Influences Of Music On Cultures Cultural Studies Essay

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Emerson characterized language as "fossil poetry" but"fossil music" would have described it even better; for as Darwin says, man sang before he became human.

From the beginning of human history people expressed a lot of their feelings and emotions through what in our days we call music. One of the most important ways to express the inner world of a human being besides many different types of art that are capable not only to have a moment in our memory but to mean something to us, is music. Its effeteness spread out through time slow but steady. In nowadays we can see its power if we observe that music is all around us. Some people may decline the beauty of a painting or a picture which is as previously reported as art that comes from the human soul but very few humans can refuse hearing a song or whistling a melody. Realizing that some kind of music can be part of a joyful event as well as a very melancholic one is why it is so magic. If we think of a party with no music we could understand why it is necessary in many different occasions in our lives, especially the happy moments.

In the world we live in we can hear different sounds everywhere. Some of these we can say that they are pleasing and harmonious but other ones are disturbing to our ears. The ones that were pleasant we tried to imitate creating sounds with no order or particular arrangement. These where the first attempts to creating music. Actually in these days people often don't have enough time to pay attention and appreciate the little things that make us happy in the end of the day like music. It is so easy to find it simply by pressing a button on the radio but when it comes to realizing the definition and finding out where music came from it doesn't seem to really be a concern for us. Although the original source of musical sound does not have to be human,

music is always the result of some kind of human intention or organization through production techniques such as composition, arrangement, performance or presentation.

We all know that savage nations accompany their dances by striking one object with another, sometimes by a clanking of stones, the pounding of wood, or maybe the clashing of stone spearheads against wooden shields a custom which extended until the time when shields and spears were discarded, meaning thus to express something that words cannot. This meaning changed naturally from its original one of being the simple expression of fear to that of welcoming a chieftain. As previously referred, this more or less rhythmic clanking of stones together, the striking of wooden paddles against the side of a canoe, or the clashing of stone spearheads against wooden shields, could not be the first musical instrument since it was not intentioned to use any object absolutely for creating sounds. But when some savage first struck a certain tree and found that it produced a impressive sound not familiar to the person, when he found a hollow log and filled up the open ends, first with wood, and then possibly getting the idea from his shield - stretched skins across the two open ends, then he had completed or discovered the first musical instrument known to man, which was the drum. It is worth saying that the drum they had created so many years ago possibly by an accident has the same basic characteristics with only but few modifications.

But from the moment he had invented the first musical instrument, the drum, he had created something outside of nature, a voice that to himself and to all other living creatures was intangible, an soulless object that did not only produced ''magical'' sounds when it was touched in a particular way having rhythm an incorporating some kind of flow if you want to call like that. Something that he could call into life and share all kind of different emotional moments with it, from sadness to spiritual calling. Something that shared the supernatural in common with the elements. We could say that the lifeline of music from the moment musical instruments were created had as a result, the simple random sounds which came from nature in combination with the human emotional and spiritual innovation raised to a whole new level giving life to one of the greatest forms of art we have today.

Many civilizations inspired and influenced by music played an important role in forming and giving some characteristics of its people to it. From ancient Greek times we know that music was not only a way to support a celebration moment but it was connected as said before to spiritual as well as educational meanings. Ancient Greeks believed that people from younger ages should have had some kind of experience with music as through this form art the spiritual balance would helped them discover other accepts of understanding life. Furthermore they believed that because this type of art connected in many of their daily activities it was capable to expand the inner world horizons. This idea is clear as we can understand from the following part of an article: " The Greeks loved music, and made it an important part of their lives. They thought of music as a way of honoring the gods, and making the world a more human, civilized place. Unfortunately we really have no idea what Greek music sounded like, because there were no tape recorders or anything like that then, and they had no way of writing down music either".(http://www.historyforkids.org/learn/greeks/art/music/)

