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Evolution of Arts and Literature

Art and music in ceremony and oral history seem to have been central to hunter gatherer life. 


From the start of domestic agriculture up to the Renaissance; art, literature and music  were inextricably linked to the communities religion. 

After the Renaissance; realism and  individual creativity was unleased in art and literature. Shakespeare, Michelangelo, Bach and Mozart all reached a mass audience through the printing press. 

The printing press, record player, camera, TV  and radio have  democratized  the arts, literature and music from the popular entertainment for the select privileged few, to entertainment for the masses. 



The hunter gatherers around the world have left rock art that say something about their lives, and religious beliefs. Pottery for food storage and hunting tools are fixtures of many early settlements. Some examples of small sculptures have been found.

The hunter gatherers did leave evidence in the form of camp sites, and in wall art. The finest is in cave paintings in Chauvet France dating  from 30Ky ago.  Figurative cave paintings depicting pig hunting in  Sulawesi were estimated at least 43,900 years old. The finding was noted to be "the oldest pictorial record of storytelling and the earliest figurative artwork in the world".

5000BC - 20AD Ancient Middle  East - Mesopotamia

The Sumerians were the first to leave relics of their complex gods.-

​Egyptian Phaero's  - Artworks served an essentially functional purpose that was bound with religion and ideology. To render a subject in art was to give it permanence. Therefore, ancient Egyptian art portrayed an idealized, unrealistic view of the world. Statues showed leaders & Gods as stylized humans, animals and humanoid gods. Hieroglyphic texts first appears on papyrus for accounting agriculture output ad taxes. Hierogyphs  were used to comment on many statues and wall paintings in tombs and temples 

From about 500 BC, Greek statues began increasingly to depict real people, as opposed to vague interpretations of myth or entirely fictional votive statues, although the style in which they were represented had not yet developed into a realistic form of portraiture. The statues of Harmodius and Aristogeiton, set up in Athens mark the overthrow of the aristocratic tyranny, and have been said to be the first public monuments to show actual individuals.

The strengths of Roman sculpture are in portraiture, where they were less concerned with the ideal than the Greeks or Ancient Egyptians, and produced very characterful works, and in narrative relief scenes.

2400-1900 BC Indus Valley Civilization

Harappan Civilization  is now recognized as extraordinarily advanced. Its sites span an area stretching from today's northeast Afghanistan, through much of Pakistan, and into western and northwestern India.  The most numerous artefacts are square and rectangular stamp seals and seal impressions, featuring animals, usually bulls, very short Harappan texts. Many stylized terracotta figurines have also been found in Harappan sites, and a few stone and bronze sculptures, more naturalistic than the ceramic ones

1400BC - 1521AD Mesoamerica and Andean America

The Olmecs (c.1400–400 BC) were the first major civilization in modern-day Mexico. Many elements of Mesoamerican civilizations, like the practice of building of pyramids, the complex calendar, the pantheon of gods and hieroglyphic writing have origins in Olmec culture. They produced jade and ceramic figurines, colossal heads and pyramids with temples at the top, all without the advantage of metal tools. For them, jadeite was a stone more precious than gold and symbolized divine powers and fertility. 

The Maya civilization began around 1800 BC and grew until the arrival of Spanish colonizers in the 1500s. They occupied southeast Mexico,   They produced impressive king portraits, polychrome ceramic vessels, earthenware figures, wooden sculptures, stelas, and built complex cities with pyramids. Most of the well preserved polychrome ceramic vessels were discovered in the tombs of nobles.

Arising from humble beginnings as a nomadic group, the Aztecs created the largest empire in Mesoamerican history, lasting from 1427 to 1521. They didn't call themselves 'Aztecs', but Mexica. The term Aztecs was assigned by historians. They transformed the capital of their empire, Tenochtitlan, into a place where artists of Mesoamerica created impressive artworks for their new masters. The present-day Mexico City was built over the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan.

The present-day territory of Colombia   before the arrival of Spanish colonizers, gold body accessories were produced, many golden ones, but also many other ones made of tumbaga, a non-specific alloy of gold and copper.

