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The Evolution of Music

From Elvis to Beyoncè

By Nikki SPublished 6 years ago 4 min read

Music has come a very long way, especially in the Western side of the world. Globally, we have all collectively gone through billions of albums and trends in music. But why? Why do tastes in music change? And how long do we have left till we will no longer be left with original ideas? Continue reading to find that out and more...

It's hard to say when exactly music was created and when it was properly enjoyed. Historians know for a fact that the early kings of England would hire musicians and pay humongous prices for any drop of musical talent.

I think it's fair to say that music was first discovered when our first ancient ancestors talked. We all have a pitch, dynamic, tempo and tone to the way we speak.

For example my voice is, for a female, slightly deeper than usual and I speak at a moderate pace. I usually tend to speak loudly as to not get ignored and my voice isn't sharp but instead slightly soft. (Take this time to think about your own voice).

Music is, to put in a shorter definition, a collection of notes put together that sound good. And our speaking is a good example of that.

So in light of this, I think I'd be right to say that our early ancestors would have been experimenting with sound as they walked our planet; with eventual instruments or not.

Then we move to the 1750s where classical music peaked. Don't get me wrong, the 1800s thoroughly enjoyed a good orchestra, but they were being introduced early into King James V1's reign.

Classical music is regarded as one of the oldest forms of music there is. An orchestra viewing was one of the best ways of killing time in the Early Modern Era.

From 1750-1900, Classical music was really reaching it's peak. At this time, around the world however, many different genres of music began mapping out.

From the Slave system and the middle passage, stemmed calypso music which then developed into early Jazz. In South America, Samba music was created to dance to. In India and the middle east, Bhangra and Sitar music were highly enjoyed.

Even in the Persian empire, classical Persian music became Iranian pop music (which is a delightful mix of sitar, guitar, piano and violin) with even more exotic instruments.

So around 1900, around the world, many different genres of music had stemmed. However, in America and Great Britain, the 1900 was the birth of so many more different categories of music.

In the early 1900, technology had developed greatly, making the use of synthesizers and amplification possible. Also, multitracking made such techniques like syncopation and polyphonics clearly heard in recordings.

The 1900 really brought around different techniques and effects to light.

During the 1940/50s, rock n roll was developed and big stars such as Elvis became extremely popular. The diversity in music attracted people and the sudden change in pace was addictive.

Elvis Presely

From the fast, toe tapping music of rock n roll came rock. Rock was ,and still is, a very hard genre to define. The genre stalked out into many many different sub genres such as heavy metal and Classical rock (more recently referred to as "dad rock").

In the diagram above, you can see the many different sub-genres of rock (there's even more)

During the 1970/80s, music taste really differed between people. Many political conflicts had been taking place and the release of many graphic photos from war spurred the peace movement.

The peace movement is now often referred to as "hippies". The fashion style became extremely out-there and crazy. Synthesizers were heavily used to create groovy and almost psychedelic tracks.

Other tastes in music often leaned into the side of rock and heavy metal. This became the age where many harsh overdrive and distortion settings were used. Bands such as Queen and AC/DC were highly enjoyed.

And now we end up to modern period music. In the late 1990s and Early 2000s, R n B music and rap was created as a way of expressing ones self. Vanilla Ice and Eminem are prime examples.

Music is indeed about originality and there will be a day where that ends. However, that is certainly not soon. Per musical bar, you can have many different notes up to 4 beats.

There are many different notes and the outcomes of different notes in different bars and riffs means that there are absolutely millions of different combinations. That means that we still have quite a bit of song writing to do before we run out of ideas.

As for music change, the 2010s have been quite a ride so far. From the way it looks, I'd be expecting techno pop and techno rock to come into trend soon. Rap and grime music is also on the rise and a continuation of this genre can also lead to many, many different sub genres.

Thank you for reading.


About the Creator

Nikki S

Hello 🌻 I'm currently a music, English and biology studen from England. I write short stories, both fictio and non-fiction and I'm workin on a larger story right now 🎶✒✏✂️

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