History of Music

History of Music

What is Music?

Music is concerned with combining vocal and instrumental sounds for beauty of form or emotional expression, usually according to cultural standards of rhythm, melody, and in most Western music, harmony. It is an art that, in one guise or another, permeates every human society. It spreads happiness and joy in a person’s life.

The History of Classical Music

Where did Music originate?

About a million years ago, the common ancestor of Neanderthals and modern humans had the vocal anatomy to “sing" like us, but it’s impossible to know if they did. 

Music is found in every known society, past and present and is considered to be a cultural universal. The first music may have been invented in Africa and then evolved to become a fundamental constituent of human life, using various different materials to make various instruments. 

Making music is a universal human trait that goes back to at least 35,000 years ago. The origin of music is unknown as it occurred prior to recorded history. 

However, “Hurrian Hymn No. 6” is considered the world’s earliest melody, but the oldest musical composition to have survived in its entirely is a first century A.D. Greek tune known as the “Seikilos Epitaph.” The song was found engraved on an ancient marble column used to mark a woman’s gravesite in Turkey. 

Hurrian Hymn To Nikkal / No. 6 (1400 BCE) - YouTube

The first studies of Western musical history date back to the Middle of 18th century when G.B. Martini published a three volume history titled "Storia della musica" (History of Music) between 1757 and 1781. Martin Gerbert published a two volume history of sacred music titled "De cantu de musica sacra" in 1774. Gerbert followed this work with a three volume work "Scriptores ecclesiastici de musica sacra" containing significant writings on sacred music from the 3rd century onwards in 1784.

What can music do?

Music is the essence of life. Everything that has rhythm has music. Our breathing also has a rhythm. Music has ability to convey all sorts of emotions of people. Music is the most powerful way to connect with someone, and express ourselves. 


Some scientific research has led to believe that our body responds to music and it has a healing effect on us. But, this is not restricted to humans only. Even plants and animals are not immune to the effect of music.