Across our neat little planet, all humans, most birds, canines, felines, dolphins and whales, all enjoy music. Music is a universal source of pleasure for living beings–I have to presume that plants enjoy their own type of music.
Amongst humans, the variations of the genres of music are as different as there are different cultures.
The complexity of music changes with the ability of the human mind to comprehend the intrinsic mathematical representations of the universe that music portrays.
We know, for example, that music is not based on the decimal or number ten type of mathematics. Music is based on the octave, or number eight type of mathematics.
Nonetheless, it is mathematically precise, as an examination of the frequencies of pitch demonstrate an exact correlation of each differing pitch.
Since all human brains are nothing more than an electrical manifestation of Nature, brains are resonating the fact that Nature is mathematical in essence, and that that mathematics is a very close approximation to Nature, since Nature in its entirety is not a closed system.
Nature is constantly evolving and introducing new elements which forever make “newness” a persistent quality. If this were not true, the evolution of music would have ended many centuries ago when mankind would have discovered all the permutations of natural forms and have tried to imitate them with either voice or instruments.
The Flute or the use of a long tube such as an animal’s bone or a reed was evidently the first instrument. We have found hollowed animal bones with series of holes in them in caves that were 80,000 years old.
In Sardinia, the oldest instrument is a series of reeds of differing lengths, called Launeddas, which go back to at least 800 BC.
But, apart from human instruments, my friends, cats and dogs use their vocal chords, which I am sure were there for hundreds of thousands of years.
Anybody who has heard a cat purring, knows that she is singing. That cat is conveying a message, in the form of song, that life for her is pleasant. Of course, she may also be telling you in her musical fashion, that she is hungry.
Most human males do exactly the same thing in the human voice when they are trying to enchant a female.
THE COMPLEXITY OF MUSIC
Music is a reflection of Nature as interpreted by the human mind.
This interpretation is formulated by gifted humans who can not only sense the beauty of Nature but also reconstruct that sensation to be made audible by instruments including the human voice.
The more instruments that are available, including differing human voices, the closer the interpretation of Nature the music becomes.
Since this interpretation is in the medium of sound, we have three basic components: Time and Pitch and Memory which we usually call Melody. If we could not remember the previous sounds we would not have music.
The listener is constantly comparing the new sounds with his memory of the previous sounds and, clearly, is anticipating a mathematically correct new sound.
When this occurs, the listener is very pleased, because from his personal experience in life, Nature has a pattern which is always new, yet is connected to the old or previous pattern.
We see this process in every natural scene in our universe. Whether it is in clouds or in streams or in waves of the ocean or simply leaves on a tree which are being changed in their position by the wind; there is always a changing pattern, which the mind of the observer remembers and senses anew.
This constant exposure, from birth, to the changing but, yet, a pattern that has a definite continuity, is something that every living being understands as reality.
In order to reflect this complex reality, Europeans developed, over centuries, hundreds of different musical instruments and singers, either solo or in groups. The closer the sounds created by these instruments and vocalists, the happier the listener became.
Of course, the more perceptive the listener were to be, the more he could enjoy the complexity of the music. In contrast, the less perceptive the listener were to be, the less he would enjoy the music.
The term “Classical” like all attractive terms, has become demeaned by overuse. Almost anything is called ‘Classical” today, from coffee cups to donuts.
However, in music, the term “Classical” is still used as a reference for the highest standard of music; which means, that music admired by the people with the highest ability to perceive the environment.
Of course, the term “Classical” is also applied to the music of different cultures; such as, Indian, Chinese, African and European.
In the opinion of most music lovers of the world, the European Classical Music is considered the best of all the cultural types produced in human history.
Today, we see Asians of all nationalities, China being the foremost, assembling orchestras and performing the Classical music of Europe. Indeed, their instrumentalists are now competing with and surpassing European instrumentalists; especially in the violin.
The Chinese female vocalists are now seen throughout the world singing in operas. As yet; however, the Europeans are still superior in terms of numbers.
The future of music is indistinct. Unless you have extremely creative and talented minds, complex music cannot be created.
The trend has been to eliminate that type of mentality, in favor of a mentality “of the masses.” Classical Music may have had its day…