However, Xenakis seems to use the word music in much the same way as most people might use the words beauty or truth. The ancients often talked about the “music of the spheres” (Musica Universalis) when they noted proportionate numbers existing between the placement and/or movement of heavenly bodies. No real music was involved.
So what is music really? Thinking back on non-hearing Beethoven creating music entirely in his being and on Franz Schubert who already had in his mind plans to complete his unfinished symphony, here I must give my own bizarre definition of music: music is any sound that is pleasing to a being. Notice I did not say pleasing to the ear or to the brain. Science has yet to figure that one out.
Most diagrams of the human auditory system show a cut away of the ear ending with the auditory nerve. It is understood that this pathway leads to the brain, specifically the temporal lobe of the cortex; how my brain makes my conscious being understand or appreciate sounds as music is up for grabs.
Recently, my wife and I attended a presentation of Ella, a musical drama highlighting the life of Ella Fitzgerald. During the show, I never once thought about the mechanics of listening. I just sat back in the music and enjoyed the performance.