Music, a universal language that transcends borders and connects souls, has a rich history dating back to ancient civilizations. Have you ever wondered about the origin of the word “music” and what it means to you?
From ancient beginnings & latin influence to today
The term “music” finds its earliest origins in the ancient Greek word “μουσική, mousikē.” A Greek-English Lexicon by H.G. Liddell and R. Scott (New York 1897) defines “μουσική mousikē” as “any art over which the Muses presided, esp. music, or rather lyric poetry sung to music” (p. 980).
In Greek mythology, the Muses were the goddesses who inspired creativity and artistic expression. “Mousikē” represented a holistic concept of artistic endeavor, including not just instrumental and vocal melodies, but also dance, poetry, and drama.
During the Roman Empire, the word “mousikē” transitioned into the Latin term “musica.” However, it is important to note that the Latin word encompassed a broader meaning. “Musica” referred not only to the art form itself but also to its theoretical study, encompassing aspects such as rhythm, harmony, and composition.
Today, “music” is an integral part of global vocabulary, transcending linguistic barriers and becoming a word universally understood and cherished. It encompasses a vast array of musical genres, styles, and traditions, ranging from classical compositions to contemporary pop, jazz, rock, and beyond.
A question about music
After this introduction, it’s time to ask the question: What is music for you? The answer belongs only to you, and let me share with you my thoughts on what music has meant to me for many years.
Music holds a special place in my heart; it is simply a companion on my journey through life. Music is a language that speaks to me in ways that words alone cannot. It transcends boundaries, evokes emotions, and connects me to a deeper sense of self and to the world around me.
What others say
Dr Jane Swan (1925-2010), who wasn’t a professional musician, once asked: “How is it that music can, without words, evoke our laughter, our fears, and our highest aspirations?“
This question resonates somewhere deeply within me, as music has the remarkable ability to tap into a wide range of emotions and stir something within us that defies explanation. It is a powerful force that brings people together, even if we come from different cultures or speak different languages. Music unites us! We are immersed in music; we move in it; we are surrounded by it!
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827), a German composer and pianist, one of the most widely respected composers of classical music, described music as a dream he couldn’t hear. But we can say that we can feel the music! Music is a dream that I can feel. Music is my journey. It carries me to places beyond the confines of my everyday life; it transports me to a realm where emotions boundaries fade away and flow freely. Its music allows me to escape the mundane and join a world of imagination.
Jack Kerouac, an American novelist and poet, believed that the only truth is music. Thus, all music is true! In my own experience, I have found music to be a source of authenticity and freedom. When I listen to a flowing melody or a soul-stirring composition, it touches a part of me that is raw and real. Music is then a reminder of the beauty and complexity of the human experience.
Maya Angelou (1928–2014), an American memoirist, poet, and civil rights activist, once described music as her refuge, a place where she could find solace and escape from loneliness.
The universal language of music
I relate to this sentiment deeply. There have been moments in my life when I felt isolated, lonely, abandoned, or overwhelmed, but music was with me; she has always been there to comfort and uplift me. It is in the space between the notes, between the gentle melodies of Pink Floyd and the powerful Whole Lotta Love of Led Zeppelin or Child in Time of Deep Purple, with a brilliant Ritchie Blackmore’s solo, that I always find a sense of peace and certainty for a better tomorrow. It’s not about the kind of music you listen to; it’s about the music itself!
Music has a universal language that transcends cultural and linguistic barriers. It has the power to bridge divides and bring people together. It is, as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882), an American poet and educator. eloquently put it, the universal language of mankind. When I listen to music from different parts of the world, I am reminded of what we all have in common: our shared humanity. The melodies and rhythms connect us on a deeper level, reminding me that we are all part of a great and unique universe.
Another great musician, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791), one of the most influential, popular, and prolific composers of the classical period, once said that the true essence of music lies not only in the notes but also in the silence between them. This resonates with me because this silence is alive, he says; you can also feel it like the sound of a chord. In those moments of silence, I find a profound sense of connection with the music and with myself.
Music has the power to awaken the soul, ignite the imagination, and infuse life with meaning. Plato (427 BC–348 BC) aptly described music as giving soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm to life itself. It is a source of inspiration that fuels my creativity and transports me to new realms of possibility. I live and work surrounded by music that touches me from every side and sharpens my senses and sensitivity.
As I journey through life, music has been my constant companion, offering healing, solace, and joy. It has the power to heal wounds, to uplift spirits, and to bring people together. It is a form of expression that goes beyond words, touching the deepest parts of our being.
The music has no end
So let us embrace the transformative power of music, allow it to touch our souls, and share its beauty with others. Let us celebrate the freedom, openness, and sense of togetherness that music brings. And let us embark on a journey of self-discovery and connection, guided by the melodies and rhythms that resonate within us. It’s time to find the bridge that connects each of us with the world and with ourselves! This bridge is simply music!
Music is collective power. It is a force that unifies, inspires, and elevates us. It is a universal language that speaks to the core of our humanity.
I love music! I cannot imagine my everyday life without music. And you? How do you perceive music? What is music to you?