History of Music

July 18, 2021 by No Comments

History of Music


Findings from palaeolithic archaeological sites can only be used to speculate about prehistoric music. Flutes, carved from bones with lateral holes drilled, are frequently unearthed and are considered to have been blown at one end, similar to the Japanese shakuhachi. The Divje Babe flute, made from the femur of a cave bear, is estimated to be at least 40,000 years old.

The archaeological sites of the Indus Valley Civilization have yielded instruments like the seven-holed flute and different types of stringed instruments like the Ravanahatha. The Vedas, ancient Hindu writings, include references to Indian classical music (marga). China holds the world’s oldest and biggest collection of ancient musical instruments, dating from between 7000 and 6600 BC. The oldest known notated composition of music is the “Hurrian Hymn to Nikkal,” which was discovered on clay tablets dating from around 1400 BC.

Ancient Egypt:

Music was ascribed to one of the Egyptian gods, Thoth, by Osiris as part of his endeavour to civilise the earth. The oldest material and figurative evidence of Egyptian musical instruments originates from the Predynastic era, although the evidence is more secure during the Old Kingdom, when harps, flutes, and double clarinets were played. The Middle Kingdom enriched orchestras with percussion instruments, lyres, and lutes. Music and dancing were commonly accompanied by cymbals, as they are now in Egypt. Egyptian folk music, which includes traditional Sufi dhikr practices, is the most current form of Egyptian music.

Asian Cultures:

The entries for Arabia, Central Asia, East Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia include a broad range of Asian music traditions. A few of them have long-standing traditions.

One of the oldest musical traditions on the planet is Indian classical music. Dance and ancient musical instruments, such as the seven-holed flute, are depicted in Indus Valley civilization sculptures. Sir Mortimer Wheeler’s excavations at Harappa and Mohenjo Daro resulted in the discovery of a variety of stringed instruments and drums. The Rigveda contains aspects of contemporary Indian music, including musical notation for meter and chanting mode.

Monophonic Indian classical music (marga) is based on a single melody line or raga, which is rhythmically structured by talas. Ilango Adigal’s Silappadhikaram explains how to create new scales by modal shifting the tonic from an existing one. Persian traditional music and the Afghan Mughals inspired contemporary Hindi music. Carnatic music, which is popular in the southern states, is mostly religious in nature, with the bulk of songs addressing Hindu deities. Many songs also focus on love and other societal concerns.

Chinese classical music, often known as Chinese traditional art or court music, has a three-thousand-year history. It has its own musical notation system, as well as musical tuning and pitch, musical instruments, and musical styles or genres. Chinese music, like European-influenced music, is pentatonic-diatonic, with a scale of twelve notes to an octave (5 + 7 = 12).

Ancient Greece:

Ancient Greece’s social and cultural life revolved around music. In Greek theatre, musicians and vocalists played an important part. [48] For amusement, celebration, and spiritual rituals, mixed-gender choruses perform. The aulos, a double-reed instrument, and the lyre, primarily the kithara, a plucked string instrument, were among the instruments used. Boys were taught music beginning at the age of six, and it was a significant component of their education. The growth of Greek musical literacy resulted in a blossoming of musical development. The Greek musical modes, which provided the basis for Western ecclesiastical and classical music, were incorporated into Greek music theory.

The Middle Ages:

The introduction of monophonic (single melodic line) chanting into Roman Catholic Church services marked the beginning of the mediaeval era (476 to 1400), which spanned the Middle Ages. Musical notation has been used in Greek culture since ancient times, but it was adopted by the Catholic church in the Middle Ages so that chant melodies could be written down and utilized for liturgical music across the whole Catholic empire. The monophonic liturgical plainsong chant of the Roman Catholic Church, whose dominant tradition was known as Gregorian chant, is the only European Medieval repertoire that has been discovered in recorded form from before 800.


Classical music (1730–1820) attempted to replicate the principles of harmony, proportion, and controlled expression that were considered as important components of Ancient Greek and Roman art and philosophy. (Note: Classical music is not to be confused with Classical music in general, which refers to Western art music from the fifth century to the twenty-first century and includes the Classical period as one of several periods.) Classical music is lighter, crisper, and more straightforward than Baroque music. Homophony was the predominant style, in which a strong melody and a secondary chordal accompaniment component are clearly distinguished.


Romantic music during the nineteenth century (c. 1810 to 1900) shared many characteristics with Romantic literature and painting. Romanticism was an artistic, literary, and philosophical movement marked by a focus on emotion and individualism, as well as a reverence for the past and nature. Classical music’s strict patterns and structures gave way to more emotional, dramatic, and expressive works and songs in the Romantic era.

Wagner and Brahms, for example, tried to improve emotional expressiveness and force in their music in order to communicate deeper truths or human sentiments. Composers attempted to convey stories and conjure images with symphonic tone poems.

Know more about music and Aesthetic Music

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *