Discussion and reply on music

So far, in this course, I have brought up the importance of religious chants many times when talking about the development and history of classical music (art music) throughout the world. It has come to be accepted that in ancient times there appeared to be four great music systems in the world that led to the development of classical music in each of those regions (Arab-Persia, China, India and Europe). Religious chants were prevalent in each of these regions and were tied to, or inspired by four great religions that evolved and influenced the growth of societies everywhere (Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, & Islam). There are common characteristics, and even common historical events that link the origins of each of these religions.

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You might want to remind me that I have not yet mentioned Christianity and its immense influence on Europe. Christianity is the newest of the great religions to evolve and it shares many common characteristics and a history with the others. Christianity actually grew out of Judaism and it also shares historical connections with Islam, mainly because all three developed in the Middle East. Musically, it absorbed the tradition of religious chanting from the others, and took it to another level. In Europe, this led to a complex, yet practical notation system and the huge classical music genres enjoyed by the entire world today.

In the Americas, starting in the 16th century, the tradition of art music (classical) and folk music in Europe were coupled with the complex rhythm patterns, traditions of improvisation and entire musical cultures of sub-Saharan Africa. Add in the musical traditions of the indigenous people (various tribes of Native Americans /Indians), and this blending of musical cultures led to all the new genres of music that developed in the Americas. When I use the word “Americas”, I am talking about South, Central & North America. Now, years later (in the 21th Century) these new genres have been accepted around the world and blended with traditional music from every region, creating an exciting “world music”. This ‘new’ music is not just limited to popular music and jazz. It also includes wonderful, new blends of eastern and western classical forms as well.

All opinions are important and worth expressing. But as you share your views, please give supporting reasons. Don’t just ‘agree’ or ‘disagree’ without an explanation.

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