Music is an ancient form of art, it may even be older than painting. Song and dance have been a part of human culture as far back as anybody can trace, and its significance has not dwindled at all. With modern technology, many people are literally surrounded with music – just look at all the iPod-carrying commuters! Music is broad and varied, from monumental pieces performed by symphonic orchestras, to a face-meling death metal, to a gentle sound of a chinese flute, to the rythm of the taiko drums, are all forms of music.
Music theory has analyzed and dissected the elements over the ages: harmonies, melodies, keys, meters, chords, progressions, but, like with any art, it may have helped the composers and performers to make their work more believable, and more perceptible, yet it did not get anywhere close to defining the reason music is pleasant to hear, despite all the modern technology in the hands of psychoacoustics. As with any true art, the essence of music is ineffable.
Personally, I have never attempted to study music at any depth or made an effort to listen to the particularly celebrated pieces; I simply enjoy it when I hear it. The only commonality I’ve noticed among the songs I enjoy the most are the complex descending scales such as the little fragment from Cats shown here – I’ve caught myself listening to the entire musical but only waiting for this melody to reappear. I have no idea if that is in any way significant; lacking education I lack the ability to properly discuss the subject. If I think of something better, I will certainly update this page.