World Music Analysis

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World Music and its Differentiation

World music revolves around any song composed around the globe. Some countries music has been easily noticeable due to the instruments or lyrics used in the composition (Szczepanski). As a result, it becomes easier to differentiate the types of music from these countries. For instance, the Gamelan music has been the traditional collective music of Java and Bali in Indonesia, easily noticeable by the use of metallophones being hit with a mallet and set of hand-played drums to record the beat (Szczepanski). Moreover, music will tend to have some basic properties such as tone, sound, rhythm and melody (Szczepanski). Different individuals tend to have diverse perspectives regarding music due to their preference and taste. Therefore, world music has prospected many composers, each with a different storyline and lyrics in their composition.

The Impact of Technological Advancements on World Music

Notably, most individuals tend to have their own opinion regarding their preference for world music. In the present world, advancement in technology has prospected the use of computers to manipulate sounds, tones, and pitches in the world music (George Mason University). As a result, the progression has foreseen the transformation of music. For instance, in traditional music, most composers used instruments such as drums to make their beats. However, the technological advancement has impacted significantly on the use of computers to develop the beats ad record them (George Mason University).

Individual Perspectives on Music and its Comprehension

On the other hand, music varies from one individual to another, in the sense that one person's music preference might be noise to somebody else (George Mason University). Globally, it seems that almost everyone prefers no first place music, since their taste varies from one person to another and comprehending music becomes difficult (Bjelica 135). Therefore, particular persons such as Michael Bakan have developed propositions that attempt to explore the world music (HeroineHiding). The approaches extend comprehensive viewpoints on the meaning of world music, especially to individuals interested in studying and understanding the world music. However, the fourth Bakan's proposition of music tends to create some sense on the comprehension of world music in my perspective. This paper deliberates on Bakan's fourth proposition, which I tend to agree for some reasons discussed below.

Human Intention and Perception in Understanding Music

Bakan's fourth proposition states that music is a product of human intention and perceptions (HeroineHiding). Often, individuals use their mentality and viewpoints to scrutinise the world music. The perspectives enable persons to differentiate between music and non-musical pieces such as speeches by incorporating the properties of music such as tone, pitch and rhythm among others (Giordano, Egermann and Bresin 2). There exist two aspects (intention and perception) to develop an argument in understanding music using the fourth Bakan's proposition (HeroineHiding). The knowledge of various types of music is dependent on the individual's objective. For instance, the expression and recognition of the emotions in music composition are highly reliant on the person's perception and goal (Giordano, Egermann and Bresin 3). Therefore, basing the argument of understanding music as being contributed by human intention, brings about various attributes that run the mind of a person. For example, when musicians compose songs, they expect the audience to interpret their pieces as music due to the tones, pitches and rhythm used in their tunes (Bjelica 134).

Impact of Perception on Understanding Music

Consequently, it depends on the humankind objective to listen to the pieces and make a conclusion depending on their attentiveness and comprehension of the lyrics (Giordano, Egermann and Bresin 2). However, some music lovers in non-literate societies tend to differ with the approach claiming that music ought not to be defined or expected to communicate anything, but it ought to uphold the goal of an individual by bringing about the entertaining aspect or relieving the mind (George Mason University). As a result, people's perspective of music is highly dependent on their intentions, despite varying from one person to another depending on the experience of music.

The Relation Between Music, Language, and Culture

On the other hand, understanding music is also highly dependent on the individual's perception. Individuals tend to perceive particular sounds to be associated with music, thus, impacting significantly towards the comprehension of world music. For instance, when various artists compose specific lyrics, they recite them alongside some beats which creates sound, henceforth, bringing about the notion of forming a song. As a result, individuals perceive the beats alongside the artist's lyrics, thus, treating it as music. Noteworthy, it becomes difficult to separate music from individuals who compose and have much experience about songs (Bjelica 130). Hence, when such individuals perform their works to a particular crowd of people, the audience perceives the pieces as music (Bjelica 130). The ideology conforms that music is highly dependent on the human perception regarding artists with experience in music performance. Moreover, through the performances, individuals tend to communicate with the artist through attentive listening, which is reliant on their opinion to the kind of music be performed (Bjelica 131).

