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The Origins Music And It's Effects

May 22, 2008
Ever since humans have existed, there has been music. Music can be simply defined as sound art, which is created by manipulating sound and implementing elements such as harmony, pitch, and rhythm. Technically, the official definition is an artistic form of auditory communication incorporating instrumental or vocal tones in a structured and continuous manner.

There are several theories of how music came about, the most prominent one being that humans attempted to imitate the noises of their surroundings. Specifically, the origin of music can be traced back as far as four thousand years, as archaeologists have uncovered instruments dating back to that period. Throughout early history, music was an incredibly important part of world culture, especially in countries such as China and Greece.

During the Middle Ages, religious music was heavily prominent. The Gregorian chant, a monophonic style of music, was practiced within several sects of Christianity, mainly Catholicism. When the Renaissance occurred, music changed drastically. Like art, focus was shifted away from religion and onto secularism. With this secularism came more complex and deeper songs that were composed for pleasure rather than religious service.

In the seventeenth century, opera came about. This was an exciting and dramatic form of music, as it incorporated actors, a storyline, and a bold musical score. Despite many competing forms of entertainment, opera is still alive and well today, most notably in Italy, where it originated.

The Classical Period featured such notable musicians as Wolfgang Mozart and Joseph Haydn. Earlier forms of music evolved further, and new styles were developed as well, including the now popular symphony. The texture of the music became more fluid, light, and clear than it had been in the previous area. Mozart, who remains a famous musician, gained widespread fame for his unique musical genius and childhood accomplishments (he composed music at five years old).

With the end of the Classical Period came the beginning of the Romantic Period. Beethoven is by far the most recognizable of the Romantic composers. During this period, musical works became longer, and as in previous ages, certain types of music were combined and elaborated upon. Concerts became popular and a more central part of society as well.

Modern times have seen perhaps the greatest advances in music yet. Advanced technology and communications have enabled a variety of new music forms, such as jazz, rock, disco, and electronically synthesized music to come about. Additionally, more people than ever have access to music due to the popularity of radio and other similar devices.

Music has created a thriving industry, where producers and musicians come together to create music and distribute it to the masses. A multitude of different record labels compete to sign the most ambitious musicians and sell their musical conceptions. As in any industry, competition forces innovation and creativity.

In the future, therefore, it can be expected that several new, attractive forms of music will be developed in order to attract a strong customer base. Along with new forms of music, it will be interesting to see whether any original listening mediums are invented. While the iPod currently holds the spot for most popular music listening device, who knows what will come out next.
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