The History of Music

This week I’ve been feeling an impending case of brain rot.  To try and stave this off, I dug some of my theory and music history texts from college.  Nothing too heavy, but a little reading might refresh some of those ideas that are starting to get a little vague.  The book The Development of Western Music by K. Marie Stolba serves as a nice corner stone for basic music history research.  When I say basic, I mean that it covers from pre-history up to about the mid-1990s.  So what does it have to say about the history of music?



The origins of music have been lost to time.  Scientists say that is can be found in space.  Ethnomusicologists can show that the most primitive tribes had it.  Peoples such as the Hebrews have music rooted in their holy scriptures. 


The noun Music is rooted in the Greek word Muse.  A muse was one of 9 goddesses who presided over song, art, literature and science.  Apollo was the guardian of the muses and therefore a god of ‘music.’  The Greek pantheon had many deities that were credited with the development of various musical instruments. 

apollo       Apollo with his lyre.    muses Greek Muses

Mythology, legend and ancient cultures are all credited with influencing the development of western music.