In all of recorded history there has been references to music amongst all known cultures, from the oldest, probably tapping of different lengths of wood on stone, to the current complex computer generated sounds. It is conceivable that music in some form or other could be 50,000 years old.
The oldest instruments consisted of pipes (double pipes such as those used by the Greeks ), basic flutes, ancient bagpipes and simple stringed instruments, invented by Western India. The oldest known written song was recorded over 4000 years ago.
Why was music invented? We will never really ever know the answer to that question, however there are various theories. For example Charles Darwin believed that music was a sexual lure or used in mating rituals. Other academics think that it was a social link, a way to bring early man into a closer knit community
chris loersch a senior research associate in psychology and neuroscience at the University of Colorado, likes that idea, and he’s done research to try and prove it. He and Nathan Arbuckle, from the Department of Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, UOIT designed a series of studies to bolster it.
“This hypothesis centres’ on music’s unique ability to influence the mood and behaviour of many people at once,” they write, “helping to mold individual beings into a coordinated group.” They cite the power of military music, music played at sports games, and “ritualized drumming” as examples.
Is music a sexual lure. Maybe in the early days this wasn’t the case, but you only have to look at successful bands over the years, playing to thousands of fans. This is power to control a large group of people and power is attractive to the opposite sex. Beatle mania was a classic example. There is plenty of television footage of screaming fans everywhere they went. Now tell me music isn’t a sexual lure.
I think music was also created to heal. In the Chinese language the word medicine yao comes from the word for music yue. I believe beautiful music can change emotions and create pure happiness. Musical frequencies have been shown to affect people’s feelings as certain resonances relate to different movements of the body, a similar effect to that of acupuncture. Ancient Chinese music is very slow and calm and almost meditative, providing the listener a spiritual journey and a peaceful soul. I know I listen to different types of music depending on what mood I am in, I listen to relaxation tapes to relax. I often have jazz or lounge music on in the background when I am working as it seems to calm me and get my creative juices flowing.
Music has also developed into a way to entertain. In medieval times, travelling groups (minstrels, troubadours) told stories about love, life and romance. Some funny and some heroic. These songs were written down as we have historical records, but many were taught and passed from generation to generation . The spread of Christianity in the early medieval period also let to a popularity of songs and hymns that just used the human voice. Later it was the renaissance and baroque periods
The history of music really is a complex and emotional subject, but nonetheless a fascinating one. I hope you enjoy the information on this website, please keep checking back for more updates.