chapter  1
6 Pages


Music was a powerful force in shaping tribal and community life, religious ritual, and modes of human behavior for thousands-possibly millions-of years. Some believe its infl uence in the development of civilizations has been equal to that of spoken language, and should be treated with greater seriousness.2 Psychologists and music therapists maintain that music has the power to do more than entertain and engage us intellectually. This is not a new assertion. The ancient Greeks (early Western civilization reaching its apex c.500 b.c.) ascribed special powers to music, the power to heal and infl uence character among them.3 Did this so-called doctrine of ethos originate with the Greeks or was it widely accepted in the ancient world? If the Greeks acquired it from some other source, by what routes or directions did it reach them? Equally provocative are questions regarding when music fi rst appeared. What were its earliest sounds? Did song precede speech?