What Is Music?

We know that sound results from the vibrations of air molecules moving through the air to our eardrums, that the speed of those vibrations is referred to as frequency, measured in Hertz, and that pitch is the relative highness or lowness of a sound. But what is music?

I love this quote by T Bone Burnett, who I admire in spades. It’s a beautiful and elemental way to think about music.

“I view all instruments as drums and all music-making as tribal. A violin is just a drum with some strings attached, but it’s still a resonating chamber you attack with a bow or your fingers. A flute is a drum with holes in it that you blow through to make different pitches with that resonating chamber you attack with your breath. A band is, ‘Okay, we’re a tribe now. We’re going to be in this village right now and we’re going to tell people in the next village what’s happening over here.’ That’s all it is, really.”

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