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Prehistoric music

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Prehistoric music

Mensaje  Berenguel el Miér Feb 04, 2009 12:16 am

In the history of music, prehistoric music (previously called primitive music) is all music produced in preliterate cultures (prehistory), beginning somewhere in very late geological history. Prehistoric music is followed by ancient music in most of Europe (1500 BCE) and later musics in subsequent European-influenced areas, but still exists in isolated areas.

Prehistoric music thus technically includes all of the world's music that has existed before the advent of any currently-extant historical sources concerning that music, for example, traditional Native American music of preliterate tribes and Australian Aboriginal music. However, it is more common to refer to the "prehistoric" music of non-European continents, especially that which still survives, as folk, indigenous or traditional music.

The origin of music is not known as it occurred prior to the advent of recorded history. Some suggest that the origin of music likely stems from naturally occurring sounds and rhythms. Human music may echo these phenomena using patterns, repetition and tonality. Even today, some cultures have certain instances of their music intending to imitate natural sounds. In some instances, this feature is related to shamanistic beliefs or practice. It may also serve entertainment (game)or practical (luring animals in hunt) functions.

Even aside from the bird song, monkeys have been witnessed to beat on hollow logs. Although this might serve some purpose of territorialism, it suggests a degree of creativity and seems to incorporate a call and response dialogue. See: zoomusicology.

It is possible that the first musical instrument was the human voice itself, which can make a vast array of sounds, from singing, humming and whistling through to clicking, coughing and yawning. (See Darwin's Origin of Species on music & speech.) The oldest known Neanderthal hyoid bone with the modern human form has been dated to be 60,000 years old,[5] predating the oldest known bone flute by 10,000 years; but since both artifacts are unique the true chronology may date back much further.

Most likely the first rhythm instruments or percussion instruments involved the clapping of hands, stones hit together, or other things that are useful to create rhythm and indeed there are examples of musical instruments which date back as far as the paleolithic, although there is some ambiguity over archaeological finds which can be variously interpreted as either musical or non-musical instruments/tools. Examples of paleolithic objects which are considered unambiguously musical are bone flutes or pipes; paleolithic finds which are open to interpretation are pierced phalanges (usually interpreted as 'phalangeal whistles'), objects interpreted as bullroarers, and rasps.

Music can be theoretically traced to prior to the Oldowan era of the Paleolithic age, the anthropological and archeological designation suggests that music first arose (amongst humans) when stone tools first began to be used by hominids. The noises produced by work such as pounding seed and roots into meal is a likely source of rhythm created by early humans.

Prehistoric music varies greatly in style, function, general relation to culture, and complexity. The Timbila music of the Chopi is considered one of the most complex preliterate musics.

The oldest flute may be the disputed Neanderthal flute found in the Slovenian cave Divje Babe I in 1995 by the Slovene paleontologist Ivan Turk of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts. It is estimated to be about 43,000 years old and was found in the fifth Mousterian level (Middle Paleolithic). The artifact is a hollow femur of a juvenile cave bear containing holes. Whether it is truly a musical instrument or simply a carnivore-chewed bone is a matter of ongoing debate.

During the estimated time of its origin, neither the technology of working bones nor the necessary artistic (symbolic) behaviour are supposed to have been developed,[citation needed], although weak signals exist for both.

The earliest unambiguously musical bone pipe is from Geissenklösterle in Germany, dates to about 36,000BP and is associated with modern humans.

The oldest known wooden pipes were discovered near Greystones, Ireland, in 2004. A wood-lined pit contained a group of six flutes made from yew wood, between 30 and 50cm long, tapered at one end, but without any finger holes. They may once have been strapped together.

In 1986 several gudi (literally "bone flutes") were found in Jiahu in Henan Province, China. They date to about 6,000 BC. They have between 5 and 8 holes each and were made from the hollow bones of a bird, the red-crowned crane. At the time of the discovery, one was found to be still playable. The bone flute plays both the five- or seven-note scale of Xia Zhi and six-note scale of Qing Shang of the ancient Chinese musical system.

Cycladic culture
Further information: Cycladic culture
On the island of Keros, two marble statues from the late Neolithic culture called Early Cycladic culture (2900 BC-2000 BC) were discovered together in a single grave in the 19th century. They depict a standing double flute player and a sitting musician playing a triangular-shaped lyre or harp. The harpist is approximately 23 cm (nine inches) high and dates to around 2700-2500 BC. He expresses concentration and intense feelings and tilts his head up to the light. The meaning of these and many other figures is not known; perhaps they were used to ward off evil spirits or had religious significance or served as toys or depicted figures from mythology.

The discovery of this and similar pieces (they are very simplified and abstract in form) in the late 19th century had considerable influence on the sculpture of the early 20th century, for example on that by modernists such as Picasso and Modigliani.


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Re: Prehistoric music

Mensaje  satanik el Miér Feb 04, 2009 5:31 pm

Wauh!! I did not know

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