Music is everywhere, but it sounds better at The Village
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For other uses, see Music (disambiguation).Music
Major formsDance · Music · Opera · Theatre · Circus
Minor formsMagic · Puppetry · Mime
GenresDrama · Tragedy · Comedy · Tragicomedy · Romance · Satire · Epic · Lyric
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch (which governs melody and harmony), rhythm (and its associated concepts tempo, meter, and articulation), dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture. The word derives from Greek μουσική (mousike; “art of the Muses“).
The creation, performance, significance, and even the definition of music vary according to culture and social context. Music ranges from strictly organized compositions (and their recreation in performance), through improvisational music to aleatoric forms. Music can be divided into genres and subgenres, although the dividing lines and relationships between music genres are often subtle, sometimes open to individual interpretation, and occasionally controversial. Within “the arts“, music may be classified as a performing art, a fine art, and auditory art. It may also be divided among “art music” and “folk music“. There is also a strong connection between music and mathematics. Music may be played and heard live, may be part of a dramatic work or film, or may be recorded.
To many people in many cultures, music is an important part of their way of life. Ancient Greek and Indian philosophers defined music as tones ordered horizontally as melodies and vertically as harmonies. Common sayings such as “the harmony of the spheres” and “it is music to my ears” point to the notion that music is often ordered and pleasant to listen to. However, 20th-century composer John Cage thought that any sound can be music, saying, for example, “There is no noise, only sound.” Musicologist Jean-Jacques Nattiez summarizes the relativist, post-modern viewpoint: “The border between music and noise is always culturally defined—which implies that, even within a single society, this border does not always pass through the same place; in short, there is rarely a consensus … By all accounts there is no single and intercultural universal concept defining what music might be.”
Main article: History of music
Main article: Prehistoric music
Prehistoric music can only be theorized based on findings from paleolithic archaeology sites. Flutes are often discovered, carved from bones in which lateral holes have been pierced; these are thought to have been blown at one end like the Japanese shakuhachi. The Divje Babe flute, carved from a cave bear femur, is thought to be at least 40,000 years old. Instruments such as the seven-holed flute and various types of stringed instruments have been recovered from the Indus Valley Civilization archaeological sites. India has one of the oldest musical traditions in the world—references to Indian classical music (marga) are found in the Vedas, ancient scriptures of the Hindu tradition. The earliest and largest collection of prehistoric musical instruments was found in China and dates back to between 7000 and 6600 BC. The Hurrian song, found on clay tablets that date back to approximately 1400 BC, is the oldest surviving notated work of music.
Main article: Music of Egypt
Musicians of Amun, Tomb of Nakht, 18th Dynasty, Western Thebes.
The ancient Egyptians credited one of their gods, Thoth, with the invention of music, which Osiris in turn used as part of his effort to civilize the world. The earliest material and representational evidence of Egyptian musical instruments dates to the Predynastic period, but the evidence is more securely attested in the Old Kingdom when harps, flutes and double clarinets were played. Percussion instruments, lyres and lutes were added to orchestras by the Middle Kingdom. Cymbals frequently accompanied music and dance, much as they still do in Egypt today. Egyptian folk music, including the traditional Sufi dhikr rituals, are the closest contemporary music genre to ancient Egyptian music, having preserved many of its features, rhythms and instruments.
References in the Bible
Main article: History of music in the biblical period
Music and theatre scholars studying the history and anthropology of Semitic and early Judeo-Christian culture have discovered common links in theatrical and musical activity between the classical cultures of the Hebrews and those of later Greeks and Romans. The common area of performance is found in a “social phenomenon called litany,” a form of prayer consisting of a series of invocations or supplications. The Journal of Religion and Theatre notes that among the earliest forms of litany, “Hebrew litany was accompanied by a rich musical tradition:”“While Genesis 4.21 identifies Jubal as the “father of all such as handle the harp and pipe,” the Pentateuch is nearly silent about the practice and instruction of music in the early life of Israel. Then, in I Samuel 10 and the texts that follow, a curious thing happens. “One finds in the biblical text,” writes Alfred Sendrey, “a sudden and unexplained upsurge of large choirs and orchestras, consisting of thoroughly organized and trained musical groups, which would be virtually inconceivable without lengthy, methodical preparation.” This has led some scholars to believe that the prophet Samuel was the patriarch of a school, which taught not only prophets and holy men, but also sacred-rite musicians. This public music school, perhaps the earliest in recorded history, was not restricted to a priestly class—which is how the shepherd boy David appears on the scene as a minstrel to King Saul.”
