The History of Live Music Performance

Concerts serve as not only a form of entertainment but also a form of comfort, release, inspiration, and expression. For anyone reading this, live performance has been around all their lives. Live performance has been a staple in how music has been shared for hundreds of years. Although some of the oldest performances recorded aren’t quite the same as the modern performances, they established roots for live performance to morph and change into what we know today. Check out the timeline we crafted based on our research.

100,000 Years Ago:

Researchers of prehistoric times have speculated that music was used way back before humans even knew what it was. Although the “music” played in prehistoric times may not have been what we determine as music, and more like mimicking animal and nature sounds using the instruments.


40,000 Years Ago:

Archaeological researchers have indicated that people in prehistoric times took the tools used for carving and piercing and created instruments for entertainment purposes. One of the most interesting were the Divje Babe Flute which was made from the femur of a cave bear then pierced with holes to create one of the oldest known flutes in existence. There’s speculation among researchers that the instruments like the flute were used for entertainment or religious purposes.


8th century B.C.–6th century A.D.:

It was in Ancient Rome and Greece that researchers discovered that live performance became an important part of culture. Music accompanied marriages, funerals, other religious ceremonies, and within theatre. It was in this time period that we saw direct literary references to music and its importance in ancient society. There is an abundance of musicians depicted on ceramics and other art pieces from this period of time. Beyond that, live performance became more of an entertainment aspect, an important staple of events.


Middle Ages (476 AD – 1453):

As religion swept the Western world and became an important facet of many peoples’ lives, churches were getting resurrected all over the place. With it came the use of instruments like the organ to accompany religious services. In some ways, churches became early music venues, a place to experience live performance before it was considered so.