The Music Portal
Music is generally defined as the art of arranging sound to create some combination of form, harmony, melody, rhythm or otherwise expressive content. Definitions of music vary depending on culture, though it is an aspect of all human societies, a cultural universal. While scholars agree that music is defined by a few specific elements, there is no consensus on their precise definitions. The creation of music is commonly divided into musical composition, musical improvisation, and musical performance, though the topic itself extends into academic disciplines, criticism, philosophy, and psychology. Music may be performed or improvised using a vast range of instruments, including the human voice.
In some musical contexts, a performance or composition may be to some extent
Music often plays a key role in social activities,
General images -
Taylor Swift, a longtime adherent to album-era rollouts, surprise-released her albums instead in 2020. (from Album era)
Pink Floyd (1973) performing The Dark Side of the Moon, a leading commercial success of the LP era (from Album era)
Bianzhong of Marquis Yi of Zeng, c. 5th century BCE, from Hubei (from History of music)The monumental
379 CEc.Sassanid women playing the chang in Taq-e Bostan, Iran (from History of music)
vinyl format rose toward the end of the 2010s. (from Album era)US vinyl sales in units, 1995–2020; while album sales overall declined, those in the
Stevie Wonder, among the era's innovative artists (from Album era)
The logo formovies (from Music industry)
Bull Headed Lyre of Ur, found in the Royal Cemetery at Ur, is the best known of the ancient Lyres of Ur (from History of music)The
A studio engineer working with anaudio mixer in a recording studio (from Music industry)
As LPs fell out of favor to CDs,hip hop producers repurposed them as sampling sources, contributing to the development of record collecting. (from Album era)
The Rolling Stones in 1967 (from Album era)
Kanye West (2007) emerged during the decade as an important hip-hop producer and album artist. (from Album era)
Beyoncé (2016) popularized the surprise-album strategy of the 2010s. (from Album era)
Circular definition of "musicality" (from Elements of music)
recording studio (from Music industry)Musicians working in a
- Blackfoot chief Mountain Chief on a cylinder phonograph in 1916 (from Music industry)
Two musicians of theEastern Han Dynasty (25–220 CE), Shanghai Museum (from History of music)
Frank Sinatra (c. 1955), an early pop album artist (from Album era)
Cologne Pride, 2013 (from Music industry)A live musical performance at
Alleluia nativitas byPerotin from the Codex Guelf.1099 (from History of music)
Guillaume Du Fay (left), with Gilles Binchois (right) in a c. 1440 Illuminated manuscript copy of Martin le Franc's Le champion des dames (from History of music)
concert (from Music industry)An audience watching a
Arashi, who had the world's best-selling album (5x20 All the Best!!) in 2019 (from Album era)The Japanese boy band
Rhodes College student listening to the 1969 Yes LP on campus, c. 1970 (from Album era)A
The Beatles (1964) have been credited by music historians for heralding the album era. (from Album era)
Nikkal (c. 1400 BCE), the oldest of the Hurrian songs (from History of music)Drawing of the tablet with the Hymn to
Platinum records by Elvis Presley, Prince, Madonna, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Bruce Springsteen, at Julien's Auctions (from Album era)
Missa Papae Marcelli by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (from History of music)Sheet music for part of the
Featured articles -
- illegal marriage with Kelly, Aaliyah ended her contract with Jive and signed with Atlantic Records. (Full article...)doo wop that lie between modern R&B and melodic pop. The EP has a lyrical theme of commitment and staying true to oneself, which Trainor hoped would empower women. It includes Trainor's debut single, "All About That Bass", which was released on June 30, 2014, and reached number one in 58 countries with worldwide sales of 11 million units. (Full article...)free form interplay between Kuti's electric piano and drummer Tony Allen. It leads to an extended mid-tempo section with Allen's polyrhythms and tenor saxophone by Kuti, who subsequently delivers call-and-response vocal passages. In reviews since the record's release by EMI, the album was praised by music critics, who found it exemplary of Kuti's Afrobeat style and recommended it as a highlight from his extensive catalog. In both 2000 and 2010, Confusion was reissued and bundled with Kuti's 1973 Gentleman album. (Full article...)Op. 145a. (Full article...)studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on August 30, 1965, by Columbia Records. Having until then recorded mostly acoustic music, Dylan used rock musicians as his backing band on every track of the album, except for the closing track, the 11-minute ballad "Desolation Row". Critics have focused on the innovative way Dylan combined driving, blues-based music with the subtlety of poetry to create songs that captured the political and cultural chaos of contemporary America. Author Michael Gray has argued that, in an important sense, the 1960s "started" with this album.)