The Paracas culture of the south coast of Peru is best known for its complex patterned textiles, particularly mantels. The Moche controlled the river valleys of the north coast, while the Nazca of southern Peru held sway along the coastal deserts and contiguous mountains. The Nazca are best known for the famous Nazca Lines, a group of geoglyphs in a desert in southern Peru. They also produced polychrome ceramics and textiles influenced by the Paracas, and used a palette of at least 10 colors for their pottery. Both cultures flourished around 100–800 AD. Moche pottery is some of the most varied in the world. In the north, the Wari (or Huari) Empire are noted for their stone architecture and sculpture accomplishments. The Chimú were preceded by a simple ceramic style known as Sicán (700–900 AD). The Chimú produced excellent portrait and decorative works in metal, notably gold but especially silver. Later, the Inca Empire (1100–1533) stretched across the Andes Mountains. They crafted precious metal figurines, and like other civilizations from the same area, complex textiles. Llamas were important animals, because of their wool and for carrying loads. Machu Picchu is a 15th-century Inca citadel.

300BC- 1600AD Indian

The major survivals of Buddhist art begin in the period after the Mauryans, within North India Kushan art, the Greco-Buddhist art of Gandhara and finally the "classic" period of Gupta art.   Good quantities of sculpture survives from some key sites such as SanchiBharhut and Amaravati, some of which remain in situ, with others in museums in India or around the world. Stupas were surrounded by ceremonial fences with four profusely carved  ornamental gateways facing the cardinal directions.  The facades and interiors of rock-cut chaitya prayer halls and monastic viharas have survived better than similar free-standing structures elsewhere, which were for long mostly in wood. The caves at AjantaKarleBhaja and elsewhere contain early sculpture, often outnumbered by later works such as iconic figures of the Buddha and bodhisattvas, which are not found before 100 AD at the least.​​​

The Taj Mahal, Islamic ivory-white marble mausoleum , is an iconic example of Mughal architecture, 1632-1648

2100-200 BC Chinese

​The  first metal objects produced in China were made during the Xia dynasty (c.2100–1700 BC). During the Chinese Bronze Age (the Shang and Zhou dynasties) court intercessions and communication with the spirit world were conducted by a shaman (possibly the king himself). In the Shang dynasty (c.1600–1050 BC). The Warring States period was ended by Qinshi Huangdi, who united China in 221 BC. He ordered a huge tomb, guarded by the Terracotta Army.

200BC-1700AD Chinese

In Eastern Asia, painting was derived from the practice of calligraphy, and portraits and landscapes were painted on silk cloth. Most of the paintings represent landscapes or portraits. The most spectacular sculptures are the ritual bronzes and the bronze sculptures from Sanxingdui.   Chinese art is one of the oldest continuous traditional arts in the world, and is marked by an unusual degree of continuity within, and consciousness of, that tradition, lacking an equivalent to the Western collapse and gradual recovery of classical styles. The media that have usually been classified in the West since the Renaissance as the decorative arts are extremely important in Chinese art, and much of the finest work was produced in large workshops or factories by essentially unknown artists, especially in Chinese ceramics. The range and quality of goods that decorated Chinese palaces and households, and their inhabitants, is dazzling. Materials came from across China and far beyond: gold and silver, mother of pearl, ivory and rhinoceros horn, wood and lacquerjade and soap stone, silk and paper.

11,000BC-1500AD Japanese

Japanese art covers   ancient potterysculptureink painting and calligraphy on silk and paper, ukiyo-e paintings and woodblock prints, ceramics, origami.  The first settlers of Japan, the Jōmon people (c. 11,000–300 BC). They crafted lavishly decorated pottery storage vessels, clay figurines called dogū. Japan has been subject to sudden invasions of new ideas followed by long periods of minimal contact with the outside world. Over time the Japanese developed the ability to absorb, imitate, and finally assimilate those elements of foreign culture that complemented their aesthetic preferences. The earliest complex art in Japan was produced in the 7th and 8th centuries in connection with Buddhism. In the 9th century, as the Japanese began to turn away from China and develop indigenous forms of expression, the secular arts became increasingly important; until the late 15th century, both religious and secular arts flourished. After the Ōnin War (1467–1477), Japan entered a period of political, social, and economic disruption that lasted for over a century. In the state that emerged under the leadership of the Tokugawa shogunate, organized religion played a much less important role in people's lives, and the arts that survived were primarily secular.

1100 - 1800 South Asia 

Angkor Wat  is a temple complex in Cambodia and is the largest religious monument in the world Origi.nally constructed as a Hindu temple[1] dedicated to the god Vishnu for the Khmer Empire by King Suryavarman II during the 12th century, it was gradually transformed into a Buddhist temple towards the end of the century; as such, it is also described as a "Hindu-Buddhist" temple

The Ayutthaya Kingdom was a Siamese kingdom that existed in Southeast Asia from 1351[1] to 1767, centered around the city of Ayutthaya, in Siam, or present-day Thailand.  The city has an old complex of  Buddist temples and governmental buildings. 

