The American Heritage College Dictionary defines music as "the art of arranging sounds in time so as to produce a continuous, unified, and evocative composition, as through melody, rhythm, and timbre; an aesthetically pleasing or harmonious sound or combination of sounds." All musical compositions have a defined organization of sound and silence. The father of electronic music, American composer Edgard Varese, called music "organized sound."
Music, like all fine art, is subjective and reflects the historical era and particular culture from which it emerges. There is a wide range of music genres, from classical and jazz to country and rock to religious and patriotic, and each one's appeal is dependent upon the social context in which it is written and heard.
Music is a unique language that communicates moods, emotions, thoughts and impressions; it can be philosophical, sexual, political, or nonsensical, but it always has a message to convey. Because music has the ability to communicate across cultural barriers and to transcend ideology, it is sometimes called "the universal language."