Music is the selective recreation of reality through sounds. It creates patterns of sound that convey emotion, moods, and behavior. The artist chooses the content to be expressed by the music, and the style by which it is conveyed. Only certain sound patterns can be recognized and integrated by our sense. The music must exist as an entity, which can be recognized as a single, integrated whole.

Music is a powerful medium to express emotion. It recreates aspects of our lives that are recognizable. A piece of music may be quick moving, expressing energy, purposefulness, or excitement. Music can model human voice patterns, especially those filled with emotions. Passion, hate, fear, and sadness can all be recognized in certain musical patterns. Music has the ability to express emotion through recognizable patterns.

Music attempts to embody an emotion. By recreating patterns associated with human emotion, it recreates the emotion. We are able to grasp the emotional content, and react emotionally to it. As an embodiment of the emotion, we are able to perceive it directly. Music provides a clear concretization of the emotion, allowing us to more fully grasp it.

People react to music with their sense of life. The music presents an emotion, but the emotion is not directly felt. It is like experiencing the emotions of other people. You recognize the emotion, and react to it depending on your own mood, emotions, or sense of life. A song that expresses joy may make some people react with joy of their own. Others may feel revulsion, or sadness. When one mourns from the death of a loved one, joyful music may seem ghastly.

Copyright 2001 by Jeff Landauer and Joseph Rowlands