5000BC - 1800AD Sub-Saharan Africa

Sub-Saharan African art includes both sculpture, typified by the brass castings of the Benin peopleIgbo Ukwu and the Kingdom of Ifẹ, and terracottas of Djenne-Jeno, Ife, and the more ancient Nok culture, as well as folk art. Concurrent with the European Middle Ages, in the eleventh century AD a nation that made grand architecture, gold sculpture, and intricate jewelry was founded in Great Zimbabwe. Impressive sculpture was concurrently being cast from brass by the Yoruba people of what is now Nigeria. In the Benin Kingdom, also of southern Nigeria, which began around the same time, elegant altar tusks, brass heads, plaques of brass, and palatial architecture were created.  

The myriad forms of African art are components of some of the most vibrant and responsive artistic traditions in the world and are integral to the lives of African people. Created for specific purposes, artworks can reveal their ongoing importance through physical transformations that enhance both their appearance and their potency. Many traditional African art forms are created as conduits to the spirit world and change appearance as materials are added to enhance their beauty and potency. The more a work is used and blessed, the more abstract it becomes with the accretion of sacrificial matter and the wearing down of original details.

50,000BC - 1200AD Oceania

The Art of Oceania includes the geographic areas of MicronesiaPolynesia, Australia, New Zealand, and Melanesia.   Unfortunately, little ancient art survives from Oceania. Scholars believe that this is likely because artists used perishable materials, such as wood and feathers, which did not survive in the tropical climate, and there are no historical records to refer to most of this material.  

The isolated tribes of todays Papua New Guinea have retained many different styles of wood worked pieces. 

The often ephemeral materials of Aboriginal art of Australia makes it difficult to determine the antiquity of the majority of the forms of art practised today. The most durable forms are the multitudes of rock engravings and rock paintings which are found across the continent. In the Arnhem Land escarpment, evidence suggests that paintings were being made fifty thousand years ago, antedating the Palaeolithic rock paintings of Altamira & Lascaux in Europe.

The Rapa Nui (Easter Island) moai; c. 1200 AD, are a set of statues on one of the most isolated spots on earth.

300-1460 Medieval Europe and Middle East 

With the decline of the Roman Empire in c. 300 AD, the Medieval era began, lasting for about a millennium, until the beginning of the Renaissance in c. 1400. Early Christian art begins the period, followed by Byzantine artAnglo-Saxon artViking artOttonian artRomanesque art and Gothic art, with Islamic art dominating the eastern Mediterranean. Medieval art grew out of the artistic heritage of the Roman Empire and Byzantium, mixed with the 'barbarian' artistic culture of northern Europe.[114]

In Byzantine (Hagia Sophia)  and Gothic art of the Middle Ages, the dominance of the church resulted in a large amount of religious art. There was extensive use of gold in paintings, which presented figures in simplified forms.  Byzantine architecture is notorious for the use of domes. It also often featured marble columns, coffered ceilings and sumptuous decoration, including the extensive use of mosaics with golden backgrounds.

The Romanesque was the first pan-European style to emerge after the Roman Empire, spanning the mid-tenth century to the thirteenth. The period saw a resurgence of monumental stone structures with complex structural programmes.

Romanesque churches are characterized by rigid articulation and geometric clarity, incorporated into a unified volumetric whole. The architecture is austere but enlivened by decorative sculpting of capitals and portals, as well as frescoed interiors. Geometric and foliate patterning gives way to increasingly three-dimensional figurative sculpture.

Gothic art developed in Northern France out of Romanesque in the 12th century AD, and led by the concurrent development of Gothic architecture. It spread to all of Western Europe, and much of Southern and Central Europe, never quite effacing more classical styles in Italy. In the late 14th century, the sophisticated court style of International Gothic developed, which continued to evolve until the late 15th century. The imposing Gothic cathedrals, with their sculptural programmes and stained glass windows, epitomize the Gothic style.[138] It differs from Romanesque through its rib-shaped vaults. Instead of the thick Romanesque walls, Gothic buildings are thin and tall.


