Music is an auditory art that creates feelings. It can help lift spirits and motivate hard work when studying for exams or any other endeavors that require effort.

The Platonists saw music as serving to promote moderation and virtue; Martin Luther, for instance, recognized music’s use in religious worship while cautioning against voluptuous or vulgar melodies.


Although music’s precise definition remains debatable, most scholars agree that it refers to humanly created sound for expressive or aesthetic purposes. This includes vocal and instrumental sounds arranged according to culturally accepted rhythm, melody and harmony standards; music may take many forms–from simple folk songs to complex electronic compositions.

Musical elements include pitch, timbre, sound intensity or loudness, duration and spatial placement of sounds. Other important components are style, emotion and structure.

These factors vary between cultures and historical eras. For instance, what was considered music to Sid Vicious of Sex Pistols would likely not have been in 13th-century England. Music’s perception can reflect and contribute to social evolution and cultural revolution.


Music may be one of the earliest art forms, with bone flutes dating back to Upper Paleolithic period as examples of early musical instruments. Furthermore, rhythmic clapping may have also served as early musical instrument.

Religions have had a substantial influence on musical development throughout history, as have philosophical traditions like Confucianism and Buddhism. Philosophers such as Plato (428-348/347 BCE) saw music composition as integral to ethical principles. He prescribed simple melodies and rhythms so as not to produce imaginative, thrilling or immoral experiences in listeners.

Music serves as both an expressive medium and unifier among diverse cultures and generations, reflecting changes in society while uniting people of disparate ethnic backgrounds and generations. Folk songs once limited to certain ethnic groups – minstrel shows for black audiences or country music from the South for Southern audiences – now can be enjoyed by everyone regardless of race.


Musical forms provide the blueprint that describes how music is composed. Understanding various types of forms will allow you to distinguish among sections and compositions, building an enjoyable listening experience for listeners.

Strophic form, also referred to as AAA song form, is a popular sectional form in music that involves verse-refrain structures. Each new phrase often begins with an abrupt shift in rhythm, melody, harmony or texture which marks it apart from previous sections.

Polyphonic music refers to any form of composition where two or more melodies are played or sung concurrently, such as vocal chants or certain folk pieces.


Music employs various techniques, including musical intervals, major and minor scales, triads, sevenths, formula patterns and arpeggios – these allow musicians to perform melodies more precisely and quickly.

Melding sounds together is an integral component of music production, and layering kicks with more punchy ones is an invaluable technique to do this effectively.

Voice dynamics are also an integral element of songwriting. By taking advantage of voice dynamics, singers can vary their volume and add emotion to their performances – for instance, singing softly during verses to convey vulnerability while increasing it during choruses for added tension and intensity – something that works across genres and is essential in every song.


Music has long been used as a bridge across cultures and communities, serving as an effective medium for communication, moral support and emotional healing. Music also acts as an avenue of inspiration, creativity and identity expression.

Some music relies on chance, like the aleatoric pieces composed by John Cage or wind chimes jingling in a breeze or jazz improvisational pieces that feature chance elements.

Application processes for music programs vary considerably, but typically consist of an audition/interview, personal statement, academic transcripts, letter of recommendation and list of musical activities and accomplishments. Many schools also provide scholarships as an incentive to pursue music as a career path.