About music

Music is that lovely art that uses both sound and silence to communicate personal expression. It is one of the oldest ones, for certain. It has been around us since the beginning of times. It is universal, as it is very rare to find someone who doesn't enjoy listening to a good song; and, as if that weren't enough, it is versatile, as it is the grounds for at least two other arts: singing and dancing.

For those who are curious, the word 'music' comes from Greek mythology. According to the story, Zeus, the father of all gods and men, and Mnemosine, the goddess of memory, slept together nine nights in a row, bringing to life nine goddesses: Calliope, Clio, Erato, Euterpe, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia, and Urania, who, together, were called the 'muses' and were responsible for inspiring in men artistic deeds.

As for how music started, it probably began by whistling. Some time later, when humans started using their brains to solve their problems and created the first tools, they created the first musical instruments as well. From a bone, they created a flute. With the same technology they used to create a bow, they created strings instruments. From the fur of dead animals, they created the first drums. It is not hard to imagine that the first ideas for melodies came through imitation of nature sounds. With time, these sounds were arranged more properly to create music as we know it today.

Since then, music has accompanied man in all kinds of actions. We have used music to declare love, to accompany us while we work, or to liven up religious ceremonies, just to mention three among dozens of examples. Music also helps to motivate feelings in people. It can make scary scenes more intense, frightening war calls more frightening, and it can even be used to clarify identification with a person or a cause, something you can still see often in anthems, commercials, and politics. Of course, it is often used to just have fun too, like when it’s time to party!

One of the most interesting uses for music is education. Music has also been, since the beginning, a very powerful way to share information. Without music, old stories and traditions may not have reached our days, as it was music which helped people memorise what happened, and to share it with the next generation! Without music, the dreams of entire human groups would not have become real, as it was music which helped them spread and prosper... not to mention every mother sings songs to her children! Without music, mankind would decidedly not be what it is today.

These facts inevitably force me to end this article with a word of warning. We all need to be a little careful with the kind of music we listen to and tolerate around us. Music has a huge power to influence us, so, if we don't choose properly, we might end up acquiring thoughts and attitudes that are not really good for us.

Just a thought to keep always in mind before going on with the course.

Continue with... Sound and silence

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