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Howard Goodall's Story of Music
E1 of 6
Series 1 - Episode 1
The Age of Discovery
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If I had to choose the TV equivalent of a last meal, high on the list would be Howard Goodall, sitting side-on at an electric piano, explaining how music works, singing lustily, eyes glinting. BBC2 has a late Christmas present for Goodall fans: six hours of him, charting the entire history of how the complex beast we now call music came to be. Every other modern presenter would fly around Europe at licence-payers’ expense to do links in lovely places — not Goodall. He stays in a sparse studio explaining why Pérotin, Guido of Arezzo and Dunstaple were great innovators and demonstrating triads on his keyboard. He thinks subject matter is more important than presentation. He’s right.
The composer examines the history and development of music, beginning by looking back at the first faltering steps humanity took toward creating it. He considers archaeological evidence showing that music was as important in the late Stone Age as it is now and charts how Gregorian chant started with a handful of monks singing the same tune in unison. Over the course of several centuries, medieval musicians painstakingly put together the basics of what has become termed harmony and then added rhythm - the building blocks of the music the world enjoys today.
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