Jenna is a fourth grade teacher with a master's degree in instructional design and an undergraduate degree in elementary education.
Music has probably been around for as long as people have, which may be over a hundred thousand years! The earliest music is thought to have involved singing and clapping, and then early humans probably began drumming by using sticks or other things found in nature. Some of the first-known musical instruments are flutes carved out of bones, like bear and wooly mammoth bones. Some of these bone instruments are from 45,000 years ago!
In ancient history between around 4000 B.C.E. and 1500 B.C.E., civilizations in Egypt, West Asia, and Mesopotamia (an area of what is now the Middle East) began inventing many instruments. They made wind instruments like flute and reed instruments out of wood. String instruments like harps and lyres were also used.
In around 2000 B.C.E. in Mesopotamia, the first known song was written in an ancient writing style called cuneiform.
And in about 1500 B.C.E, people in Egypt made trumpets and flutes out of bronze and copper, as well as cow and goat horns. These instruments were mostly played for the army and were the original versions of what would eventually become brass orchestra instruments.
In this same time period, as far back as 1800 B.C.E., civilizations in China also played flutes or pipes, and later around 200 B.C.E., they used lyres.
Choral music developed in Greece around 800 B.C.E. Choral music is music that a choir sings or performs, and was often performed by traveling musicians. Around 300 B.C.E., Greek musicians invented a way of writing down notes to describe songs. Then, the Egyptians started using this method as well.
The Renaissance was a period in history that started about seven hundred years ago, in the 1300s. This period was important in the development of all the arts, including music. In the year 1320, modern musical notation was developed.
The violin was invented in Italy in about 1550, during the Renaissance period. The first opera was also produced during this time, which combined singing, acting, and musical accompaniment.
In the 1600s, the Baroque musical period began, with famous composers Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frideric Handel.
In 1700 in Florence, Italy, Bartolomeo Cristofori developed the first piano, and then in 1730 in Milan, Italy, the symphony became a known form of music.
The Classical period of music started around 1750. Three famous composers were Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Joseph Haydn. Mozart played for the Habsburg empress Maria Theresa when he was only six years old!
The Romantic period began around 1780, known for passionate music with startling notes. Frederic Chopin was one of the most famous musicians of that time.
In the 20th century, inventions such as the phonograph and eventually records, tapes, and CDs allowed music to be recorded and listened to anywhere. The electric guitar, invented in 1952, spurred the popularity of modern rock and pop music. Hip hop was invented in the 1970s, and started as a combination of drumming, rapping, and using turntables to create new sounds.
Over time, instruments and musical forms have developed and changed. What started out as knocking sticks together has led to the development of complicated instruments using new technology. But one thing has stayed the same: music has always been an important part of people's lives.
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