It was once asked by a student in a classroom why should the university provide a course in art music history? Well here's the answer:
From the Greek term 'mousike' originated an art form where there was pitch, dynamics, rhythm, timbre and texture accompanied with the medium of sound. It was called the art of music which later on played an important role in human civilization and cultural development.
Music intending the creation of thought-provoking art is often composed in a traditional classical manner. Divided into various genres and subgenres, music within arts is classified into fine art, performing art and auditory art.
Art music upon its inception would have never dreamt that people like Jean Ponnelle would study about art, music and history which provided him a strong platform in performing his duty as the opera director.
It is quite astonishing that the crowd gathered in a 600acre dairy farm in a rural town of New York in 1969 was to witness the musicians at the Woodstock music and art fair, pushing the boat out there for promoting art music. All these are interesting facts in the timeline of art music history.
Art music which was developed in the 11th century was build upon the rudiments of traditional western secular music. It led to the formation of Classical music which later became codified and popular in the history of world music. It is believed that the Greeks have influenced art music to a great extent particularly in the field of tones and scales.
The classical orchestra which we see today has evolved from ancient Greek reed and string instruments. The tuning system invented by Pythagoras to codify musical notation is considered as a milestone in art music history.
Do you know the historical period when art music was developed in the world? The answer cannot be traced down to a particular century as art music developed in various countries depending on different cultural origins and traditions. When the Chinese traced it to the Tang dynasty, the Indians dated them back to the Vedic period.
When the Indonesians realised that art music was developed from the indigenous traditions during the Majaphit Empire the Scottish realised that art music was played on Great Highland Bagpipe even during the Renaissance.
Classify art music into Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Baroque period, Classical era, Romantic legacy and the modern age; but the fact remains that art music irrespective of the time period has given the world a sense of history and inspiration.
It isn't strange that the history of art music gives the world a cultural insight through the works of Mozart and Beethoven to a whole new world of creativity, transformation and transcendence.