In addition to the effects music has on individuals, it has an important role to play in the functioning of society and has had for many thousands of years. Cave paintings of flutes, and bull roarers dating back 30,000 years have been found in Southern France, the Pyrenees and Russia indicating the importance of art in the life of early man.3 No human culture appears to be without music. Singing, in particular, seems to be universal. Music is invariably expressed in relation to religion, celebrations and dance. In most religions, but not all, music is used in chanting and hymn singing. In some it is used to support meditation. Music forms a part of all major occasions and celebrations, including weddings, funerals, pageants, rites of passage and festivals. It is also involved in the human preoccupation with seeking altered states of consciousness as part of ritual, individual day dreaming, prayer, meditation or drug use.
The pursuit of art in society has enhanced technology. For instance, the first kilns were developed not to make pottery but to create figures used as art objects or in some early ritual. A modern day example relates to CDs. They were developed for the music market but are now being used to store data. .
Although music plays a part in all cultures, in each it serves different roles, has different meanings and different degrees of importance are attached to it. Listeners from other cultures often have difficulty in perceiving the emotions expressed in music because emotional expression is culturally determined. In most cultures, music has functions beyond those of providing entertainment and enjoyment through aesthetic experience for the individual. It serves to assist in the process of increasing communication and enabling people to function together more effectively. For instance, it can co-ordinate the physical movement of groups of people in dancing, marching and working.