History Of Music Essay

2522 Words 11 Pages
It can be argued that the vanguard of development has always been reflected in the arts of a culture. It is the poets, the dreamers and artists who are the architects of the future; the ones who ‘build the world they want to live in, the ones who dream out loud’1. Music is an elaborate art form, tempered by the emotions of those who create it and as such the dreams, creations and inventions are partly the products - or at least artifacts - of the world around them. As such, the social, economic and technological changes in society reflect themselves in the arts of the time also. The common question “Does art imitate life, or does life imitate art?” when inspected proves rhetorical: they are parallel mirrors which reflect each other.

W.H.
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Although there is evidence that music and music performance played a large part in Greek culture in the manuscripts discovered from their civilisation, there are very few actual artifacts of the music itself, either vocal or instrumental that have survived. It is impossible to fully understand what little notation that has been discovered to properly reproduce an accurate performance or even imagine what it could sound like.

Greek civilisation was heavily reliant on mythology. According to Greek mythology, music was considered divine; a creation of the gods. It was believed that the gods themselves invented music and musical instruments. Music and religion (mythology) played an integral part in both the public and private lives of the Greeks. Many early myths were those which explained the powerful forces of music. The Greek were perhaps the first to iterate music’s powerful effect on human emotions.

In Greek history, music was a much debated topic. Philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle both had very different views on the power and importance it had. Pythagoras developed the numerical octave system still used to represent music today. This was critical in helping us to understand today what we find in artifacts of the past. Entertainment in Greece was highly regarded and prioritised, as it represented wealth and status. The Greeks developed most of their music in…