Music is a form of auditory art that contains meaningful arrangements of sounds. It may be characterized by its tone, rhythm, and pitch, along with its timbre, which is its quality of sound. Timbre is a term of French origin that means “sound quality” or “pitch”. The timbre of a piece of music can be soft or harsh, and it is also often associated with the tempo or the meter of the piece.
As with other forms of art, there are different kinds of music. For instance, jazz works have an improvisational nature, and they are not necessarily composed. However, many jazz performers argue that performance itself is the art.
The earliest musical instrument might have been the human voice. Its range of pitches and timbres can be quite varied, and the human larynx produces a variety of sounds as well.
In addition to the physical act of making sound, it is the emotional element that is so important in music. Music has the capacity to stimulate the production of oxytocin, a hormone that is known to be involved in love. Additionally, research shows that listening to music improves mood and visual attention. Likewise, people who are deaf can hear music through vibrations in the body.
Aside from its emotional value, music is considered to be an effective social and organizational tool. It is also believed to inspire ideals of peace and harmony. There are cases of patients with neurological diseases improving after listening to songs.
Moreover, children who are musically trained have better motor coordination and nonverbal reasoning skills. According to Mark Tramo, director of the Harvard University Institute for Music and Brain Science, music is a crucial factor in the creation and maintenance of social cohesion.
Many philosophers agree that there is a conceptual tension between the expressiveness of music and its effects on emotion. This tension relates to the fact that the dynamic character of music often resembles the dynamic character of people who experience emotions. Some philosophers have argued that this resemblance is sufficient to elicit mirroring responses from the listener. Others have argued that it is not the expressiveness of the music itself, but its formal elements, such as melody and rhythm, that are important.
The resemblance theory, or contour theory, is based on the assumption that music’s dynamic character resembles the dynamic character of people who are experiencing certain feelings. However, some philosophers have criticized this idea, arguing that the value of the music cannot be determined solely through its aesthetic qualities.
In addition to the resemblance theory, there are other theories that argue that music’s expressiveness is a matter of conventional association. Unlike the concatenation and architecture debates, these theories stop short of giving the primary value of the music.
However, most of these theories agree that the value of music is located in different types of experiences. These experiences include pleasure, emotions, and the experience of being alone. All of these experiences are important to humans.