What is the best genre of music? And how has this changed over the years? Throughout history, music has been a staple to human life whether it be for entertainment, religion, communication and often just to lift our spirits.

Music has always been around in different forms since humans walked the planet. The oldest ever instrument to make music, being a 60,000-year-old Neanderthal flute, discovered in the Divje babe cave near Cerkno in Slovenia.

Since the 1900s, music moved past the age of classical and operatic musical styles after the discovery of the phonograph by Edison in 1877, which inspired Berliner's gramophone.

Since this, songs have been recorded and projected across the world to be shared by all. In 1900 and the 1920s, jazz and blues came about which drew from African-American traditions leading to the most popular era of jazz music, the ‘Roaring 20s’.

From the inspiration of jazz, a new style, R&B came about in the 1940s, swiftly followed by soul music with Aretha Franklin being named as the ‘Queen of soul’. Then followed rock music, bringing about some of the most famous musicians of all time: Elvis Presley, The Beatles, David Bowie and the Rolling Stones - this era is said by some to be the best music of all time.

However, music continued to change with the introduction of disco and pop, birthing artists like the iconic ABBA with their many smash hits like ‘Dancing Queen’. Pop music continued to develop and branch into subgenres like indie pop, dance-pop and folk-pop.

Nowadays, music takes its roots from throughout history to create fusions of genres and even use technology like synthesisers to create music, however, pop still seems to stand on top as the most popular genre.

Music has been a huge part of the way our society is shaped, whether it be by influencing different dance styles or used in films or religious ceremonies. Without music, life would be very boring. Everyone likes different styles of music and our personalities can be shaped by what we listen to by changing the way we view the world. As Hans Christian Andersen said: “Where words fail, music speaks.” And music will continue to speak for the world as long as we live.

  • This article was written by Eva Bowerman, from Peter Symonds College, as part of Newsquest's Young Reporter scheme.