What was the first music?
first music-There are many legends among many peoples of how music began. The Bible tells of Jubal, the father of musicians. An old Spanish book describes how Jubal listened to Tubalcain’s forge and noticed that the sounds made by pounding and anvil differed in pitch. He tried imitating these sounds with his voice and soon found himself singing high tones and then low tones.
The Greek myths tell of Pan, the inventor of the shepherd’s pipe. Pan sighed through the reeds on a river bank and heard his breath produce a mournful wail as it passed through them. He broke them off in unequal lengths, bound them together, and he had a musical instrument!
Such tales are, of course, pure fancy. All primitive people do seem to have made music of some sort. But this music was not for pleasure alone. It had a meaning as part of their lives. Folk music, which is an ancient type of music, started when untrained singers made up songs.
The Greeks related music to poetry and the drama. They used instruments such as harps, lyres, and flutes.
The art of music owes a great deal of its growth to the early Christian church. In time, from church music there developed other forms and types, new instruments were invented, and music became established art.
Who First Wrote Music?
All primitive people seem to have made music of some sort. But the sounds they made were very different from those of modern music. This music often consisted of long and loud exclamations, sighs, moans, and shouts. Dancing, clapping, and drumming went along with the singing.
Folk music has existed for centuries, passed from generations to generations by being heard, not by being written down. Composed music is many centuries old. Ancient civilizations such as the Chinese, Hindu, Egyptian, Assyrian, and Hebrew all had music. The Greeks made complicated music by putting tones together similar to present-day scales. For notation, they used the letters of the alphabet written above the syllables of the words.
After the Greeks and Romans, the early Christian Church was important in the growth of the art music. Saint Ambrose and Saint Gregory began a style of music known as “plain song”.
This was a type of chant sung in unison. Tones followed one another in a way similar to the method developed by the Greeks. Churchmen also learned to write music down. The modern method of writing music developed from their system.
In 1600, the first opera, Eurydice, was produced by Jacopo Peri. Later on, men like Monteverdi wrote not only operas but music for instruments, such as the violin. Music began to be written for court dances, pageants, and miracle plays. And in time much of the great music we enjoy today was composed by such men as Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, and Bethoven.