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

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Music envelopes us. It is a mainstay of our society and is built into the souls in our beings. Even in utero it is said that the fetus can respond to music that this mother plays or sings. Music are located in just about every environment around us: calming or happy music in restaurants, grocery stores, doctor/dentist offices, department stores, elevators, schools, or weddings; majestic music at firework displays or parades; as well as serene music in a funeral. It can be heard on virtually every television commercial and in the theme of each television show. Some people crave music being a drug and just cannot do without it playing in the vehicle and even singing from the shower.

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Every person has a chance to produce music whether vocally or having a music instrument. Organic beef not all have accurate intonation or pitch vocally or may not produce a great sound because of difference in how we process auditory information, as Simon Cowell so blatantly suggests on "American Idol", but we now have the capability of producing music. With a few coaching or instruction, like most of the cast members of the telly show "Glee" as reported by Emile Menasche', we are able to deliver a powerful vocal performance.

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

Music also serves to be very therapeutic. From my own, personal experience as an occupational therapist, music helps persons with a range of different disabilities to boost function whether it could be for communication or movement purposes. As an example, in working with persons who have sustained a stroke and also have expressive aphasia (able to understand language, but unable to formulate the words to verbally express it), singing permits them to say what they want since this involves a different the main brain. In working with kids with autism spectrum disorders, I have discovered music helps develop more coordinated movement and motor planning since it provides the timing and rhythm the 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 when and where did woodwind instruments originate? If we look back in history we might find out what the first woodwind instruments were. However, because late Curt Sachs so intelligently highlights, music originates back to pre-instrumental music and primitive man. He states that "all higher creatures express emotion by motion" eg. stamping his foot on the floor, slapping his body, or clapping his hands. These audible actions were the precursors to your first woodwind instruments and quite a few likely man wasn't even consciously alert to sound as a separate idea.

Through archeological findings, the first true music instrument noted ever was the strung rattle which contained nutshells, seeds, teeth, or bones strung in cords or tied in bunches and suspended coming from a part of the body (ankle, knee, waist, or neck) as a way of adding sound to body movements or dancing. However, it was a delayed sound as soon as the body movement. Later, the sound became more direct, and not exact, as gourd rattles filled up with pebbles or small hard objects were shaken in tribal dances. Following that, other more direct sounding instruments were developed which used your feet or hands to create sounds eg. stampers (used stamping sticks or devices to produce sound on board or bark covering hole in ground), slit-drums (stamping on useless tree trunk over the 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 little bit of hard wood with four notches reduce 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 using a hard object).

The ribbon reed was the very first simple music instrument to get played with the mouth much like the woodwind instruments. This was only a blade of grass obtained from a reed stretched between the two thumbs held side by side by blowing into the crack the blade would vibrate using a high pitched screeching noise (what toddler hasn't done this even now?). More developed civilizations retracted a wide blade of grass spirally to make a funnel tube together with the thin end in the blade crossing top of the opening. Eventually, the flute originated which was played similar to other woodwind instruments: by blowing in the air column of the tube a vibration was developed and produced a particular tone. Flutes and other reed woodwind instruments have been played since the Middle Ages (476-1400) and Renaissance period (1400-1600) as they have undergone various changes in design, however, orchestral woodwind instruments are of more recent origin.

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

Romanticism (1750-1900) created additional transformations for woodwind instruments, even though musical style was similar to the 16th century. The expressive emotional music created a significant increase in the amount 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 was required to have a stronger, more robust sound in concurrence to society's change from an aristocratic to democratic culture. Overall, the arts evolved from aristocratic reserve to unrestrained passion. To safely move the woodwind instruments to meet 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 with the ranges. The woodwind instruments section 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 further improve the melodies and harmonies and make a fuller sound.

The 20th century brought about many radical modifications in musical styles for example jazz, swing, pop, and rock. However, apart from the introduction of electric instruments (eg. piano, organ, stringed instruments), how much changes to woodwind instruments weren't as great. Woodwind instruments inside the twenty first century today still retain their prototype in the nineteenth century, but can be made from different metals, their mouthpieces are made from differing lengths/widths and reed sizes, and a few persons prefer varying colors for his or her woodwind instruments.

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