To fully grasp music within an historical context to yield full appreciation
and thorough understanding of this most mysterious artform/language, one
must approach it from a neanderthal understanding. See, it's like this:
Music has but three elements: Rhythm; Melody; and Harmony.
The order of importance of these three elements are in direct correlation
to their discovery.
Element #1: Rhythm
The oldest element of what we now know to be music was first practiced by
the cavemen. Simply one homo erectus banging on a drum. Or even some other
cavemans head for that matter.
Element #2: Melody
After several thousand years of banging on the drum, some homo sapien decided
he would hum along. Melody was discovered.
Element #3: Harmony
After many thousands of years of banging and humming, I would guess that
either one of two things happened:
Either way, these cave people stumbled onto the third and final element
of music: Harmony. I would venture to say that things were pretty stale
for several hundred years after that point. Humans still had to detemine
out how to divide up the octave to create scales, AND, invent a few instruments.
Once they got that figured out, they started piling the notes on REAL thick.
Orchestral music is evidence of that. I mean, really, over 100 instruments
playing together? That's THICK music. Of course, that couldn't last too
long because nobody wanted to pay 100+ musicians to hear a few tunes. Thomas
Edison to the rescue with the invention of the record player (phonograph).
- One apeman tried to get another apeman to hum along with him and he
was flat. Hence harmony was born. or...
- One apeman got wise to the notes and wondered what would happen if
Og hummed one note and he hummed another.
This pretty much brings us into recent history. The advent of recorded music
changed everything. Up until that time, if you wanted to hear music, you
had to hire a musician. Period. Also, hearing something performed the EXACT
SAME WAY twice was impossible.
The current phase of this ever mutating art form, is one dominated by artificial
or "synthesized" sounds. Machines that mimic the qualities of
real instuments to achieve uncanny results.
And that's it. You are now completely educated on the history of music.
See THIS for even more illumination...