Short music history

June 13, 2012 | In: Music History


Music has been around since the beginning of mankind. All over the world, people sang songs of greef, sorrow, happiness, greed, and so on. Music is the most interesting method to share your feelings. It doesn’t matter if you’re singing with your voice, an instrument or even both of them, it’s a fact that our souls and bodies are feeling the vibe.

The history of music dates back 5000 years ago, when people started to hit stones and wood in a particular manner, making rough music. Even then, music was accompanied by dance; many songs and dances were made to celebrate different Gods. This kind of music developed in the following thousands of years, turning into ancient music, which isn’t well known and not by far cherished in the modern age.

Before the ancient times, you couldn’t say that the sound produced by bricks hitting other bricks or wood was music. In antiquity, people made music in an interesting and organized way, reflecting the fact that mankind already understood the fact that music is the most beautiful thing that needed to repeat itself.

In Ancient China, music could be found all over the empire, in different forms. There were anthems composed for the leaders and a very rich portfolio of popular music. The instrument had various shapes, with or without cords, percussion instruments and all sorts of pipes, whistles and trumpets.

In India, music was the main activity inside temples, and the most important way to send messages to the Gods. The instruments were very much alike those found in China.

In Ancient Greece, there was music everywhere you looked. From bars to the senate, from the streets to noble’s houses, music entertained people 24/7. In Greece, music became a subject of study, mandatory for any citizen’s moral formation. In Plato’s Republic, music shows young people the way to harmony and spiritual beauty. Aristotle thought that music can even cure different mental illnesses.

In Ancient Rome, music found its way in theaters, accompanying instruments and made the show whole. Also, in Rome, many musical genres were invented: cradle songs, wedding songs, party songs, labor songs and so on.

In Medieval times, music didn’t have the same development as before, but it did exist as a form of expressing different feelings. Although music was sung all over the medieval cities, the main places where music could be heard were churches, monasteries and such.

In the Renaissance, music exploded all over Europe, and had many schools. The French and Flamand school, The Italian School, with its main figure, Claudio Monteverdi, The French School- Claude le Jeune, and The English School- William Byrd.

The Baroque has 3 main periods: the early, the middle and the late baroque. Along with these 3 periods, the 17th and 18th century came with major changes and new instruments and world renowned composers like Johann Sebastian Bach, Georg Friedrich Handel and Antonio Vivaldi.

For the next hundred years, the classical period takes shape. In contrast with the Baroque, the Classicism is renowned for its rigor and balance. This current took shape not only through music, but also with literature and the art of painting.

The 19th century is a romantic one, in all terms. I’ll give you 3 names and you’ll understand: Beethoven, Schubert and Weber.

The 20th century comes and, like all other things, music expands and develops by the day:  From jazz to heavy metal, from rhythm and blues to death metal and from Moulin Rouge to Britney Spears.


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