Music has become integrated with modern day life. Although it’s used for a range of situations (to celebrate, mourn, and relax), they all share a common purpose — to evoke emotion. But what is music? How do you define it? The introduction to Murray Schafer’s The Soundscape attempts to provide an explanation. Schafer asserts music is simply a sound, and it can be as mundane as clicking a pen. He approaches this conclusion through various perspectives, but these all challenge what I— and many others— traditionally view as music.
In the excerpt “Orchestration is a Musician’s Business,” he concludes anyone or anything making sound is a musician. Not only does this challenge the idea of music being simply sounds, but also raises the question as to what rappers, pianists, singers, and everyone devoted to music are called. Obviously, my clicking of a pen isn’t the same as the sounds a string quartet produces, but Schafer considers us all to be musicians.
In the introduction, the idea that society teaches people how they behave and the arts teach how to evoke imagination and emotion is stated. This helps distinguish the previous statement of everyone being musicians. Everyone can produce music, but only some produce art FROM music. We’re all musicians, but not all of us are artists. Ultimately, Schafer hopes to “preserve, encourage, and multiply” positive sounds (but what’s a positive sound?).