Music is, according to the traditional definition of the term, the art of creating and organizing sounds and silences respecting the fundamental principles of melody, harmony and rhythm, through the intervention of complex psycho-psychological processes. The concept of music has been evolving since its origin in Ancient Greece, in which poetry, music and dance were brought together without distinction as a unitary art. For several decades, the definition of what music is and what it is not has become more complex, since prominent composers within the framework of various border artistic experiences have made works that, although they could be considered musical, expand the limits of the definition of this art.
Music, like any artistic manifestation, is a cultural product with multiple purposes, among others, that of provoking an aesthetic experience in the listener, that of expressing feelings, emotions, circumstances, thoughts or ideas, and increasingly, fulfilling an important therapeutic function through music therapy.
Music plays a vitally important role in the cognitive development of the human being. It is related to mathematical logical thinking, language acquisition, psychomotor development, interpersonal relationships, learning of non-native languages and enhancing emotional intelligence, among others. For this reason, music must be present in any modern educational plan and be recognized as an essential discipline within compulsory education.
Music is a sound stimulus that affects the perceptive field of the individual, thus, the sound flow can fulfill various functions (entertainment, communication, setting, fun, etc.). In many cultures, music is an important part of people’s way of life, playing a key role in religious rituals, rite of passage ceremonies (e.g. graduation and marriage), social activities (for example, in dancing) and in cultural activities ranging from amateur singing at karaoke to playing in an amateur funk band or singing in a community choir.
People can make music as a hobby, or work as a professional musician. The music industry includes people who create new songs and pieces of music (such as singer-songwriters and composers), people who perform music (including orchestral, jazz band and rock band musicians, singers and conductors), people who record music (music producers and sound engineers), people who organize concert tours, and people who sell recordings and sheet music to customers. Even once a song or piece has been performed, music criticism, music journalism and musicology can assess and evaluate the piece and its performance.