Monday, 14 November 2011

Where does Music come from?

I've always had a strong interest in how music originated, or rather the limited geographic sense thereof. In pre-literate society, which include most of Africa's early tribes and clans, music and stories carry added significance. This might explain why they seem to be more fundamental to societies here (although - classical cause and effect theory here - why would they need the literate traditions if their oral ones are so strong?).

The debate on origins of music are a never ending of course, and many clever heads that have much more to say on oral traditions than my rudimentary thoughts. In academia the area has been battling a bit for relevance however, especially in Europe I was told by Linda Braun (a Falling Walls Lab colleague), and suffers from chronic funding shortage. This seems surprising, given its importance and the unanswered cause and effect questions.

One way to up the relevancy levels is to bring the history of music that's more popular (though not more profitable) than ever back into popular conciousness. The best way to do that of course is graphics (who likes to read?). I have a huge map of the origins of jazz back in Germany, but I wanted to share the one below as a particularly good example...

Interesting that it comes from a travel agency. Maybe it will inspire more people to venture down the Chicago - New Orleans blues trail that Harry and I attempted way back. After all, that's where it all started ;)

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