The First Instrument – The Voice
Music has existed since the beginning of time. There are traces of music in most ancient civilizations and tribal cultures, yet no one has been able to establish precisely when, where, why, or how music originated. In most cultures, vocal music was preferred and supported. This has been proven true from the evidence of chanting ceremonies deep in the jungle to religious ceremonies and services in Ancient Greece.
Physical instruments, aside from the human body, were designed as a means of accompanying the voice rather than being the principal music maker. Like the voice, instruments are split into voice ranges so as to be able to mimic the sounds that the voice is able to make.
The human voice is able to cover a wide range of sound. Vocal sounds are created when we push air through our vocal chords causing them to vibrate. Words are created by how our lips, teeth, and tongue permit us to articulate those sounds.
The human voice is typically split into 4 – 6 vocal ranges. These Ranges include:
|Soprano||the highest female voice|
|Mezzo Soprano||the mid-range female voice|
|Alto||the lowest female voice|
|Tenor||the highest male voice|
|Baritone||the mid-range male voice|
|Bass||the lowest male voice|
However, the biggest drawback to the voice is that the music is limited by the physical abilities of the musician. The human voice can only get so loud as to be heard by a large group, such as a church full of people. The voice also tires more quickly, so how long the musician is able to maintain a “good voice” differs from person to person.