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General Definition of Music: The art of arranging sounds in time so as to produce a continuous, unified, and evocative composition, as through melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre.
Western Definition: Art concerned with combining vocal or instrumental sounds for beauty of form or emotional expression, usually according to cultural standards of rhythm, melody, and, in most western music, harmony. Music most often implies sounds with distinct pitches that are arranged into melodies and organized into patterns of rhythm and metre. The melody will usually be in a certain key or mode, and in western music it will often suggest harmony that may be made explicit as accompanying chords or counterpoint. Music is an art that, in one guise or another, permeates every human society. It is used for such varied social purposes as ritual, worship, coordination of movement, communication, and entertainment.
Philosophical questions surrounding music include that of understanding the source of the pleasure music gives, and understanding its expressive, dramatic, and emotional power. Our aesthetic response to music is more than the passive reception of pleasure, since it involves elements of understanding and anticipation: does this imply that it is appropriate to talk of the meaning of a piece of music, or of a musical language?
The origins of Indian classical music can be found in the oldest of scriptures, part of the Hindu tradition, the Vedas. It has also been significantly influenced by Indian folk music, and Hindustani music has been influenced by Persian music. The Samaveda, one of the four Vedas, describes music at length. The Samaveda was created out of Rigveda so that its hymns could be sung as Samagana; this style evolved into jatis and eventually into ragas. Indian classical music has its origins as a meditation tool for attaining self realization. Bharat’s Natyashastra was the first treatise laying down fundamental principles of dance, music and drama. Read the rest of this entry