Music - origins and nature
When do you think the music appeared?
I think it appeared with the world.
Mar. 23, 2009
It is almost impossible to mark the beginnings of music.Yet, spiritual landmark could be found in the Greek mythology.From Orpheus, the legendary singer, who sang so beautifully that even the stones were weeping, to the modern legends of music represented by super singers such as Luciano Pavarotti or José Carreras, music has been continuously enriched, improved, perfected, undergoing a process of purification.That’s the reason why all the civilizations pay attention to the musical education. Unfortunately, the present generation seem to have forgotten about true music, showing little concern in achieving musical knowledge.A proper approach to music must contain references to its origins and should try to explain how it appeared. We have found out many interesting things about primitive and legendary music.
The origin of music lies in a very remote past, at the end of the Paleolitic era, numbering about 40000 years.That’s why around music was born a fantastic world of popular legends, with fabulous creatures and people, which embroider the fantastic and beautiful character of music. Childhood books with legends, gods and goddess, were beautifying all nights before going to sleep.We were dreaming all of these fantastic characters, making our sleep peaceful in the rhythm of ancient music.Let us now have a look at some of our dreams legendary deities.
In Greek mythology , music was embodied in Euterpe ,the Muse of music and Lyric poetry, daughter of Zeus. The Greek and Roman mythologies are rich in songs about Faunas, an ancient woodland deity, who was playing the panpipes and the forest’s nymphs were dancing around him. Near Orpheus and Faunas, Peacock hunk, which animates the forest playing the whistle or leaf comes to round up the legendary characters.
Nature and human being
About how music was born, opinions are divided.One of the two sources of the first contact with music is nature, and the other is the human being.
Nature provides the sound of storms, the rustling of leaves and bird’s chirping.
The human being offers the heart beat, interjections and voice sounds, the beat of hands and whistle.They all start from the depth of the Earth, or from the depth of human beings,which make them sound primordial.
About how human voice was discovered we heard a legend which says that a primitive man dropped a rock on his foot, while he was making the tools for hunting.The pain caused led him to shout aloud in the forest asking himself :”This weird sound is mine?”
The primitive people chose different ways to externalize their feelings and thoughts.That’s why they started making tools to produce beautiful sounds.The first instruments were the percussion instruments,consisting of several pieces of wood or polished stones.At the beginnigs, drums were used as cooking bowls. Strains of cane, bone narrow or emptied animal horns provided the first wind instruments, while the arch cords have suggested stringed instruments. Music was present in their lives, as it is in our lives now.
In ancient times (~ 400 BC) philosophers believed that man deliberately wanted to imitate the sounds of nature.
St. Augustine (372-430) considered that man called music when he was overwhelmed by emotion, because at that time he didn’t talk.
Music in nature
|It's a song of nature...the duck's language...[Prague 2008]||It's a song of nature...the wind blowing leaves in the park...[Prague 2008]|
Music in nature
|It's a song of nature .. .creaking the snow under your feet[taken in Apuseni mountains 2008]||It's a song of nature...the frolicsome flow of a waterfall[taken in Retezat mountains 2007]||It's a song of nature...the chirping of birds[taken in London 2008]|
|Every morning they wake up the whole family...beautiful chirping||Brothers|
Definitions of music
Now that we know the origins,we can give a few definitions about what music means in general.We could say that music is a primary art,a combination that produces a hearing pleasure, reproduced by the nature, by human body or by special tools.It expresses the most variated feelings and spiritual states,being a mean of communication ideas and attitudes.It is often a better speech than the spoken language because it can transmit human feelings, being the art of combining craftsmanship sounds.
Without an emotional background, without a guiding idea, the developing sound is flat and fails to appeal the listener. Through music, man has wanted to send not only his ideas, but also to find out some of the world mysteries.
Anyway,music makes people feel good, it is relaxing and brings forth memories, giving you a state of dream.If music didn’t exist, maybe the human race would disappear.
Some philosophers and musicologists made their own definitions about music and we want to include them in our narrative.
A definition of music that has enjoyed large circulation has been given by the French philosopher J.J. Rousseau: “Music is the art of combining tones in a nice way”.It refers to the first stage of reception that is the pleasure of hearing that produces some sound combinations and successions.
Jules Combarieu , French musicologist, considers that music is the “art of thinking with sounds”.
A romantic definition could be “the language of feelings”, which gives music the ability to play spiritual moods and human emotions.The esthetician Viennese Ed Hanslick, sees music just as a “play of sounds”.
We conclude our introduction on what music is and its origins with the following expressive statement:
"Music began through song and the song is the best possible initiation in music" Ansermet