Leading with the hit song "Like a Rolling Stone", the album features songs that Dylan has continued to perform live over his long career, including "Ballad of a Thin Man" and the title track. He named the album after the major American highway which connected his birthplace of Duluth, Minnesota, to southern cities famed for their musical heritage, including St. Louis, Memphis, New Orleans, and the Delta blues area of Mississippi. (Full article...polyrhythms, funk, and electronics, recording instrumental tracks as a series of looping grooves. The sessions incorporated a variety of side musicians, including guitarist Adrian Belew, singer Nona Hendryx, and trumpet player Jon Hassell. (Full article...)tour of England. Dylan distilled this draft into four verses and a chorus. "Like a Rolling Stone" was recorded a few weeks later as part of the sessions for the forthcoming album Highway 61 Revisited.)
During a difficult two-day preproduction, Dylan struggled to find the essence of the song, which was demoed without success in 3
4 time. A breakthrough was made when it was tried in a rock music format, and rookie session musician Al Kooper improvised the Hammond B2 organ riff for which the track is known. Columbia Records was unhappy with both the song's length at over six minutes and its heavy electric sound, and was hesitant to release it. It was only when, a month later, a copy was leaked to a new popular music club and heard by influential DJs that the song was put out as a single. Although radio stations were reluctant to play such a long track, "Like a Rolling Stone" reached No. 2 in the US Billboard charts (No. 1 in Cashbox) and became a worldwide hit. (Full article..."Best Dance Recording. "Don't Stop the Music" reached number one in nine countries, including Australia, France, Germany, and Switzerland. In the UK, it reached number four on the UK Singles Chart and was certified double platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). The single peaked at number three on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the US Billboard Dance Club Songs charts. Certified sextuple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), as of 2015, it has sold more than 3.7 million copies in the US. (Full article...)symphonic poems, he wrote seven symphonies and was for a time widely regarded as the leading British symphonist.)
Bax was born in the London suburb of Streatham to a prosperous family. He was encouraged by his parents to pursue a career in music, and his private income enabled him to follow his own path as a composer without regard for fashion or orthodoxy. Consequently, he came to be regarded in musical circles as an important but isolated figure. While still a student at the Royal Academy of Music Bax became fascinated with Ireland and Celtic culture, which became a strong influence on his early development. In the years before the First World War he lived in Ireland and became a member of Dublin literary circles, writing fiction and verse under the pseudonym Dermot O'Byrne. Later, he developed an affinity with Nordic culture, which for a time superseded his Celtic influences in the years after the First World War. (Full article...covers of pop and Christmas songs, and was recorded primarily in a spare room in the house of Talbot's aunt, in an attempt not to interrupt Talbot's childhood by disrupting her regular activities. Although public appearances were initially kept to a minimum, Talbot did make appearances to promote the album, and performed in public several times after the British release.)
Over the Rainbow received poor reviews. Though praising Talbot's voice, critics noted a lack of depth in the performances, and questioned the appropriateness of releasing and rating work by such a young artist. The album peaked at number 35 on the UK Albums Chart. Despite its poor chart performance, additional copies of the album had to be pressed after sales were higher than expected. Talbot later toured Asia in support of the album; Over the Rainbow achieved more success on Asian charts, reaching number one in Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong. (Full article...Oliver Oken (Mitchel Musso), who become aware of her secret. Overarching themes include a focus on family and friendships as well as the importance of music and discovering one's identity.)
The Walt Disney Company commissioned the series after the success of Disney Channel's previous music-based franchises, such as the made-for-television film High School Musical (2006). Hannah Montana was produced by It's a Laugh Productions in association with Poryes's production company, and premiered on Disney Channel on March 24, 2006. A concert film, Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert, in which Miley Cyrus performs as Hannah Montana and herself, was released in 2008. The following year, the feature film Hannah Montana: The Movie was released. The series concluded on January 16, 2011, as a result of Cyrus's growing popularity and music career, and her desire to move into more mature acting roles. (Full article..."bubblegum pop, doo-wop and hip hop track. Trainor, who as a teenager struggled with her negative body image, was inspired to write the song to promote self-acceptance.)
