Musique et arts

Les cours Musique et arts développent des compétences dans la pratique et la critique de l'art visuel, de la musique et de la création littéraire. Apprenez à jouer de la guitare, débattez des mérites de romans graphiques contemporains ou explorez l'histoire de la créativité humaine.

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  • Music is one of the oldest and most fundamental forms of human culture, but for something so universal it can be surprisingly hard to define. The first definition of music in the Merriam Webster Dictionary is "the science or art of ordering tones or sounds in succession, in combination, and in temporal relationships to produce a composition having unity and continuity."

    If you think that sounds like an incredibly wordy and theoretical way to define music, you're right. But this roundabout definition is necessary. Music is perhaps the most abstract of the arts. After all, what's the difference between songs of humans and the songs of birds, or the cacophonous sounds of a busy city?

    Indeed, while we might think of qualities like rhythm, melody, and harmony as intrinsic to music, they are not always as straightforward to define as they seem in classical and popular music. Certain forms of non-Western and traditional music may use elements such as melody or rhythm in ways that are unfamiliar to our ears, to the point of seeming completely absent. And in recent decades, musique concrète (or “concrete music,” which uses sounds drawn from field recordings), avant garde, ambient, and other types of experimental music have similarly pushed -- or, in some cases, erased -- the boundaries of what is considered music and what is simply sound.

    Perhaps the secondary definition from Merriam-Webster is the simplest and broadest: music is "an agreeable sound." Learning how and why humans find certain sounds "agreeable" in different cultures and different historical periods can reveal profound truths about who we are, in unique ways that transcend the written word.