Islamic art is well-known since the Middle Ages for the use of elaborate geometric patterns, colourful tiles, stylized natural motifs and detailed calligraphy. Rarely has lettering had such a profound impact on applied arts and architecture. Islamic art and architecture had regional versions. As the Islamic world extended into centres of late antique culture, it was enriched by philosophical and intellectual movements. The translation of Greek works into Arabic and advances in mathematics and science were encouraged by early caliphates. This is in contrast with the modern perception that Islamic art is dogmatic and unchanging. Human and animal representation wasn't rare. Only certain periods restricted it. Moorish Spain centered on the Mezquita mosque in Cordoba , and the Alhambra Palace in Granada.  Samarkand in todays Uzbekistan was on the Silk Road and was a centre of Islamic scholarly study. In the 14th century, Timur (Tamerlane) made it the capital of his empire and the site of his mausoleum, the Gur-e Amir. The Bibi-Khanym Mosque, is one of the city's most notable landmarks.  

1460 - 1545 Renaissance 

For the first time since antiquity, art became convincingly lifelike. Besides the ancient past, Renaissance artists also studied nature, understanding the human body, animals, plants, space, perspective and the qualities of light.  Michaelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael were a few of the prominent artists. 

One of the distinguishing features of Renaissance art was its development of highly realistic linear perspective. Giotto di Bondone (1267–1337) is credited with first treating a painting as a window into space, but it was not until the demonstrations of architect Filippo Brunelleschi (1377–1446) and the subsequent writings of Leon Battista Alberti (1404–1472) that perspective was formalized as an artistic technique.


1545-1790 Baroque

Baroque art emerged in the late 16th century and  describes art that combined emotion, dynamism and drama with powerful color, realism and strong tonal contrasts. Between 1545 and 1563 at the Council of Trent, it was decided that religious art must encourage piety, realism and accuracy, and, by attracting viewers' attention and empathy, glorify the Catholic Church and strengthen the image of Catholicism. ​

Dutch Golden Age painting is a period roughly spanning the 17th century,[1]  The painting of religious subjects declined very sharply, but a large new market for all kinds of secular subjects grew up. Although Dutch painting of the Golden Age is included in the general European period of Baroque painting, and often shows many of its characteristics, most lacks the idealization and love of splendor typical of much Baroque work. Most work, including that for which the period is best known, reflects the traditions of detailed realism inherited from Early Netherlandish painting.


The full development of this specialization is seen from the late 1620s, artists would spend most of their careers painting only portraits, genre scenes, landscapes, seascapes and ships, or still lifes, and often a particular sub-type within these categories. Many of these types of subject were new in Western painting, and the way the Dutch painted them in this period was decisive for their future development.

1720-1790 Rococo

Originating in c.1720 Paris, Rococo is characterized by natural motifs, soft colors, curving lines, asymmetry and themes including love, nature and light-hearted entertainment.  The Rococo movement  derives from the French 'rocaille', or pebble, and refers to stones and shells that decorate the interiors of caves, as similar shell forms became a common feature in Rococo design. It began as a design and decorative arts style, and was characterized by elegant flowing shapes. Architecture followed and then painting and sculpture. The French painted with whom the term Rococo is most often associated is Jean-Antoine Watteau, whose pastoral scenes, or fêtes galantes, dominate the early part of the 18th century.

Neoclassicism dominates Western art from the mid to late 18th century until the 1830s. Embracing order and restraint, it developed in reaction to the perceived frivolity, hedonism and decadence of Rococo and exemplifying the rational thinking of the 'Age of Enlightenment' (aka the 'Age of Reason'). Initially, the movement was developed not by artists, but by Enlightenment philosophers. They requested replacing Rococo with a style of rational art, moral and dedicated to the soul.​

​​Romanticism (c. 1790–1880)

One of the earliest expressions of romanticism was in the English landscape garden, carefully designed to appear natural and standing in dramatic contrast to the formal gardens of the time. The concept of the "natural" English garden was adopted throughout Europe and America in the following decades. Romantic architecture often revived Gothic forms and other styles such as exotic eastern models. The Palace of Westminster (Houses of Parliament), London is an example of romantic architecture that is also referred to as Gothic Revival.​​​

In painting romanticism is exemplified by the paintings of Francisco Goya in Spain, William Blake,  and William Turner in England.

In 1839, Daguerre invented the first usable photography process  signaling the end of paintings role in memorializing events and people, driving the art to towards  impressionism. 

