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Music versus Noise

When music was first “discovered”, I am sure that the people who first heard it did not know a differentiation between “music” and “noise”. I suspect that the beginnings of music were very much like the everyday “noises” that we hear and that the history of music has evolved from those basic sounds.

Music has come so very far throughout history, that instruments have been made to create new man-made sounds. Instruments have changed the definition of music by causing a differentiation between sounds or noises and music. If I were to play basketball and record the rhythm of its’ dribble against the ground, the swish of the net, and the squeaking of tennis shoes against the court, it would not, by most people, be considered music. The noises would be called sound effects.

I disagree with that. I believe that even sounds can be music and that instruments should play music that is inspired by everyday noise more often. I would like to note that I am not against music played by instruments, inspired by instruments and performers; this music is beautiful as well. However, I feel that in order to truly be a musician, not only does one need to understand an instrument and the theory encompassing that instrument, one needs to “feel” the music. One needs to know where it came from. Music was not created when the first instrument was made. Music is all around us, and it affects us individually.

If music was to go back to its roots and be more often inspired by the plethora of sounds, imagine what could be done with those sounds. To provide some perspective, I have uploaded two YouTube clips from a movie called “August Rush”. This first clip contains only recreated sounds. The score of the music was omitted. The second clip is from the actual movie.

Now listen to the real movie clip. See what can happen when real-world sounds are translated into music.

These are just movie clips, but the idea still remains.

How we determine what music is and how we interpret it comes from what society has taught us. These trends and truths in society are important towards understanding music, but these facts are not all to what is out there. In order to truly grasp music, one must take what has been learned and search for more musical interpretation-even if it is one’s own. Acknowledging the music around you will help you understand what music is–evidence of a soulful life and all things that come from it.

This post was inspired by an article from