The qualities are the characteristics that distinguish and define people, living beings in general and things. The term comes from the Latin qualitas and allows us to refer to the way of being of someone or something.
A quality can be a natural and innate characteristic or something acquired over time. When the concept is linked to human beings, the qualities are usually positive. For example: “Luis always showed the qualities of a good person: I don’t think he was the perpetrator of the crime”, “María Laura needs to improve her qualities as a speaker if she wants to work in the sales area”.
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The qualities of the objects, on the other hand, are related to their physical or chemical properties : “This jacket is suitable for polar cold since it has important qualities: it is waterproof and keeps the body warm thanks to its materials”.
Qualities can be physical or symbolic.
Objective and subjective qualities
These examples allow us to observe that qualities can be objective or subjective. If a jacket does not allow the passage of water and humidity, it is waterproof: this quality cannot be questioned since it obeys a specific reality. On the other hand, María Laura’s qualities as a speaker can be debatable, since for one person they can be very good while for another, not.
The qualities, therefore, can be linked to quality or to a certain level of excellence. These cases acquire their specificity from the comparison and suppose a subjective appreciation since they depend on the point of view of the observer.
The concept in philosophy
If we refer to what was written by Aristotle about this concept, we can say that quality is a particularity that allows us to understand the essence of an object or subject. In this way, the human being, by walking on two legs, has the quality of bipedal, while a horse, by leaning on four, is quadrupedal.
In all aspects of reality there are qualities, since all living or immobile beings have distinctive characteristics. For example, within mathematical beings there are also particularities that differentiate them from each other. In this way, the expression quality can be applied to that essence of the number that is not related to its quantity.
Height, timbre and intensity are some of the qualities of a sound.
He also said that the attributes that certain substances in motion had, such as heat and cold, and all those conditions that could cover bodies and transform them in a particular sense, could be considered as quality.
In addition, it expressed that it also referred to the qualities of a person, being able to distinguish virtue and vice ; that is, the way in which they experience good and evil.
In the field of music, the concept of sound qualities refers to the particularities of sound waves audible to the human ear. They can be four:
* Height or tone : it is determined by the frequency of the wave, which is measured in cycles per second (Hertz). Those waves that are in the band that includes 20 to 20,000 Hz, are known as sounds, those that are below that band are infrasounds and above, ultrasounds.
* Intensity : allows you to know if the sound is strong or weak. This quality can be measured through the sound level meter and its results are expressed in decibels (dB).
* Duration : refers to the time in which objects vibrate producing long or short sounds.
* Timbre : it is the one that allows knowing the source from which the sound comes. Just as each material vibrates in a different way, the sounds they produce are also particular. In this way, a melody can have a different timbre according to the instrument that plays it.