Monday, 11 February 2013

You got to love those professors and time travelers

Time traveling is nothing new.
Waldo Selden Pratt (1857–1939) is highly regarded as one of the authorities on the topic of the history of music. His work, the history of music, was published in 1907 and has since been used by many (or at least two I know of) students as a version of the truth.
For the history of music in pre-historic times, Pratt made use of many sources for his book, including stories gathered from time travelers. In chapter 1, on page 25 of his book, he makes this astonishing revelation about his sources:
"The great difficulty of the topic lies in the variable accuracy and clearness of the first-hand reports of the facts that come from travelers, misionaries and other observers."
You got to love those learned guys. They have gone through so much to bring us the truth. They even built time machines. Pratt was able to describe music as it originated in prehistoric times in much more detail as anybody was able to do since. The music of the "savages", as he refers to the musicians of old, is described in much detail, with great respectful reference to, what he calls, the "childish attempts" and "rudimentary attempts" of said savages.
He also studied, what he refers to as, the "Semi-civilized music" of the Chinese and Hindus, as well as the ancient Egyptians, Assyrians and Hebrews who were "on a similar footing" as above-mentioned.
The most astonishing part is what he documents as facts, presumably exactly as told to him by those time travelers. He reveals that these savages made music mainly for social purposes, affording an outlet for surplus animal spirit. This is not only important for the study of music, but also proof that early music was used as soundtracks of porn movies. He tells us:
"The practice of music is sometimes shared by men and women alike, but sometimes, for obscure reasons, is reserved for one or the other sex".
Just as porn music is nothing new, he also tells us that pop music, rap, and beat boxing is also an ancient custom:
"Instances occur of the use of mere nonsense-jingles and of even a song-jargon, quite distinct from ordinary speech".
Even heavy metal is nothing new. We only had to add the guitars:
"..given melody contains but few distinct tones, though sometimes varied with indescribable slides or howls".
I am not planning on quoting the whole book out of context, so I would rather advice those interested in the musical experiences of the time travelers to follow the link above and read the original text. Alternatively, you can go to your library and find any other text that is authoritative on this subject. Anything under the Disney section might just do the job.
Hope you enjoy the trip to the library. They say you might find more virgins there than in the cloister.
Lastly, the rest of Pratt's book is actually an interesting read. Go ahead and try it out. Then come back and tell me all about it.

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