Seven lost bodies of work that would have changed everything
Published on May 21st, 2010 | by Admin2
#1 All Music Made Through Most of Human History
Quick, what’s the best song of all time?
Don’t bother answering. The odds are overwhelming that we don’t have it. All records of the music that humans were making for the first several thousand years of the art form, simply doesn’t exist.
We have lost the life’s work of just about every musician who ever lived before the age of powdered-wigs, which coincidentally also happened to be the beginning of the music industry.
So What Happened?
Obviously there was no way to make sound recordings until very recently. But what about sheet music? Don’t we have all sorts of ancient scrolls of that laying around?
Nope. While the history of musical notation dates back to Ancient Greece, India and China, it doesn’t change the fact that almost nothing has survived. And most of what we have isn’t really something you can make into your ring tone.
Humans have been singing and playing music for tens of thousands of years. What did it sound like? Who were the great musical geniuses through the millennia? We have no freaking idea.
How did Homer sing the Iliad? What war songs did Genghis sing as his Mongolian horde prepared for battle? What the hell did the national anthem of the Roman Empire sound like? How many Django Reinhardts or Jimi Hendrixes went unnoticed until the advent of YouTube? How good were they? What styles existed that we’ve never even heard of?