- This History of Music in Erinn (2) -

written by Loraize

The introduction of music scores brought an age of development for music in these 3 ways.

First, the previous 5-note scale evolved to our modern 7-note scale. There were a lot of opinions and debates regarding the notation of music, but in the end, the 7-note scale provided to give more freedom of expression.

Secondly, with the incorporation of the 7-note scale, various instruments began to emerge. Along with the creativity involved in human expression, an opportunity for manufacturing creativity was born. After the creation of these various instruments, it bred a new style of music that involved collaborating multiple instruments for enhanced sound. Thus, music began to emphasize the emotional and sensual aspects. To think that the root of this development was in narrative music seems a bit ironic.

Thirdly, as people were taught how to handle an instrument and to read music, even people that weren't music prodigies were able to participate in the joys of playing music. This brought upon the expansion of music, which also expanded and began developing industries related to music, instrument manufacturing, and academic studies relating to music.

The development of music exponentially progressed as the Tuatha de Dananns appeared in Ulaid. They are still contributing to the development of music today. This period was a time where emotions were taken out of music and used as a tool for war. As a consequence, many wind-instruments were developed and some say this period was not a developmental era for music as a whole.

Although this opinion is meaningful when considering music as pure sound, it is still important that both Mag Tuireadh battles between humans and monsters have been recorded and passed down in the form of music. There is a common theme in the music from both wars, such as the threat of evil and fear, the courage of those who face them as well as the blessings of the gods. It also contains the great battle between the humans and monsters, and the glory of victory and other similar themes.

These songs have been spread widely through bards. People have labeled these songs which talk about the great warriors and heroes as Mabinogis. Soon after, they began referring to the bards who sang these stories as Mabinogis as well. This is partly the reason why people are familiar with Mabinogi but have a hard time defining what it is specifically.

Mabinogi...it wouldn't be an overstatement to say that it is a body of work that contains all of Erinn's music history.

(To be continued.)