Various Genre Of Music Over The
To make this kinda quick and painless i'll just ramble through the very
early years at this point. Later on we'll get into more detail.
As the 1900's began, the variety of music genre began to grow
exponentially it seems. Ragtime, big band, jazz, folk, blues, crooning, scat,
country/western, funk, be bop, rock, southern rock, disco, punk, break dance, hip-hop,
techno, acid jazz, progressive, alternative, house music and many other types and
variables were formed. Rock and country/western spawned southern rock. Progressive and
jazz combined to form acid jazz. After disco came break dancing which then followed with
hip-hop, techno and house music. So as the instruments and supporting technology changed,
the way we expressed ourselves with music also seems to have changed.
Ah, the early years and Medieval times. Where men were men and had to
prove themselves. Their "worth" was valued on what they did and their honor.
Unlike today, they didn't have lawyers, only the dungeon and the chopping block! The music
composed during this era reflects this time well. For example, in Scotland the bagpipe can
be traced back to exist in one form or another for about 3,000 years! Meanwhile in ancient
Greek living the lyre (an early form of the modern lute) was used to express one's music.
Even in 1225 one can read about how the musicians and music lovers argued about which
animals guts made the best harp strings! Kinda like the way we argue about interconnects
and speaker cable of today! The lyre was played with the right hand plucking the string by
hand, or by using a plectrum, while the left hand stopped the strings when wished. Well,
of course the lyre is obsolete and closer resembles the modern day lute than the harp.
Music of this period would be described by us today an elegant and simple.
Like our present day harp music, it's simplicity and harmonics were of a complimentary
order. Very tranquil and romantic. After all, they say music sooths the savage beast.
Early Celtic harp music as on the currently available CD titled "The Enchanted
Isles" by Carol Thompson (Dorian DOR-90120) should give you a good idea what i'm
referring to. Carol Thompson is a VERY accomplished musician who's soul and musical
ability is not only steeped with traditional music, but is also valued to to teach other
these classic ways of performing music.
Meanwhile the zither was being used by the Austrian Tyrol and the Bavaria
people. Variations of this instrument were also used in Japan, Africa, and the Middle
East. Like the lyre, the right hand did the plucking, or by using plectrum to start the
notes, and the left hand stopped strings from vibrating. The koto is the Japanese
equivalent of the zither. This type of "technology" was used in various forms to
express ourselves musically. It's easy to trace through the years as it evolved all the
way to the electric guitar of our time! ANYWAY, the next takeoff of the lyre was the first
bowed instrument called the rebab. The rebab looks kinda like a violin! Yep, as time
progresses the rebab was later "improved" and was called the rebec which was
later "improved" and was eventually called... YEP, the violin. The more that
things change, the more they stay the same so it seems.
Examples of "modern day" zithers.
The Renaissance was a rebirth of sorts. Not only for human existence, but
also in musical expression too! Out of the chaos came many forms of music in it's time.
MANY books have been written about this period of human existence. Ya know, there's just
not enough space here to thoroughly cover this period of time. No way, no how, and my most
humble apologies my friends. Most of you are familiar with Renaissance music, right? If
not, may i humbly suggest you go to your local library and read, read, read. In my humble
opinion mankind is right now going through a type of Renaissance. The parallels are quite
So as human lifestyle and the surrounding we are subjected to changed, so
has the music we humans create. In the very early years in Europe, classical music was
born. The surroundings then were majestic and tranquil. This helped to support artists of
all kinds. Imagine how the great grandeur of open fields and countryside brought about the
expression of feelings towards these visions and lifestyles. For it was at this time the
first clavichord came into existence. Although it wasn't the first instrument to use a
keyboard. The very first pipe organ of sorts dates back to the 3rd century! This was the
fist combination of an instrument using strings and a keyboard. The first examples of the
clavichord dates back to the 14th century. The clavichord could only produce music at low
volume levels though, so it made for a more intimate musical enjoyment. Fortunately, you
could control the volume and tone of a note(s) by varying the pressure on the
corresponding key(s). Next came the harpsichord in the 16th century.
The harpsichord could achieve a louder volume level, yet unlike the
clavichord, the musician could not adjust the pitch or dynamic(s) of a note(s) by varying
the pressure of the keyboard. Fortunately, the harpsichord COULD play louder as well as
used more strings and other devices to offer the composer and/or a musician wider variety
of tonal qualities to choose from. Of course soon to follow was the piano. The name piano
came from the word "pianoforte" which translates to "soft-loud". It's
inventor, Bartolommeo Cristofori, devised the first instrument that used a form of hammer
striking action. By the year 1726 he developed all the essentials of what we use today,
the modern piano! Beethoven, Hayden, and Schubert wrote music for the earliest version of
the piano. As the piano developed by using heavier stringing and sturdier iron frames, the
sound it produced was more percussive. Not only in the ability of higher volume levels but
also in clarity and sustaining power. So as the piano evolved, composers like Beethoven,
Chopin, and Liszt's music reflected these changes too. Just as a painter may make adjust
to the available colours in his repertoire, so the musical artist also adapts to his
available "colors" too. Many times over history we can see that we humans DO
adapt to our surrounding and try to make the most of it. These types of actions are
repeated throughout history in may ways, shapes and forms.
An example of an Italian harpsichord.