Unfortunately we do not have a clear overview of what kind of sounds they produced but other ancient objects show us through paintings the instruments that they had acquired in that time. The most common and known instruments back then were pipes, lyres, drums and cymbals. The materials used to create the instruments were simple things nature could provide. Their pipes were made from wood or reeds, with holes cut in them for your fingers to play the tune. Some were played vertically, like a recorder, and some were played sideways, like a flute. Sometimes people played more than one pipe at a time. These instruments were used in different ways. The celebration use in dancing had a great impact because of the beneficial power. The ceremonial use of music we can see when people played this particular music when their intentions were for worshipping gods. One of the most important names in ancient times was Dionysus, the god of wine and celebrations in whose name people used to celebrate drink and basically dance along the music. Greeks also had lyres, which are like harps but in a smaller edition, and sounded like classical guitars. According to the Greek history, the first lyre was made from a turtle shell by the god Hermes when he was a baby, and then Hermes gave it to Apollo. Apollo was the god of reason and logic, and the Greeks thought of music as a great expression of order and patterns. Lyre music was played calmer, and more soothingly, than the pipes and drums.

In other words, to become music, one or more humans have to organize sounds that may or may not be considered musical for them, into sequentially and sometimes synchronically, ordered patterns. For example, the sound of a smoke alarm is unlikely to be regarded in itself as music, but when used for creating a different soundtrack and connected with a repeated drum track, or combined with sounds like screams edited in certain points, it can become music. In the professional world of music composers and the all the people that deal with music define it as an artistic form of auditory communication incorporating instrumental or vocal tones in a structured and continuous manner.

Like all great forms of art that exist and have touched so many people, music because of its worldwide acceptance and its importance as well as the how much it evolved and differentiated it logically created the need to humans to categorize the type of music and separated in to different eras in world history. Based on these facts, music is separated into six eras in history. Starting from prehistoric that describes any kind of music created from preliterate cultures. Continuing with the ancient period of music that was quite important since most of the civilizations started to create instruments and making music a part of their common and simple everyday life, this chronological period was before five hundred AD. Prehistoric music is followed by ancient music in most of Europe (1500 BCE) and later music's in subsequent European-influenced areas, but still exists in isolated areas. Further more we had the early period that begin right after the ancient and ended at 1760. Early is commonly defined as European classical music from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, sometimes also including the Baroque. After this period we have the so called common practice period. The common practice period, in the history of European art music (broadly called classical music), spanning the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods, lasted from about 1600 until about 1900. In the beginning of the 20th century music was extremely varied and thus there was no dominant style. As years pass by different kinds of music are discovered in a rapid rhythm and continuing with an ''explosion'' of technological development affecting music dramatically.

As mentioned before from the beginning of music history till now the variety of music where someone can find differs extremely. Although it is hard to believe, many kinds of music affected the world history course more then once and it is important to analyze some of the most important types of music starting with classical music.

Classical music really became popular during the mid-1700s to early 1800s, and everyone waited anxiously as composers came out with new concertos, sonatas and symphonies. There were many one-hit wonders, but composers like Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Mendelssohn rose to the top and stayed there. Anyone can develop an appreciation for classical music by studying different styles and learning about the developments in each era. Given the extremely broad variety of forms, styles, genres, and historical periods generally perceived as being described by the term "classical music," it is difficult to list characteristics that can be attributed to all works of that type. Furthermore due to the variety it is hard to define exactly what classical is and describe standard characteristics. Someone could think that because of these kind of music contains violins that most of the times we hear them in other kinds of music it could be confusing. However, there are characteristics that classical music contains that few or no other genres of music contain. The major time divisions of classical music are the early music period, which includes Medieval (476 - 1400) and Renaissance (1400-1600), the Common practice period, which includes the Baroque(1600-1750), Classical (1730-1820) and Romantic (1815-1910) periods, and the modern and contemporary period, which includes 20thcentury classical (1900-2000) and contemporary classical (1975 - current). The Baroque Era emerged as referred before around the late 1600s, it was fashionable for the royalty and rich households to employ a composer. Composers also resided in churches and wrote music for mass. So writing music wasn't a hobby for composers like Vivaldi, Handel and Bach instead it was a very difficult job. And they were the best at it, each creating hundreds of pieces that are still not only played today but considered one of the most important music gender of all times. The classical period lasted from the mid-1700s to early 1800s, being the right time for some of the most popular composers in history to just come out and start composing masterpieces.  The romantic era which took place at the early to mid 1800s saw music take a turn for the highly emotional and poetically personal. Structure, though still important, was second to expressing oneself freely. A beautiful sunset or a lovely member of the opposite sex would send a composer running for his pen so he could make it possible to just fell and write down the immediate inspiration. Berlioz, Chopin, Brahms, Liszt and Strauss are just some of the romantic greats. One other clue that is known about the composers is that they typically went to Vienna, Austria--the Mecca of classical music-to become great. But then it became fashionable to just stay home and compose music from there, instead. Composers like Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and others made up songs that we could say that they were affected from their hometown influence, and this style of incorporating the hometown music into classical music was a hit, lasting until the beginning of the 20th century. When a new century dawned, composers like Debussy, Stravinsky, Prokofiev and Gershwin changed all the rules again by making their music very "visual." Their pieces were like musical movies. Disney took advantage of this fact and incorporated several twentieth-century pieces into "Fantasia.". This movie was so succeeded because it was based on classical music which is a very colorful music, the perfect combination-classical music in a fantastic world takes shapes and colors. The majority of popular styles lend themselves to the song form, classical music can also take on the form of the concerto, symphony, sonata, opera, dance music, suite, etude, symphonic poem, and others. Classical composers often want to characterize their music as a very complex relationship between its affective (emotional) content and the intellectual means by which it is created. Many of the most popular works of classical music make use of musical development, the process by which a musical idea or motif is repeated in different contexts or in altered form. The sonata form was created based on other forms of musical development and it can so us that somehow all the different kinds of classical music because of the way they affected one each other we have some kind of relation and connection.

