Musical structure tends to unfold in parts or section. An idea, mood, or motif is first presented before something arrives that changes or contrasts it, while nevertheless relating to it, creating a sense of unity and, ultimately, arrival or return. This unfolding pattern also helps orient the listener in time, so that, using their attention and memory, thy can tell where they are in the musical texture. Without it they would be adrift in a sea of unrelated idea, and some music intentionally is composed this way that very effect. Most people go through vicissitudes of emotion in their life. leaving home, going out into the world, having adventures, and ultimately returning home. A life's journey is like a musical composition, born into the world from nothing, living for a time in form and structure, dancing spontaneously on the edge of chaos and order, and then finally returning. In this respect Western music tends to be more linear, Easter music more cyclical.
Musical time can be visualized as a storyboard (below), each segment expressing the essence of a particular character, meaning, intention, and purpose of a section or movement. Frequently these sections are ordered with consideration for he attention span of he listener, in varying degrees of complexity and engagement, like a ceremony involving invocation, meditation, and dance.