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The Story of Music - Dara O Briain's Science Club

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How did music begin? No one knows, but humans have been making music for a very long time. Perhaps even longer than we've had language. There is evidence of our caveman ancestors fashioning crude flutes from bears' femurs. And by 7000 B.C, in China we find the first evidence of a melodic flute, that can play a scale and carry a simple tune. Melodies are made by playing notes one after the other. Play two at the same time, and you can make harmony, notes that sound good together. The story goes that it was Pythagoras who first worked out why this happened. Walking past a blacksmith, he heard the ring of hammers hitting iron, and did some quick songs. He reckoned whether the hammers sounded good or bad, was down to maths. If one was half, two thirds, or three quarters the weight of the other. Which might be nonsense, but it was right that maths and harmony are closely related. Other great minds of Science also studied sound and music. From Aristotle, to Leonardo da Vinci, and Galileo. None, however, are particularly noted for their musical prowess. By now, music had spread, from blacksmith forgers to medieval monasteries, and then into houses and courts, with Renaissance nobles dancing the latest sound of the sackbut and the crumhorn. By Beethoven's heyday, performers had gone from quartets and quintets to full-blown orchestras. Not only were there new trombones on top of the triangles and timpani, but the orchestra had outgrown private houses. And music was also going commercial. At the end of his life, all of Beethoven's symphonies were performed in public concert halls. Then, one morning in December 1877, Thomas Edison walked into an office and put a machine on the desk. He'd made the first device to play and record back sound: the phonograph. By introducing technology, he'd single-handedly kick-started the music industry we know today. Soon, musical records went on sale, And then, on Christmas Eve 1906, came the first radio broadcast, which included a festive Christmas carol. It was a humble start to music radio. Music no longer had to be performed live. You no longer needed an orchestra in your folk group. Thanks to technology, music got smaller, cheaper, and loud. The phonograph, the gramophone, the jukebox, the LP, the walkman, the CD, the mini-disc player, and the mp3 have all brought music to our ears. Sadly, while technology may have made music more widely available, there is no control over the quality of the material produced.

Video Details

Duration: 3 minutes and 6 seconds
Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Genre: None
Views: 411
Posted by: natalialzam on Jan 25, 2014

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