The bass guitar is a plucked string instrument similar in appearance and construction to an electric guitar, except with a longer neck and scale length, four to six strings or courses. The four-string bass is tuned the same as the double bass, which corresponds to pitches one octave lower than the four lowest-pitched strings of a guitar, it is played with the fingers or thumb, or striking with a pick. The electric bass guitar has pickups and must be connected to an amplifier and speaker to be loud enough to compete with other instruments. Since the 1960s, the bass guitar has replaced the double bass in popular music as the bass instrument in the rhythm section. While types of basslines vary from one style of music to another, the bassist plays a similar role: anchoring the harmonic framework and establishing the beat. Many styles of music include the bass guitar, it is a soloing instrument. According to the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, an "Electric bass guitar a Guitar with four heavy strings tuned E1'-A1'-D2-G2."
It defines bass as "Bass. A contraction of Double bass or Electric bass guitar." According to some authors the proper term is "electric bass". Common names for the instrument are "bass guitar", "electric bass guitar", "electric bass" and some authors claim that they are accurate; the bass guitar is a transposing instrument, as it is notated in bass clef an octave higher than it sounds. In the 1930s, musician and inventor Paul Tutmarc of Seattle, developed the first electric bass guitar in its modern form, a fretted instrument designed to be played horizontally; the 1935 sales catalog for Tutmarc's electronic musical instrument company, featured his "Model 736 Bass Fiddle", a four-stringed, solid-bodied, fretted electric bass guitar with a 30 1⁄2-inch scale length, a single pick up. The adoption of a guitar's body shape made the instrument easier to hold and transport than any of the existing stringed bass instruments; the addition of frets enabled bassists to play in tune more than on fretless acoustic or electric upright basses.
Around 100 of these instruments were made during this period. Audiovox sold their “Model 236” bass amplifier. Around 1947, Tutmarc's son, began marketing a similar bass under the Serenader brand name, prominently advertised in the nationally distributed L. D. Heater Music Company wholesale jobber catalogue of 1948. However, the Tutmarc family inventions did not achieve market success. In the 1950s, Leo Fender and George Fullerton developed the first mass-produced electric bass guitar; the Fender Electric Instrument Manufacturing Company began producing the Precision Bass in October 1951. The "P-bass" evolved from a simple, un-contoured "slab" body design and a single coil pickup similar to that of a Telecaster, to something more like a Fender Stratocaster, with a contoured body design, edges beveled for comfort, a split single coil pickup; the "Fender Bass" was a revolutionary new instrument for gigging musicians. In comparison with the large, heavy upright bass, the main bass instrument in popular music from the early 1900s to the 1940s, the bass guitar could be transported to shows.
When amplified, the bass guitar was less prone than acoustic basses to unwanted audio feedback. In 1953 Monk Montgomery became the first bassist to tour with the Fender bass guitar, in Lionel Hampton's postwar big band. Montgomery was possibly the first to record with the bass guitar, on July 2, 1953 with The Art Farmer Septet. Roy Johnson, Shifty Henry, were other early Fender bass pioneers. Bill Black, playing with Elvis Presley, switched from upright bass to the Fender Precision Bass around 1957; the bass guitar was intended to appeal to guitarists as well as upright bass players, many early pioneers of the instrument, such as Carol Kaye, Joe Osborn, Paul McCartney were guitarists. In 1953, following Fender's lead, Gibson released the first short-scale violin-shaped electric bass, with an extendable end pin so a bassist could play it upright or horizontally. Gibson renamed the bass the EB-1 in 1958. In 1958, Gibson released the maple arched-top EB-2 described in the Gibson catalogue as a "hollow-body electric bass that features a Bass/Baritone pushbutton for two different tonal characteristics".
