What is Music?

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Over time I have learned that music comes in many different styles and varieties. Being a life time fan of music, I have heard sounds from all corners of the Earth that are though of as music. Like the many different styles of music, people’s ideas and perceptions of music can be very different. Like the old saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”, musical “tastes” can be quite varied. Musical and pleasant sounds to one person’s ear can be like nail on a chalkboard to some one else. Much of this comes from what we have experienced to be our norm of music and how we define what music actually is.

While absorbing the sounds during my afternoon of observing the sounds of nature, I heard many different noises – some I consider to be music, others not so much. I heard pleasant and unpleasant sounds of all likes, including car engines, car radios, the wind, people talking, door open and closing, birds chirping, and leaves rustling. At this point the only way I really distinguish what is music and what is not, is by what I know to be music. Other than the obvious music playing from car radios and the occasional light song from the birds, not too many people would consider the other things listed to be considered music, including me. Then again, it all depends on what they consider to define what music is.

The more I sat, the more I began to actual appreciate what I was hearing. After a while, the sounds ran together making its own form of music – not just the sounds of the nature, but the song of nature. All of the things I heard were the song that Mother Nature was proudly singing. The low hum of the car engines, the high pitched trill of the wind, the slight heavy pounding of the doors op...

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... that silence still needs to be appreciated and can be one of the most meaningful and powerful things that you can experience.

Like John Cage said in the third video we viewed, we have become very narrow minded in our thinking, even in the things we love such as music. I believe Cage is trying to get us to realize the beauty in things that are around us. He believes we should all strive to have an open mind about everything that is going on and to slow down and enjoy what is around us already. My idea of music has been greatly challenged by John Cage. While I do not believe I am completely wrong about my own personal definition of music, I am open to the idea that my definition of music might not be the same as someone else’s and I should continue to be open minded about the possibilities of beauty in the sounds that I encounter on an every day basis.
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