“Knowledge is the conformity of the object and the intellect.” – Averroes
Sound waves are just that, sound waves. They’re an occurrence caused by vibrations propagating through a medium. If you’re biologically and physiologically equipped to detect these vibrations, then detect them you will.
We know sound waves exist because science has reached a level that has enabled us to study them empirically. Moreover, since we have ears, we can hear these waves manifested exuberantly in different ‘forms’ in our mind, but only within a certain range of frequencies of course: 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz.
I call sound waves the farther reality. Bats sense them in one way, wolves and us humans in another.
Meanwhile, music (which is the product of sound waves) is what we shall call the closer ‘reality’. It is a human construct. It evokes emotions of joy, sadness and excitement in ways that creatures like birds can’t interpret similarly.
Unlike sound waves, music’s existence is dependent on ours as a human species. Sure, on one hand it is the result of what exists independently of us but that doesn’t mean music itself can too. Music is us. It is the result of our brain interpreting sound waves and firing electrochemical signals in a way that creates the musical experience we feel. That experience exists because it’s created in our mind and is therefore dependent on our own existence.
So why does all this matter?
It matters. It matters, at least to me, because it represents something that begins swimming in my mind whenever I encounter a reoccurring theme in my thoughts – what is real Vs what is perceived.
Sound waves are real. Music is perceived.
But why does all this still matter you say?
Apply it to religion and see where that takes you, but before you do, there’s one metaphorical thing I’d like to add.
In a vacuum and without medium, there cannot be any sound waves. All that remains is Nothingness and Nothingness is Everything.