Based on the power and influence that classical music it is considered the mother of many other music types. But this doesn't really apply to jazz music because of its character.

''Jazz is not the result of choosing a tune, but an ideal that is created first in the mind, inspired by one's passion, and willed next in playing music.''

Louis Armstrong

Jazz is the kind of lively music with strong, complex rhythms. The first time that we hear jazz was at the beginning of the 20th century by black musicians in New Orleans, Louisiana. Jazz musicians often accent or add notes or beats in random and unexpected places that's why jazz is so alternative and individual music. They make up tunes as they play. The magic thing about this gender of music was that it represented the soul of the black people then that were not living in the best conditions. So the music they played was something to forget their unfortunate moments and to just jazz. It was like anyone could just pick up an instrument and not having to follow particular patterns and notes or had to be synchronized with the rest of the band. We can hear this when in some songs everyone simply solos around and this creates a wonderful mix of sound that strangely has a very good connection and it is southing to the ear. Jazz music changed during the 20th century, and today there are many different forms of Jazz. Shortly after the turn of the 20th century, the earliest documented jazz music style was born in New Orleans. The most important musical instruments that black musicians used basically when they begin was: a cornet, trumpet, or violin to carry the melody while a clarinet played ornate countermelodies, and the trombone provided rhythmic slides and the root notes of chords or simple harmonies as we can understand jazz music is the type of music that tries to relax with a joyful tone people's mind. Below this group, there was a guitar or banjo sounding out the chords, sometimes a piano or a string bass but sometimes both were used, and drums supplying a rhythmic accompaniment.

  In theory these musicians and their instrument roles are the same as in other kinds of music, but jazz depends more on interpretation by individuals than on reproducing a fully annotated score. Jazz blends in improvisation and other elements of black music such as blues and ragtime to make a unique music form. In jazz, musicians often play solos that they make up on the spot, or they play somehow the same melody's but with a different given melody or chord sequence. When more than one musician is playing, the rhythms often become very complex. There is tremendous variety in jazz the music is rhythmic, has a forward momentum called "swing," and also involves "bent" or "blue" notes. One can often hear "call and response" patterns where one instrument, voice, or band section answers another. With a few exceptions found in some styles, most jazz is based on the principle that an endless number of melodies can fit the chord progressions of a song. Musicians improvise new melodies that fit the progressions. Other featured soloists follow with their improvisations for as many choruses as desired. So it is easy to understand that improvisation is a basic element of what we call jazz music. Jazz famous artists are very many and important. Starting with Louis Armstrong that was known for his talent in playing the trumpet and in jazz vocals. The joy that he brought to his music is partly what allowed him to be considered the father of modern jazz. Another very important artist of this kind of music is Frank Sinatra who began his career with Tommy Dorsey's band. For the next decades that Sinatra performed he extensively and recorded bestselling albums of all time.

