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Writing Music Down - by 3MBS

Writing Music Down - by 3MBS

Before sound recording was invented just over a hundred years ago, a lot of music was lost forever as soon as it was sung or played, but some of it didn’t get lost, because it was written down. This is what most people think of as classical music. People who invent music and write it down for other people to play are known as composers.

A thousand years ago, the easiest way to share music was to write it down using a system called notation. Among the first people to do this were monks, men who lived in monasteries, devoting their lives to singing and praying to God. Monks had to sing prayers called chants six times a day. There were thousands of different tunes to learn. So they used symbols called neumes to help them remember, and wrote them down in documents called manuscripts.

Notation helped music spread from monasteries and churches to the courts of kings and nobles. But because manuscripts had to be made by hand, only very rich people could afford them. In the 15th century, printing was introduced for the first time in Europe. Printing made producing manuscripts much quicker and cheaper. Now more people could learn to sing and play, so music became a popular form of entertainment.

Tune in to Classically Kids, 8am Sundays on 3MBS Fine Music Melbourne, to discover a world of classical music for kids of all ages. Featuring regular segments, young performers, news, information and opportunities for you and your kids to explore the world of fine music together.

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