Music is generally defined as the art of arranging sound to create some combination of form, harmony, melody, rhythm or otherwise expressive content. Exact definitions of music vary considerably around the world, though it is an aspect of all human societies, a cultural universal. While scholars agree that music is defined by a few specific elements, there is no consensus on their precise definitions. The creation of music is commonly divided into musical composition, musical improvisation, and musical performance, though the topic itself extends into academic disciplines, criticism, philosophy, and psychology. Music may be performed or improvised using a vast range of instruments, including the human voice.
In some musical contexts, a performance or composition may be to some extent improvised. For instance, in Hindustani classical music, the performer plays spontaneously while following a partially defined structure and using characteristic motifs. In modal jazz the performers may take turns leading and responding, while sharing a changing set of notes. In a free jazz context, there may be no structure whatsoever, with each performer acting at their discretion. Music may be deliberately composed to be unperformable, or agglomerated electronically from many performances. Music is played in public and private areas, highlighted at events such as festivals, rock concerts, and orchestra performance, and heard incidentally as part of a score or soundtrack to a film, TV show, opera, or video game. Musical playback is the primary function of an MP3 player or CD player and a universal feature of radios and smartphones.
Music often plays a key role in social activities, religious rituals, rite of passage ceremonies, celebrations, and cultural activities. The music industry includes songwriters, performers, sound engineers, producers, tour organizers, distributors of instruments, accessories, and sheet music. Compositions, performances, and recordings are assessed and evaluated by music critics, music journalists, and music scholars, as well as amateurs. ( Full article...)
379 CE Bas relief of Sassanid women playing the chang in Taq-e Bostan, Iran (from History of music)c.
Rhodes College student listening to the 1969 Yes LP on campus, c. 1970 (from Album era)A
Arashi, who had the world's best-selling album ( 5x20 All the Best!!) in 2019 (from Album era)The Japanese boy band
Beyoncé (2016) popularized the surprise-album strategy of the 2010s. (from Album era)
Pink Floyd (1973) performing The Dark Side of the Moon, a leading commercial success of the LP era (from Album era)
concert (from Music industry)Crowd watching a
Bull Headed Lyre of Ur, found in the Royal Cemetery at Ur, is the best known of the ancient Lyres of Ur (from History of music)The
hip hop producers repurposed them as sampling sources, contributing to the development of record collecting. (from Album era)As LPs fell out of favor to CDs,
Circular definition of "musicality" (from Elements of music)
Bianzhong of Marquis Yi of Zeng, c. 5th century BCE, from Hubei (from History of music)The monumental
Eastern Han Dynasty (25–220 CE), Shanghai Museum (from History of music)Two musicians of the
Frances Densmore recording Blackfoot chief Mountain Chief on a cylinder phonograph in 1916 (from Music industry)
recording studio (from Music industry)Musicians working in a
Platinum records by Elvis Presley, Prince, Madonna, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Bruce Springsteen, at Julien's Auctions (from Album era)
The Beatles (1964) have been credited by music historians for heralding the album era. (from Album era)
Stevie Wonder, among the era's innovative artists (from Album era)
Nikkal ( c. 1400 BCE), the oldest of the Hurrian songs (from History of music)Drawing of the tablet with the Hymn to
Frank Sinatra ( c. 1955), an early pop album artist (from Album era)
Cologne Pride, 2013 (from Music industry)A live musical performance at
Perotin from the Codex Guelf.1099 (from History of music)Alleluia nativitas by
Kanye West (2007) emerged during the decade as an important hip-hop producer and album artist. (from Album era)
audio mixer in a recording studio (from Music industry)A studio engineer working with an
Guillaume Du Fay (left), with Gilles Binchois (right) in a c. 1440 Illuminated manuscript copy of Martin le Franc's Le champion des dames (from History of music)
Apple Inc.'s online iTunes store, which sells digital files of songs and musical pieces–along with a range of other content, such as digital files of TV shows and movies (from Music industry)The logo for
Taylor Swift, a longtime adherent to album-era rollouts, surprise-released her albums instead in 2020. (from Album era)
The Rolling Stones in 1967 (from Album era)
Missa Papae Marcelli by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (from History of music)Sheet music for part of the
vinyl format rose toward the end of the 2010s. (from Album era)US vinyl sales in units, 1995–2020; while album sales overall declined, those in the
Music genres and forms
Composers and musicians
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