Understanding the Deeper Purpose of Music
Spring is the time of year that reminds us of new life. The first crocus to bloom, the trees full of new buds, or the warmth of a sunny morning. These are all things that invigorate us and stir up thoughts of hope, and new life. In the same way, music has the power to affect how we feel. Music moves us, inspires us, lifts us up, and empowers us to express ourselves. Music is the way we express emotion in the moments when words fall short.
Music is very often the background of our everyday lives, yet it has the power to move us to our core and resonate with us in a spiritual way. When we worship, for example, music emerges from the background and becomes the pathway leading us into the emotions we want to experience and express. When telling a story, music can help ignite the listener’s imagination and guide them through the journey of the characters and events.
Components to Music Are Brought to Life with a Piano
But what exactly is it in music that impacts our lives so strongly? We can point out several key elements of music that musicians combine to bring their songs to life, and each one of these elements are easily accessible in a piano.
Melody is the first major component of music.
Think of any catchy commercial jingle or the first line to your favorite song and you are likely thinking of the melody. Often, the first inspiration for a new song begins by creating the melody before considering the other elements of music. It is usually the most memorable part of the song, and it is the one part of the music that lingers with us long after the concert has finished.
A piano is a perfect place to begin mapping out the first simple lines of that melody that keeps running through your mind. Yet the piano also has the intricacy to expand that melody into a rich symphonic masterpiece.
Harmony is another important component of music, particularly in the world of pianos.
When musicians speak of harmony, they are referring to the combination of sounds or voices to create a cohesive whole. Each instrument in an orchestra may be playing different notes at different times, but the individual notes of the various instruments harmonize together in a pleasing manner.
Harmony is what adds a sense of fullness and sophistication to music, and this is one reason people often feel drawn to the sound of pianos. These instruments have the capacity to create extensive and complex harmony. You can play multiple keys at the same time, building chords that harmonize together in a way that is reminiscent of an orchestra, right at your fingertips.
A third fundamental element of music is rhythm.
This is the pattern of sounds and silences that are combined together to create a sense of forward motion within a song. Rhythm refers to how beats are combined over time and which beats are stressed and unstressed, and this aspect powerfully influences the mood of the music.
When you clap your hands or tap your toe to the beat of a song, you are matching the rhythm. All music inherently has rhythm, but a piano gives you the freedom to create music with any type of rhythm or music style you desire.
Tone also plays an important role in music.
Tone can mean different things to different people. It can refer to the highness or lowness of sound, the intervals in a scale, or the quality of sound. Some instruments have a pure tone, meaning each note creates one major frequency. Other instruments, such as a piano, have additional overtone frequencies that blend with the fundamental frequency as the vibration of the strings reverberates off the soundboard and interacts with each other.
What many people mean by tone is the dynamics of the music, such as the loudness or softness of sound, or the articulation of the music, such as the manner in which the musician plays the note. These qualities are key to creating music that has a depth of expression. A good piano has the capability to project from the softest pianissimo to the grandest fortissimo and respond to the smallest nuances of touch by the musician’s fingers.
Melody, harmony, rhythm, and tone are all essential components to music itself, but you may be wondering how a piano is essential in the process of music creation?
Well, in a band or orchestra, you might hear one instrument play the melody of the song, while others add to the harmony or rhythm of the music. Pianos, however, are unique in that they are both a string and percussion instrument combined, able to meld all these individual voices and components into one instrument. A piano can produce a multiplicity of sound and regally stand on its own on a stage, yet it is versatile enough to allow multiple players on a single instrument or to pair beautifully with many other instruments as well.
Imagine if you were to listen to the clear notes of a flute floating above the warm tones of a Yamaha C2X grand piano. The melody would be unmistakably heard by the lilting voice of the flute, while the piano adds harmonizing chords in a rhythm and tone that pulls the song together in rich expression and moves the “story” of the song forward.
Even as an accompaniment instrument, the piano deepens and supports musical expression.
Creating beautiful music is a way to both express your soul and connect with the people around you, and the piano functions as an ideal environment for both of these essential pieces of music and opens the imagination to immeasurable possibilities.
If you want to learn how to express yourself with music for the first time, a piano is a great way to start. Or perhaps you are a long-time music composer looking to enhance what you already love doing.
At Dickerson’s Tri-City Pianos, we can help you find a piano that brings life to the songs of your soul. You are welcome to come and play anytime, and we are always happy to answer any questions you have, or share resources with you that can help you as you go. Reach out by phone at 509-713-7288 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit us at the store, here in the Richland Uptown.