Try to pass a day without music. I doubt you can. Whether you’re driving in your car, waiting in an elevator, eating in a restaurant, stuck on hold, walking through the mall, watching television, or passing musicians on the street corner, music is everywhere. But it’s not only something we passively encounter. Music is a vibrant part of our communities; high schools offer music classes, universities provide numerous courses of study in music, radio stations broadcast 24/7, and cities sponsor amateur and professional concerts, orchestras, choirs, and opera houses. For those who are pursuing a career in music or those who simply want to be educated listeners, there is always more to explore in the wonderful world of music. One of the very best ways to explore music is by listening. YouTube is a great resource for this, but anyone can post to YouTube. For access to industry recommended, professional recordings, consider a membership to the Naxos Music Library. If a personal subscription isn’t for you, many schools and universities provide access to the Naxos Music Library for their students, so take advantage if you can! The more you delve into music, the more you’ll discover that the field of music has a language all its own. Understanding the lingo is a crucial first step in music study. For terms you don’t know, it can be helpful to consult a music dictionary. Naxos has a good one to start, available for free without a subscription.
“I would teach children music, physics, and philosophy; but most importantly music, for the patterns in music and all the arts are the keys to learning.” Plato
“Without music life would be an error.” Friedrich Nietzsche
Belle, Bonne, Sage
from Chantilly Codex ca. 1440
Music is the organization of sound. Music is also the process of composing, performing, listening, analyzing, and thinking about sound. All cultures throughout the world have music: in that way, music is universal. Music is interesting to study sociologically because it impacts most of our lives on a daily basis. Whether music is heard in the car, at work, at school, at the grocery store, at the gym, on the street, or at a music concert, music socializes us. It brings us together. Music also takes part in important ceremonies such as weddings, graduations, promotions, elections, inaugurations, funerals, and other rites of passage. The very notion of the “soundtrack to my life” demonstrates the importance of music and how we use it in our lives.
How we use music in our lives—how it functions—is the subject of Western musicology and ethnomusicology. Western musicology tends toward the musics stemming from the European tradition since the advent of notation practices in the middle ages: music literacy is its hallmark. Ethnomusicologists tend to use anthropological and sociological methods to study music around the world through ethnographic research. Most of these societies have oral traditions: music is learned and transmitted by word of mouth.
The music tutors at 24houranswers.com are experts in composition, music theory, music history, music criticism, popular music, and world music. We have worked with high school students learning to read and write music, as well as professionals working toward their master’s and PhD degrees. Our music staff consists of active musicians, composers, critics, historians, musicologists, and editors to ensure that our clients receive the best work and instruction. We are also versed in music notation software and audio recording software. The majority of our music-oriented work deals with issues in music theory and counterpoint, and advice on crafting research papers and concert reports. From Bach to Lady Gaga, we can help you compose like the masters or write about them. From Andean folklore to Japanese Noh theater to the Carnatic and Hindustani traditions in India, we can help you understand the methods and functions of music in their respective societies.
On a level appropriate for a student seeking college homework help, a great online tutorial for music is offered by MIT's OpenCourseWare and is titled Introduction to Western Music.