The History of Music

The History of Music

Music has been around for thousands and thousands of years. The caveman had originally started some type of sounds in which branched off into the music that we listen to today. This prehistoric music was started by the cavemen in order for them to express themselves, and the others who listened were affected in the same way that people are affected by music today. For example, if someone is upset they will listen to something that will get them into a better mood, perhaps something mellow or soft. If they are happy, they will listen to something that is more energetic, and so on.

After I interviewed our people–friends and family–I found out what type of music they listened to when they are upset, angry, or calm. Music touches peoples souls, and gets the best or worst out of them. My friend Kyle said, When I am in a bad mood I listen to basically rap because it gets me hyped up to where I want to dance. Rap lets me get into a better mood where I can forget the problem or what I was mad at before. He continues, No other music affects me as much as rap does because rappers put everything they have into their songs, but that is only my opinion.

Kyle has listened to rap since he was 13, and he ctually got me interested into it. I never liked rap until I started to hang out with him, and I am now starting to enjoy it because of its diversity that is involved in making the music. Each rapper has their own version of the world, and they express it through their music. -2- Not all rap music is good according to a Texas widow, who filed a lawsuit against Tupac Shakur. Her husband, a Texas state trooper, was allegedly shot to death by a man who stole a car.

In the mans car a Tupac tape was found in the cassette player, and Tupacs music was allegedly to blame (Damean). Some people tend to take music too seriously, and end up making mistakes, and they have to suffer the consequences like that Texas man. Those people, who take the music too seriously, are not stable, and the music brings out the worst of them. On the other hand, people like Kyle have no problem with some of the lyrics that some rappers incorporate into their music, and end living happily with society. I asked Kyles roommate, Tim what type music he listens to when he is in certain moods.

He said, Sometimes when I am homesick I listen to Frank Sinatra because my mother and ather listen to it all the time, so it reminds me of them. He is also a big rap fan, but not as much as Kyle. Tim can listen to anything at any time, for instance, he could listen to Notorious BIG one minute then listen to Marilyn Manson the next. He continues, If I have the urge to get pumped up then I need something that is crazy and wild to get me in that mood, like White Zombie or some sort of heavy music. There have also been lawsuits involved with such heavy metal like Marilyn Manson, Ozzy Osbourne, Slayer, and Judas Priest.

Marilyn Mansons music had been to blame for the uicide of 13 year-old boy from California. Another family from California sued the band Slayer because their lyrics inspired three teenage boys to rape and murder their daughter. Ozzy Osbourne and Judas Priest had lawsuits filed against them claiming their lyrics drove teens to attempt suicide in the late 80s, but the cases were won by the artists -3- (Demean). Once again people or teenagers took the music too seriously, and they ended making stupid mistakes by doing so.

These teenagers are allowed to listen to such music at an early age when they look up to certain entertainers like–Marilyn Manson. These teenagers need role models, and they end up looking the wrong way when they should be idolizing baseball and football players. They are at the crucial age when they are looking for a direction in life while trying to find themselves in the process. These teenagers think that they are supposed to listen to every word they sing, and they end up taking them seriously by acting upon those words.

The teenagers, who take it seriously and act on it, are insecure looking for someone to lead them through life, and end going to the wrong person for help when they should be going to an adult, or positive role model for help. I asked my mother what she listens to and what she feels when she listens to it. She said, I like to listen to classical music after a hard days work because it soothes me to a point where my mind is free from all of the stress that is involved in my job. My mom is an accountant where she works with numbers all day long, and that can get annoying by looking at the same sheet of numbers for hours at a time.

My mom recently began listening to country music, and I asked her why she recently switched. She responds, I needed a change from the regular music that I normally listen to. I like it because the lyrics of some songs are quite deep, and I could relate to some of the stories that are incorporated in the songs. The songs make me feel free, and I need that after a hard days work.  Throughout history all cultures have been influenced by music.

Since the Baroque period music has evolved and changed to meet the needs of the composers, listeners and of the culture as well. Ever since the monolithic chant of the previous millennia the western musical tradition een a mirror to the turmoil and the triumph in the European society. Influenced by religion, nationalism, geography, living conditions, imperialism, pragmatics, social mores, traditions, etc western music has evolved into a mighty being that still will endure for centuries. Before the Baroque era in music there were many forms of western music.

Most of this music was monophonic, sung in chant used mostly for religious purposes. During the previous millennia most music was sung in chant form with very little accompaniment, save a harp or a violin. In these times music was a simple art, sung by the people to praise the Lord. Eventually polyphonic music developed, first starting as monophonic chant sung in thirds and fifths, and later contrapuntal music was created. During this time the music notation system was standardized, originally a modified Greek system; music notation evolved into the notation that is used today.