Western cultures have had a major influence on the development of music. The history of the music of the Western cultures can be traced back to Ancient Greece times.
Music was an important part of social and cultural life in Ancient Greece. Musicians and singers played a prominent role in Greek theater. Mixed-gender choruses performed for entertainment, celebration, and spiritual ceremonies. Instruments included the double-reed aulos and a plucked string instrument, the lyre, principally the special kind called a kithara. Music was an important part of education, and boys were taught music starting at age six. Greek musical literacy created a flowering of music development. Greek music theory included the Greek musical modes, that eventually became the basis for Western religious and classical music. Later, influences from the Roman Empire, Eastern Europe, and the Byzantine Empire changed Greek music. The Seikilos epitaph is the oldest surviving example of a complete musical composition, including musical notation, from anywhere in the world.
The Middle AgesLéonin or Pérotin Breves dies hominis
The medieval era (476 AD to 1400 AD) started with the introduction of chanting into Roman Catholic Church services. Western Music then started becoming more of an art form with the advances in music notation. The only European Medieval repertory that survives from before about 800 is the monophonic liturgical plainsong of the Roman Catholic Church, the central tradition of which was called Gregorian chant. Alongside these traditions of sacred and church music there existed a vibrant tradition of secular song. Examples of composers from this period are Léonin, Pérotin and Guillaume de Machaut. From the Renaissance music era, much of the surviving music of 14th-century Europe is secular. By the middle of the 15th century, composers and singers used a smooth polyphony for sacred musical compositions. Prominent composers from this era are Guillaume Dufay, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Thomas Morley, and Orlande de Lassus.
The RenaissanceT.L. de Victoria Amicus meus
Allegory of Music, by Filippino Lippi
Renaissance music (c. 1400 A.D. to 1600 A.D.) was more focused on secular themes. Around 1450, the printing press was invented, and that helped to disseminate musical styles more quickly and across a larger area. Thus, music could play an increasingly important role in daily life. Musicians worked for the church, courts and towns. Church choirs grew in size, and the church remained an important patron of music. However, musical activity shifted to the courts. Kings and princes competed for the finest composers.
Many leading important composers came from Holland, Belgium, and northern France, called the Franco-Flemish composers. They held important positions throughout Europe, especially in Italy. Other countries with vibrant musical lives include Germany, England, and Spain.
The BaroqueJ.S.Bach Toccata und Fuge
The Baroque era of music took place from 1600 to 1750, as the Baroque artistic style flourished across Europe; and during this time, music expanded in its range and complexity. Baroque music began when the first operas were written and when contrapuntal music became prevalent. German Baroque composers wrote for small ensembles including strings, brass, and woodwinds, as well as choirs, pipe organ, harpsichord, and clavichord. During this period several major music forms were defined that lasted into later periods when they were expanded and evolved further, including the fugue, the invention, the sonata, and the concerto. The late Baroque style was polyphonically complex and ornamental and rich in its melodies. Composers from the Baroque era include Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel, and Georg Philipp Telemann.
ClassicismW.A. Mozart Symphony 40 g-moll
The music of the Classical Period (1750 A.D. to 1830 A.D.) looked to the art and philosophy of Ancient Greece and Rome, to the ideals of balance, proportion and disciplined expression. It has a lighter, clearer and considerably simpler texture, and tended to be almost voicelike and singable. New genres were discovered. The main style was the homophony, where prominent melody and accompaniment are clearly distinct.
Importance was given to instrumental music. It was dominated by further evolution of musical forms initially defined in the Baroque period: the sonata, the concerto, and the symphony. Others main kinds were trio, string quartet, serenade and divertimento. The sonata was the most important and developed form. Although Baroque composers also wrote sonatas, the Classical style of sonata is completely distinct. All of the main instrumental forms of the Classical era were based on the dramatic structure of the sonata.
One of the most important evolutionary steps made in the Classical period was the development of public concerts. The aristocracy would still play a significant role in the sponsorship of musical life, but it was now possible for composers to survive without being its permanent employees. The increasing popularity led to a growth in both the number and range of the orchestras. The expansion of orchestral concerts necessitated large public spaces. As a result of all these processes, symphonic music (including opera, ballet and oratorio) became more extroverted.
