African Influence: The History of Music

Tunde FolawiyoThere are a number of musical genres circulating throughout the world today; many people such as Tunde Folawiyo enjoy different varieties including African music, RnB and Country. While the world is occupied by billions of people, music remains universal. Languages vary by region, but music remains a constant source of unity among listeners. Even the world’s most isolated tribes utilise various forms of music to communicate emotion. With the ability to entertain, heal and inspire, music and its impact on the world is of huge significance. Its unique history is just as rich.

With roots dating back to 50,000 years ago, it’s been widely speculated that music may have originated in Africa. There are many factors that impact a culture’s preference and capabilities in music. Specifically, social and economic factors, climate, experience and adequate access to technology all contribute to the sounds of music.

There are different eras of music that assist in narrowing down specific sounds from a particular time period. For instance, prehistoric music – commonly referred to as primitive music – describes music produced in preliterate cultures. Prehistoric music from non-European countries are commonly referred to as folk, indigenous or traditional music. While the origin of music is unknown, many suggest that it came to be from sounds and rhythms found in nature itself.

A widely accepted theory is that the human voice was the first known instrument used to create music. It is capable of producing a variety of sounds, ranging from humming to whistling, all used in today’s music and that of the past.

Ancient music followed prehistoric music, with its presence seen before 500 A.D. The oldest known song, written in cuneiform, dates back to 4,000 years ago and was deciphered by Professor Anne Draffkorn Kilme at the University of California at Berkley.

According to Hebrew history and literature, Hebrews were heavily involved with music during the Biblical period. It was during this time period that music was first systematically cultivated. History’s next musical era, the ancient era, revolved around European classic tradition after the fall of Rome in 476 AD until the middle of the 18th century. The Roman Catholic Church played a key role in unifying various areas with its musical development.

Western Art Music was comprised of medieval music and Renaissance music, both of which played significant roles in European literature and culture. After these, came the Classical era of music, popularised by famed composers such as Mozart and Beethoven. Romantic music followed shortly after, including emotional expressions that played great roles in 19th century literature, art and philosophy.Many people, including Tunde Folawiyo enjoy listening to classical music and appreciate its rich history as well as its extraordinary tones.

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