Since the beginning of human civilization, some form of music has been in our lives. Early instruments were created out of whatever resources surrounded the people of the day. Drums were made from tree trunks with skins strapped atop them; a person’s own body could be used as a drum when it was slapped by its owner’s hand. Ram and other animals horns or tusks have been used to create trumpets, grasses and reeds made great mouth instruments, while gourds and other seeded plants worked for shakable rattles. Anything that could be made musical was probably used at some point in time.
Music is a part of the human thought process, which we can see played out in the way even small babies will sway when they hear it. It can soothe, create excitement, make us tap our toes, and even bring us to tears. Music sets us apart or brings us together in our social lives and often speaks for us when we have no words to say. In ancient times, musical instruments that were most cherished might be made out of gold or some other valued metal. Others were created from wood or bone that may have been designed in an artful way or appliquéd for visual beauty. Today people are willing to pay for lessons, pay for concerts, and go to school to educate themselves on music in general. Instruments have been created and are now manufactured to different standards of quality. One might purchase anything from a beginner’s to a high quality professional model of any said instrument. Stradivarius, Steinway and Miramatsu are just a few of the recognizable names of professional upscale instruments available, while beginners often look for a bargain on a decent playing instrument.
Music often comes from ones own cultural background. Every country and sometimes even a small area of a country can have their own style of music. Sometimes its origins come from their past, springing from ceremonies or religious beliefs. For example, a native tribe of North America or of Australia might have played specific beats or melodies before a clash with another tribe or before a harvest. These may or may not have accompanied dancing. History is full of examples of the different uses of music and why it was created. There are many organizations, clubs, and schools set up exclusively for those with an interest in music, and resources abound for its study. Trying to compile all the musical information there is could take a person a lifetime. Just trying to listen to all the classical music that is available for example, would be overwhelming.
In the markets of the last century up and to today, musical genres are of great variety. Rock and roll, jazz, classical, new age, heavy metal, hip hop and rap are only some of what is out there and with the technology of today bringing us more and more ways to listen and learn, there is no end in sight to what is and will be available. Music is a resource none of us would like to do without.
Music Research Centers