In 1959 these were followed by the more conventional-looking EB-0 Bass. The EB-0 was similar to a Gibson SG in appearance. Whereas Fender basses had pickups mounted in positions in between the base of the neck and the top of the bridge, many of Gibson's early basses featured one humbucking pickup mounted directly against the neck pocket; the EB-3, introduced in 1961 had a "mini-humbucker" at the bridge position. Gibson basses tended to be smaller, sleeker instruments with a shorter scale length than the Precision. A number of other companies began manufacturing bass guitars during the 1950s: Kay in 1952, Hofner and Danelectro in 1956, Rickenbacker in 1957 and Burns/Supersound in 1958. 1956 saw the appearance at the German trade fair "Musikmesse Frankfurt" of the distinctive Höfner 500/1 violin-shaped bass made using violin construction techniques by Walter Höfner, a second-generation violin luthier. The design was known popularly as the "Beat
Break Down Barriers
Break Down Barriers was an EP released by San Francisco new wave group Translator in 1983. The 3 tracks from this record were included as bonus tracks on the No Time Like Now CD release. In 1996, many Beatles fans mistook this EP's take of the instrumental "Cry for a Shadow" for a new recording by the Fab Four from the Anthology sessions. Coincidently, the EP's producer, David Kahne, would produce records for Beatle Paul McCartney. "Break Down Barriers" "Eraser" "Cry for a Shadow"
In the music industry, a single is a type of release a song recording of fewer tracks than an LP record or an album. This can be released for sale to the public in a variety of different formats. In most cases, a single is a song, released separately from an album, although it also appears on an album; these are the songs from albums that are released separately for promotional uses such as digital download or commercial radio airplay and are expected to be the most popular. In other cases a recording released. Despite being referred to as a single, singles can include up to as many as three tracks; the biggest digital music distributor, iTunes Store, accepts as many as three tracks less than ten minutes each as a single, as does popular music player Spotify. Any more than three tracks on a musical release or thirty minutes in total running time is either an extended play or, if over six tracks long, an album; when mainstream music was purchased via vinyl records, singles would be released double-sided.
That is to say, they were released with an A-side and B-side, on which two singles would be released, one on each side. Moreover, only the most popular songs from a released album would be released as a single. In more contemporary forms of music consumption, artists release most, if not all, of the tracks on an album as singles; the basic specifications of the music single were set in the late 19th century, when the gramophone record began to supersede phonograph cylinders in commercially produced musical recordings. Gramophone discs were manufactured in several sizes. By about 1910, the 10-inch, 78 rpm shellac disc had become the most used format; the inherent technical limitations of the gramophone disc defined the standard format for commercial recordings in the early 20th century. The crude disc-cutting techniques of the time and the thickness of the needles used on record players limited the number of grooves per inch that could be inscribed on the disc surface, a high rotation speed was necessary to achieve acceptable recording and playback fidelity.
78 rpm was chosen as the standard because of the introduction of the electrically powered, synchronous turntable motor in 1925, which ran at 3600 rpm with a 46:1 gear ratio, resulting in a rotation speed of 78.26 rpm. With these factors applied to the 10-inch format and performers tailored their output to fit the new medium; the 3-minute single remained the standard into the 1960s, when the availability of microgroove recording and improved mastering techniques enabled recording artists to increase the duration of their recorded songs. The breakthrough came with Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone". Although CBS tried to make the record more "radio friendly" by cutting the performance into halves, separating them between the two sides of the vinyl disc, both Dylan and his fans demanded that the full six-minute take be placed on one side, that radio stations play the song in its entirety; as digital downloading and audio streaming have become more prevalent, it has become possible for every track on an album to be available separately.
The concept of a single for an album has been retained as an identification of a more promoted or more popular song within an album collection. The demand for music downloads skyrocketed after the launch of Apple's iTunes Store in January 2001 and the creation of portable music and digital audio players such as the iPod. In September 1997, with the release of Duran Duran's "Electric Barbarella" for paid downloads, Capitol Records became the first major label to sell a digital single from a well-known artist. Geffen Records released Aerosmith's "Head First" digitally for free. In 2004, Recording Industry Association of America introduced digital single certification due to significant sales of digital formats, with Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl" becoming RIAA's first platinum digital single. In 2013, RIAA incorporated on-demand streams into the digital single certification. Single sales in the United Kingdom reached an all-time low in January 2005, as the popularity of the compact disc was overtaken by the then-unofficial medium of the music download.
