When did music begin?
Welcome to Mighty Records! Thank you for following us on our musical journey. We’re excited to see where it takes us. The blog will grow and take shape along with its readers. We will talk about tracks, albums and concerts; the posts will be in the form of reviews, features and interviews. We expect to change quite a bit over the next little while but at this point, one thing will remain constant. On Monday, every week, we will write a long form article. Hopefully it will make you think. We encourage you to interact with us: comment, like, share and, most importantly reach out! We want to hear from you! Without further ado, our first post…
We figured it was only logical to start by taking it all the way back. When did music begin?
Before jumping in to it, I’d like to provide some context. What is music? I looked for a dictionary definition but I wasn’t satisfied. So I came up with my own: music is an art form that arranges sounds in a beautiful way to cause an emotional reaction from the listener. From the womb to the grave, music connects and effects people, in a way unlike almost anything else. A crying baby will calm down when it’s mother sings to it.
Filmmaker, Michael Rossato-Bennett provided viewers with a remarkable example of the power of music. “ALIVE INSIDE is a joyous cinematic exploration of music’s capacity to reawaken our souls and uncover the deepest parts of our humanity… His camera reveals the uniquely human connection we find in music and how its healing power can triumph where prescription medication falls short.”
Check out the trailer.
Good music can send chills down your spine, bad music can upset, disgust or enrage. No matter who is listening, music will get some type of response from almost everybody. Have you ever thought about the characteristics that define music?
Music can be broken down in to four key elements. First, music is made up of tones. These tones have a specific pitch – some notes are low and some are high. Second, tones vary in loudness. Also referred to as volume or intensity, sounds can range from soft and quiet to loud and intense. Third, the timbre will differ from one sound to another. Timbre is the sonic quality that we relate to different musical instruments including the human voice. It is what makes every singer’s voice unique. Lastly, music has rhythm. Rhythm is a set of tones of varying length are arranged to make a beat.
Let’s take a deeper look at rhythm. A music teacher will beat the idea in to their students head, “You must play rhythmically.” They will count it out, clap, or tap their feet: “One, two, three, four.” Musicians look at it differently. To them the music teacher is teaching something called meter. Musicians believe that “rhythm” is the ability to veer away from this strict pattern while staying on beat. I tend to agree.
Rhythm is ingrained in humans. On the song “Clint Eastwood” by The Gorillaz, Del The Funky Homosapien may have said it best: “Rhythm, you have it or you don’t, that’s a fallacy.” It’s in all of us. Rhythm precedes pitch, loudness and timbre. It’s the bonding element.
Though it’s the original element of music, rhythm came long after music. Without instruments, you don’t need to follow a rhythm or tempo. Still rhythm often is the essential part of music, even in a primitive sense. Rhythm is flow. Rhythm is the body in motion. Rhythm is beating a drum while sitting around a fire. Rhythm, like music is universal.
I am fairly certain that music can move anybody. It can move people in a literal sense. I’m referring to something deeper. You feel it in your soul; it’s a powerful force. Human beings are musical by nature. We swayed to the beat from our earliest days on earth. It started with clapping hands and stomping feet. Now there’s a new instrument, called the Instrument 1. It’s inventors claim that it can be used to create any sound imaginable. Music has evolved with humans.
So when did it all begin? I believe it’s been around since the dawn of humanity. To me, there is almost no doubt that even the earliest humans experienced music in one way or another. The history of music is bound with the history of mankind. From primal life force to extraordinary works of art, we have shaped it in to what it is today.
Human creativity is a wonderful thing. When a young kid picks up a guitar and strums his first chord, they are adding a link to a long chain of musical tradition that stretches back tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of years. Music is a universal language. Over the course of millenniums one thing remains, its potential is limitless. For as long as humans walk the earth, music will be played.
What do you love most about where music has evolved to today?
What is your earliest memory of music?
How do you enjoy music in its most primitive form?
I’d like to hear what you guys think. Comment below. If these posts start a conversation then I’ve done my job.
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