The History of Musical Instruments
In this article, let’s be more general about music and actually, I’d like to write about the history of musical instruments.
Everybody loves music and, thankfully, there is a wide range of genres to choose from, so that each of us can find the kind of music she or he enjoys. But, did you ever wonder how music appeared and when? Was it a deliberate gesture or did it happen by accident, as with many of humanity’s inventions?
Well, specialists estimate that music is 55,000 years old, at least. This conclusion was drawn after it was noticed that even the most isolated tribes of the globe, which mostly still live in the way their ancestors did, had some form of music they developed over time and played. So, most certainly the primitive people of the globe played music in their days.
Having all these in mind, the first form of music must have been percussion, as rocks and sticks are believed to be the first instruments of the ancient man. Please keep in mind that this applies to instruments other than the human voice which also has been an important part of ancient music but that’s a topic so deep that we’ll cover that in a dedicated article). Later on, drums may have evolved, as people noticed that dressed animal hides stretched over the opening of some sort of barrel was capable of producing sounds. But, in spite of mankind’s interest in music, instruments evolved rather slowly. Humanity took its time in inventing and making musical instruments, so it was only in 4000 BCE when flutes and harps emerged in Egypt. Then, 500 years later, the first versions of double-reed clarinets and lyres appeared as well. Then, in 2500 BCE, on the territory where we can find Denmark today, the first trumpet appeared. Unlike modern trumpets, this one was without valves, so the sounds it produced depended entirely on the skills of the player and his ability to control his lips in order to obtain the desired pitch.
In case you are a fan of the guitar, which currently is one of the most popular instruments in the world, did you know when it appeared and who made it? To your surprise, the Hittites invented the guitar in 1500 BCE. If until this moment instruments were rather simple, the appearance of the guitar was an incredible step when it comes to the skills and thinking of man concerning the invention of tools, as the guitar involved using a fret in order to change the sound of the instrument with the help of a vibrating cord. This invention inspired the creation of other string instruments, such as the violin. The oldest recorded song dates back to 800 BCE and was a religious hymn, written in cuneiforms, which was the written form of language back in those days, and not a type of musical notation. And, the oldest recorded song that was more complex, presenting both vocals and instrumental parts, dates back to 700 BCE.
Since then, music evolved a lot, together with the world we live in and its technology. But, one thing remained unchanged and that is our desire to create and listen to music. It is one of the most appreciated art forms in the world and most of us love listening to music on a daily basis. Music is a part of our culture and identity as a nation and will continue to remain one of our biggest interests.
So, stop reading and start making some great music!
About the Author
Rhalou is an aspiring freelance writer from Romania.
She loves to write creative and original articles on many different subjects, including music. For many years she studied the English language, grammar, and literature.
Writing is something she does with joy and passion at the same time.