Explore Musician Articles

What is music:

Music is known as the orderly combination of rhythm, melody, and harmony that is pleasant to the ears. Due to its immaterial nature, music is considered a temporary or time art, just like literature.

In the restrictive sense, music is the art of coordinating and transmitting sound, harmonious and aesthetically valid effects, which are generated through the voice or musical instruments.

Music is an artistic and cultural manifestation of peoples so that it acquires various forms, aesthetic values ​​, and functions according to its context. At the same time, it is one of how an individual expresses his feelings.

The person who puts music into practice or plays it through an instrument is called a musician.

As such, the word music can be used in a metaphorical sense. For example, it can be used in colloquial phrases such as:

  • “Go elsewhere with that music,” which means that the person vehemently dismisses someone who has bothered them.
  • “What you say is music to my ears”, which means that the person listens to the news that is ‘pleasant to hear’.

Types of music

Music can be classified in many ways, either according to form, instrumentation, function, origin, or style and context.

A fairly broad classification criterion is the one that distinguishes between vocal music, intended to be sung, and instrumental music, intended to be interpreted strictly by instruments.

The most general classification that exists is the one that distinguishes academic music and popular music. In both, there are expressions of both sung and instrumental music.

However, the classification between academic music and popular music today is quite complex, since many genres of popular music have been influenced by academic trends and vice versa. Today popular music has become part of the educational programs of the academies and has achieved great recognition from the elites.

Either way, the social imaginary continues to distinguish between the two. Let’s get to know some distinctive elements.

Academic music

The academic music corresponds to that which has been created from a musical text, ie from a score that follows a set of rules of composition and style clearly defined within the academy.

According to the instrument formation, music can be classified into:

  • Choral music (monodic song and polyphony);
  • Chamber music (from two instruments onwards);
  • Orchestral music;
  • Electronic music.

According to its function, it can be classified into the following genres:

  • Sacred music: refers to those that fulfill a function within a certain religion.
    • Liturgical music (strictly for mass);
    • Religious music (intended for activities of devotion or promotion of the faith outside the liturgical context).
  • Dramatic music: these are musical genres conceived to be represented on stage, combining elements such as performance and dance.
    • Opera;
    • Opera bufa;
    • Singspiel;
    • Operetta;
    • Operetta;
    • Oratorio (can also classify as sacred music);
    • Musical;
    • Music for ballet; etc.
  • Incidental music: it is the music that is composed to accompany the different atmospheres that occur in a work. It includes music for theater, video games, and audiovisual productions (film and television).
  • Music for contemplation and entertainment:
    • Concerts (for orchestra or solo instrument);
    • Concert arias (for the showcasing of the singer);
    • Lead or song;
    • Dance and quadrille;
    • Minuet;
    • Sonatas;
    • Symphonies.

According to the dominant style in a historical context, music can be classified into:

  • Medieval music;
  • Renaissance music;
  • Baroque music;
  • Musical classicism ;
  • Musical romanticism;
  • Musical post-romanticism;
  • Musical impressionism;
  • Dodecaphonic;
  • Contemporary music, among others.

Popular music

Popular music is one that responds to the expression of individuals independently to academic regulation. The style of popular music corresponds to the universe of functions, references, and dominant aesthetic values ​​within a certain sociocultural context in which the individual is inserted.

Popular music is characterized by its short duration and catchy rhythms. When it is sung, the use of easily memorized refrains is added to it. Also, many of its genres offer a great space for improvisation, such as jazz or salsa.

Due to its characteristics, popular music is usually easily received and assimilated in different cultures, so it is not necessarily associated with a specific nation or people but is expanded as a standard. This has allowed its wide commercialization since the emergence of the cultural industry, which is why it occupies a leading place in the mass media such as radio and TV.

There are numerous popular musical genres. For example bolero, bossa nova, son, salsa, merengue, song, ballad, rock and roll, and its aspects, jazz, pop music, etc.

Folk music

Traditional or folk music is closely linked to popular music, but should not be considered equivalent terms. Folk music represents the traditions and customs of a specific people, which are transmitted from generation to generation as part of their values ​​and identity.

As long as it is based on tradition, folk music fulfills five elements:

  1. It is collective;
  2. It is based on repetition (tradition) but supports innovation;
  3. It collects the set of local, regional, national, or international influences;
  4. It is functional, that is, it is linked to specific festivities and activities;
  5. It is subject to function changes according to the historical context.

For example the milking songs in Venezuela, the carols, the mariachi, the flamenco, the groups, etc.

Music therapy

Music therapy is a relatively recently developed discipline, which conceives music as a healing tool in certain types of emotional, psychological, and affective processes of people.

Music can be used as therapy thanks to the fact that, through an intervention plan guided by a professional, it allows the individual to release emotions to improve their communication, social integration, and individual expression.