For thousands of years there existed no written way of holding a piece of music.
Instruments were passed down by family and friends, musical riffs were shared and songs were required to be played by ear(or memory).
The first concept of attaching names to notes was conceived by assigning a particular note to a corresponding letter in the alphabet.
In the 7th C, Neumes or Neums as they were called served to indicate a group of notes, so sufficient were they that a singer who knew the writing of Neums could sight-sing a piece without ever having heard the melody.
This system was in use until the 11th Century; the birth of harmony. This painting is entitled "La Lezoine di Musica",
by Nicolas Lancret.
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