Music is almost as old as the human race itself, although many historians argue as to the exact age of the first musical instrument. A musical instrument is defined as anything that can be used to produce a rhythm, or tone. Because of that, scholars state the first ‘true’ musical instrument known to man was a pair of human hands which could be used to clap along to singing in order to hold a beat. Beating on fallen trees, hollowed out logs and stones with a stick was another way early man expressed musical ability.
Research has shown that some of the earliest instruments created by man, specifically for the purpose of creating musical tones, are flutes dating back to Egypt in 3100 BC made from hollow reeds. These reed ‘flutes’ were one of the only musical instruments known until 3000 BC when the Sumerians began to create stringed instruments called ‘lyres’. By 1500 BC, more modern instruments were coming about: horns made from cow and goat horns, and even an early form of trumpet made from hammered bronze. These horns were not only used to make music, they are also thought to have played a large part in helping shepherds call their herds and flocks.
Because these early instruments had a very short range of tones, the music produced by them would not sound like modern music. Historians believe the songs written during the early days of human life were very basic and simple, although no written songs have been found to support their theories. In fact, the first written song found has been dated to 4,000 years ago, long after the invention of the first musical instruments.
Instruments were created out of the need to have a way to express what we as humans are feeling, when words just aren’t enough. Music is enjoyable to many people because it allows them to express their feelings without having to speak, and is also a way to bring together groups of people who may otherwise have nothing in common. Aside from the emotional benefits, listening to music has also been proven to have physical benefits as well. Studies have shown music has the ability to lower high blood pressure levels, ease headaches, and even lift depression.
Music has the power to lift your mood, ease worries, and express sadness, which makes it enjoyable to almost everyone. When words fail, music speaks to not only the mind, but also the heart and soul.