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History Of Music From Its Beginnings To The Present

History of music dates back to the Paleolithic period, though it is unclear whether this was the Middle (300,000 to 50,000 BP) or Upper Paleolithic (50,000 to 12,000 BP).

Most Paleolithic instruments dating to the Upper Paleolithic have been discovered in Europe.

Jeremy Montagu from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom provided a brief overview of the surviving examples of musical instruments from the Mousterian period onward, including the possible Neanderthal evidence and the extent to which they showed "artistic" potential in other fields in an article that was published in Frontiers in Sociology.

Montagu's article was written in response to whether or not Neanderthal evidence existed.

Vocalization Or Motor Impulse

Most of us agree that music is sound, and silence is a component of that sound, but can there be music without some sound?

Sound needs to signify something; it can't simply be random sounds. It must have some function. Thus, the term "that expresses a feeling." was employed.

Because speech may change in pitch, particularly when overtly emotional, music should have some element of rhythm, at the very least, the pattern.

Jeremy Montagu is an ethnic organologist; his work involves the study of musical instruments (organology) from throughout the globe (hence ethnomusicology).

A musical instrument such as the ratchet or rattle, which Beethoven used to symbolize musketry in his Battle Symphony, must be considered.

Nonetheless, a disorganized stream of noises might evoke terror or caution.

The organization is suitable for musical sound, but it is not required. Thus, my definition remains "sound that expresses emotion."

Music Origin

Bird singing provides us with musical pleasure, and it has been imitated musically by Beethoven and many other artists.

However, virtually all creatures can make pitch-varying noises, and every animal has a heartbeat.

Animal sounds are also used to communicate, and both birds and animals have been recorded moving rhythmically.

However, musicologists and ethnomusicologists largely agree that bird singing, animal sounds, and rhythmic movement are not music.

Singing must have long before the musical performance in terms of melody, but did physical movement have the accompaniment of hand or body-clapping, and possibly amplification with clappers made of sticks or stones.

So we may claim that vocalization is at least a million years old. It appears that Homo heidelbergensis has muscular powers but not complete cerebral capacities. It was not until the arrival of Homo sapiens that all of the conditions for vocalization were met.

Purpose Of Music

Music serves four purposes: dancing, ritual, personal and collective amusement, and social cohesiveness.

Steven Mithen argues in The Singing Neanderthals that music binds society.

Music bonds mother and child, workers, and others.

Early Aurignacian flutes are crafted from a swan, vulture wing (radius), and ivory (between 43,000 and 39,000 years BP).

Magdalenian and Aurignac era instruments have been unearthed, but their pitches and tones are unknown. 20,000-year-old conch trumpet was unearthed in a French cave.

The musical bow is the oldest stringed instrument (Balfour, 1899).

An animal trap may be older.

The musical bow is usually tapped with a light stick, originally an arrow.

Just Temperament works for lyres and harps.

Balkan singers prefer close seconds over more significant gaps or unisons.

Octave seems to be a universal interval.

In the Middle Ages and early modern periods, people sang choral music by rote, listening and participating in octaves.

Early polyphony was built on a church chant tenor or cantus firmus.

The first public concert halls opened in 1673 in England and in 1781 in Leipzig.


The purpose of this article, written by Jeremy Montagu, is to educate readers who do not have a background in music specifically and give knowledge that is important for investigations into the history of music conducted by cognitive scientists.

People Also Ask

Who Started Music?

One popular Middle Ages myth attributes the invention of music to the Greek philosopher Pythagoras.

When Was Music First Invented?

The discovery of ancient bone flutes during the Upper Paleolithic period (around 40.000 BP) is the oldest recorded evidence of music.

What Was The First Music In History?

Although "Hurrian Hymn No. 6" is considered the world's earliest melody, the "Seikilos Epitaph," a Greek tune from the first century A.D., is the oldest musical composition for the entirety of the composition has been preserved.

In Turkey, the song was discovered engraved on an ancient marble column used to mark the gravesite of a woman.

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