What is music its ? what comes out of the speakers when we play a cd on our stereo. Its what we hear on the radio. Music is singers singing and musicians playing. music is a sound that we enjoy hearing. iIs this a proper answer to the question what is music if i asked what is a car you could answer by pointing at a large object moving up the street and saying its one of those. But this may not be a satisfactory answer. A full explanation of what a car is would mention petrol internal combustion engines brakes suspension transmission and other mechanical things that make a car go. And we dont just want to know what a car is; we also want to know what a car is for. An explanation of what a car is for would include the facts that there are people and other things like shopping inside cars and that the purpose of cars is to move people and things from one place to another. By analogy a good answer to the question what is music will say something about the detailed mechanics of music: instruments notes scales rhythm tempo chords harmony bass and melody.
This matches up with the mechanical portion of our car explanation. Its harder to answer r the what is it for part of the question. A simple answer is that music is enjoyable—it makes us feel good. We could expand on this a bit and say that music creates emotions or interacts with the emotions we already feel and sometimes it makes us want to dance. What does music have to do with biology music is something that people create and something that people respond to. People are living organisms and biology is the study of living organisms. We can compare music to eating. Eating is a well-known activity. people do it. animals do it. We know what eating is: it is the ingestion of certain substances into our digestive systems. The ingested substances or food travel through the digestive system where components of those substances are broken down and extracted by various means for use within the body.
Leftover portions of the food get pushed out the other end. We can explain eating at a psychological level: we eat when we feel hungry because it makes us feel good. Being hungry can be defined as a feeling of wanting to eat food. wWe can determine that we become hungry when we havent eaten for a while 1 and that we stay hungry and slowly get hungrier until we have eaten this issue of explaining non-adaptive purposes will come up when we investigate music. With music there is however a further complication: we dont even know what music is.
Music is therefore a double mystery: we dont know the what and we dont know the why. Maybe if we could solve the what that would help us answer the why or maybe if we could guess what the why is we could find out the what. There are a number of different ways i have found of demonstrating our ignorance of what music is and each provides a useful insight into the nature of the problem: subjective and objective. The difference between knowing what something is subjectively and knowing what it is objectively. The martian scientist. could we explain to a martian scientist what music is the incompleteness of music theory.
Here music theory refers to the kind of music theory that you learn when you learn to play music and which will be presented in a basic . This music theory tells us something about the structure of music but beyond a certain point it gives up. Lack of formula. Despite common claims that some types of music are written to a formula there is no such formula or if there is one no one is telling us what it is. the economics of music. Those who compose good music get paid well because making up good music is a hard problem. The very difficulty of the problem results from our ignorance about what music is.