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The Origins of Music

Music is poetry in motion. Music incorporates the deep, resounding words within an individual and spews them out as an art form. Music is intriguing, beguiling and may create a different aura each time it is performed or played. Music has its complexities. The lyrical poetry is meshed with a harmonious combination of clanging sounds and hissing whispers. Music can easily be described in many different ways, but professionally music is defined as an art form and cultural activity in which the sound is highly organized according to time, sequence and tune. Pitch, rhythm and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture all make the song what it is today when it is complete.

Songs are not a thing for professionals only to curate. A song can be made by a layman simply combining a poetic stanza with rhythmic or non-rhythmic sound effects. Of course, the quality of such a song can be questioned but it is still a musical piece.

Music has its place in all cultures and all walks of life around the world. There is not community wherein music does not feature. Be it in the western societies, those enjoy a gothic lifestyle listen to heavy metal music which may parallel with how they feel or the lifestyle they enjoy. In more tradition African societies such as the Khoi Khoi people of southern Africa Khoisan folk music is sung. Such musical proses will include sounds from instruments such as drums. Music part of everyday life, but how exactly did it become so?

Over 60,000 years ago a cultural boom happened on earth. The ancient humans began to explore art through painting in caves with the blood of the animals they culled and adorning themselves with beading and jewelry to signify status. These artistic developments have caused many historians to assume that these new forms of behavior reflect the emergence of musical creativity as we know it.

Mammoth-ivory flutes

In 2008, a huge discovery was made that backs up that music has been a core focus to life since the beginning of human existence. An instrument was found which was a flute made from a bone. This great piece dated back 43,000 years ago and was found in Hohle Fels cave near Ulm in Germany.  The flute had five-holes, a mouthpiece and was made from a vulture wing bone.  It wasn’t the only instrument found. There were several similar instruments found in the same area, with others being 35,000 years old and made from mammoth ivory instead.  Mammoth-ivory flutes would have been especially challenging to make but it is evident the drive that arises when one is invigorated by the spirit of art was at work. The people of then only had stone tools to construct the flute. Such a luxury it is to now have machines to help us construct the difficult parts and pieces of our instruments. Music is a testament of the complexity of the human mind, the beauty of the human thoughts and of the history and heritage we are surrounded by today.