Harmony is the manner in which cords get constructed and go after each other. The key on the hand not only involves a tone that is central, but also a central chord and scale. Texture comprises of homophonic, monophonic, and polyphonic aspect, which is a performance of melodic lines in a simultaneous way. Alternatively, form is the manner in which musical elements are organized in time. In the composition of music, tone, color, pitch rhythm, dynamics, texture and melody interact to develop a structure and shape in music (Sonnenschein, 2001).
Music has several effects in human beings. The effects can either be physical, mental, emotional, and psychological. Music affects the mental and physical state of human beings. For instance, music assists people to relax. After having a day that is stressful, classical music and even jazz can help people to relax their bodies and divert their minds from work. On the other hand, fast and loud music negatively affects people by becoming a bother. Mental effects can be strong at times. People tend to keep remembering the lines of a song in spite of trying to ignore them. There are various ways that music emotionally affects human beings. For instance, in movie music, music signals people when something threatening, ominous, or scary is going to happen. On the other hand, music can be used to alter the state of human consciousness. Music contains a purpose that is sacred to human beings. When music is used in a specific manner, it can induce altered human consciousness state from a state that is very relaxed to a state that is deeper, where realities that are non-ordinary can be experienced (Jones, Fay & Popper, 2010).
Music is an art whose performance, creation, meaning and significance define its context. Musical instruments, as well as human beings are the sources of music. The elements of music such as rhythm, harmony, melody, texture, key and form determines whether something is music or not. Music affects people physically, emotionally, mentally and psychologically. In my opinion, music is an activity that encompasses the involvement of the whole human brain creating benefits to learning, focusing attention, improving memory, physical development and coordination.