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THE HISTORY OF MUSIC

When you just can’t quite express how you feel with words, music will most likely do the trick. It finds a way into people’s lives through relatable lyrics, feelings, tone, or pitch.  Music is one of the best creations humans could possibly come up with, but also every sound around us is somehow portraying the feeling of that moment- in a way. We have just mastered the idea behind making those noises appeal to our tastes. Music is one of the fundamental things about life; it soothes the soul.

Musicians can be found in every known society, settlement, and continent both past and present.  It varies widely between times, places, and cultures. Even the most isolated, most traditional, and most tribal groups enjoy and share a form of music. We can therefore conclude that music has been present throughout the entire history of the world. This idea was proposed 55,000 years ago; the very first music may have been invented in ancient Africa- from then evolving to become the very fundamental constituent of the human race.

Scientists do believe that modern humans emerged from Africa around 160,000 years ago. Only around 50,000 years ago, we began to disperse to all the four corners of the earth. It is believed that music existed even before the dispersal of humans- and not only within Africa. Prehistoric music, which was once known as primitive music, is the given name to pre-structured phonetics.

We now know that the oldest song was written in cuneiform in harmonies of thirds using Pythagorean tuning of the diatonic scale (some 4000 years ago.) This was deciphered by Professor Daffkom Kilmer during the time when bagpipes, double pipes, double flutes were the most commonly played instruments. In the Indus valley civilization, seven holed flutes, string musical instruments confirmed further that music was a well cultured art in the ancient times.

Music in Ancient Greece

The world today owes a lot to the ancient Greek for the development of music; in fact the name music has its roots in ancient Greece. Some of the main terminology we use in music has its origin from Greek: rhythm, melody, tunes. Even Pythagoras, who is dubbed as the father of music theory, was in fact Greek. Due to the fall of ancient Greece, and also with the collapse of the Roman and Byzantine empires, Greek music was in cease for several centuries only to be reborn during the 19th century.

India has a strong claim on the history of music. Tracing back to the Vedic times (the oldest scriptures of Hinduism), the Naadpahma was a widespread known harmony.  All form of orchestrated sounds can be traced backed back to the Sam Veda, the third book of the Vedic times. Even the- traditionally Portuguese- raga music owes its origin to the Sam Ved.  The very first reference to music was done by Panini in 500BC. The first reference to musical theory was found to done in the Rikpratisakhya in 400 BC. The Bharata’s Natyashastra (an Indian treatise on the performing arts written in the 4th century AD) contained several chapters on music. It was the first clear written work done on music; this is now divided into octaves and twenty-two keys. At the end of the Vedic period, around 3000 to 1200 B.C, music was called Samgana- making singing harmonies an essential part of what music was (and is) nowadays.

The first form of music known to man is the vocal type. Before 900A.D music was not written down at all, just like all of the other oral traditions that we know today, it was sung from one generation onto the next one. Monophonic songs came into play when religion took a place in its history.  Chants (With no more than a singular harmony) were sung during religious meetings, while at secular places, when meditating, etc. Music is shaped by the culture that empaces it.

The African-American music evolution in the United States:

Much like in traditional African drumming, the very essence of this concept lies deeply in the true human experiences of the people. Its styles vary widely from the tones of their voices, to content, to the tools used in the production. African-American music really cuts across all color types, cultures, etc. “Genres” such as gospel, blues, jazz and hip pop have spread their influence throughout almost every known language and continent known.

The first sets of musicians found in North America were the Native Americans. Thought they were a bunch of small ethnic groups spread across the country, they all shared the roots of what we know as folk music. Modern Hawaiian music is the oldest survivor of the folksy jams we love today.

In the 16th century, an influx of immigrants and slaves changed the history of American music by pinging influences from Spain, France, Portugal, etc… When the 19th century rolled around, even more immigration from China, Japan, India, Scotland, Italy, Poland, Ireland, Sweden, and Mexico changed the popular conception of music as entertainment in the U.S.

With the development of technology, we can now replicate sounds that we were not even able to perceive before. Thanks to Moog, we have a synthesizer along with a multiple array of human-object interactions that generate “musical notes.” New techniques such as sampling, delaying, or distorting allow us to depict how we feel in the deepest places within our heads musically- even if we do not know how to play an instrument.

Music has played a role in many revolutions, and allowed individuals with talent to relate to one another across the globe to inspire millions. For others music is more of a tool that allows them to express themselves through dance. There is a literal release of endorphins when you hear something you like. Without music, there wouldn’t be a platform for complete physical and internal expression. Hop over here to find ways to watch and hear all kinds of entertainment in your home.