When I first started studying the history of music, I did not know what I was getting into. I had a notion that music history was somewhat of a trivial pursuit…
Honestly, I only followed my history of classical music course because I needed the credits. I am sure some of you out there can relate to that. I did not know how fully interesting music history could be. You see, in our culture many of us do not really study to comprehend music. For much of the world, music is a language, but for us it is a thing that we consumed passively.
When I started to study about the history of Western music, however, it changed all that for me. I have had some experience using musical instruments, but I have never mastered one enough to really comprehend what music is all about. This class showed me.
When a lot of us think about the history of music, it means the history of rock music. We presume that the history is plain because the music is plain. In fact, neither is the case. The history of music, whether you’re talking about classical music, rock music, jazz music, or any other kind, is always complex. New chord structures are set up carrying with them new forms of understanding humanity. New rhythmic patterns are established, carrying with them new methods of understanding history. And music shows all of it.
History of music nowadays is even more interesting. Even when the class was ended, I could not stop learning about the history of music. It had stimulated my appetite, and I wanted more. I acquired all the music history volumes that I could discover. I even started to examine forms of music that had not interested me before in the hopes of improving my musical knowledge further. When I was in school studying toward a very different subject – a degree in engineering – I had thought about giving it up and going back to obtain a degree in musicology. That is how much I am fascinated by the subject.
If you have never taken a course in the history of music, you don’t know what you are missing out on. You do not miss what you don’t know about in a way but then again… Believe me the CDs will never sound the same to you again. Actually not only the Cds but any type of media you are or will be using to play your favorite music. The whole thing will seem much more rich, much more luminous, and much more important. A new song can reflect a new way of being, and a new way of imagining existence in the world. This is what learning about the history of music means to many of us. Just try it and you will see.
Listening to music now has a whole new meaning. You can imagine all the different types of musical patterns there are in the world. It make your musical mind really expand.