The history and evolution of music

Sumerian clay tabletcurrently housed in the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicagoinscribed with the text of the poem Inanna and Ebih by the priestess Enheduannathe first author whose name is known [1] Clay tablets were used in Mesopotamia in the 3rd millennium BC. The calamus, an instrument in the form of a triangle, was used to make characters in moist clay. People used to use fire to dry the tablets out. At Ninevehover 20, tablets were found, dating from the 7th century BC; this was the archive and library of the kings of Assyriawho had workshops of copyists and conservationists at their disposal.

The history and evolution of music

The camera they developed in captured the first moving pictures ever. How exciting must that have been? How, then, did we get from their completely silent, grainy images to our movies filled with and driven by full-force soundtracks?

Psychology Against Silence Interestingly enough, there is a psychological reason that many scholars of film believe the improvised music was added to "silent" films. They assert that watching the actors, in black and white, speak with absolutely no sound would make us feel, on some base level, "unalive.

Caligari, Silent Films and Expressionism The artistic movement of Expressionism arrived at around the time that silent films became widely popular. As a result of this, many of the early silent films are either comedies see Charlie Chaplin or Expressionist see The Cabinet of Dr.

Caligari, video at right. Either way, these films would be projected on a large screen in front of an audience. This The history and evolution of music be anything from an upright piano to a full string quartet, and there would be no written score!

They would have some written music sometimes, but it was usually a starting point for their improvisation. The written music would be published in books and was always ripped off from dead or obscure composers. Then there would be a page or two of "Circus Music" that could give the pianist an idea of where to start his improv in a carnival scene, et cetera.

It was a fluid type of performing, and each showing of the film would be a bit different. The house musicians for the theaters were undoubtedly less than thrilled about the switch, as well. In musicals, of course, everything seems to stop when a song begins so that the character can sing.

Clearly directors and writers were very aware of the fact that they were adding music to their movies and were unsure of how to do it in a subtler way. The Jazz Singer in was the first feature film to include speech synchronized to the actors on the screen.

This means that the first words spoken on film were the first words of this movie: After the admittedly brief era of mainly musicals came the Classical Scoring Technique, which is still one of the most popular ways that music comes into film.

It is the subtlest and often most powerful way for music to influence a movie. It was one of the first movies to have comprehensive scoring throughout the whole plot, and Steiner wrote it using the Classical Scoring Technique.

To explain it in the simplest way: On a more complicated level, the composer uses themes a whole melody to represent something like love or war and leitmotifs a couple notes in a recognizable pattern to represent one character or small idea. They hold the whole score together without the audience even noticing that their ears are recognizing the repeated patterns in the music.

Classical Scoring, creating a great deal of music in the background of the movie, also smooths over scene cuts or any other awkwardness of the film by continuing the idea from one scene to another.

Max Steiner is one of the most prolific and famous Classical Scoring writers, with 26 Academy Award nominations and 3 wins. He is even more prolific than Steiner was and has scored most of the cinematic giants, such as Star Wars and Harry Potter.

Jazz, as almost everything else in the s, became racially divided in the movies of the time: It was used in movies to represent fun, usually. Black jazz was much more gritty and more purely "jazz" with trumpets and saxophones.

It often represented women of ill repute, immoral character, or a general interruption of normalcy. Blanche Meets Stanley Enter: Jazz Jazz music was the first time "popular" culture had entered into movies, and people liked it!

Hollywood used it as a tool to instantly characterize the parts of the movies with jazz, as it has very specific associations to certain places and people. For example, in A Streetcar Named Desire, the jazzy admittedly symphonic score helps cement the setting of New Orleans and the morally questionable actions of the characters.

Jazz had long been a part of pop culture, with many jazz clubs in the hip parts of town. It was the first truly American genre of music. Unfortunately and awkwardly enough, jazz was considered "African American music" and had to be "sanitized" before it was put into white movies see A Jazzy Aside to the right.

The history and evolution of music

We see much less if any racial coding in our movies today, obviously, as racism becomes less rampant. The music was broad, long, drawn-out like the scenery.

It had to be big to fill all the empty space the movies were showing, so the composers wrote for full orchestras. This music was used to intensify gun battles and horse chases and to help paint the image of the scenery in degrees around the audience.

Ennio Morricone is one of the most famous Italian composers for the "spaghetti" Westerns, and he almost always paired with director Sergio Leone. These movies, of course, were the ones for which Clint Eastwood became so famous.History of Hymns investigates the inception and evolution of the hymns of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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