Why did early humans develop music? What are some of the ways that they were thought to create music?
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Just as with language, all cultural and artistic expression emanates from a functional need -- a drum beat (on a hollow log), a whistle -- perhaps a warning or a call for help. These actions become more complex over time and are eventually repeated for pure aesthetic reasons devoid of practical application. The bow and arrow becomes (over centuries) the stringed instruments; the hollow log becomes percussion; the hollowed bird bone becomes a flute, and so on. The wailing of the human voice becomes the most intimate and complex instrument of all, bending its pitch range, timbres, and dynamics to the war cry, the bereavement process, or the victory celebration. The expression is enhanced by, among other things (drugs), combining the power of percussion with the nuance of the voice, the musical bow, or the flute. And so the ensemble is formed.
The student of ancient musical instruments and music history reveals a treasure trove of ways in which the human spirit is elevated by these gradual discoveries.