Now You Tech


The Heart Points Of Western Music

There is evidence that musical instruments date back to 35 thousand years ago and, there were songs in ancient cultures. Since then, music has been constantly evolving. Here are eight important turning points in the history of music.

From prehistoric until today, music is in constant development. Eight important turning points in the history of music from the scales of Pythagoras to the Walkman.


Before Pythagoras, music was a divine mystery. There is evidence that musical instruments date back 35,000 years and there are songs in ancient cultures; But before the Greek mathematician and philosopher Pythagoras, there was no theory to explain why the timbre was harmonious or dissonant.

Pythagoras scientifically studied sounds in the 500s BC and revealed the connection between the length of the vibrating strings and the timbre they produced. Thus, he determined which notes sounded harmoniously together and formed musical scales. Pythagoras’s “do re mi fa sol la si do” forms the basis of Western music today.


The biggest problem facing music was that notes could not be made into a common language and put on paper. Monks in Spain and Italy have for many years thought about this and found a way to record music. They started using symbols to show whether a note will be thinner or thicker than the previous one.

These symbols did not show the pitch of the notes but showed the coarse melody to aid memory. In the 1000s, the monk named Guido d’Arezzo placed these symbols on horizontal lines in a way similar to today. Thus, the predecessors of the portals we use today emerged and for the first time in history, music began to leave a mark.


In an 1808 letter to his brother, the famous English writer Jane Austen spoke about the purchase of a piano for the house. The piano had begun to enter Europe’s middle-class homes in the early 19th century. The industrial revolution made the piano cheap, and musical education became one of the hallmarks of the bourgeoisie.

The fun of the family during the long winter nights was a sign of elegance and hard work. Thus, the music had spread from the church and the concert hall to the homes and ceased to be the entertainment of only the richest.


When Thomas Edison invented the gramophone in 1877, the first recorded words were “Mary had a little lamb” from an old English tongue twister. Later, Emile Berliner founded the Victor Talking Machine Company with rubber discs and a cheap gramophone and took the first step in the modern music industry.

The London branch of this gramophone company would be called HMV Owner’s Voice and would arrive until today. In 1930 the first 33 ‘commercial records were produced; 45 ‘long records became widespread after the Second World War. Later tapes, CDs, mini discs, and in the 1990s mp3, Napster and other digital media would be released, but records would regain popularity.


On January 13, 1910, inventor Lee de Forest broadcast the voice of tenor Enrico Caruso from the Metropolitan Opera House to be heard throughout New York. Thus, the foundation of a new media that combines public and commercial broadcasts and brings news and music to homes was laid.

In the 1930s, half of US homes had a radio; During the Second World War, in 9 out of 10 houses. In the 1950s, transistor radios became portable and the birth of rock’s roll music increased the popularity of radio among young people. After the war, televisions began to be mass-produced, and by the 1960s they entered 90 per cent of homes in the United States. There was a serious opponent against the domination of the radio.


In 1936, one of the music magazines Billboard published a list of the most popular songs played on three major radios in the USA. The best selling records list in 1940. The first number one was Frank Sinatra’s song I’ll Never Smile Again.

In 1958, record sales and radio broadcasts were combined to create the Hot 100 playlist that still exists today.


In 1948, French Pierre Schaeffer created a new musical genre with the concrete name of music, through an avant-garde collage of ambient sounds and other non-musical sounds. This was a piece of technology music; production and distribution were possible electronically. Composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, who worked with Schaeffer in Paris for a while, later continued his work at the Electronic Music Studio in Cologne.

This place would become the cradle of electronic music. But this was a difficult and unpopular breed. These developments would gain momentum in the 1960s and would later be used by rock bands such as Pink Floyd and Yes. This music would be the style of the German band Kraftwerk and later influenced hip-hop and dance music.


Phillips was to exhibit the first small cassette player at a fair in West Berlin in 1963. The first headset was invented by Nathaniel Baldwin on a kitchen table in 1910. Sony’s Walkman combined these two inventions in 1979 into portable individual devices.

Today, when you think of Walkman, the 1980s comes to mind and the mixed tapes that people prepare themselves. This app formed the basis of today’s Spotify ‘playlists’. Walkman has evolved into Discman, iPod and smartphones, proving its transformative role in music technology history.

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