Having the use of music notation set the foundation for Baroque music and for all music after that. In the late sixteenth century and early seventeenth century the Baroque style of music started in Italy. Italy, where the renaissance started, was able to create a new type of usic rich in feeling, but less intricate than much of the previous renaissance music that was centered towards the north (France and the area now occupied by the Netherlands). New ideas, like interplay between the various instruments in an orchestra, became prevalent, unlike the monophonic music of previous years.

As new instruments were incorporated into orchestras and compositions became increasingly more instrumental interplay had an increasing new role in the new baroque music. Claudio Monteverdi was a pioneer in the field of music at this time. His new operas contained many instances on interplay and sudden contrasts in feeling. As the seventeenth century progressed base parts in music became increasingly more important as the new basso continuo, idea formed. In the basso continuo soprano and alto voices in the music would be constructed on a platform of bass chords that gave meaning and structure to the music.

During the Baroque period new forms of presenting music were invented. The cantata and oratorio were created as new forms of vocal pieces. Both of these forms had repeating phrases that structured the pieces with minimal orchestral accompaniment. New forms of music were written in continuous contrapuntal form with no distinguishable movements, the most famous f which was the fantasia. Other forms such as the sonata had many homophonic and contrapuntal movements that contrasted witheach other. There were many pieces that were a theme and variations called a passacaglia.

The concerto was a solo instrument that played against an orchestra that differed on many musical, rhythmical and dynamic levels. The concerto was one of the most important forms of music that came out of the Baroque period. During the Baroque period there were many new influential composers. These composers included the Italian composers Alessandro Scarlatti, Arcangelo Corelli Domenico Scarlatti, and Antonio Vivaldi; the German composers Heinrich Schtz and Dietrich Buxtehude; the Italian-Frenchman Jean Baptiste Lully; the English composers Henry Purcell; and the French composer Jean Philippe Rameau.

Towards the end of the century, music became more fluid and romanticized. The ideas of contrasting movements gave way to pieces that more or less the same general musicality and character all the way through. Towards the end of the Baroque period, the great composer J. S. Bach shined and wrote some of the best Baroque pieces ever written, still Baroque in style, but giving way to the new classical period. During the mid eighteenth century there was a reaction to the Baroque style of music. People were tired of the ridged counterpoint that governed the baroque music.

Instead new composers chose to compose a new form of music that was happy and jubilant to mirror the times of great exploration and hope for European society. New music, like the rococo written by the French composer Franois Couperin showed the new jubilance in music. This new music was broken into several contrasting movements with different conversations and phrase. Music became more like a happy dance during this period. During the classical eriod tonality was brought to new heights. New complex harmonic textures were used that facilitated the use of new tones and chords within a key.

Like in the Baroque era, the concerto and sonata were used as art forms. In the Classical period the symphony and string quartet were added as new acceptable art forms. Most of these forms included three or four contrasting movements that ended in a finale that brought closure to the work, ending in the chord of the key the work was written in. As new instruments were developed, new arrangements were written to incorporate these instruments in new music. New compositions only for wind instruments were written at this time, a phenomena almost unheard of in previous times.

Towards the end of the classical period the focus of new composing centered on the Viennese classical school. Out of this new school of composing came such great composers as Franz Joseph Hayden and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. During this time opera lost a lot of its musical intensity and became a series of arias that showed off the singing talent of individual soloists, as opposed of that of the whole group. This tradition would later change with the advent of the Romantic period. The Romantic period started in Europe as a reaction to the jubilant happiness of the classical era.

During the nineteenth century there was a lot of tension in Europe as the forces of Nationalism and Militarism gripped Europe. There had been changes in Europe since the advent of Classicism. There were many mighty revolutions like the one that started in France in 1789 and spread. These revolutions made for the age of liberalism vs. conservatism. These events put a new fire into the nineteenth century and made for a new age. One of the major musical forms of the romantic period was the Opera. German composers such as Wagner wrote great operas with a growing emphasis on fluid orchestral parts.

New romantic operas were known to last over five hours with long, fluid and powerful lines. Many operas written by German composers and most of the operas written by Wagner instilled German pride and increased an ever growing feeling of nationalism and anti-Semitism. In France opera became more sentimental and simplistic. As in Germany the focus of the opera began to shift towards the choral and to the orchestra. Often the orchestras had large ensembles to show the grandeur of the age. Bizet and Faure were two of the more famous French opera composers.

In Italy the operas that were written were more marcatto and joyful. Composers such as Rossini used much rhythmic energy, using various staccato phrases to achieve a more buoyant opera. Later towards the end of the nineteenth century the composer Verdi made more of an orchestral significance and wrote opera that was more fluid. During the nineteenth century the symphony form changed a lot, teeter-tottering between musical styles. Many people were thinking should music have a theme? This was debated throughout the century. As the century progressed, the symphony became the predominant form of musical expression.

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