History of Western Music

Name: ________________________
Date: ______
Period: ______
History of Western Music
Instructions: Throughout the year, you will be studying the history of Western music from its origins to the present day. To preview the growth of
Western music, you will be reading the text below and charting the events on the graphic organizer on the back.
Western music is a music style that is listened to across the globe. By definition, Western music is any musical style who originates from
Western Europe. Many of the styles today trace their roots to Europe.
European music has begun since there were Europeans. Scientists estimate that humans settled in the continent around 40,000 years ago. We
have some musical artifacts from that time, also known as Pre-History, but there weren’t any examples of written music. The earliest example of
written music comes from Ancient Greece around the 5th or 4th century B.C. (That’s 36,000 years after humans settled in Europe). It is with Ancient
Greece that we begin the growth or evolution of Western music.
The music we associate with Europe is called Classical music. This style or genre originated during the Medieval era around 476 A.D. This is
where we begin to see music look much like the music we hear today. They had similar instruments like an early guitar called the lute and they used
a notation system very similar to the modern one we read. Classical music evolved of the centuries and would eventually spread throughout the world
by way of exploration and colonization.
Classical music especially took root in the Americas were it mixed with indigeneous music of the natives and African music brought by
slaves to create the modern genres we know today. Rock, Rap, Hip hop, Latin, and more all originated from this marriage of musical styles and
joined the Western music family.
Popularity of both South and North American music grew across the world thanks to global trade and technological advances. Soon,
influences of western music could be seen in non-Western countries where the music would take new forms. This is what led to Bollywood music in
India and K-Pop in Korea. As cultures continue to meet and interact, new Western genres will continue to emerge.
Graphic Organizer: Use this to explain the history of Western music by completing the each statement in the text boxes.
2.Ancient Greek
evolves into…
4.And then travels…
1.Western music
originates in….
3.Mixes with…….
To make…..
1. What is the best definition of Western
2. Explain the evolution of Western music in
four steps.
3. What was the reason Western music
traveled to the Americas? Why did it travel
across the globe?