Music is an art form and cultural activity whose medium
is sound organized in time. The common elements of music are pitch(which
governs melody and harmony), rhythm(and its associated concepts tempo, meter,
and articulation), dynamics(loudness and softness), and the sonic qualities of
timbre and texture(which are sometimes termed the "color" of a
musical sound). Different styles or types of music may emphasize, de-emphasize
or omit some of these elements. Music is performed with a vast range of
instruments and vocal techniques ranging from singing to rapping; there are
solely instrumental pieces, solely vocal pieces (such as songs without
instrumental accompaniment) and pieces that combine singing and instruments.
The word derives from Greek μουσική(mousike; "art of the Muses").
In its most general form, the activities describing music
as an art form or cultural activity include the creation of works of music
(songs, tunes, symphonies, and so on), the criticism of music, the study of the
history of music, and the aesthetic examination of music. Ancient Greek and Indian
philosophers defined music as tones ordered horizontally as melodies and
vertically as harmonies. Common sayings such as "the harmony of the
spheres" and "it is music to my ears" point to the notion that
music is often ordered and pleasant to listen to. However, 20th-century
composer John Cage thought that any sound can be music, saying, for example,
"There is no noise, only sound."
The creation, performance, significance, and even the
definition of music varies according to culture and social context. Indeed,
throughout history, some new forms or styles of music have been criticized as
"not being music", including Beethoven's Grosse Fuge string quartet
in 1825, early jazz in the beginning of the 1900s and hardcore punk in the
1980s. There are many types of music, including popular music, traditional
music, art music, music written for religious ceremonies and work songs such as
chanteys. Music ranges from strictly organized compositions–such as Classical
musicsymphonies from the 1700s and 1800s, through to spontaneously played
improvisational music such as jazz, and avant-garde styles of chance-based
contemporary music from the 20th and 21st centuries.
Music can be divided into genres (e.g., country music)
and genres can be further divided into subgenres (e.g., country blues and pop
country are two of the many country subgenres), although the dividing lines and
relationships between music genres are often subtle, sometimes open to personal
interpretation, and occasionally controversial. For example, it can be hard to
draw the line between some early 1980s hard rock and heavy metal. Within the
arts, music may be classified as a performing art, a fine art or as an auditory
art. Music may be played or sung and heard live at a rock concert or orchestra
performance, heard live as part of a dramatic work (a music theater show or
opera), or it may be recorded and listened to on a radio, MP3 player, CD
player, smartphone or as film score or TV show.
In many cultures, music is an important part of people's
way of life, as it plays a key role in religious rituals, rite of passage
ceremonies (e.g., graduation and marriage), social activities (e.g., dancing)
and cultural activities ranging from amateur karaoke singing to playing in an
amateur funk band or singing in a community choir. People may make music as a
hobby, like a teen playing cello in a youth orchestra, or work as a
professional musician or singer. The music industry includes the individuals
who create new songs and musical pieces (such as songwriters and composers),
individuals who perform music (which include orchestra, jazz band and rock band
musicians, singers and conductors), individuals who record music (music
producers and sound engineers), individuals who organize concert tours, and
individuals who sell recordings and sheet music and scores to customers.
The Pilgrims or Pilgrim Fathers were early European
settlers of the Plymouth Colony in present-day Plymouth, Massachusetts, United
States. The Pilgrims' leadership came from the religious congregations of
Brownist English Dissenters who had fled the volatile political environment in
England for the relative calm and tolerance of 16th–17th century Holland in the
Netherlands. The Pilgrims held Puritan Calvinist religious beliefs but, unlike
other Puritans, they maintained that their congregations needed to be separated
from the English state church. As a separatist group, they were also concerned
that they might lose their English cultural identity if they remained in the
Netherlands, so they arranged with English investors to establish a new colony
in North America. The colony was established in 1620 and became the second
successful English settlement in North America (after the founding of
Jamestown, Virginia in 1607). The Pilgrims' story became a central theme of the
history and culture of the United States.
At the time, the Pilgrim Fathers were living in England
there was only one church approved by the English rulers. Everyone was required
to attend that church - and ONLY that church - every week. If the English ruler
were Protestant, all people of the realm were required to follow the Protestant
beliefs and attend those church services; if the ruler were Catholic, everyone
in the kingdom was required to practice the Catholic faith and rituals. All
religion in the kingdom was strictly dictated by the government. This is what
we call a "State Church."
