Art & Music in Human Revolution

Human beings were creating musical instruments, two and three-dimensional images of the world around them 40,000 years ago. They made both art and music as they evolved over the years whereby, 17000 years ago, they had developed all major representational techniques. This included engravings, sculptures, paintings, ceramics, and stenciling. They used materials such as stone, ivory, antler, and clay, where over time they developed art pieces that depicted their imagination and highly complex works of art.

According to the Smithsonian Human Evolution website (2020), some of the features of art and music in the revolution, include figurines, which were the depictions of humans and animals and commenced to be created over 35000 years ago.  Jewelry is also a part of art that characterizes the human revolution.  Over the years, Jewelry and other personal adornments were used to reflect the identity of their ancestors. They were used as a representation of members of a particular group or a person’s sex, age, and social status. According to Mittler (2020), musical instruments have also been in place for over 3500 years, where making music is a common trait of universal humans. Rock art was also a common feature used by evolving human beings.

There is however limited information on the origin and evolution of the artistic evolution of this aspect of human culture. Some of the components of the art include the use of patterns, color, and the reproduction of likeness. The 2d and 3d forms were created by upper Paleolithic Europeans in about 3000 years ago. They were conceptually equivalent to those which were created in recent centuries (Ikeda, 2019). This is an indication of human cognition as well as anatomy, which were fully modern by that time. The origins of art are hence much more ancient, where they lie within Africa before there was any worldwide human dispersal. One of the earliest evidence of artistic behavior was the human body decoration, which included the use of skin coloring with ochre and the use of beads, although both may have had functional origins.

Over the years, art has been practiced by almost all human cultures. It is one of the most defining characteristics of the human species. It has been intertwined with dance, music, and ritual. In the course of the revolution, art and music have been used to mark life landmarks such as deaths, politics, and religion. Artwork and music have also been involving, where most recently, human beings have been evolving and changing (Ikeda, 2019). A part of animal courtship and dominance is vocalization and ritualized movements. It also includes human ritual and communication. It is, therefore, likely that the roots of dance, music, and body decoration lie deep in the evolutionary history of the animal kingdom. Art and music over the years were developed in different and new ways as they had a complex symbolic meaning, making them attached to the lives of humans.

There is neurological evidence between language and visual creativity in the course of the creativity of humans. An example is the roles that were used by the Oldowan and Acheulian humans, which represent a period of more than 2 million years ago. During this period the human ancestors’ brains expanded where their tools became more advanced. Their artistic creativity as evident from their increased sophistication in technology. They had a bigger brain size, making them more innovative and relating to better forms of art as their brains increased.

There is evidence of human love for body decoration, which also involved the application of color. Additionally, there is a long history of cosmetics and traits among the humans, which originated from the ochre of coloring the skin, a hundred years ago. Past researchers have had evidence on the use of ocher in 164 000 BP from a South African coastal site. This is proof of highly developed cognitive functions and symbolling activity (Nakano, 2019). Make of beads was by the modern humans, where the earliest identified was by the Homo sapiens which dated to 195 000 BP. Through anatomic, archeologists have found modern humans to have emigrated from Africa, where they then populated to the rest of the world over a long period of time. There is evidence of artworks such as paintings sculptures, and engravings on rocks which were made by early humans. It is also evident that through years, there were changes in the ways and forms of articulation of human artwork.


Art and music have evolved as humans evolved.  Various forms of art, such as paintings, jewelry, and sculptures have been a very integral part of the human evolution over the years. There is, however, limited information on the origin and evolution of the artistic evolution of this aspect of human culture. It is also evident that through years, there were changes in the ways and forms of articulation of human artwork.



Ikeda, D. (2019). The new human revolution (Vol. 7). Middleway Press.

Mittler, B. (2020). A continuous revolution: Making sense of Cultural Revolution culture. Brill.

Nakano, T. (2019). Soka Gakkai’s Human Revolution: The Rise of a Mimetic Nation in Modern Japan, by Levi McLaughlin. Journal of Religion in Japan, 8(1-3), 185-192.

Smithsonian Human Evolution website (2020).  What does it mean to be humans?

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