The global view point of music is that we live in an increasingly smaller “global village”. Music plays a role in all societies, and it exists in a large number of styles, each characteristic of a geographical region or a historical era.
With advance in world wide transportation and communication and with increasingly mobile societies, it seems not only suitable but also necessary to develop a global viewpoint of music. A global perspective of music is a sense of the lifestyles, traditions, values and the music of several nations and cultures throughout the world. An awareness of the diversity within our national boundaries that has contributed significantly and beneficially to the cultural richness of our land.
The diversity of musical styles that exist in the United States includes Western European “classical” music (art music) and a number of “popular” music styles derived largely from Western European ways of making music. These styles include pop, folk, country, and rock. Other styles, including jazz, blues, and various traditions. All these styles constitute an important part of music in American society, styles that constitute “American music”. The ethnic diversity: part o the cultural richness of our nation is derived from its ethnic diversity and its large number of ethnic groups. Immigrant groups may have partially assimilated into the mainstream of our society while retaining the songs, dances, instruments, languages, fashion, food, and lifestyles of their native cultures. In many cases, the merging of cultural traditions has formed new styles and modes of behaviour. For example, jazz evolved in the early twentieth century.
Music is vocal or instrumental sounds having melody, rhythm or harmony. Also, music is sound that you want to hear as music, sound that is not organized in some way typically cannot be called music. Yet the roar of a waterfall, the sound of rain falling on a tent or the chirping of birds can sense but as pleasing, and these perhaps as musical sounds. In fact, the sounds of birds, water, and whales and other sounds of nature have been taped and used in “organized” music. Conversely, all sorts of drum, cymbals, and gongs; harsh dissonant harmonics; and abstract melodies have been organized into music.
Music may be folk art, high art, or at any place in this continuum. Much music has attributes of both. High art includes the classical music of the Western European cultivated tradition. It also includes the classical music of other cultures.
Great music, regardless of styles, lasts. It can have universal appeal; may be remembered through decades, generations and perhaps centuries; and has a degree of substance that challenges the listener and the performer. A great piece of art music encourages repeated listening, performance, and study. With repeated experiences, one can explore and find subtleties of expression and depths of meaning, will not tire of it and will continue to find new awareness and understandings. Such characteristics are not limited to Western European classical music, for a number of other cultures have classical music traditions, their great “masterpieces,” their own high art. It can effectively be argued that characteristics of notably, some jazz, new age, and rock.
Music exists in all nations and among all people has existed as far back in time as we know about people and their cultures. The musical languages, styles, and functions have differed considerably and therefore, people in different cultures value for different reasons. For example, music will sound different from culture to culture because social groups or societies develop their own testes about what sounds beautiful in music. Therefore, they have their own musical traditions, different reasons for using music in their communities in such involvements as their religion, recreation and entertainment, and public gatherings. They use different instruments and have different ways of creating music; thus; they achieve stylistic differences. They also have different attitudes about performance practices and audience / performer relationships. However, all cultures have music because of its universal power to stimulate emotional feelings and responses and convey the powerful feelings, moods, images, and associations. Music also provides a means of communication for people who desire common identity who have common values and aspirations.
Music has the ability to affect and change people’s feelings and attitudes. Music is used therapeutically to help physically or mentally challenged people. Many colleges and universities offer degrees in music therapy. Graduates from these programs work in mental health clinics, hospitals, public schools, and private practice. Among other purposes, music therapists use music to help people of all ages improve their self-esteem, find joy in self-expression, achieve elements of success through music, and find better ways of interacting socially with others.
Music is also used functionally in our environment to make people feel good for being at a particular place, as in department store, or to distract from pain or other unpleasant association, as in a dentist’s chair. It is used to affect moods, whether one desires uplifting and spirited music or quiet, relaxing, or reflective music.