Recognizing this, On 17 April 2005, Official UK Singles Chart added the download format to the existing format of physical CD singles. Gnarls Barkley was the first act to reach No.1 on this chart through downloads alone in April 2006, for their debut single "Crazy", released physically the following week. On 1 January 2007 digital downloads became eligible from the point of release, without the need for an accompanying physical. Sales improved in the following years, reaching a record high in 2008 that still proceeded to be overtaken in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Singles have been issued in various formats, including 7-inch, 10-inch, 12-inch vinyl discs. Other, less common, formats include singles on Digital Compact Cassette, DVD, LD, as well as many non-standard sizes of vinyl disc; the most common form of the vinyl single is the 45 or 7-inch. The names are derived from its play speed, 45 rpm, the standard diameter, 7 inches; the 7-inch 45 rpm record was released 31 March 1949 by RCA Victor as a smaller, more durable and higher-fidelity replacement for the 78 rpm shellac discs.
The first 45
In popular music, a cover version, cover song, revival, or cover, is a new performance or recording by someone other than the original artist or composer of a recorded, commercially released song. Before the onset of rock'n' roll in the 1950s, songs were published and several records of a song might be brought out by singers of the day, each giving it their individual treatment. Cover versions could be released as an effort to revive the song's popularity among younger generations of listeners after the popularity of the original version has long since declined over the years. On occasion, a cover can become more popular than the original, such as Elvis Presley's version of Carl Perkins' original "Blue Suede Shoes", Santana's 1970 version of Peter Green's and Fleetwood Mac's 1968 "Black Magic Woman", Johnny Cash's version of Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt", Whitney Houston's versions of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You" and of George Benson's "The Greatest Love of All", Glenn Medeiros's version of George Benson's "Nothing's Gonna Change My Love for You" or Jimi Hendrix's version of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower".
The Hendrix recording, released six months after Dylan's original, became a Top 10 single in the UK in 1968 and was ranked 48th in Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Another famous example is the Beatles' cover of "Twist and Shout" by the Top Notes, their cover of the song, "Til There Was You", by Meredith Willson, among many others; the term "cover" goes back decades when cover version described a rival version of a tune recorded to compete with the released version. The Chicago Tribune described the term in 1952: "trade jargon meaning to record a tune that looks like a potential hit on someone else's label". Examples of records covered include Paul Williams' 1949 hit tune "The Hucklebuck" and Hank Williams' 1952 song "Jambalaya". Both had numerous hit versions. Before the mid-20th century, the notion of an original version of a popular tune would have seemed odd – the production of musical entertainment was seen as a live event if it was reproduced at home via a copy of the sheet music, learned by heart or captured on a gramophone record.
In fact, one of the principal objects of publishing sheet music was to have a composition performed by as many artists as possible. In previous generations, some artists made successful careers of presenting revivals or reworkings of once-popular tunes out of doing contemporary cover versions of current hits. Musicians now play what they call "cover versions" of songs as a tribute to the original performer or group. Using familiar material is an important method of learning music styles; until the mid-1960s most albums, or long playing records, contained a large number of evergreens or standards to present a fuller range of the artist's abilities and style. Artists might perform interpretations of a favorite artist's hit tunes for the simple pleasure of playing a familiar song or collection of tunes. A cover band plays such "cover versions" exclusively. Today three broad types of entertainers depend on cover versions for their principal repertoire: Tribute acts or bands are performers who make a living by recreating the music of one particular artist or band.
Bands such as Björn Again, Led Zepagain, The Fab Four, Australian Pink Floyd Show, The Iron Maidens and Glory Days are dedicated to playing the music of ABBA, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Iron Maiden and Bruce Springsteen respectively. Some tribute acts salute the Who, many other classic rock acts. Many tribute acts target artists who remain popular but no longer perform, allowing an audience to experience the "next best thing" to the original act; the formation of tribute acts is proportional to the enduring popularity of the original act. Many tribute bands attempt to recreate another band's music as faithfully as possible, but some such bands introduce a twist. Dread Zeppelin performs reggae versions of the Zeppelin catalog and Beatallica creates heavy metal fusions of songs by the Beatles and Metallica. There are situations in which a member of a tribute band will go on to greater success, sometimes with the original act they tribute. One notable example is Tim "Ripper" Owens who, once the lead singer of Judas Priest tribute band British Steel, went on to join Judas Priest himself.