The roots of rock and roll are from jazz music because in the beginning rock and roll had many characteristics like its blues tunes, gospel music, and jazz-influenced vocal music that slowly became popular after the second World War to the American people.

The word rock expresses the power and the stability of someone's character. That means, people who continuously listen to rock music have very specific ideas and strong believes. Rock besides the meaning that in our days we all know as one of the biggest types of music is also a very hard material and usually the fans of rock music tend to be a lot more aggressive and hard going so someone could say that are similar to stones. It is believed that they or not the type of people that change their mind easily but these would referrer to the seriously fanatic people that listen to this type of music. The inventor of rock and roll music was Chuck Berry 1955. Berry was a black man playing black music. Although times had changed white people started to listen rhythm and blues throughout the Northeast, and also white musicians started to play rhythm and blues side to side with country music. Things had mixed up as the white people started to play black music. The music industry immediately understood that white people could make a lot of money throughout black art, meaning the power of what is know to all jazz. Rock and roll was an overnight success. The music industry started to promote white idols such as Elvis Presley, but the real heroes were the likes of Chuck Berry, who better symbolize the connection that this type of music created between the performers and the audiences. The black rockers, and a few white rockers, played a very important role in the youth's rebellious mood, their need for a soundtrack to their dreams of not accepting always what is told and what is universal. Their impact was long lasting because the effectiveness of the particular music gender, but their careers was short lived because of the lifestyle this type of music had borne -adopted. For one reason or another, they all stopped recording after a brief time. Rock and roll was inherited by white singers, such as Presley, who often performed songs composed by obscure black musicians. White rockers became gentler and gentler influenced and brainwashed from the lifestyle of the music managing to lose the meaning and forget rock and roll's very reason to exist. Many musical styles from around the world contributed to this new sound. Along with the African American influence, rock 'n roll also drew on the lyrical melodies of recent European immigrants and the country and western music of Texans. First, the music became popular in small clubs and on the radio. With the invention of what we call television like most information and movements travelled around the world rapidly like rock music and later, with the introduction of programs such as American Bandstand, teenagers could watch their favorite bands on television. Not everyone was excited about this music. Many parents didn't like the suggestive dancing, naughty lyrics, and loud, fast beat. After all the phrase that characterized this type of music was ''Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll''. We can understand know the reactions of some people were way too excessive and many time rock music was characterized from many as the ''Devils music''. This happened mostly later in the beginning of the seventies till the early nineties. Some still believe that rock is harming as we are going to analyze the music effects on people further on. This is not that strange but that rhythm and the new kind of music was something new to many people and that's how this believe started.

The kids' interest started to grow again but this time more fanatically, not because it was better music but because folksingers started singing about the problems of the system. These had a major impact because the songs had more meaning which had as a result to ''control'' a lot of peoples opinion in general but mostly towards the system. Kids who had not identified with Woody Guthrie's stories of poor people, identified immediately with folksingers singing about the Vietnam War and civil rights. Bob Dylan was agreeably the most influential musician of the era. He led the charge against the Establishment with simple songs and poetic lyrics. A generation believed in him and followed his dreams not only back then but till know thus to the universal acceptance of his songs contains that someone could even claim that it was working as a kind of philosopher. Music became the expression of youth's ambitions.

One of the biggest and most important rock festivals of all time was the Woodstock in the late Sixties. Woodstock has been referenced in many different ways in popular culture. The phrase "The Woodstock Generation" became part of the common lexicon. "Rock 'N Roll" is a musical genre whose golden years are usually recognized as the decades of the 1950's and 1960's. Also new kind of blues, it featured electrically amplified guitars, harmonicas, and drummers that emphasized after beats .While the black gospel music became more popular. Rock and roll music use this characteristics in the very beginning . Radio spread this music's appeal from black communities to towns throughout all of the United States. By the mid-1950 such performers as Little Richard, Joe Turner, and Chuck Berry were becoming popular with white audiences. Radio disc jockeys began calling their music rock 'n roll.

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