Impressionism (c. 1865–1885)

Impressionism emerged in France. In 1874 they formed the Société Anonyme Coopérative des Artistes Peintres, Sculpteurs, Graveurs, independent of the academy, and mounted the first of several impressionist exhibitions in Paris, through to 1886 when their eighth and final exhibition was held. Important figures in the movement included Frédéric BazilleGustave CaillebotteMary CassattPaul CézanneEdgar DegasArmand GuillauminÉdouard ManetClaude MonetBerthe MorisotCamille PissarroPierre-Auguste Renoir, and Alfred Sisley

Many of the techniques used were in contrast to traditional methods. Paintings were often completed in hours or days with wet paint applied to wet paint (opposed to wet on dry paint, completed in weeks and months). Rather than applying glazes and mixed colors, pure colors were often applied side by side, in thick, opaque, impasto strokes; blending in the eye of the viewer when observed from a distance. Black was used very sparingly, or not at all, and defining lines replaced with nuanced strokes of color forming the subjects, contours, and shapes.

Post-Impressionism (c. 1885–1910)

In its strictest sense, it pertains to four highly influential artists: Paul Cézanne,[228][229] Paul Gauguin,[230][231] Georges  Seurat,[232][233] and Vincent van Gogh.[234][235] Each passed through an impressionist phase, but ultimately emerged with four very original but different styles. Unnatural colors, patterns, flat plains, odd perspectives and viewpoints pushed to extremes, all moved the center of modernism a step closer to abstraction with a standard for experimentation.

Early 20th century

The history of 20th-century art is a narrative of endless possibilities and the search for new standards, each being torn down in succession by the next. The art movements of FauvismExpressionismCubismabstract artDadaism and Surrealism led to further explorations of new creative styles and manners of expression.


Increasing global interaction during this time saw an equivalent influence of other cultures into Western art, such as Pablo Picasso being influenced by Iberian sculptureAfrican sculpture and PrimitivismJaponism, and Japanese woodcuts (which had themselves been influenced by Western Renaissance draftsmanship) had an immense influence on Impressionism and subsequent artistic developments. The influential example set by Paul Gauguin's interest in Oceanic art and the sudden popularity among the cognoscenti in early 20th century Paris of newly discovered African fetish sculptures and other works from non-European cultures were taken up by Picasso, Henri Matisse, and many of their colleagues. Later in the 20th century, Pop Art and Abstract Expressionism came to prominence.


By this  time, photography had democratized  image creation and much of Modern Art seems to have moved away at any attempt at mass popularity or appreciation. 


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The Epic of Gilgamesh  is an epic poem from ancient Mesopotamia, and is regarded as the earliest surviving notable literature and the second oldest religious text, after the Pyramid Texts. In it Gilgamesh grows in maturity as the story progresses. At first he's a self-centered despot who cares only for fighting and women. Then he makes a friend of Enkidu and the two of them act partly for the benefit of Uruk in killing the monster Khumbaba, bringing home the cedars and slaying the celestial Bull. Finally, Gilgamesh goes off to procure immortality for himself and his people, sparing himself nothing in the attempt. This story has many legendary elements we recognize an authentic hero in Gilgamesh.

Levant - East Mediterranean

Ancient literature of the Levant was written in the Canaanite languages such as Phoenician and Hebrew. A corpus of Canaanite and Aramaic inscriptions (or "Northwest Semitic inscriptions") are the primary extra-Biblical source for the writings of the ancient PhoeniciansHebrews and Arameans. These inscriptions occur on stone slabs, pottery ostraca, ornaments, and range from simple names to full texts.

The books that constitute the Hebrew Bible developed over roughly a millennium, with the oldest texts originating from about the eleventh or tenth centuries BCE. They are edited works, being collections of various sources intricately and carefully woven together. The Old Testament was compiled and edited by various authors[39] over a period of centuries, with many scholars concluding that the Hebrew canon was solidified by about the 3rd century BC.[40][41]. T he New Testament was an additional collection of books that supplemented the Hebrew Bible, consisting of the gospels that described Jesus and the epistles written by notable figures of early Christianity.


In early Greek literature, Homer is credited with the codification of epic poetry in Ancient Greece with the Iliad and the Odyssey. The Odyssey follows the Greek hero Odysseus, king of Ithaca, and his journey home after the Trojan War. After the war, which lasted ten years, his journey lasted for ten additional years, during which time he encountered many perils and all his crew mates were killed. In his absence, Odysseus was assumed dead, and his wife Penelope and son Telemachus had to contend with a group of unruly suitors who were competing for Penelope's hand in marriage.  Notable among later Greek poets was Sappho, who contributed to the development of lyric poetry and was widely popular in antiquity.[44]

Ancient Greek plays originate from the chorus plays of Athens in the 6th century BC as a tradition to honor Dionysus, the god of theater and wine. Greek plays came to be associated with "elaborate costumes, complex choreography, scenic architecture, and the mask". They were often structured as a tetralogy in which three tragedies were followed by a satyr playAeschylusSophocles, and Euripides were known for their tragedies, while Aristophanes and Menander were known for their comedies.[45] Sophocles is most well known for his play Oedipus Rex, which established an early example of literary irony.


