Is Music a Universal Language? Essay

Is Music a Universal Language? Essay

Length: 1394 words (4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

“Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb; Mary had a little lamb, whose fleece was white as snow.” For centuries “Mary had a little lamb” has become one of the most universally recognized nursery rhythms since being published in 1830. Centuries later it is still one of the most popular songs of the world. Merriam Dictionary defines music as “the science or art of ordering tones or sounds in succession, in combination, and in temporal relationships to produce a composition having unity and continuity.” With that in mind, music is found everywhere. Whether it’s in the Great Wall of China to the jungles in Africa, music is found everywhere. The main purpose of this paper is to show that music is in fact a universal language by comparing music with other official languages, showing how music influences emotions and how music literacy and emotions helps people understand music as a language. In order to fully execute my purpose of proving that music is a universal language, I will be focusing on using personal experiences, researching articles and specific musical examples from class.
Music is a universal language because it is found everywhere in the world and it is a language of its own. Merriam Dictionary defines literacy as “a person who can read and write.” In this definition this shows that in order for somebody to be called literate they must be able to read and write a language. Well most people consider “English, Chinese, French, Spanish etc.” as official languages but does not consider music as a language. In order to master any language a person must be literate which requires them to master a set of rules. It is interesting to know from taking World Music class that in order for students to listen and appreciat...

... middle of paper ...

...s a set of rules which musicians must follow. Also just like any official language, music can be used to communicate emotions. In order for somebody to understand music they must have some sort of knowledge about rules in order to appreciate musical experiences. Every culture is different, every language is different and every music is different, but to fully appreciate the music; listeners must be musically literate. In our first week of class, “Khoomi” was our first musical example and all the students were confused about this type of music. But now with my little knowledge about music and how diverse it is, I learned to appreciate it more.

Works Cited

Dobrian, Chris. "Music and Artificial Intelligence.” In University of California, Irvine Department of Music.,
(Accessed May 1, 2011)

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Music is the Only Universal Language Essay

- Music is the Only Universal Language When people think of the term literacy, they most commonly define it as the ability to read and write, in the verbal sense. But there is a wide range of literacy apart from that, which also requires mastering a set of crucial skills. One such example is musical literacy, which is the ability to read, write, or appreciate music. Musical literacy is not all that different from the verbal kind. Leonard G. Ratner, when speaking of 18th and 19th century music, writes "Both language and music had their vocabulary, syntax, and arrangement of formal structures, subsumed under the title Rhetoric" (xiv)....   [tags: Exploratory Essays Research Papers]

Better Essays
879 words (2.5 pages)

The Power of Music Essay

- “Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music.” These were the words of Sergei Rachmaninoff, a Russian composer and pianist who was very influential in the twentieth century. Sergei’s perception of music was accurate because he understood the impact and significance music can have. Everybody knows what music is and they all have heard a form of it but most people underestimate the value and power music has in our everyday lives. Whether they know it or not music plays a vital role in the lives of people today....   [tags: Music]

Better Essays
997 words (2.8 pages)

The Universal Language of Art Essay

- I’m infatuated with art, and by art I mean music, poetry, paintings, the human body, and literature; all of this is art to me. I believe that art is what brings us all together; as a young child that is what I was taught in school. During Art and Music class it did not matter how popular you were or even if you were a loner you were included and everyone was equal. I played flute for about ten years and during those ten years I gained another family. A family that made me feel safe at school and gave me somewhere to belong....   [tags: my experience, uniting everyone on earth]

Better Essays
517 words (1.5 pages)

The Power of Music Essay

- “Music is the universal language of mankind” (Longfellow, When most people think about music they think of it as a subtle art. It is something that most people take for granted in their lives. It is fun to sing along to a song in the car, or to dance along at a party, etc... It is also a background noise in movies, or parties, or a variety of other places. Most people never stop and think about the transformative power that music can have on them. It should be made clear though that music does indeed have a transformative power....   [tags: Music Art]

Better Essays
2759 words (7.9 pages)

Essay on Music, Emotion and Language: Using Music to Communicate

- Music, Emotion and Language: Using Music to Communicate ABSTRACT: There has yet to be a culture discovered which lacks music. Music is a part of our existence, but we do not fully understand it. In this paper, working in the tradition of Aristotle, Wittgenstein and Langer, I elucidate some of the connections between music and the emotions. Using contemporary philosophy of mind theories of emotion, I explain how we can have a better understanding of our emotive responses to music. I follow the pattern through representational painting and abstract painting to music, and show how each functions as an intentional object for the object of our emotions in response to each art form....   [tags: Musical Artistic Music Essays]

Better Essays
3292 words (9.4 pages)

The Power of Music: Music Belongs in Schools Essay

- Introduction “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the wind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything” - Plato Since the days of Plato, and even before, music has made an impact on many. We find music everywhere we go. It can be playing in stores, elevators, while we are on hold on the phone, and in the television shows we watch each night, just to name a few. Music can affect how we feel and what we feel. Movies for example, have specific soundtracks. Many of us can remember the specific theme songs from our favorite movies: “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” from The Breakfast Club, “Circle of Life” from The Lion King, and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” from...   [tags: plato, memory, music programs, parents]

Better Essays
1746 words (5 pages)

Essay on Music as a Tool of Protest and Social Change

- “Music is uniquely wonderful. It is incapable of being touched yet it touches everyone who is capable of hear sounds. It can seemingly evoke any emotion; we instinctively respond to happy tunes, mournful songs, beautiful melodies, inspiring anthems, stirring hymns, and majestic orchestrations.” (Doolan, Robert. 1985) There is no question that music is great part of society; it has been at civilization’s side whether it be the lyres and flutes of the ancient Greeks or how it calms or excites emotions and keeps armies in order during battle....   [tags: Music Revolution]

Better Essays
1915 words (5.5 pages)

Evolution Of American Music Essay

- “Music is the universal language of mankind”.- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Since the beginning of time, music has played an important role in everyday life. Music is used to create stories, make history, spread religion, and pass time. In the times of slavery, African Americans used music to pass time and forget about their problems for a while. During the 70’s hippies used song lyrics as a method of protest. Without music, America would not be as culturally developed and artistically modernized.\ In the 1900’s music became a popular trend in America....   [tags: folk music, Henry Wadsworth]

Better Essays
588 words (1.7 pages)

Essay on Music Therapy and Child Abuse

- Literature Review The purpose of this study is to assess the relationship between survivors of child abuse in music therapy sessions on reported self-esteem and perceived locus of control. Sawyer and Judd (2012) define child abuse as a “tragedy that harms children psychologically, emotionally and physically while disrupting healthy development.” Survivors of childhood trauma must live in fear of the accused perpetrator, go to numerous court proceedings, and manage complications associated with changes in family dynamics....   [tags: Traumatic Events. Music, Study, Control Group]

Better Essays
2024 words (5.8 pages)

Essay about English Language and Literature

- English Language and Literature The works of Michael Foucault, Diana Taylor, and Carla Freccero’s thoughts on history share underlying similarities yet differ in their approaches to understand the past. The differences that are brought out by these historians are based on the traditional and contemporary definitions as well as the extent of study directed to history. Within these three arguments, there are correlations as well as deviations in ideologies and interpretations, generating contention and debate on the true meaning of history....   [tags: Language ]

Better Essays
1309 words (3.7 pages)