The best known composers of Classicism are Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Christoph Willibald Gluck, Johann Christian Bach, Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Schubert. Beethoven and Schubert are also considered to be composers in evolution towards Romanticism.
RomanticismR. Wagner Die Walküre
Romantic Music (c. 1810 A.D. to 1900 A.D.) turned the rigid styles and forms of the Classical era into more passionate and expressive pieces. It attempted to increase emotional expression and power to describe deeper truths or human feelings. The emotional and expressive qualities of music came to take precedence over technique and tradition. Romantic composers grew in idiosyncrasy, and went further in the syncretism of different art-forms (such as literature), history (historical figures), or nature itself with music. Romantic love was a prevalent theme in many works composed during this period. In some cases the formal structures from the classical period were preserved, but in many others existing genres, forms, and functions were improved. Also, new forms were created that were deemed better suited to the new subject matter. Opera and ballet continued to evolve.
In 1800, the music developed by Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Schubert introduced a more dramatic, expressive style. In Beethoven’s case, motifs, developed organically, came to replace melody as the most significant compositional unit. Later Romantic composers such as Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Antonín Dvořák, and Gustav Mahler used more elaborated chords and more dissonance to create dramatic tension. They generated complex and often much longer musical works. During Romantic period tonality was at its peak. The late 19th century saw a dramatic expansion in the size of the orchestra, and in the role of concerts as part of urban society. It also saw a new diversity in theatre music, including operetta, and musical comedy and other forms of musical theatre.
Asian culturesGangubai Hangal Durga
Indian classical music is one of the oldest musical traditions in the world. The Indus Valley civilization has sculptures that show dance and old musical instruments, like the seven holed flute. Various types of stringed instruments and drums have been recovered from Harrappa and Mohenjo Daro by excavations carried out by Sir Mortimer Wheeler. The Rigveda has elements of present Indian music, with a musical notation to denote the metre and the mode of chanting. Indian classical music (marga) is monophonic, and based on a single melody line or raga rhythmically organized through talas. Hindustani music was influenced by the Persian performance practices of the Afghan Mughals. Carnatic music popular in the southern states, is largely devotional; the majority of the songs are addressed to the Hindu deities. There are a lot of songs emphasising love and other social issues.
Asian music covers the music cultures of Arabia, Central Asia, East Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. Chinese classical music, the traditional art or court music of China, has a history stretching over around three thousand years. It has its own unique systems of musical notation, as well as musical tuning and pitch, musical instruments and styles or musical genres. Chinese music is pentatonic-diatonic, having a scale of twelve notes to an octave (5 + 7 = 12) as does European-influenced music. Persian music is the music of Persia and Persian language countries: musiqi, the science and art of music, and muzik, the sound and performance of music (Sakata 1983). See also: Music of Iran, Music of Afghanistan, Music of Tajikistan, Music of Uzbekistan.
20th- and 21st-century music
Main article: 20th-century music
Double bassist Reggie Workman, tenor saxophone player Pharoah Sanders, and drummer Idris Muhammad performing in 1978
With 20th-century music, there was a vast increase in music listening as the radio gained popularity and phonographs were used to replay and distribute music. The focus of art music was characterized by exploration of new rhythms, styles, and sounds. Igor Stravinsky, Arnold Schoenberg, and John Cage were all influential composers in 20th-century art music. The invention of sound recording and the ability to edit music gave rise to new sub-genre of classical music, including the acousmatic  and Musique concrète schools of electronic composition.
Jazz evolved and became an important genre of music over the course of the 20th century, and during the second half of that century, rock music did the same. Jazz is an American musical artform that originated in the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States from a confluence of African and European music traditions. The style’s West African pedigree is evident in its use of blue notes, improvisation, polyrhythms, syncopation, and the swung note. From its early development until the present, jazz has also incorporated music from 19th- and 20th-century American popular music. Jazz has, from its early-20th-century inception, spawned a variety of subgenres, ranging from New Orleans Dixieland (1910s) to 1970s and 1980s-era jazz-rock fusion.
Rock music is a genre of popular music that developed in the 1960s from 1950s rock and roll, rockabilly, blues, and country music. The sound of rock often revolves around the electric guitar or acoustic guitar, and it uses a strong