The late republic saw the rise of Augustan literature and Classical Latin, which was primarily prose and included the works of Cicero and Sallust. Upon the formation of the Roman Empire, political commentary declined and prose went out of favor to be replaced by poetry. Poets such as VirgilHoracePropertius, and Ovid are recognized as bringing about the Golden Age of Latin literature.[48] Virgil's epic poem the Aeneid closely followed the formula established by Homer.

Early India

Classical Sanskrit literature flowers in the Maurya and Gupta periods, roughly spanning the 2nd century BC to the 8th century AD. Classical Tamil literature also emerged in the early historic period dating from 300 BC to 300 AD, and is the earliest secular literature of India, mainly dealing with themes such as love and war. The Gupta period in India sees the flowering of Sanskrit drama, classical Sanskrit poetry and the compilation of the Puranas.

Medieval  England

Early Medieval literature in England was written in Old English, which is not mutually intelligible with modern English. Works of this time include the epic poem Beowulf and Arthurian fantasy based on the legendary character of King Arthur. Literature in the modern English language began with Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century, known for The Canterbury Tales.

Medieval Islam

The most well known fiction from the Islamic world was The Book of One Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights), which was a compilation of many earlier folk tales told by the Persian Queen Scheherazade. The epic took form in the 10th century and reached its final form by the 14th century; the number and type of tales have varied from one manuscript to another.[57] All Arabian fantasy tales were often called "Arabian Nights" when translated into English, regardless of whether they appeared in The Book of One Thousand and One Nights, in any version, and a number of tales are known in Europe as "Arabian Nights" despite existing in no Arabic manuscript.[57]  

From Persian culture the book which would, eventually, become the most famous in the west is the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. The Rubáiyát is a collection of poems by the Persian mathematician and astronomer Omar Khayyám (1048–1122). "Rubaiyat" means "quatrains": verses of four lines. Amir Arsalan was also a popular mythical Persian story, which has influenced some modern works of fantasy fiction, such as The Heroic Legend of Arslan

Renaissance 1500's

Shakespeare is the dominant playwright of this era; with comedies, fictional dramas, historical dramas.  Shakespeare drew upon the arts of jesters and strolling players in creating new style comedies. All the parts, even the female ones, were played by men but that would change, first in France and then in England too, by the end of the 17th century. The Islamic Moors also had a noticeable influence on the works of William Shakespeare in the Merchant of VeniceTitus Andronicus and Othello, which featured a Moorish Othello as its title character. These works are said to have been inspired by several Moorish delegations from Morocco to Elizabethan England at the beginning of the 17th century.[61]

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe is considered to be the first modern English novel, written as a celebration of the social mobility introduced by capitalism. The book was written in a realistic style, and the original edition was marketed as a true autobiography without any mention of Defoe as an author. Jonathan Swift introduced the fantasy novel to English literature, most notably through Gulliver's Travels, which was similarly marketed as a true story.

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes was published in the early-17th century and is recognized as an early novel. It was a picaresque novel that parodied chivalric romance.[56] The 16th and 17th centuries are recognized as the Spanish Golden Age.

Post 1700's

The 18th century was Age of Enlightenment and its most important authors are VoltaireJean-Jacques RousseauImmanuel Kant and Adam Smith. The second half of the century sees the beginnings of Romanticism with Goethe.

In Britain, the 19th century was dominated by the Victorian era, characterized by Romanticism, with Romantic poets such as William WordsworthLord Byron or Samuel Taylor Coleridge and genres such as the gothic novel


Charles Dickens, perhaps the most famous novelist in the history of English literature, was active during this time and contributed to the novel's emergence as the leading literary genre of Victorian England. 


Jane Austen 1775 – 1817 was an English novelist known for Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), and Emma (1816), which interpret, critique, and comment upon the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century. Austen's plots often explore the dependence of women on marriage in the pursuit of favourable social standing and economic security. 


