Music is considered to predate language (and certainly predates written language) by certain historians and is found in every known culture, past and present, varying between times and places.
A culture’s music is influenced by all other aspects of that culture, including social and economic organization, climate, and access to technology.
The emotions and ideas that music expresses, the situations in which music is played and listened to, and the attitudes toward music players and composers all vary between regions and periods.
We will be approaching the history of music from a chronological perspective.
The development of music among humans occurred against the backdrop of natural sounds.
Prehistoric music (previously called primitive music) is a term in the history of music for all music produced in preliterate cultures (prehistory), beginning somewhere in very late geological history. Prehistoric music is followed by ancient music in most of Europe (1500 BCE) and later musics in subsequent European-influenced areas, but still exists in isolated areas.
Prehistoric music thus technically includes all of the world's music that has existed before the advent of any currently-extant historical sources concerning that music, for example, traditional Native American music of preliterate tribes and Australian Aboriginal music. However, it is more common to refer to the "prehistoric" music of non-European continents – especially that which still survives – as folk, indigenous or traditional music.
Prehistoric musical instruments
Prehistoric music, once more commonly called primitive music, is the name given to all music produced in preliterate cultures.
Traditional Native American and Australian Aboriginal music could be called prehistoric, but the term is commonly used to refer to the music in Europe before the development of writing there. It is more common to call the “prehistoric” music of non-European continents- especially that which still survives folk, indigenous, or traditional music.
Music in ancient civilizations/ Ancient music is music that developed in literate cultures, replacing prehistoric music.
Ancient music refers to the various musical systems that were developed across various geographical regions such as Mesopotamia, Egypt, Persia, India, China, Greece and Rome. Ancient music is designated by the characterization of the basic audible tones and scales. It may have been transmitted through oral or written
The prehistoric era is considered to have ended with the development of writing, and with if, by definition, prehistoric music. “Ancient music” is the name given to the music that followed.
Double pipes, such as used by the ancient Greeks, and ancient bagpipes, as well as a review of ancient drawings on vases and walls, etc., and ancient writings (such as in Aristotle, Problems, Book XIX. 12) which describe musical techniques of the time, indicate polyphony.
Seven holed flutes and various stringed instruments (ie The lyre- well known for its use in Greek) were used during this period.
- Instrumental music became dominant in the Baroque and most major music forms were defined.
- Much Baroque music was designed for improvisation with figured bass provide by the composer for the performer to flesh out the ornament.
- The keyboard – harpsichord, was dominant instrument opened up the possibilities of playing in all keys and of modulation.
- Much Baroque music featured a basso continuo consisting of keyboard, either harpsichord or organ and a bass instrument, such as viola da gamba or bassoon.
- 3 outstanding composers were Bach, Handel and Vivalsi
- Music became more expressive and emotional, expanding to encompass literature, art and philosophy.
- Famous early Romantic composers include Schumann, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Bellini, and Berlioz.
20th century music
20th century music is defined by the sudden emergence of advanced technology for recording and distributing music as well as dramatic innovations in musical forms and styles. Because music was no longer limited to concerts, opera-houses, clubs, and domestic music-making, it became possible for music artists to quickly gain global recognition and influence. Twentieth-century music brought new freedom and wide experimentation with new musical styles and forms that challenged the accepted rules of music of earlier periods. Faster modes of transportation allowed musicians and fans to travel more widely to perform or listen. Amplification permitted giant concerts to be heard by those with the least expensive tickets, and the inexpensive reproduction and transmission or broadcast of music gave rich and poor alike nearly equal access to high quality music performances.
- Radio gained popularity worldwide and new media and technologies were developed to record, capture and distribute music.
- Music artists gained fame nationwide and sometimes worldwide because music was no longer limited to concerts and clubs.
- Audiences were exposed to a wider range of music than ever before.
- Music performances became increasingly visual with the broadcast and recording of music videos and concerts.
- Music of all kinds became increasingly portable.
- 20th century music brought a new freedom and wide experimentation with new musical styles and forms that challenged the accepted rules of music of earlier periods.
- The invention of electronic instruments and synthesizer in the mid 20th century revolutionised popular music and accelerated the development of new forms of music.
Music history, sometimes called historical musicology, is the highly diverse subfield of the broader discipline of musicology that studies the composition, performance, reception, and criticism of music over time.
The flute (eg whistle, gemshorn, recorder, tin whistle/penny whistle, tonette, fujara, and ocarina) is a musical instrument of the woodwind family. Unlike woodwind instruments with reeds, a flute is an aerophone or reedless wind instrument that produces its sound from the flow of air across an opening. According to the instrument classification of Hornbostel-Sachs, flutes are categorized as Edge-blown aerophones.
String instrument (or stringed instrument) is a musical instrument that produces sound by means of vibrating strings. In the Hornbostel-Sachs scheme of musical instrument classification, used in organology, they are called chordophones. The most common string instruments in the string family are guitar, electric bass, violin, viola, cello, double bass, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, and harp.
- The guitar is a plucked string instrument, usually played with fingers or a pick. The guitar consists of a body with a rigid neck to which the strings, generally six in number, are attached. Guitars are traditionally constructed of various woods and strung with animal gut or, more recently, with either nylon or steel strings. Some modern guitars are made of polycarbonate materials. Guitars are made and repaired by luthiers. There are two primary families of guitars: acoustic and electric.
o The bass guitar (also called electric bass,or simply bass; /ˈbeɪs/) is a stringed instrument played primarily with the fingers or thumb (by plucking, slapping, popping, tapping, or thumping), or by using a pick. The bass guitar is similar in appearance and construction to an electric guitar, but with a longer neck and scale length, and four, five, or six strings.
Instruments of the Renaissance
Brass instruments in the Renaissance were traditionally played by professionals. Some of the more common brass instruments that were played:
- Slide trumpet: Similar to the trombone of today except that instead of a section of the body sliding, only a small part of the body near the mouthpiece and the mouthpiece itself is stationary. Also the body was an S-shape so it was rather unwieldy, but was suitable for the slow dance music which it was most commonly used for.
- Cornett: Made of wood and was played like the recorder (will be mentioned at greater length later on) but blown like a trumpet. It was commonly made in several sizes, the largest was called the serpent. The serpent became practically the only cornetto used by the early 17th century while other ranges were replaced by the violin. It was said to be the closest instrument to the human voice with the ability to use dynamics and expression.
- Trumpet: Early trumpets had no valves, and were limited to the tones present in the overtone series. They were also made in different sizes. Although commonly depicted being used by angels, their use in churches was limited, a prominent exception being the music of the Venetian School. They were most commonly used in the military and for the announcement of royalty. Period trumpets were found to have two rings soldered to them, one near the mouthpiece and another near the bell.
- Sackbut (sometimes sackbutt or sagbutt): A different name for the trombone, which replaced the slide trumpet by the end of the 15th century. Sackbuts were used almost exclusively in church music and faced behind the player.
The tambourine or marine (commonly called tambo) is a musical instrument of the percussion family consisting of a frame, often of wood or plastic, with pairs of small metal jingles, called "zils". Classically the term tambourine denotes an instrument with a drumhead, though some variants may not have a head at all. Tambourines are often used with regular percussion sets. They can be mounted, but position is largely down to preference.