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About History of Music

The history of music covers the historical development and evolution of music from prehistorical times to present day. Though definitions of music vary wildly throughout the world, every known culture partakes in it, and music is thus considered a cultural universal.

The origins of music remain highly contentious; commentators often relate it to the origin of language, with much disagreement surrounding whether music arose before, after or simultaneously with language. The music of prehistoric cultures is first firmly dated to c. 40,000 BP of the Upper Palaeolithic by evidence of bone flutes, though it remains unclear whether or not the actual origins lie in the earlier Middle Palaeolithic period (300,000 to 50,000 BP). Ancient music was present in the major Chinese, Egyptian, Greek, Indian and Iranian/Persian societies.

What is the timeline of the history of music?

Prehistoric Music - Music has evolved alongside the rest of civilisation. Instruments likely transformed over time, moving from simple percussion on rocks to more sophisticated string and wind instruments.

Music in Ancient Greece and Rome. As with most cultural matters in the ancient Western world, the Greeks were the artists and innovators, and the Romans were the ones who spread their works throughout the empire. It’s easy to forget that famous Greek works such as The Iliad and The Odyssey were not read dryly from textbooks like we do today; rather, they would have been sung accompanied by a lyre, usually as part of a celebration or important event.

Music in the Medieval Era was almost unrecognizable compared to the beginning. Early medieval music was wrapped up in simple liturgical compositions such as Gregorian chants, which involved a single singer, instrument, or line, without accompanying harmony or chords. That all changed in the 13th and 14th centuries as polyphonic musical genres emerged, bringing richer and more complex sounds to the church and the secular world. 

Renaissance Music - The Renaissance is known for the explosion of arts, sciences, and culture that swept through the Western world starting in the 14th century, and music was no small part of these advancements. Ecclesiastical music became more sophisticated, and secular music grew enormously as a form of entertainment as aristocrats hired singers and instrumentalists for parties and events.

Music from the Baroque Period - Baroque music embodied the phrase, “Go big or go home.” This period is known for elaborate arrangements and uses of instruments, expanding the size, range, and complexity of musical performances.

Classical Music - The Classical period encompasses only the latter half of the 1700s, but those few years brought us heavyweight champs such as Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, and Mozart. The piano replaced the harpsichord as the keyboard instrument of choice, and composers favored simpler, more structured works over the complicated advances of the Baroque era.

The Romantic period encompasses the music, art, and literature that came out of Western civilization in the 19th century. Works from this time carry all the hallmarks of Romanticism.

Music of the Modern Era - Modern technology has impacted every industry and area of our lives, and music is no exception. Thanks to the ability to record and blend music to create complex sounds, tonality has become a prominent aspect of modern composition as artists disrupt traditional ideas of using central keys to hold together a work.

Are music history lessons expensive?

Music history lessons are interesting and anyone can benefit from them. From children to adults, everyone can find a passion about music and music history and learn something new. With the TutorExtra platform you can browse many teachers and choose the best for you. The lessons vary from £10-£50 depending on what level of education you need. 

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