Emily Jane Brontë  1818 – 1848  is best known for her only novel, Wuthering Heights, now considered a classic of English literature

In the later 19th century, Romanticism is countered by Realism and Naturalism. The late 19th century, known as the Belle Époque, with its Fin de siècle retrospectively appeared as a "golden age" of European culture, cut short by the outbreak of World War I in 1914. 

In Denmark, the early 19th century Golden Age produced prolific literary authors such as  Hans Christian Andersen.[citation needed]

In Germany, the Sturm und Drang period of the late 18th century merges into a Classicist and Romantic period, epitomized by the long era of Goethe's activity, covering the first third of the century.  

In the USA, James Fenimore Cooper  set the precedent for American sea stories, novels of manners, political satire, dynastic novels, and frontier stories.[152] Edgar Allan Poe was highly influential in fiction writing, poetry, and essays, and he is particularly credited for his contributions to Gothic fiction and mystery fiction as genres.[153] Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote moralistic stories such as The Scarlet Letter inspired by colonial-era Puritan literature. Herman Melville explored human contradiction in sea stories such as Moby-Dick, though his work did not become influential until the 1920s. Walt Whitman is celebrated as defining the essence of America in his day with his poetry collection Leaves of GrassEmily Dickinson was refused to publish her poetry during her lifetime, but her works of this period were later acclaimed.[155]

Transcendentalism is a philosophical movement that developed in the late 1820s and 1830s in New England.[1][2][3] A core belief is in the inherent goodness of people and nature,[1] and while society and its institutions have corrupted the purity of the individual, people are at their best when truly "self-reliant" and independent. Transcendentalists saw divine experience inherent in the everyday, rather than believing in a distant heaven. Authors such as Ralph Waldo Emerson contributed to transcendentalist literature.[156] 


Many works were written on the topic of slavery in the early United States, including Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe.[157]  Realism and naturalism became popular in the United States in the late-19th century. Mark Twain saw wide acclaim for his novels, including Adventures of Huckleberry Finn


Civil rights literature of the early-20th century was written by authors such as W. E. B. Du BoisBooker T. Washington, and James Weldon Johnson.[162]   Authors such as F. Scott FitzgeraldErnest Hemingway, and William Faulkner analyzed their own places in American society through modernist novels,[164] while authors such as Thomas Wolfe and John Steinbeck sought to find a future identity for the United States.[165]   Popular genre fiction at the time included westerns and detective fiction



Music was a staple of native societies. In organized societies up to the Renaissance, the primary role of music appears to have been  in support of religious ceremony. After the Renaissance, popular music was sponsored by the ruling class on the popular orchestral instruments of the time. in the 1900's, the advent of radio and record players democratized popular music. 

Based on todays Native communities, it seems certain that music has played a central role in hunter - gatherer community celebrations, oral histories, calls to arms, and ceremonies. Bone flutes have been found from 40,000BP. 

The first documented musical arrangements appeared  in Ancient Greece, homophony indicated music in which a single melody is performed by two or more voices in unison or octaves, i.e. monophony with multiple voices.

Music developed independently all around the world. Western music has held to the traditional 12 notes in an octave, whereas Eastern music uses fractional notes that sound dissonant to Western ears. Indian classical music (marga) is monophonic and based on a single melody line. Lyr's and trumpets have been found in early Mesopotamia c3000BC. 

In the Middle Ages, music became primarily support for religious ceremony with Latin Chants.

After the Renaissance, music and plays became "popular entertainment" largely directed by the sponsoring class. After the Reformation, Hymns became popular in the Protestant Church, with Gospel in the African American branches. 

Baroque - Bach, Vivaldi 

Baroque music began when the first operas (dramatic solo vocal music accompanied by orchestra) were written. Polyphonic counterpoint  music, in which multiple, simultaneous independent melody lines were used.  

Classic - Mozart, Beethoven

The music of the Classical period is characterized by homophonic texture, or an obvious melody with accompaniment. These new melodies tended to be almost voice-like and singable, allowing composers to actually replace singers as the focus of the music.

Romantic - SchumannChopinMendelssohn. The late 19th century saw a dramatic expansion in the size of the orchestra, and in the role of concerts as part of urban society. Famous composers from the second half of the century include Johann Strauss IIBrahmsLisztTchaikovskyVerdi, and Wagner. Between 1890 and 1910, a third wave of composers including GriegDvořákMahlerRichard StraussPuccini, and Sibelius built on the work of middle Romantic composers to create even more complex – and often much longer – musical works.  

1900's Genre explosion. 