Impact of Age and Generational Status on Music Perception

Furthermore, the human intention and perception impact significantly towards the comprehension of music, primarily through its relation to language (Bjelica 129). The linguistic used in the composition of songs influence the persons understanding of the lyrics of the song, hence, bringing about the perception of the music composed. Different cultures tend to comprehend music depending on the songs created in their native language (George Mason University). Most importantly, the music has lyrics that revolve around the people's traditions. Therefore, the human intentions and perceptions aids in understanding the music based on their culture. For instance, in the history of the Jewish immigrants, singing particular songs in the Yiddish language helped them to recollect about their past, thus, bringing about the understanding of music in their culture (George Mason University). Following the comprehension of the words in the track, the music creates an exclusive aptitude to convey the memory (Justus and Bharucha 1; Giordano, Egermann and Bresin 2). In some cases, music has many applications such as relieving someone from past events, depending on the individual's intention of the song. Thus, music impacts on an individual depending on their instincts, since its composition may encompass different ideas and agenda rather than its original conception (George Mason University).

Cultural Beliefs and the Influence on Music Perception

On the other side, defending Bakan's argument on music being reliant on human intention and perception may tend to differ from one culture to another depending on their traditional beliefs. For instance, an individual who is not a Muslim can perceive their Quran citation to be a song, since it is rhythmical and melodically, however, the Islamic community do not consider it as music (Bhimji). Notably, the Islamic culture has a belief that is dependent on their intention and perception that music is blasphemous art that has no interconnection with religious compliances (Bhimji). Henceforth, any utterances during the recitation of holy books and artifacts during worship does not categorically become music despite its tone, pitch or rhythm (Bhimji). However, the Islamic attribute of worship utterances being songs differs with other cultures such as Catholics, where they use the recitations to compose religious songs to sensitize their audience on the word of God. Arguably, in the above aspects of culture, comprehension of music is highly dependent on the communities' intentions and perceptions.

The Role of Age and Generational Status in Music Perception

Disputably, music comprehension based on human intention and perception is also reliant on certain decisive factors such as age and generational status (Bjelica 138). The tone, pitch and rhythm of particular songs composition vary from one individual to another based on age. For instance, teens will tend to perceive tunes and sounds of trending music; however, the same kind of songs may seemingly not familiarize with the older generation (Bjelica 138). The teenagers listen to that kind of songs with the aim of looking trendy in front of their peers since the artists produce the tunes with the intention of them perceiving popular music. On the other hand, the old generation might not understand the songs as music since the lyrics used may not favor their social class, thus, ignoring the pitches and the rhythm. Despite the differences in age, some musical cases can be perceived emotionally based on the resemblances to other human experiences (Bjelica 140). The emotive similitudes can be recognized by individuals through instrumental music, singing voice, thus impacting significantly towards the opinion that a person tends to have regarding specific performance (Giordano, Egermann and Bresin 3).

The Influence of Intention and Perception on Music Classification

Lastly, individuals will tend to classify music depending on its intended purpose and attributes in their society. Most importantly, persons sharing the common music trends will have the intention to perceive its sounds, since it reinforces and brings solidarity amongst the members (Bjelica 134). As a result, music becomes a product of their intention and perception, and they try to win other people into understanding a particular genre of music in the society (Bjelica 134). Moreover, it impacts significantly on the moral life of the culture since the involved individuals' perception of the music influence them to live harmoniously.


Conclusively, world music has been revolving around the kind of music produced across the globe. Individuals will tend to have different attribution when comprehending music despite it having some basic properties such as tone, sound, rhythm, and melody. Nevertheless, advancement in technology had prospected the use of computers to develop the tunes, unlike the olden days when people used instruments such as drums. Notably, comprehension of the world music tends to vary from one person to another, henceforth, particular individuals such as Michael Bakan have developed propositions to help people to explore music. In one of his proposals, he claims that music is a product of human intention and perceptions. Arguably, the perspectives enable individuals to comprehend between musical and non-melodic pieces. More so, human purposes allow them to understand tunes depending on the performing artists' experience in music. Lastly, language, culture, and some decisive factors such as age and generation status impact significantly towards understanding the world music. The arguments above have proved Bakan's fourth proposition that music is a product of human intention and perception.

Works Cited

Bhimji, Saleem. The Status of Music in Islam. 2018. Web. 29 10 2018. .

Bjelica, Maja. "Musically Human-Made World: Possibilities for Recomposing and Creating a Human World through the Activity of Music." Synthesis Philosophica (2014): 129-138. Document.

George Mason University. What makes music musical? 2005. Web. 29 10 2018. .

Giordano, Bruno L., Hauke Egermann and Roberto Bresin. "The Production and Perception of Emotionally Expressive Walking Sounds: Similarities between Musical Performance and Everyday Motor Activity." University of Tuebingen Medical School 9.12 (2014): 2-4. Web. 29 10 2018.

HeroineHiding. Five Propositions of Studying World Music. 2018. Web. 29 10 2018. .

Szczepanski, Kallie. The History of Gamelan, Indonesian Music and Dance. 2018. Web. 29 10 2018. .

October 05, 2023
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