Music is the only true international language.
You don’t need to understand the Spanish language in order to appreciate music written by Albéniz, De Falla, Granados or Tárega. Neither do you need to understand the French language in order to enjoy music by Massenet, Bizet, Berlioz or Debussy. And for lovers of classical music in the western tradition, the most influential composers are from Germany and Austria, but you do not need to speak German to enjoy Beethoven’s symphonies or Mozart’s string quartets. The same could not be said about works of literature. Shakespeare’s works need to be studied in their original English in order to be fully appreciated, because they lose a lot in translation. The same goes for Victor Hugo’s Works in French, and so on.
The international nature of our musical language extends far beyond the listening experience. Musical notation employing today’s standard five line staff has evolved from a 4-line staff invented by Guido d’Arezzo in Italy (approx 991 AD – 1033).
It is universally used by musicians from every corner of the globe today.
As a result of this international standard, you can buy an album of Beethoven’s sonatas published in Bonn, take it home, place it on your piano, and start playing. I admit it helps if you can read music, and know how to play the piano! But it matters not whether you are Chinese, Japanese, English, American, French or whatever, you can read the musical language. The publisher may have written a short foreword in German, but the rest is universally intelligible to everyone who knows how to read music.
A typical modern Symphony orchestra in any European city is likely to be composed of musicians from many countries around the world. When they speak to each other, the players will use a mixture of English, French, German, and Spanish and many other languages. Perhaps some of them will have great difficulty understanding the spoken language of their fellow musicians. But when they start to read and play the music, everything flows naturally.
Of course, vocal music does offer some linguistic challenges. As soon as you start to listen to an operatic aria sung in Italian, you will have considerable difficulty understanding the words unless you are Italian! But obviously you can still enjoy the melody, the orchestration, and the qualities of the voice.
Purely instrumental music places no such barrier.
My other website, BestClassicalTunes.com is multilingual. The pages are written in five languages, namely English, French, German, Spanish and Italian. But the people using this site are not restricted to speakers of these five languages, though I admit the largest single group is English speaking. I regularly receive Emails from people who have appreciated this site from countries as diverse as Israel and Iran. And Google Analytics reveal visits to the site from China, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Philippines, and many more exotic places. It gives me considerable satisfaction to learn about the wide international set of visitors to my music site, all because music is the truly international language.