The advent of radio and record players, transformed popular music by  giving a platform to many genres, including the traditional music of local communities. Celtic music in Europe and Bluegrass from European immigrants in the US. Country emerged in the White South.  Blues grew in the Black US south. Rap emerged in the 70"s in NY disco community.  In the 80's, "World Music" brought traditional themes from around the world into popular music. 

Folk music emerged with modern lyrics and styles based simple traditional arrangements, gaining a political voice during civil rights and Vietnam protests. 

The improvisation of Jazz grew out of the Blues in New Orleans, leading to Rock and roll  during the late 1940s and early 1950s.  R&R evolved with each new generation bringing their own stylings; Hard, Progressive, Heavy Metal, Glam, Grunge, Punk, Folk  etc. 

The latest incarnation of orchestral music seems to be relegated to unpopular music as it has become more and more unlistenable to the general population - much like modern art. 

                                               Music  Background 

Middle C is the reference frequency of the fundamental of the instrument. The interval between a note and a note double its frequency is an octave.  There are 12 semitones in the octave. These pitches repeat in the same order throughout the range of human hearing.

Piano has  12  white + black semitones keys  within an octave. Piano ranges from  A1 to G7 = 6.5 octaves centered on Middle C = C4 @ 261.6 Hz. (under A=440Hz concert tuning, which is what most Western Music works to). The black keys are half a pitch higher "flat" or lower "sharp" than the neighboring white key.

Guitar has six strings on a guitar that extend over a octave - EADGBE subdividing directly into 12 semitones. Each fret divides the string’s remaining length by 2^(1/12), making the frequencies increase by half steps, equivalent to an alternating white and black keys.

The primary chords of Western music are generally the "major triad" and "minor triad". A major chord contains the first, third, and fifth degree of the major scale. A minor chord will contain the first, flattened 3rd, and 5th degree of the major scale of the note.

The founder of what is now considered the standard music staff was Guido d'Arezzo,[16] an Italian Benedictine monk who lived from about 991 until after 1033.

A staff of written music has a treble and bass line, with clef identifying the root key.  The clef depend on the range of the instrument.  violin and flute use treble clef, and double bass and tuba use bass clef, piano and pipe organ, regularly use both treble and bass clefs. 

There are two main types of harmony: dissonant and consonant.

  • Dissonant harmony adds notes that do not sound pleasant when played together  Dissonant interval examples are seconds, sevenths, and ninths.

  • Consonant harmony sounds stable and pleasing.  Consonant interval examples are unison, thirds, fifths, and octaves.

Melodies also have two types of melodic motion: conjunct or disjunct.

  • Conjunct motion is when notes move by whole or half steps. Conjunct is also the most natural and comfortable to play and sing.  

  • Disjunct motion has larger leaps between notes. Large interval leaps between notes can make the melody difficult to play or sing. 

Other elements include 

  • Beat – A repeating pulse that underlies a musical pattern

  • Meter – A specific pattern of strong and weak pulses

  • Time Signature – The number of beats per measure

  • Tempo (BPM) – Indicates how fast or slow a piece of music plays

  • Strong and Weak Beats – Strong beats are the downbeats, and weak
    beats are the offbeats between the downbeats

  • Syncopation – Rhythms that accent or emphasize the offbeats

  • Accents – Refers to the intensity or emphases placed on notes

In music, homophony  is a texture in which a primary part is supported by one or more additional strands that flesh out the harmony.[3] One melody predominates while the other parts play either single notes or an elaborate accompaniment. This differentiation of roles contrasts with equal-voice polyphony (in which similar lines move with rhythmic and melodic independence to form an even texture) and monophony (in which all parts move in unison or octaves).[4] Historically, homophony and its differentiated roles for parts emerged in tandem with tonality, which gave distinct harmonic functions to the soprano, bass and inner voices.

A homophonic texture may be homorhythmic,[5] which means that all parts have the same rhythm.[6] Chorale texture is another variant of homophony. The most common type of homophony is melody-dominated homophony, in which one voice, often the highest, plays a distinct melody, and the accompanying voices work together to articulate an underlying harmony.[7]

Polyphony   is a type of musical texture consisting of two or more simultaneous lines of independent melody, as opposed to a musical texture with just one voice, monophony, or a texture with one dominant melodic voice accompanied by chordshomophony. Within the context of the Western musical tradition, the term polyphony is usually used to refer to music of the late Middle Ages and RenaissanceBaroque forms such as fugue, which might be called polyphonic, are usually described instead as contrapuntal.

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