Some music critics praised "All About That Bass"'s production and memorable message, while others called it a novelty song and criticized the failure of its lyrics to empower every body type. The song was nominated for awards, including Record of the Year and Song of the Year at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards. It was the best-selling song by a female artist during the 2010s in the United States, and was certified Diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It also reached number one in 58 countries and received multi-platinum certifications in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Spain, and the United Kingdom, becoming the fourth best-selling song of 2014 with 11 million copies sold worldwide. (Full article...
- Master of the King's Music, in the service of Charles I and Charles II. He was one of the first composers to introduce monody and recitative to England.
After this oil-on-canvas portrait was painted by the Flemish painter Anthony van Dyck in Antwerp, Lanier convinced the king to bring van Dyck to England, where he became the leading court painter. The portrait displays an attitude of studied carelessness, often termed sprezzatura, defined as "a certain nonchalance, so as to conceal all art and make whatever one does or says appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it". The painting now hangs in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.Illustration credit: Antoine Barbizet; restored by Adam CuerdenLes Troyens (The Trojans) is a French grand opera in five acts by Hector Berlioz, with a libretto written by the composer himself based on Virgil's Aeneid. The score was composed between 1856 and 1858, but Berlioz did not live long enough to see the work performed in its entirety. The first two acts were performed separately under the title La Prise de Troie. This picture shows the cover of the first-edition vocal score for La Prise de Troie, published in 1863.hippies, the growing drug culture, and the counterculture in general. Presley then asked Nixon for a Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs badge, to signify official sanction of his patriotic efforts. Nixon gave Presley the badge and expressed a belief that Presley could send a positive message to young people and that it was therefore important he retain his credibility.Hera is an Icelandic singer-songwriter who emigrated to New Zealand as a teenager. She is known for her facial art, which is "inspired by moko and also by Celtic warrior paint" and intended to represent both her Icelandic and New Zealand heritage. In 2002 she was named Best Female Singer at the Icelandic Music Awards.Illustration credit: Carlos Schwabe; restored by Adam CuerdenFervaal is an opera with a prologue and three acts by the French composer Vincent d'Indy. Fervaal is the son of a Celtic king and is destined to be the last advocate of the old gods. His mission is to save his homeland from invasion and pillage, but in doing so he must renounce love. This illustration, by the Swiss painter Carlos Schwabe, relates to the 10 May 1898 premiere of the opera at the Théâtre de l'Opéra-Comique in Paris. Here, Fervaal is depicted ascending a mountain while carrying the body of his beloved Guilhen at the end of the opera, as the pagan gods and their worshippers fade out of existence with the dawn of Christianity.Photo: Benoît Derrier; edit: KeraunoscopiaAne Brun (b. 1976) is a Norwegian songwriter, guitarist and vocalist. She has recorded eight albums, starting in 2003 with Spending Time with Morgan.Photograph: Stefan KrauseHenrik Freischlader (b. 1982) is a German blues guitarist and singer. He began his career in 1998, and established his own label, Cable Car Records, in 2009.Photograph: Sven-Sebastian SajakHayley Williams (born December 27, 1988) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and businesswoman. She serves as the lead vocalist, primary songwriter and occasional keyboardist of the rock band Paramore. Born in Meridian, Mississippi, Williams moved to Franklin, Tennessee, at the age of fifteen after her parents divorced. In 2004, she formed Paramore alongside Josh Farro, Zac Farro, and Jeremy Davis. The band currently consists of Williams, Farro and Taylor York. They have released five studio albums: All We Know Is Falling (2005), Riot! (2007), Brand New Eyes (2009), Paramore (2013) and After Laughter (2017).Photograph: Georg Lindstrøm; restoration: Adam CuerdenCarl Nielsen (1865–1931) was a Danish musician, conductor and violinist, widely recognized as his country's most prominent composer. Initially playing in a military band before attending the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen, he premiered his Op. 1, Suite for Strings, in 1888, at the age of 23. His early music was inspired by composers such as Brahms and Grieg, but he soon developed his own style. By the time of his death, he