Essay on Music is the Only Universal Language

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Music is the Only Universal Language

When people think of the term literacy, they most commonly define it as the ability to read and write, in the verbal sense. But there is a wide range of literacy apart from that, which also requires mastering a set of crucial skills. One such example is musical literacy, which is the ability to read, write, or appreciate music. Musical literacy is not all that different from the verbal kind. Leonard G. Ratner, when speaking of 18th and 19th century music, writes "Both language and music had their vocabulary, syntax, and arrangement of formal structures, subsumed under the title Rhetoric" (xiv). In other words, music, like language, is based on its own set of learned rules, and both serve as a form of
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Also, I am learning more and more how to sight-read, which increases the literacy factor. It is a great feeling to be able to pick out the basic melody of an unknown piece.

On a greater scale, music literacy affects the entire world. Obviously, if musical literacy didn't exist, there would be no music. That would have cost the world a great deal, since music isn't confined to modern times. Music has been around as long as the first humans have, and it has been a part of defining each time period. The lyric music of ancient Rome exemplified an emphasis on storytelling, and the Harlem Renaissance served as a way for African Americans to finally be able to express themselves musically. During the 1960's, rock music became not only a new form of music, but also a form of rebellion for American youth.

With the variety of life throughout the world, there are different expectations for musical literacy. For instance, the style of Japanese music is very different from that of Cajun music, or Hispanic from West African. These variances give each culture a particular style of expression. Music literacy isn't even confined within cultures; it also produces a way for different cultures to learn from each other. For example, western rock musicians often incorporated traditional Indian music into their style during the 1960's, which broke boundaries between different approaches to literacy.

This shows that music literacy serves as a…