What is Music?

I was recently asked this question, and I must admit that at first I could not think of an answer. As it is an art, does that mean that any kind of sound or noise can count as being music? I think different people will have different definitions of what music is though, which is why there are so many genres and everyone has their own taste.

I think that the purpose of art is for the artist to convey their emotions and feelings to the audience. As music is an art, then it leads me to think that music is sound organised in a way for the listener to be able to feel what the artist wants them to feel. In other words, music should be able to make a listener feel a certain emotion. This can be done either by the melody or by the lyrics, or even both.

Some people say that certain genres are not proper music. The specific genre brought to me when I was asked ‘what is music’ was dubstep. I have encountered many people who do not regard this genre as being ‘proper’ music, and although I cannot say that I enjoy listening to it either, thinking about the definition of music changed my view of it. I realised that emotions are conveyed onto people in different ways, and any type of sound can do this. For example, birds tweeting usually conveys calm and relaxing emotions, while a sound like cars honking or babies crying can convey a stressful emotion. Of course not everyone will think that, and so it is possible that what some people think as being annoying can actually be pleasing to another. There won’t be many people who think against this norm, but that is where pop music comes in.

I think that pop music is the easiest for people to relate to, hence why they are popular. This might be because they have a catchy tune, and/or because the lyrics are able to touch many people. Unfortunately I think that there is a problem with pop music at the moment, in that artists are often used by record labels just to make money. This might seem to make sense and the obvious thing to do for a business, but I think that this is the wrong way to approach an art. In my opinion, the quality and passion for music should come first, and as people who share the same values come to see this artist, the money will follow.

Being a musical artist can bring a lot of money, which attracts a lot of people into the business, but I think that doing it for the money is wrong. I think that record labels and artists can sometimes produce what they think people will like and sell millions. Sure the music might be popular, but ultimately will the artist be just as happy producing something that perhaps doesn’t truly convey their emotions? Unfortunately most people will never see that money even if they produce good quality music, but perhaps the whole point of music shouldn’t be for the money. Perhaps it should be a way for the artist to let out their emotions and the money is sometimes just a consequence of that.

Life’s Journey

Life is sometimes seen as a path: it’s a journey. While walking along a path, the person will be working towards getting to their destination. The terrain on the path will change, and sometimes it will take longer to get to a destination if there is rough terrain, or if the path is long. Some paths are busier than others and sometimes there might be so many people on a particular path that it is very difficult and competitive to get on it. Some paths are more difficult to walk along, while some are easier. There will be more people sharing the easy paths, but the more difficult paths can sometimes be short-cuts to a destination if you feel that the increased difficulty is worth the time saved.

The people you know such as your friends and family can walk along with you when they are part of your life, however they also have their own paths and may sometimes part ways. They can also support you and help carry you at times, which can prove to be vital along very tough paths that cannot be travelled alone.

Your path that you choose to take will also lead you to towns or cities, and these define major points in your life where you might stay for as long or as short as you want. Of course, within these towns and cities there are still paths to choose from and sometimes it is easy to lose track and get lost within the chaos.

What if a person refuses to walk along a path though? Perhaps they see that there is a mountain or difficult terrain ahead and they feel exhausted. Of course it is possible to sit on the side of the path, but ultimately they will be stuck in the same place and eventually run out of resources for themselves if no one comes along the path and helps them.

Unfortunately it is impossible to walk backwards on this path, but we can look ahead up to a point. If you imagine yourself on a path, it is not always possible to see where it leads, or there might be an obstacle ahead that obscures your view of what is ahead. On the other hand, you can sometimes see buildings ahead that represent your destination. It is also possible to be affect by weather on the path. Sometimes we can get lost or slowed down if there is a storm, and it temporarily blocks the view of your destination. However, it is possible to prepare for the storms, and those who do are able to move on sooner.

Some people may see this as a tough and tedious journey, while others will relish at the adventure of discovering new places, people and challenges. I think that the key is preparation and planning, and making sure that there will be people to lend a hand when you get knocked down. So although life may sometimes seem as a lonely path, it can be chosen to be populated by the ones you love to give you a push when you need it.

Time

It can be quite a daunting thing. It doesn’t stop or wait for anyone. It’s an unstoppable force. Scientifically, under normal conditions on Earth, time cannot slow or speed up and definitely cannot stop, but I think we all experience these phenomena in our lives all the time.

Time can seem to run at a different pace depending on what we are doing. Some days may seem to last forever, while others are over before we even know it. This can extrapolate over years and decades and before we know it we’re no longer a teenager, or a young adult, and so on. I find it quite scary how I can still remember some events about a decade ago like they were just yesterday.

Time is harsh though. When we want it to slow, it speeds up, and when we want it to speed up, it slows down. Then there are moments when we just want time to stop. We just want to stay in a place or moment for the rest of our lives, because it’s just perfect. In a way, time does stop during those times, because those moments stay with us. In our minds, that moment is frozen as an image or feeling. This makes me think that time affects our environment and our minds separately. We can’t control time around us, but we can control it in our minds.

I think that a good example of how we can control time in our minds is actually when we are not thinking consciously; when sleeping. Sometimes it seems as though we wake up moments after we fall asleep, even though in reality we have actually slept for a couple of hours. Other times, our dreams seem to last for hours or even days, depending on the context of the dream. I find that it is very difficult to tell how long I’ve slept for if there is not a clock present when I wake up.

But can we time travel? Or does time travel past us? Yet again, I think that time in our minds can disobey the physical law of time in the universe, and can take us back to some memories that we may have stored subconsciously. I say this because there can be some things that suddenly spark a memory, and seem to take me back to a moment in the past. This can happen quite commonly with something like a song that was heard in a memorable moment. On the other hand, I think that travelling to the future is much more difficult, which I think is a good thing.

Unfortunately, however we may try to control time in our minds, the reality is that it is still constantly moving forward, never stopping or waiting for us. We cannot fight against time in reality, so we might as well also constantly move forward with it, making the most of what it gives us and remembering that the past is not always lost, but can be frozen in our minds however we want to remember it.