Musical instruments in historical western music

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Although instruments are not necessary for music, what would it be like if they didn’t exist? What would western music be without the likes of the piano, violin, horn, or organ? The evolution of instruments has helped shape what we know as western music. Without each step in this process being taken things could have come very differently. This paper serves as a type of time-line that relates how this progression of instruments had an impact on historical western music. Origins For centuries instruments have been an important part of human culture, however there was little record kept before the Middle Ages. What we do know about ancient music has been collected through artifacts. Evidence of musical instruments has been found in most ancient civilizations including the Mediterranean, Chinese, Germanic, and Egyptian cultures. Luckily the ancient Egyptians are unique in that they clearly show the use of instruments in hieroglyphics. These drawings give us a glimpse of the instruments played, and the cultural aspects surrounding them. As indicated by the location of various artifacts, production and development of ancient instruments seemed to vary between geographic areas. The more sophisticated civilizations of Asia, North Africa, and Mediterranean concentrated on stringed instruments. In the Americas nd lower part of Africa wind and percussion instruments were most prominent. The difference in origin between these instruments was mainly due to the available material. Eventually through trade and migration these instruments found their way to other parts of the globe. The Middle Ages The Middle Ages were really the beginning of what we call Western music. For the first time musical notation was used in European countries exten... ... middle of paper ... ...14. . Secondary Sources Grame, Theodore. "History and evolution." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 19 June 2014. . "History of the Piano." Your comprehensive guide to everything about pianos. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 June 2014. . "Musical Instruments in the Middle Ages." Musical Instruments in the Middle Ages. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 June 2014. . "What’s the History of the Violin?." About.com Music Education. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 June 2014. .

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