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March 29 2016


Music Then now - A Brief History of Music and Woodwind Instruments

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Music encompasses us. It is a mainstay in our society and is built into the souls of our own beings. Even in utero it is stated that the fetus has the capacity to respond to music that the mother plays or sings. Music come in just about every environment around us: calming or happy music in restaurants, supermarkets, doctor/dentist offices, department stores, elevators, schools, or weddings; majestic music at firework displays or parades; as well as serene music at a funeral. It can be heard on nearly all television commercial along with the theme of each television show. Some people crave music like a drug and just cannot do without it playing in a vehicle and even singing within the shower.

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Every person has a chance to produce music whether vocally or which has a music instrument. Natural meats not all have accurate intonation or pitch vocally or might not produce a great sound due to a difference in how we process auditory information, as Simon Cowell so blatantly indicates on "American Idol", but we've the capability of producing music. With many coaching or instruction, like lots of the cast members of the telly show "Glee" as reported by Emile Menasche', we are able to deliver a powerful vocal performance.

With time, music has developed into an extensively large selection of categories and subclasses. These may include classical, jazz, blues, swing, symphony, opera, rock, rap/hip-hop, country, folk, pop, R n B, theatre, metal, Latin, techno, tango, children's, electronic, Native American, inspirational, marching band, gospel, romantic, melancholy, or spiritual. A large number of types of music attended about as a part of the alterations in the structure and performance of our cultures.

Music also serves to be really therapeutic. From my own experience as an occupational therapist, music helps persons using a range of different disabilities to enhance function whether it may be for communication or movement purposes. By way of example, in working with persons who've sustained a stroke and possess expressive aphasia (able to understand language, but unable to formulate the words to verbally express it), singing lets them say what they want simply because this involves a different part of the brain. In working with youngsters with autism spectrum disorders, I've discovered music helps develop more coordinated movement and motor planning as it provides the timing and rhythm these children are not able to access inside their brain. Any music instrument can be therapeutic, whether it is woodwind instruments, brass instruments, or string instruments, or simply dancing to music.

But where and when did woodwind instruments originate? If we look back in history we could find out what the first woodwind instruments were. However, since the late Curt Sachs so intelligently indicates, music originates to pre-instrumental music and primitive man. He states that "all higher creatures express emotion by motion" eg. stamping his foot in the grass, slapping his body, or clapping his hands. These audible actions were the precursors to our first woodwind instruments and quite a few likely man was not even consciously alert to sound as a separate idea.

Through archeological findings, the 1st true music instrument noted ever sold was the strung rattle which contained nutshells, seeds, teeth, or bones strung in cords or tied in bunches and suspended from the part of the body (ankle, knee, waist, or neck) as a way of adding sound to body movements or dancing. However, this was a delayed sound following your body movement. Later, the sound became more direct, and not exact, as gourd rattles full of pebbles or small hard objects were shaken in tribal dances. From that point, other more direct sounding instruments were developed which used your toes or hands to create sounds eg. stampers (used stamping sticks or devices to make sound on board or bark covering hole in ground), slit-drums (stamping on hollowed out tree trunk more than a pit), drums (used hands or later stays with hit membrane stretched over opening of hollow body from a shape), friction instruments (utilizing a tortoise shell or rounded part of hard wood with four notches cut into it and rubbing it on palms to create a humming or squeaking noise), bull roarers (quickly whirling a skinny board attached to a cord overhead making a roaring sound), and scrapers (scraping a notched stick, shell, bone, or gourd having a hard object).

The ribbon reed was the first simple music instrument to become played with the mouth like the woodwind instruments. This was simply a blade of grass extracted from a reed stretched forwards and backwards thumbs held side by side by blowing into the crack the blade would vibrate which has a high pitched screeching noise (what young child hasn't done this even now?). More developed civilizations retracted a wide blade of grass spirally to create a funnel tube with the thin end in the blade crossing the top of opening. Eventually, the flute was created which was played like most other woodwind instruments: by blowing in the air column with the tube a vibration was made and produced a specific tone. Flutes and also other reed woodwind instruments have been played because the Middle Ages (476-1400) and Renaissance period (1400-1600) since they have undergone various adjustments to design, however, orchestral woodwind instruments have more recent origin.

The Baroque period (1600-1750) is noted for its radical revolution in music with all the need for novelty from the style of composition. There were an emphasis on strong emotion ("What passion cannot music raise and quell" sung by Dryden) requiring a variety of sound to express passion and the sudden changes from joy to grief. Just as the Middle Ages, the monodic style of singular parts being emphasized returned to music in comparison to the polyphonic style of the Renaissance period through which equal weight was presented to all the string, brass, or woodwind instruments took part concert. To achieve this sound, woodwind instruments underwent a variety of improvements and alterations. Rather than being made from one wood or other material, we were holding now made of two or more pieces fitting tightly together in order to be able to regulate pitch by adjusting the space. Reed woodwind instruments changed the cut of reed and also the bore was changed for the smoother tone. Oboe-like instruments were dismissed and only bassoons, smaller oboes, and flutes constructed the woodwind instruments of the orchestra.

Romanticism (1750-1900) created additional transformations for woodwind instruments, although the musical style was reminiscent of the 16th century. The expressive emotional music brought about a significant increase in the number of timbres and woodwind instruments were changed to be able to modulate from timbre to timbre with greater ease through a variety of technical enhancements. Woodwind instruments were forced to have a stronger, stronger sound in concurrence to society's change from an aristocratic to democratic culture. Overall, the arts evolved from aristocratic reserve to unrestrained passion. To relocate the woodwind instruments to fulfill the changing musical style, technical changes were made for improved musical flexibility, fluency of tonalities, accuracy of pitch, and freer modulation. Addition of keys, position of holes, key placement, key mechanisms, key padding, and sizes of bores were altered. This created more effective woodwind instruments that were much easier to play and maneuver from the ranges. The woodwind instruments area of an orchestra now included not only the oboe, flute, and bassoon, and also the saxophone and clarinet. Families of woodwind instruments were also created eg. soprano, alto, tenor, baritone to boost the melodies and harmonies and make up a fuller sound.

The 20 th century brought about many radical changes in musical styles including jazz, swing, pop, and rock. However, aside from the introduction of electric instruments (eg. piano, organ, stringed instruments), how much changes to woodwind instruments were not as great. Woodwind instruments within the twenty first century today still retain their prototype with the nineteenth century, but sometimes be made from different metals, their mouthpieces are constructed of differing lengths/widths and reed sizes, and several persons prefer varying colors for his or her woodwind instruments.

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