Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Brief History of Music


The world heard it all: from the notes written in the Greek and Roman Classic style, to the simplistic secular music and church chants, to the Italian operas of Monteverdi which touched the ears of the aristocrats and the souls of many generations after, to the optimistic harmonies of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, to Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Don Giovanni to Beethoven’s Symphony No.5 – when everyone thought music reached a climax, and nothing new will ever be composed. But they were wrong, and Frantz Schubert writes Der Erlk├Ânig, telling stories though music, and the history of music moves on. Soon after, Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream is born Richard Wagner rises to fame; and Tchaikovsky gives the world the masterpiece Swan Lake. But the world no longer wanted intellectual music. The world wanted music for their soul, so Duke Ellington writes It Don’t Mean a Thing, If It Ain’t Got That Swing. Jazz is born.
As the world moves further, the lives of people become busier and busier. Now the world wants something new again, but something simpler. Minimalism was exactly what the world needed at that point. Philip Glass composes pieces made of a few notes, repeating over and over again. But the world wants even more simplicity, so John Cage offers them 4’33’’ minutes of complete silence. John’s Cage’s scores instructed the performers in the orchestra not to play any instrument, and the audience to confront their own silence. And the path of music moved on.
The next era was an era of consumption, so music was transformed from an art to a consumer good. And this is how the world for ephemeral artists; artists famous for months, or weeks only.
The world was overstimulated by the fast progress they wanted something new again, and this time they needed it faster. In the early 2000s the world would get bored of a new piece of music within months. Soon after, they would get bored of a pice of music within days, before they would delete it from their iPods.
By the 2100s the world needed new, innovative songs daily in the micro-chip implanted in their brain. They would download it, and via wireless they would transfer it to their brain and by the end of the day the music would be deleted. By 2205, the process of downloading was no longer necessary, because more advanced microchips would create the music automatically. The microchip could create new music within milliseconds. All the beats created were meant to go with the individuals’ state of mind. If she was sad, the beats would be melancholic, and depending on the time of the day the music would change. Between 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday, when he or she had to work, the microchip would only produce uplifting beats. One could not change the music except get out of an unproductive mood and work more. If he ran in the morning, the music would be uplifting. In the case of a romantic encounter with another individual, the microchips of the two would play the exact same beats.
Artists made of flesh and blood could no longer keep up with the world’s need for innovation. So, machines took over, and ever since humans lost their ability to control the path of art…and their own will. And the world gave up.