To many people in many cultures music is an important part of their way of life. Greek philosophers and ancient Indian philosophers defined music as tones ordered horizontally as melodies and vertically as harmonies. Common sayings such as “the harmony of the spheres” and “it is music to my ears” point to the notion that music is often ordered and ple asant to listen to. However, 20th-century composer John Cage thought that any sound can be music, saying, for example, “There is no noise, only sound.” Musicologist Jean-Jacques Nattiez summarizes the relativist, post-modern viewpoint: “The border between music and noise is always culturally defined—which implies that, even within a single society, this border does not always pass through the same place; in short, there is rarely a consensus … By all accounts there is no single and intercultural universal concept defining what music might be.”
Ancient music can only be imagined by scholars, based on findings from a range of paleolithic sites, such as bones in which lateral holes have been pierced; these are usually identified as flutes, blown at one end like the Japanese shakuhachi. Instruments, such as the seven-holed flute and various types of stringed instruments have been recovered from the Indus Valley Civilization archaeological sites India has one of the oldest musical traditions in the world—references to Indian classical music (marga) can be found in the ancient scriptures of the Hindu tradition, the Vedas. The earliest and largest collection of prehistoric musical instruments was found in China and dates back to between 7000 and 6600 BC.
Music was an important part of cultural and social life in Ancient Greece: mixed-gender choruses performed for entertainment, celebration and spiritual ceremonies; musicians and singers had a prominent role in ancient Greek theater. In the 9th century, the Arab scholar al-Farabi.