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The History of Music

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The History of Music

Throughout history all cultures have been influenced by music. Since the Baroque period music has evolved and changed to meet the needs of the composers, listeners and of the culture as well. Ever since the monolithic chant of the previous millennia the western musical tradition been a mirror to the turmoil and the triumph in the European society. Influenced by religion, nationalism, geography, living conditions, imperialism, pragmatics, social mores, traditions, etc? western music has evolved into a mighty being that still will endure for centuries.
Before the Baroque era in music there were many forms of western music. Most of this music was monophonic, sung in chant used mostly for religious purposes. During the previous millennia most music was sung in chant form with very little accompaniment, save a harp or a violin. In these times music was a simple art, sung by the people to praise the Lord. Eventually polyphonic music developed, first starting as monophonic chant sung in thirds and fifths, and later contrapuntal music was created. During this time the music notation system was standardized, originally a modified Greek system; music notation evolved into the notation that is used today. Having the use of music notation set the foundation for Baroque music and for all music after that.
In the late sixteenth century and early seventeenth century the Baroque style of music started in Italy. Italy, where the renaissance started, was able to create a new type of music rich in feeling, but less intricate than much of the previous renaissance music that was centered towards the north (France and the area now occupied by the Netherlands). New ideas, like interplay between the various instruments in an orchestra, became prevalent, unlike the monophonic music of previous years. As new instruments were incorporated into orchestras and compositions became increasingly more instrumental interplay had an increasing new role in the new baroque music. Claudio Monteverdi was a pioneer in the field of music at this time. His new operas contained many instances on interplay and sudden contrasts in feeling. As the seventeenth century progressed base parts in music became increasingly more important as the new basso continuo, idea formed. In the basso continuo soprano and alto voices in the music would be constructed on a platform of bass chords that gave meaning and structure to the music.
During the Baroque period new forms of presenting music were invented. The cantata and oratorio were created as new forms of vocal pieces. Both of these forms had repeating phrases that structured the pieces with minimal orchestral accompaniment. New forms of music were written in continuous contrapuntal form with no distinguishable movements, the most famous of which was the fantasia. Other forms such as the sonata had many homophonic and contrapuntal movements that contrasted witheach other. There were many pieces that were a theme and variations called a passacaglia. The concerto was a solo instrument that played against an orchestra that differed on many musical, rhythmical and dynamic levels. The concerto was one of the most important forms of music that came out of the Baroque period.
During the Baroque period there were many new influential composers. These composers included the Italian composers Alessandro Scarlatti, Arcangelo Corelli Domenico Scarlatti, and Antonio Vivaldi; the German composers Heinrich Sch'tz and Dietrich Buxtehude; the Italian-Frenchman Jean Baptiste Lully; the English composers Henry Purcell; and the French composer Jean Philippe Rameau.
Towards the end of the century, music became more fluid and ?romanticized?. The ideas of contrasting movements gave way to pieces that more or less the same general musicality and character all the way through. Towards the end of the Baroque period, the great composer J.S. Bach shined and wrote some of the best Baroque pieces ever written, still Baroque in style, but giving way to the new classical period.
During the mid eighteenth century there was a reaction to the Baroque style of music. People were tired of the ridged counterpoint that governed the baroque music. Instead new composers chose to compose a new form of music that was happy and jubilant to mirror the times of great exploration and hope for European society. New music, like the rococo written by the French composer Fran?ois Couperin showed the new jubilance in music. This new music was broken into several contrasting movements with different conversations and phrase. Music became more like a happy dance during this period. During the classical period tonality was brought to new heights. New complex harmonic textures were used that facilitated the use of new tones and chords within a key.
Like in the Baroque era, the concerto and sonata were used as art forms. In the Classical period the symphony and string quartet were added as new acceptable art forms. Most of these forms included three or four contrasting movements that ended in a finale that brought closure to the work, ending in the chord of the key the work was written in. As new instruments were ...

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Keywords: the history of musical theatre, the history of music production, the history of music therapy, the history of musical instruments, the history of music videos, the history of music book, the history of music timeline, the history of music streaming

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