Note-taking exercises are an essential part of an interpreter’s training. This speech on music history and theory will help you practice your consecutive interpreting skills. Note: The Speech starts STRAIGHT AWAY!
Topic(s): Music, Music History, Music Theory
Terms: music streaming, Spotify, Tidal, Primephonic, Amazon Music, Deezer, YouTube Music, CDs, vinyl records, sound recording, Thomas Edison, compact cassette, 8-track tape, floppy disk, mp3, Monteverdi, Vivaldi, Bach, Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, music sheet, musical notation, notes, pitches, rhythms, chords, Guido of Arezzo, choir
- ‘The Story of Music‘, by Howard Goodall | BUY it here (UK 🇬🇧) or here (US 🇺🇸)
Also check these books to learn and practice interpreting.
Good For Practicing:
- Interpreting note-taking
- Simultaneous interpreting
- Non-standard accents
- Lists / listed items / itemisation
Also available on Speechpool.
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*Please check the script only after you’ve done the note-taking exercise, otherwise that’s cheating! 🙂
‘Listening to music is one of the most popular forms of entertaining we have at our disposal today. Music streaming services are abundant and have made all forms of music more affordable and readily available than ever.
Think of Spotify, Tidal, Primephonic, Amazon Music, Deezer, YouTube Music, and many other streaming services. They can cost 10, 15, 20, sometimes 25 pounds per month, and with that, you gain access to an almost unlimited library of music that you can explore at your own time and will.
Streaming services, of course, are a luxury of the modern Era. Before that, people used to rely on CDs in order to enjoy music, and even before that there were vinyl records.
The invention of sound recording dates back to 19th century, and it’s commonly attributed to Thomas Edison. Since then, in addition to the audio formats we’ve already mentioned, people have been able to enjoyed music on compact cassette, 8-track tape, floppy disk, or simply through the radio. And of course, who can forget that time in recent history, when for a number of years, illegal mp3 downloading sadly became the most dominant way to access music in the world?
However, despite the fact that recorded music is a relatively recent accomplishment in human history, we are nonetheless able to enjoy music from several centuries ago. Think of some of greatest composers such as Monteverdi, Vivaldi, Bach, Handel, Mozart, Beethoven and so many others. Their music is still making an impact today, even though they didn’t have a way to record it.
How is that even possible? Well, thanks to music sheet, of course. They left us all these handwritten pieces of paper with musical notation that indicates the notes, pitches, rhythms, chords, and essentially everything about how their compositions should be played and sound like.
So, thanks to musical notation, we can travel back in time and replicate music that was being created a long time ago. Which makes some of us wonder: how far back in time can we go? Just a few centuries? A thousand years? Is there a way for us to know whatever people where listening to in Ancient Greece?
Western music, as we call it, the medium by which virtually all music on earth is now conceived, is in fact a mix different strands of music, such as Egyptian, Persian, Greek, Celtic, Norse and Roman.
Here’s an interesting fact. Over the years, archeologists have discovered several ancient instruments, some are believed to have been created more than 40,000 years ago. For example, in 1995 a flute made of bear bone has been found in a Slovenian cave, which was roughly dated at the year 41,000 before Christ; even more impressive was a discovery made in May 2012, when flutes made of mammoth ivory and bird bones where discovered in southern Germany. They dated roughly between 42 and 43,000 before Christ.
But even though we have access to all these artifacts, which proves that music has existed for thousands of years, we have no idea how their music actually sounded like. In fact, we also don’t know how it sounded in Ancient Greece, or during the Roman Empire. Yes, we have found some of the instruments; but we have no idea how the musicians of that time used them, simply because there is no record of that. Songs were presumably learned and played by memory; they didn’t need musical notation back then.
That actually came to existence just more or less 1,000 years ago, when a man named Guido of Arezzo, who trained young singers for his cathedral’s choir, decided to create a method of notation that you could read and turn into singing at sight. He probably couldn’t have imagined the revolution his invention was about to start, but the reality is: it changed everything.
Music could now be written down and read, and musicians no longer had to rely solely on their memory: they could play or sing a song by looking at a sheet of paper. Thanks to that, there was now room to create more intricate and complex pieces of music, a long story of new musical innovations century after century, until we reach the point we’re at today. The era of music streaming, a thousand years later.’