One group was called the Separatists because they
demanded a complete separation from the Church of England. They wanted to worship
in a very simple manner without all of the ritual and symbols which were used
in the Anglican Church. In their study of the Bible they had decided the
original church in New Testament times had been a simple church and they wished
to follow that example in their own worship. They believed there were so many
changes needed to be made in the Anglican Church that it could not be
accomplished to their satisfaction. Therefore, the only possibility for them
was to "separate" completely from the state church.
By 1606 the Separatist group in Scrooby (in the
northeastern county of Nottingham) decided that the situation in England had
become so intolerable that they would have to leave England in order to find
religious freedom. At that time Holland was tolerant of varying religious
beliefs and the Scrooby Separatists decided that this might be an ideal place
for their relocation. Other religious groups from England were already
establishing themselves in several Dutch cities. One group of Separatists had
already settled in Amsterdam, and the Scrooby Separatists planned to join them.
In 1607 the Scrooby Separatists made their first
attempt to leave England bound for Amsterdam. However, their plan to leave
England was discovered by the English authorities and they were arrested during
their attempted departure. Many of the men were jailed for this action. Among
the group was William Brewster, who would become a leader of the Scrooby
In 1608 the Scrooby congregation made another attempt
to leave England. During this attempt they were again troubled by the
authorities who discovered their plot. The men had already boarded the ship,
but the women and children were still on shore when the authorities arrived.
The Dutch captain of the ship was forced to depart with the men, while the
crying women and children on shore were taken into custody by the authorities.
However, it was not long until the Separatist families were re-joined in
Through the following years a number of other
Separatists from England made their way to Holland to join the growing numbers
The decision to leave Holland was based on a number of
considerations. In the early 17th Century, Holland was overpopulated in
relation to the economic situation of the day much like England. William
Bradford spoke of "the hardness of the place and country." The only
occupations available to English immigrants were those in low-paying jobs such
as cloth-making, related trades and other labor-intensive occupations. Some of
the English who had fled to Holland expended their funds and "returned to
the prisons of England rather than endure the hardships in Holland."
When the time came for them to leave Holland, the
departing group was accompanied by the entire congregation as they traveled by
barge from Leiden to Delfshaven where the Speedwell was waiting to take them to
Southampton, England, where they were to meet the waiting Mayflower.
The Speedwell was originally named Swiftsure. It was
built in 1577 at sixty tons, and was part of the English fleet that defeated
the Spanish Armada. It departed Delfshaven in July 1620 with the Leiden
colonists, after a canal ride from Leyden of about seven hours. It reached
Southampton, Hampshire and met with the Mayflower and the additional colonists
hired by the investors. With final arrangements made, the two vessels set out
on August 15.
Soon thereafter, the Speedwell crew reported that their
ship was taking in water, so both were diverted to Dartmouth, Devon. There it
was inspected for leaks and sealed, but a second attempt to depart also failed,
bringing them only as far as Plymouth, Devon. It was decided that Speedwell was
untrustworthy, and it was sold; the ship's master and some of the crew
transferred to the Mayflower for the trip. William Bradford observed that the
Speedwell seemed "overmasted", thus putting a strain on the hull; and
he attributed her leaking to crew members who had deliberately caused it,
allowing them to abandon their year-long commitments. Passenger Robert Cushman
wrote that the leaking was caused by a loose board.
Of the 120 combined passengers, 102 were chosen to travel
on the Mayflower with the supplies consolidated. Of these, about half had come
by way of Leiden, and about 28 of the adults were members of the congregation.
The reduced party finally sailed successfully on September 16, 1620.
Initially the trip went smoothly, but under way they were
met with strong winds and storms. One of these caused a main beam to crack, and
the possibility was considered of turning back, even though they were more than
halfway to their destination. However, they repaired the ship sufficiently to
continue using a "great iron screw" brought along by the colonists
(probably either a jack to be used for house construction or a cider press).
Passenger John Howland was washed overboard in the storm but caught a top-sail
halyard trailing in the water and was pulled back on board.
One crew member and one passenger died before they
reached land. A child was born at sea and named Oceanus.