A Brief History of Music

Goddess Saraswati It is generally accepted, that any sound pleasing to the ear is music. However, music is not just sound - what creates music is sounds and silences arranged harmoniously. Music is a performing art - composed and performed for entertainment. Music has great ceremonial and religious purposes also.
Music dates back to as long as we can think. In Indian scriptures, music plays an eternal role with many prominent Gods and deities having their personal favorite musical instruments. Excavations related to Indus Valley Civilization of thousands of year ago, have discovered flutes and other stringed instruments. Hindu scriptures, Vedas, mention about the Indian classical music which is one of the oldest musical traditions in the world. Similarly, history of ancient Egypt and Greece has rich musical traditions. In Hinduism, Gods and goddesses are mostly shown with their divine musical instruments. Krishna's flute, Saraswati's and sage Narad's veena and Shiva's damaru are those reverential musical instruments that awaken the soul. In modern times, perhaps Bollywood music is most popular in India, combining various global music art forms and often composers creating their own, unconventional music type.
Music played a great role in Greece in their theatrical performances, and music finds references in their art and history as long as it can be traced. Many developments in music were made in the western world during the last few centuries. Greek culture and musical theory had a major influence on Western religious and classical music. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig Van Beethoven are perhaps the most revered composers of music during what is known as the classical period (1750 to 1830 A.D.). Romantic music started becoming popular in the 19th century - it brought in more passionate and expressive music in contrast to the earlier rigid and traditional styles of classical music. During modern period jazz and rock music have evolved and gained huge following. Jazz originated during early 20th century in the United States - it basically mixed African and European music traditions together to form a new type. There is a great history of folk, classical, devotional, jazz, rock and pop music, and many more. Indian music has broadly 3 forms of classical music: Hindustani, Carnatic, and Dhrupad styles. Carnatic music, popular in the southern states of India, is largely devotional; the majority of the songs are sung in praise or prayer to God or deities. In Indian music's vast repertoire of styles, percussion instruments play a very important role.
China had a well developed musical culture since the beginning of their civilization. It is a Chinese legend that Ling Lun pretty much founded their music creating musical instruments from bamboo pieces. One can see similarities to Pied Piper - the German legend. thought in beginning in China, musicians were not as highly regarded as some other artists, things changed with time. Most prominent musical instruments in China were Strings and percussion instruments, to being with. Now Opera, folk music, regional music and western music, all are very popular in China.