English Essay on "Music"

The word music may be used to two senses. It may mean sounds so combined as to make a pleasant impression on the mind, as when we say. The music played by the orchestra at the concert was very fine. Or it may means that art of composing or of producing such pleasing sounds, as when we say, A person who has the genius to compose beautiful music, or who is an expert player on a musical instruments, is called a musician.

All sound is not music. Many sounds, like loud shouting, the roar of traffic in the streets, the barking, of dogs, are simply noises. Mere noise, and discords that is the sounding of notes together which do not agree, produce no pleasing effects on the mind, but on the contrary are often irritating and disturbing. It is only when the sound are so combined that they please the ear and have a soothing inspiring or pleasantly exciting effect on the hearers, that they become music. Why certain combinations of sound please us, while others irritate and disgust us we cannot tell; any more than we can explain why we call some things beautiful, and others ugly.

Music, then, we may say consists of beautiful sounds. But as people’s ideas of what is beautiful differ very much, so there are many kinds of music, some of which please some people and do not please others from the magnificent compositions of musicians of genius like Beethoven, Bach, Chopin, Wagner, and Schumann, to the vulgar popular songs and tunes of the common music-hall. Only people of educated musical taste can appreciate the former, and they find no pleasure in the latter; while the common people are bored with what is called classical music, and find pleasure only in what musicians would call vulgar tunes. But this is not peculiar to music: it is the same with all arts. For example, untrained eyes and minds cannot appreciate the great pictures of artists of genius, but prefer highly coloured daubs: and the crowed prefers trashy and sensational novels to classical literature.

Good music often has a wonderful effect upon the feelings of even ignorant people. One poet has said, “Music hath charms to Soothe the savage breast”; and the poet Dryden asks “What passion cannot music raise and quell?” The regimental bands put courage and enthusiasm for battle into heart the carts of marching troops; the solemn and statek music of the organ fills the worshippers in church and cathedral with awe and reverence and the sense of the Divine presence. Soft and sweet music soothes the worried, the worried, and the sad; mothers send fretful children to sleep with gentle lullabies and old song will bring tears to the eyes of the lonely exile: and grand music will fill strong men with great hopes and ambitions. “What passion cannot music raise and quell?”

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