Music is a kind of art that reflects reality and affects a person through meaningful and specially organized sound sequences, consisting mainly of tones.
Music is a specific kind of sound activity of people. Its ability to express the thoughts, emotions and volitional processes of a person in an audible form and serve as a means of communicating people and controlling their behavior unites it with other varieties such as speech, instrumental and acoustic signaling. At the same time, it differs significantly from all other varieties of people’s sound activity. Preserving some semblance of sounds of real life, musical sounding fundamentally differs from them by strict high-altitude and temporal (rhythmic) organization. These sounds are part of the historically established systems, the basis of which are the tones. In every composition, tones form their system of vertical connections and horizontal follow-ups.
Musical art can be described as “the most sensual among the arts.” Poetry or painting, for example, cannot be perceived at the level of physiological reactions, music can not only be perceived but also reproduced without the inclusion of intelligence, and the horizon of such listening and playing is wide enough (meditative practice of disabling rational thinking through certain tunes, dancing in a disco, singing patients with speech disorders and the disorder of the logical apparatus).
In the content of music, the main role is played by emotional states and processes as well as volitional aspirations. Their leading place in the content is predetermined by the sound (intonational) and temporal nature, which allows it, on the one hand, to rely on the centuries-old experience of external revealing by people of their emotions and transferring them to other members of society through sounds and, on the other, adequately expressing emotional experience as movement, the process with all its changes and shades, dynamic build-ups and downturns, mutual transitions of emotions and their collisions. Of all kinds of emotions, music embodies mainly moods. This allows this kind of art to reveal not only the psychological states of people but also their characters.
Music is able to reveal the content of different kinds: epic, dramatic, lyrical. At the same time, due to its non-pictorial nature, the lyrics are closest to it. The material form of the content, the way of its existence is the musical form. It is a system of sounds, in which emotions, thoughts and imaginative representations of the composer are realized. Even taken separately, the sounds have already primary expressive possibilities. Each of them can cause a physiological sensation of pleasure or displeasure, excitement or soothing, tension or discharge, and also simple spatial associations.
It is established that the blood pressure, heart rate, rhythm and depth of respiratory contractions varies in humans, rabbits, cats, guinea pigs and dogs under the influence of music. A Japanese experiment showed that breastfeeding mothers who listen to classical one have a 20-100% increase in milk, while jazz and pop reduce its amount by 50-20%. People who suffer from amusia are not able to understand and perform it.