The Origin of Music

Music is such a large part of everyone’s life since we listen to it on our cell phones, mp3 players, computers and in the car, but where did it all begin?

The development of music can be attributed to Ancient Greece. Around 500 B.C, Pythagoras, a philosopher, experimented with acoustics and math to create tones from plucking strings. This in turn created music which is inspired by one of the nine muses, Euterpe.

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These are the 9 muses (music) of Ancient Greece

The Middle Ages (450 to 1450)

During the Middle Ages, the major form of music, the Gregorian chant, was used in church services to enhance sermons. The Gregorian Chant was a sacred Latin text sung by Monks without instrumentation and little beat. Beginning in the 12th and 13th centuries, music slowly made its way out of the church into the homes of nobility and entertainment for the public through minstrel shows.

The Renaissance 1450-1600

Even during the Renaissance vocal music was still the most popular form.

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Renaissance sheet music

The lyrics behind each piece of music was heavily impacted by the Renaissance philosophy of Humanism, the worth of the individual.

The printing press stirred up even more musical excitement inspiring more people to work as composers.

The Baroque Age 1600-1750

Unlike the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the Baroque was a time of unity. People desired a constant mood, which was created by the rhythm and melodic patterns throughout a piece of music.

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Baroque instruments and music sheets

The Baroque Age began the era of music in society, and it continued to blossom further.

 The Classical Age 1750-1820

The Classical Age marks the birth of elegant Piano music. Despite the Baroque Age being a a time of unity and constant mood; the classical age was full of music with numerous melodies and moods.

The Romantic Period 1820-1900

The Romantic Period was a time where emotion overwhelmed music. Individualism was an essential component to the development of music in this time.

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Romantic era music

Each composer was unique in their style and expression creating a variety of music.

The Twentieth Century and Twenty-First  1900-present

Easy access to music has made music such a large part of culture today. Anyone can listen to music anywhere, since we have the ability to play music through recordings, radio, satellite radio, internet, CD’s, mp3 player downloads and many more options.

The Twentieth century developed Jazz, country, and a few other kinds of popular music.  Today,  a plethora of genres of music exist. For example, metal, pop, rap, alternative, rock, R&B, gospel and etc…..

We can also attribute the expansion of music to education. Colleges and universities have expanded music throughout the nation, by educating countless numbers of students.

So basically, Colleges and Universities are representative of the role churches and nobility had in the spread of music.



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