Music is found in every known culture, past and present, varying ...

By Anne Barnes,2014-09-25 10:35
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Music is found in every known culture, past and present, varying ...Musi

















    Music is found in every known culture, past and present, varying wildly between times and places. Scientists now believe that modern humans emerged from Africa 160,000 years ago. Around 50,000 years ago these humans began to disperse from Africa reaching all the habitable continents. Since all peoples of the world including the most isolated tribal groups, have a form of music, scientists conclude that music must have been present in the ancestral population prior to the dispersal of humans around the world. Consequently music must have been in existence for at least 50,000 years and the first music must have been invented in Africa and then evolved to become a fundamental constituent of human life. A culture's music is influenced by all other aspects of that culture, including social and economic organization, climate, and access to technology. The emotions and ideas that music expresses, the situations in which music is played and listened to, and the attitudes toward music players and composers all vary between regions and periods.

    The development of music among humans occurred against the backdrop of natural sounds. It

    was possibly influenced by birdsong and the sounds other animals use to communicate. Some evolutionary biologists have theorized that the ability to recognize sounds not created by humans as "musical" provides a selective advantage.

    From the ancient period we have a lot of information about the creation and the use of musical instruments in all the civilizations all over the world.

    Double pipes, such as used by the ancient Greeks, and ancient bagpipes, as well as a review of ancient drawings on vases and walls, etc., and ancient writings (such as in Aristotle, Problems,

    Book XIX.12) which described musical techniques of the time, indicate polyphony. One pipe in the aulos pairs (double flutes) likely served as a drone or "keynote," while the other played melodic passages.

    Instruments, such as the seven holed flute and various types of stringed instruments have been recovered from the Indus valley civilization archaeological sites.

    Our project‟s main objective is to study the history of music of the four countries that participate in the consortium and produce a comparative research. In this study various of questions will be answered i.e. why Turkey and Greece have so many similarities in their music culture or why Poland and Turkey are so much different or how the mooving populations in Europe influenced the music culture of the different countries etc.For the first year we produced a guide of the traditional musical instruments of the four countries. We collected information such as pictures and short discription of each musical instrument.


    Greece sits at the crossroad between the Eastern and Western cultures of Asia and Europe. Being at this critical junction, Greece has experienced the ebb and flow of two cultural currents which subjected and allowed her to assimilate creatively diverse influences. Once Constantinople fell in 1453, completing the collapse of the Byzantine empire, there followed four hundred years of slavery which greatly hindered the natural development of Hellenism and restricted its spiritual evolution.

    The origins of the Greek folk song can be traced back to the first centuries of Christianity due to the orchestric and pantomimic performances that prevailed after the third century A.D. As early as the first century A.D., ancient Greek tragedy, which at its peak of harmonious unity, incorporated poetry, music and dance, had disintegrated into its component elements.

    Along with singing and clapping, the Greek people have since early times used every available combination of instruments to provide the musical accompaniment for their singing and dancing. Apart from any chance combinations dictated by the moods of the revellers and instruments at hand, certain instrumental combinations attained the status of ziyia (paired groups); the pear-shaped Macedonian lira and the large dachares (tambourine), violi and laouto on the islands and the zourna and daouli. It is to popular musicians who play instruments suitable for open-air village fairs that the Greek owes his sense of traditional music. Those self-taught players bore upon themselves the entire weight of Greek musical tradition not only of the performer, but also of the instrument maker. More often than not, the players performed on instruments of their own manufacture. A good player's instrument remains under continuous manufacture; he not only adds, removes or alters a spare part but constantly endeavors to improve the sound of his instrument. Hence, the great differences found in the dimensions, decorations and even shapes of their instruments; each bearing the personal stamp of its player / maker.

The categories of the Greek traditional musical instruments are:

    ; Idiophones

    ; Membranophones

    ; Aerophona

    1. musical objects - idiophones

    ; chordophones


    The instruments of this category are: the bell, the zilia, the triangle, the fire shovel and the coins.


    Zilia are small instruments that are accompanying Christmas and New Year carols, wedding songs also the dancers are using them to produce different sounds and rhythms. Zilia apear on wall paintings from the Byzantine period.



    Another instrument of the idiophone family is the bell that produces sounds when we hit it. Each bell has a distinct sound and this is the reason why the shepherd are using to their flock. Initially the bells where used as symbols to protect people in chapels and holly places instead of producing sound to call people for prays. Today people are using them in different regions of Greece during special ceremonies such as carnivals etc.


    The last instrument of the idiophone family is the triangle. We hold it and we hit it with a metal stick. It is used to accompany Christmas and New Year Carols.


    The rhythm is a characteristic element for the speed of the dance and its variations make the dance vivid. Some times the dances will use wooden spoons to accompany their dance and give different rhythms.

    They are not really special spoons, they are regular wooden spoons that we use to cook or to eat.


    The membrane is a piece of leather stretched on a base. When we hit it with a rhythm it produces sounds that can accompany singers or dancers.


Dauli is the biggest drum which is hit by wooden sticks.


    Another name of defi is dahares or daires. It produces a very characteristic sound because all around its wooden base we hang zilia. An experienced musician can produce a variety of sounds.


    Tubeleki is usually made by clay and it is decorated with beautiful schemes. It looks like a vase and it can be played in many different ways, at the edge or in the middle, we can use the whole palm of our hand or we can use just the fingers.



    Zunras or karamusa or pipiza is an instrument like oboe. Its oldest name was avlos or askos. Beacause of its characteristic and very loud sound that it produces it is usually played in open places like squares. This type of musical instruments where used in Greece from Homeric period but from sources of history we can see that they were connected with the life of the people during Byzantine period.

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