had produced 419 known works; some of these, such as his opera Maskarade (1906), have become integral to Denmark's national heritage.Photograph credit: Jean Reutlinger; restored by Adam CuerdenNelly Martyl (1884–1953) was a French opera singer. She sang in the premieres of several operas, including Leborne's La Catalane (1907), Erlanger's La Sorcière (1912), and Massenet's Amadis (1922). Martyl joined the Red Cross as a nurse during the First World War, and served at the Battle of Verdun in 1916, where she was known as la fée de Verdun (the Fairy of Verdun), and at the Second Battle of the Aisne in 1917. She continued as a nurse after the war to help with the 1918 epidemic of Spanish flu. She was awarded the Croix de Guerre with the carte du combattant (signifying service under particular hazard) in 1920.Photo: ChrisHamburgOceana (born 1982) is a German singer of German/Martiniquen descent. She is shown here performing at the Radio Hamburg Top 820.Photograph credit: William P. Gottlieb; restored by Adam CuerdenMary Lou Williams (May 8, 1910 – May 28, 1981) was an American jazz pianist, arranger, and composer. She wrote hundreds of compositions and arrangements and recorded more than one hundred records. Williams wrote and arranged for Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman, and she was friend, mentor and teacher to numerous other jazz musicians. The second of eleven children, she was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and grew up in the East Liberty neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A young musical prodigy, she taught herself to play the piano at the age of three. This photograph of Williams at the piano was taken by William P. Gottlieb around 1946.Photograph credit: Carl Van Vechten; restored by Adam CuerdenBessie Smith (April 15, 1894 – September 26, 1937) was an American blues singer widely renowned during the Jazz Age. She is often regarded as one of the greatest singers of her era and was a major influence on fellow blues singers, as well as jazz vocalists.
Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, her parents died when Smith was young, and she and her sister survived by performing on the streets of Chattanooga, Tennessee. She began touring and performed in a group that included Ma Rainey, and then went out on her own. Her successful recording career began in the 1920s, until an automobile accident ended her life at age 43.Photo credit: New York World-Telegram and SunLouis Armstrong, nicknamed "Satchmo" or "Pops", was an American jazz trumpeter and singer. Armstrong was a foundational influence on jazz, shifting the music's focus from collective improvisation to solo performers. With his distinctive gravelly voice, Armstrong was also an influential singer, demonstrating great dexterity as an improviser and as a scat singer.Manuscript: Alessandro ScarlattiGriselda is an opera seria in three acts by the Italian composer Alessandro Scarlatti. First performed in 1721, it is based on the story of Patient Griselda from Giovanni Boccaccio's Decameron. The libretto is by Apostolo Zeno, with revisions by an anonymous author. This manuscript copy by Scarlatti, held at the British Library, is of act one, scene one.
Did you know (auto-generated)
- ... that Chickaboom!, by country musician Tami Neilson, was nominated for both Canadian and New Zealand music awards?
- ... that Paris Opera Ballet dancer Guillaume Diop co-authored a manifesto that called for the Paris Opera to make urgent changes to address racial discrimination?
- ... that a temple once housed the New York City Opera and New York City Ballet?
- ... that Volodymyr Kozhukhar, the chief conductor of the National Opera of Ukraine in Kyiv, led Lysenko's opera Taras Bulba and Shchedrin's ballet Carmen Suite?
- ... that PeopleSound was Europe's most visited music streaming site in 2000, and had offered any artist £100 for each song they uploaded?
- ... that soprano Carolina White performed the title role in the United States premiere of Il segreto di Susanna at the Metropolitan Opera in 1911?
- Birthdays in Music: May 29
- Danny Elfman, American film score composer and vocalist of Oingo Boingo fame, turns 70.
- La Toya Jackson, American pop music singer, turns 67.
- jazz pianist, turns 66.
- reedist, turns 65.
- Mel Gaynor, Brit drummer for Simple Minds, turns 64.
- Melissa Etheridge, American singer-songwriter, turns 62.
- Noel Gallagher, Brit guitarist of Oasis fame, turns 56.
- trombonist, turns 56.
- Chan Kinchla, (born Chandler Kinchla) Canadian guitarist with Blues Traveler, turns 54.
- Melanie Brown, (a.k.a. Scary Spice) Brit girl group vocalist of Spice Girlsfame, turns 48.
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Johann Sebastian Bach
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Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
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