Is the word Music inexpressible?
The word music derives from the Greek word “mousike” which means “Art of the muses”.
The 9 Greek muses who inspired science, literature and arts in ancient Greece.
A good definition of music is: the art of the organized sound… hmmm… or maybe this
one: the architecture of sound! Well, that sounds better! But… lets try it again:
Group of successive sounds combined according to this art, which usually produce an aesthetic
or expressive effect and are pleasing to the ear.
Hmm… not convinced yet? Well, just as the word “art”, music is
hard to define, we all know what’s music, but when we stop and ask ourselves what’s
its definition, we have a hard time to put it in plain words.
We know the value and importance of music in our society, from China to Africa; or Europe
to the American continent. Everyone likes music. Or have we ever found someone who doesn’t
like music? …. Yeah, I thought so, EVERYONE LOVES MUSIC!
It doesn’t matter if you are a criminal or a policeman, a killer or a priest. Kids,
adults and old people consume music. We have music for every situation and purpose.
We create strong bounds with the music we like. Our music means to us an infinite universe
of emotions, situations and sensations. So… is music the art of organized sound?
The answer is yes… but its more than just that. Music goes beyond its mathematical and
objective properties as harmony, melody, rhythm and tuning among others.
But how could we define that? Well… could you describe the redness of red? This is what
we called: Qualia. Qualia are subjective qualities of individual
experiences. For example, as we mentioned before: the redness of red, or the painfulness
of pain. Inexpressible: it can’t be communicated
or learned by any other means rather than direct experience.
Just as music, inexpressible with words, or as Victor Hugo once said:
“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent”
To know what music is and its effects you must experience it. We can talk with each
other about music and we can reach common grounds but everyone will have a different
perception of it… or maybe not… We can’t know that. Every perception is unique and
can’t be objectively communicated through words to another individual. The experience
of music is a unique phenomenon Music is the most powerful medium. A basic
need everyone has, and that should have the right to satiate that need.
In 2014 Michael Rossato-Bennett’s documentary Alive Inside, we can clearly see how music
has a very positive result in easing the suffering on Alzheimer patients.
Old patients with this disease can’t even remember their family anymore, not their children,
or their partners, can’t remember who they were. This makes patients to isolate and get
trapped inside themselves. But when they get in touch with the music they always loved
the change is incredible, they become alive again. They even remember the lyrics and moves
of the songs they used to hear when they were young.
This terrible disease can vanish the person’s most beautiful memories but never the musical
memories. The power of music is infinite
If you sometimes ask yourself: Why is there something rather than nothing?
You should ask yourself too Why is there music rather than silence?
Music is still a mystery, a beautiful mystery, just as the universe.
Can’t be measured, powerful as the sun, infinite as the universe and beautiful as
nature. In the tedium and weariness of a sometimes-indifferent
universe where someday we will become dust, music has given us the purpose of life, and
that is to feel.