Free «World Music» Essay Sample

World Music

The science which studies sound is called acoustics. A renowned Greek philosopher who is famous for his discovering of the laws of physics and mathematics, which are very important for the development of music, is Aristotle. In order to become a real master of music one must possess a lot of theoretical knowledge as well as practical skills.

Study of scales is essential for everyone who seriously deals with music. Heptatonic scale peculiar to the Western culture includes 7 notes: C, D, E, F, G, A and B. The key and chord that is generally considered to put the listener in the elated mood is called major. The opposite of it is the minor key. Pentatonic scale is five tone black key scale used in China and Japan. Six tone scale from Java used for gamelan orchestra is called pelog. The scale with flat third, flat fifth and flat seventh is called dominant seventh flat chord. The root, the third and the fifth internal played simultaneously is a chord. The size of a woman's vocal folds in terms of notes ranges from F3 to C6. The lowest male voice is bass.

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History of music is also an important aspect. The oldest music of religious character, practiced in temples since Old Hebrew times, is called Georgian chant. The term was named by the Pope Gregory I. The Hebrew King David is known to be the author of 150 Psalms still used in religious services. Hildegard of Bingen is a German abbess apt to mystical practices who wrote the first musical dram. Music is possible for everyone, and no physical defect is an obstacle: Francesco Landini, a blind Italian singer who also composed madrigals and Masses, is an excellent example of it. Another guarantee of success is protection of the royals, as it was in the case of William Byrd, who enjoyed safety while Queen Elizabeth I was merciless to other Catholics. Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, working for the Pope, managed to become one of the most prolific composers in history by writing 104 masses, even more madrigals and a lot of works of other genres. Jean-Baptiste Lully, who lived at the times of King Louis XIV of France and became at first famous as a dancer and only after that as a composer, is the author of the famous Persée opera. Productivity is also a characteristic feature of the baroque composer Domenico Scarlatti, who chose a tender-sounding harpsichord as his instrument and was inspired enough to write 555 sonatas for it. Gloria in excelsis Deo (translated from Latin as “Glory to God in the highest") is the name of thesacred hymn praising God. Italian madrigal is a name for a secular love song of this country.

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Religion also influences music. Christian traditions have built different restrictions to some kinds of music performed during various periods of time. Thus, the only piece of music which could be performed during the Lent is oratorios. Mass in B minor is one of the greatest works by Johann Sebastian Bach. The peculiarity and grandeur of it is the fact that it waswritten for soloists, orchestra and choir. Bach managed to make his art last for generations, passing his talent to his children. The German Baroque composer is the only one in history who had 20 children and 3 of them became well-known musicians. Messiah by George Friderik Handel entered the history of music as the most performed oratorio performed by Halleluia Chorus. Another German-speaking, yet this time Austrian composer Franz Joseph Haydn, is often called “Father of the symphony, string quartet and piano sonata”. Such an honor emerges from the efforts connected with the establishing of the classical period in music history. The world of art lost its respected representative Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who died at the age of 35 without finishing the Requiem, although, he managed to write 41 symphonies and a lot of operas (the most famous one is Marriage of Figaro). Ludwig van Beethoven was a pioneer in combining the classical and romantic period by composing various piano music, 9 symphonies and an opera. It is no wonder now that music affects human beings positively even in the womb. It is proved that it can make people smarter by stimulating six different parts of the brain.

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The world of music is so multilateral that it can be studied for many years, and still one person cannot grasp the whole scale of it. Knowledge of interesting facts about it, however, is a hallmark of an educated person. In such a way, it is not even essential to study music in order to be able to keep a vivid conversation on the topic.

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