According to the Oxford Dictionary, there are two definitions for music.
vocal or instrument sounds (or both) combined in such a way as to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion
the written or printed signs representing vocal of instrumental sound
Many musicians get stuck in the second definition (music = just reading notes and rhythms on the page). Reading musical notation (written signs representing sound) is of course important, but what matters more is in the first definition- beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion
Without musical notation, music would only be passed on through aural learning, and we wouldn't have the incredible music of Bach, Beethoven, Bruckner, Mozart, Mahler, AND MANY, MANY MORE! (Thanks, Guido!*)
To create musical expression, here are two very easy steps:
1- Ask yourself- "If this music was in a movie, what would be happening?" Is it a Rom-Com? Drama? Comedy? Thriller? Scary? Documentary?!
2- Come up with an adjective that would depict the music. The more descriptive, the better. If you don't know where to start, Happy or Sad will help lead you but GO FURTHER!
LET'S PLAY A GAME WITH OUR WEEKLY LISTENING:
Come up with adjectives for these pieces of music.
In a movie: Royal wedding/coronation
My adjectives: peppy, formal, sprightly, energetic!
In a movie: Depicting mass destruction
My adjectives: panic-stricken, terrifying, frightening, rage, fury, wrath, provoked
In a movie: Maybe something with dinosaurs? ;)
My adjectives: Majestic, Powerful, Dignified