Music may have originated with animals, allowing our distant ancestors to communicate and build societies. Chimpanzee lead guitarists are thin on the ground. Conventional wisdom has it that music is a relatively modern human invention, and one that, while fun and rewarding, is a luxury rather than a basic necessity of life. This appears to be borne out by the archaeological evidence.
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This is the first period where we can begin to be fairly certain as to how a great deal of the music which has survived actually sounded. The earliest written secular music dates from the 12th century troubadours in the form of virelais, estampies, ballades, etc. Gregorian chant and plainsong which are monodic i. Organum was, however, initially rather stifled by rigid rules governing melody and rhythm, which led ultimately to the so-called Ars Nova period of the 14th century, principally represented by the composers de Vitry, Machaut , and Landini. The fifteenth century witnessed vastly increased freedoms, most particularly in terms of what is actually perceived as 'harmony' and 'polyphony' the simultaneous movement of two or three interrelated parts. Composers although they were barely perceived as such were still almost entirely devoted to choral writing, and the few instrumental compositions which have survived often create the impression in many cases entirely accurately of being vocal works in disguise, but minus the words. There is obvious new delight in textural variety and contrast, so that, for example, a particular section of text might be enhanced by a vocal part dropping out momentarily, only to return again at a special moment of emphasis. The four most influential composers of the fifteenth century were Dunstable, Ockeghem, Despres and Dufay.
Hypothesis and Theory ARTICLE
Music history , sometimes called historical musicology, is a highly diverse subfield of the broader discipline of musicology that studies music from a historical point of view. In theory, "music history" could refer to the study of the history of any type or genre of music e. In practice, these research topics are often categorized as part of ethnomusicology or cultural studies , whether or not they are ethnographically based. The terms "music history" and "historical musicology" usually refer to the history of the notated music of Western elites, sometimes called " art music " by analogy to art history, which tends to focus on elite art. The methods of music history include source studies esp. The application of musical analysis to further these goals is often a part of music history, though pure analysis or the development of new tools of music analysis is more likely to be seen in the field of music theory. Some of the intellectual products of music historians include peer-reviewed articles in journals, university press-published music history books, university textbooks, new editions of musical works, biographies of composers and other musicians, studies of the relationship between words and music, and reflections upon the role of music in society. Although most performers of classical and traditional instruments receive some instruction in music history, whether this is the history or art music , pop, or rock and roll, from their music teachers throughout their lessons and high school classes, the majority of formal music history courses are offered at the post-secondary college or university level.
The Evolution of Music View all 20 Articles. Music must first be defined and distinguished from speech, and from animal and bird cries. We discuss the stages of hominid anatomy that permit music to be perceived and created, with the likelihood of both Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens both being capable. The earlier hominid ability to emit sounds of variable pitch with some meaning shows that music at its simplest level must have predated speech. The possibilities of anthropoid motor impulse suggest that rhythm may have preceded melody, though full control of rhythm may well not have come any earlier than the perception of music above. There are four evident purposes for music: dance, ritual, entertainment personal, and communal, and above all social cohesion, again on both personal and communal levels. We warn that our performance on replicas of surviving instruments may bear little or no resemblance to that of the original players. We continue with how later instruments, strings, and skin-drums began and developed into instruments we know in worldwide cultures today. The sound of music is then discussed, scales and intervals, and the lack of any consistency of consonant tonality around the world.