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The Development of Artistic and Popular Music Through the Ages Report

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Updated: Oct 21st, 2021

Outline

Artistic music has undergone development through ages in terms of instrument used as well as style. This has been characterized by a transition from the medieval period where there was the development of physical notations to enhance communication to the modern period that applies modern technology as well as electricity. The development of modern music includes the introduction of synthesizers and computers to manipulate the sound thus giving the music a high quality compared to ancient times. However, all these elements are characterized by basic elements such as materials used in music composition and the use of rhythm to bring out the desired expression matching the message. All the ages have shared the meaning of a basic term such as harmony, pitch as well as the organization of beats.

The development of artistic and popular music through the ages

According to (Negus, 1997), the development of artistic and popular music together with its instruments has been classified into various periods though they overlap with each other. In the early music period, very little is known concerning musical instruments and records are in form of artifacts, writings, and pictures during ancient civilizations. In the medieval period, musical notation was developed with documentation of music in a form that was physical in nature to allow efficient communication. Different parts of instruments were introduced in the renaissance period such as lute, recorder, and today’s instruments’ early versions. In the baroque period, keyboard tuning replaced the modal system and an improved playing technique of the trumpet was introduced.

In the classical period, instrumental music was domineered as compared to vocal forms of artistic and popular music. Viola’s technique of playing had not developed well and performers had a hard time playing music. However, in classical and romantic periods, there was a great improvement in how viola was played hence enjoying notoriety in popular music. Lastly is the modern period where, with the help of electricity; new gadgets like synthesizers, electric guitar, and computers for sound manipulation have been invented. (Negus, 1997).

Basic elements of the music of all periods

(Besson, 2001) states that, basic elements of music constitute the materials for music composition and they include; rhythm which is music’s quality and determination of its motion. There are also a number of notational elements for rhythm expression. Among them are time signature, beat, flags, ties, tempo markings, portato, stems, legato, fermata, and staccato. Another basic element is dynamics which is the sound’s volume and changes in intensity over a given period of time. In music, dynamics are subjective as they are dependent on instruments and the music’s context. For example, the mark” f “in the music of lute does not have a similar intensity level to that of “f “on baritone saxophone music.

Timbre which is the sound’s quality that results from its harmonic content is another basic element and in classic guitar, it is used in the adding of ‘’color’’ to music. All periods are also characterized by the melody which refers to the lowness of the sound of music or its highness and can be gotten from different scales. An example is a whole tone and chromatic scales used in art and popular music styles of the 20th and 19th centuries. They also share harmony defined as pitch’s verticalization which combines pitches making chords and is described depending on its harshness. The harsh combination is described as dissonance while the smooth combination is referred to as consonance. Another characteristic is tempo which is the speed at which the beat is played and Italian terms are used to designate the indications of tempo. Lastly of the musical elements is the meter which is the organization of beats into patterns of accent that are recognizable and is felt in the conductor’s standard patterns. (Besson, 2001).

How music relates to the social and cultural events of our times

(Negus, 1997) argues that, social and cultural events cannot be studied without the incorporation of music that accompanies each of them and examples are; social and cultural events where music is performed and instruments played on religious holidays as well as other festivities where siku panpipe is performed. Marimba of the Columbians is performed for religious and secular occasions which include Saint Anthony’s festival and dance of social corrals.

Musical events and instruments are depicted in sculptures and a lot about the culture of Latin American musical context is learned from’’ music iconography’’ done on pots that are ceramic such as those in Mexico or in Peru. Music is also performed in functions to entertain others, break loneliness while much of the music of Pan-Andean is sung while protesting against social, political, and racial oppression. (Negus, 1997).

References

Negus K. (1997): Popular Music in theory: Wesleyan University Press pp 38-43.

Besson M. (2001): Comparison between Language and Music: Blackwell Synergy pp 70-84.

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