Music is sound arranged into pleasing or interesting patterns. People use music to express feelings and ideas. Music also helps to entertain and relax.
Music is one of the oldest arts. The first written music dates from about 2500 B.C. It plays an important part in all cultures. People use music in ceremonies, in work, and in personal and social activities.
Nearly all peoples use music in their religious services. Much church music creates a feeling of distance from the daily world. Sports events, graduations, weddings, parades, and the crowning of kings and queens also use music.
Before machines became important, people had to do much difficult or boring work by hand. Laborers sang songs to help to make their work seem easier. Even today, when machines are widely used, many offices and factories provide background music for workers.
Many people perform music for their own satisfaction. Music provides people with a way to express their feelings. Music is also played for dancing or listening.
The music of Europe can be divided into classical music, and popular music. Popular music includes many kinds of music, such as folk music, country music, jazz, rock music, etc. Classical music includes symphonies and music for opera and ballet. Music written by great classical composers of
the past provides as much enjoyment today as when it was written.
Popular music is generally much simpler than classical music. Folk music consists of the traditional songs of a people. Many composers, including Edvard Grieg of Norway and Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky of Russia, have used folk music in their works. Country music is derived from the folk music of the whites of the Southern United States and other American traditional music.
Jazz combines the complex rhythms of African music and the harmony of Western music. Most jazz features much improvisation.
Rock music is a mixture of blues, country music, jazz, and American and British popular music. It always has a strong beat and a simple melody and rhythm.
The people living in the British Isles are very fond of music, and it is quite natural that concerts of the leading symphony orchestras, numerous folk groups and pop music are very popular.
The Promenade concerts are probably the most famous. They are held in the Royal Albert Hall. They take place every night for about three months in the summer, and the programmes include new and contemporary works, as well as classics. Among them are symphonies and other pieces of music composed by Benjamin Britten, the famous English musician.
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