Cover acts or bands are entertainers who perform a broad variety of crowd-pleasing cover songs for audiences who enjoy the familiarity of hit songs. Such bands draw from current Top 40 hits and/or those of previous decades to provide nostalgic entertainment in bars, on cruise ships and at such events as weddings, family celebrations and corporate functions. Since the advent of inexpensive computers, some cover bands use a computerized catalog of songs, so that the singer can have the lyrics to a song displayed on a computer screen; the use of a screen for lyrics as a memory aid can increase the number of songs a singer can perform. Revivalist artists or bands are performers who are inspired by an entire genre of music and dedicate themselves to curating and recreating the genre and introducing it to younger audiences who have not experienced that music first hand. Unlike tribute bands and cover bands who rely on audiences seeking a nostalgic experience, revivalist bands seek new young audiences for whom the music is fresh and has no nostalgic value.
For example, Sha Na Na
New wave music
New wave is a genre of rock music popular in the late 1970s and the 1980s with ties to mid-1970s punk rock. New wave moved away from blues and rock and roll sounds to create rock music or pop music that incorporated disco and electronic music. New wave was similar to punk rock, before becoming a distinct genre, it subsequently engendered fusions, including synth-pop. New wave differs from other movements with ties to first-wave punk as it displays characteristics common to pop music, rather than the more "artsy" post-punk. Although it incorporates much of the original punk rock sound and ethos, new wave exhibits greater complexity in both music and lyrics. Common characteristics of new wave music include the use of synthesizers and electronic productions, a distinctive visual style featured in music videos and fashion. New wave has been called one of the definitive genres of the 1980s, after it was promoted by MTV; the popularity of several new wave artists is attributed to their exposure on the channel.
In the mid-1980s, differences between new wave and other music genres began to blur. New wave has enjoyed resurgences since the 1990s, after a rising "nostalgia" for several new wave-influenced artists. Subsequently, the genre influenced other genres. During the 2000s, a number of acts, such as the Strokes, Franz Ferdinand and The Killers explored new wave and post-punk influences; these acts were sometimes labeled "new wave of new wave". The catch-all nature of new wave music has been a source of much controversy; the 1985 discography Who's New Wave in Music listed artists in over 130 separate categories. The New Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock calls the term "virtually meaningless", while AllMusic mentions "stylistic diversity". New wave first emerged as a rock genre in the early 1970s, used by critics including Nick Kent and Dave Marsh to classify such New York-based groups as the Velvet Underground and New York Dolls, it gained currency beginning in 1976 when it appeared in UK punk fanzines such as Sniffin' Glue and newsagent music weeklies such as Melody Maker and New Musical Express.
In November 1976 Caroline Coon used Malcolm McLaren's term "new wave" to designate music by bands not punk, but related to the same musical scene. The term was used in that sense by music journalist Charles Shaar Murray in his comments about the Boomtown Rats. For a period of time in 1976 and 1977, the terms new wave and punk were somewhat interchangeable. By the end of 1977, "new wave" had replaced "punk" as the definition for new underground music in the UK. In the United States, Sire Records chairman Seymour Stein, believing that the term "punk" would mean poor sales for Sire's acts who had played the club CBGB, launched a "Don't Call It Punk" campaign designed to replace the term with "new wave"; as radio consultants in the United States had advised their clients that punk rock was a fad, they settled on the term "new wave". Like the filmmakers of the French new wave movement, its new artists were anti-corporate and experimental. At first, most U. S. writers used the term "new wave" for British punk acts.
Starting in December 1976, The New York Rocker, suspicious of the term "punk", became the first American journal to enthusiastically use the term starting with British acts appropriating it to acts associated with the CBGB scene. Part of what attracted Stein and others to new wave was the music's stripped back style and upbeat tempos, which they viewed as a much needed return to the energetic rush of rock and roll and 1960s rock that had dwindled in the 1970s with the ascendance of overblown progressive rock and stadium spectacles. Music historian Vernon Joynson claimed that new wave emerged in the UK in late 1976, when many bands began disassociating themselves from punk. Music that followed the anarchic garage band ethos of the Sex Pistols was distinguished as "punk", while music that tended toward experimentation, lyrical complexity or more polished production, came to be categorized as "new wave". In the U. S. the first new wavers were the not-so-punk acts associated with the New York club CBGB.
