The Philosophy of Music

Music is the craft of arranging different sounds in sequence to create a composition in the form of melodic, harmonic, rhythmic, or pitch class compositions. It is also one of the most universal artistic aspects of all human cultures. There are various theories about the evolution of music and its development across different historical periods, but the origin of music itself is not very clear. There are certain broad facts about music that we can all agree upon though. In spite of our varied knowledge about music, we still find ourselves fascinated by it and the aesthetic pleasure it affords.


Music is created using the simplest of tools, from the clanging of animal horns to the tinkling of water fountains. Music is the language of the soul, according to Italian philosopher Giorgio Vasari. He argued that music is an abstract form of communication that connects the human mind with its environment. To Vasari, music conveys the unconscious impulse to communicate through music. Humans are very much affected by music from the point of view of emotion, mood, imagination, memory, and perception.

One of the great Greek philosophers Aristotle thought that music was the result of imitating the sounds of the heavenly bodies. It should not be confused with formal music, which Aristotle regarded as “rhetoric”. He felt that music should be structured to the particular needs of the listeners, such as rhythm and harmony. It should be simple and easily understandable.

Music theory is one branch of mathematics which has its roots in the study of music. It studies how various patterns in music can be organized into musical pieces and how these patterns can be used to express ideas and emotions in music. The various branches of music theory include harmony, melody, polyphonic composition, tonal composition, and popular music.

There are various styles of music that have transcended from western classical forms like classical, Baroque, Romantic, and Classical to contemporary forms like hip hop, jazz, and new age. Some of these genres are highly experimental and some, like house, techno, and pop, have been highly commercial. Other than music, the cinema and theatre are also influenced by music.

Music has a unique way of expressing emotions in a variety of ways. Through music, we can express our suppressed or unresolved feelings. It allows us to express our spirituality through music. Music can help us cope with life’s daily problems.