Music is an art form and cultural activity whose medium is sound and silence. 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. Music is performed with a vast range of instruments and with vocal techniques ranging from singing to rapping, and there are solely instrumental pieces, solely vocal pieces and pieces that combine singing and instruments.
The word derives from Greek (mousike; "art of the Muses"). In its most general form, the activities describing music as an art form include the production 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 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 (and their recreation in performance), through improvisational music such as jazz and aleatoric (chance-based) 20th and 21st century forms of music.
Music can be divided into genres (e.g., country music) and 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, 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 or CD player or as part of a film 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, for example, a teen who plays cello in a youth orchestra, or by working 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) and organize concert tours; and those who sell recordings and sheet music to customers.
Music education is a field of study associated with the teaching and learning of music. It touches on all learning domains, including the psychomotor domain (the development of skills), the cognitive domain (the acquisition of knowledge), and, in particular and significant ways, the affective domain (the learner's willingness to receive, internalize, and share what is learned), including music appreciation and sensitivity.
Music training from preschool through post-secondary education is common in most nations because involvement with music is considered a fundamental component of human culture and behavior. Music, like language, is an accomplishment that distinguishes humans as a species.
During the 20th century, many distinctive approaches were developed or further refined for the teaching of music, some of which have had widespread impact. The Dalcroze method (eurhythmics) was developed in the early 20th century by Swiss musician and educator Émile Jaques-Dalcroze. The Kodály Method emphasizes the benefits of physical instruction and response to music. The Orff Schulwerk "approach" to music education leads students to develop their music abilities in a way that parallels the development of western music.
The Suzuki method creates the same environment for learning music that a person has for learning their native language. Gordon Music Learning Theory provides the music teacher with a method for teaching musicianship through audiation, Gordon's term for hearing music in the mind with understanding. Conversational Solfège immerses students in the musical literature of their own culture, in this case American. The Carabo-Cone Method involves using props, costumes, and toys for children to learn basic musical concepts of staff, note duration, and the piano keyboard.
The concrete environment of the specially planned classroom allows the child to learn the fundamentals of music by exploring through touch. Popular music pedagogy is the systematic teaching and learning of rock music and other forms of popular music both inside and outside formal classroom settings.
The MMCP (Manhattanville Music Curriculum Project) aims to shape attitudes, helping students see music not as static content to be mastered, but as personal, current, and evolving. American fiddler Mark O'Connor developed a method of violin education that is designed to guide students in developing musical techniques necessary to become a proficient violinist. During its tenure, the Mumbai-based Boss School of Music developed a proprietary method of education using audio-visual technology, simplified concepts, and specially designed musical equipment.
10 Sources for Free Online Music Courses
Free Online Music Courses
These free music courses require no tuition payments or registration.
In order to take full advantage of the courses, users may need specific software applications to access video and audio offerings. Quality speakers or headphones may be beneficial when listening to music clips and samples.
This page was last updated January 9th, 2019 by kim
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