CBGB owner Hilly Kristal, referring to the first show of the band Television at his club in March 1974, said, "I think of that as the beginning of new wave." Furthermore, many artists who would have been classified as punk were termed new wave. A 1977 Phonogram Records compilation album of the same name features US artists including the Dead Boys, Talking Heads and the Runaways. New wave is much more tied to punk, came and went more in the United Kingdom than in the United States. At the time punk began, it was a major phenomenon in the United Kingdom and a minor one in the United States, thus when new wave acts started getting noticed in America, punk meant little to the mainstream audience and it was common for rock clubs and discos to play British dance mixes and videos between live sets by American guitar acts. Post-punk music developments in the UK were considered unique cultural events. By the early 1980s, British journalists had abandoned the term "new wave" in favor of subgenre terms such as "synthpop".
By 1983, the term of choice for the US music industry had become "new music", while to the majority of US fans it was still a "new wave" reacting to album-based rock. New wave died out in the mid-1980s, knocked out by guitar-driven rock reacting against new wave. In the 21st-century United States, "new wave" was used to describe ar
The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. The line-up of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr led the band to be regarded as the foremost and most influential in history. With a sound rooted in skiffle, beat and 1950s rock and roll, the group were integral to the evolution of pop music into an art form, to the development of the counterculture of the 1960s, they incorporated elements of classical music, older pop forms, unconventional recording techniques in innovative ways, in years experimented with a number of musical styles ranging from pop ballads and Indian music to psychedelia and hard rock. As they continued to draw influences from a variety of cultural sources, their musical and lyrical sophistication grew, they came to be seen as embodying the era's sociocultural movements. Led by primary songwriters Lennon and McCartney, the Beatles built their reputation playing clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg over a three-year period from 1960 with Stuart Sutcliffe playing bass.
The core trio of Lennon, McCartney and Harrison, together since 1958, went through a succession of drummers, including Pete Best, before asking Starr to join them in 1962. Manager Brian Epstein moulded them into a professional act, producer George Martin guided and developed their recordings expanding their domestic success after their first hit, "Love Me Do", in late 1962; as their popularity grew into the intense fan frenzy dubbed "Beatlemania", the band acquired the nickname "the Fab Four", with Epstein and other members of the band's entourage sometimes given the informal title of "fifth Beatle". By early 1964, the Beatles were international stars, leading the "British Invasion" of the United States pop market, breaking numerous sales records, they soon made their motion-picture debut with A Hard Day's Night. From 1965 onwards, they produced innovative recordings, including the albums Rubber Soul, Sgt. Pepper's The Beatles and Abbey Road. In 1968, they founded Apple Corps, a multi-armed multimedia corporation that continues to oversee projects related to the band's legacy.
After the group's break-up in 1970, all four members enjoyed success as solo artists. Lennon was shot and killed in December 1980. McCartney and Starr remain musically active; the Beatles are the best-selling band in history, with estimated sales of over 800 million records worldwide. They are the best-selling music artists in the US, with certified sales of over 178 million units, have had more number-one albums on the British charts, have sold more singles in the UK, than any other act; the group were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, all four main members were inducted individually between 1994 and 2015. In 2008, the group topped Billboard magazine's list of the all-time most successful artists; the band have received an Academy Award and fifteen Ivor Novello Awards. They were collectively included in Time magazine's compilation of the twentieth century's 100 most influential people. In March 1957, John Lennon aged sixteen, formed a skiffle group with several friends from Quarry Bank High School in Liverpool.
They called themselves the Blackjacks, before changing their name to the Quarrymen after discovering that a respected local group was using the other name. Fifteen-year-old Paul McCartney joined them as a rhythm guitarist shortly after he and Lennon met that July. In February 1958, McCartney invited his friend George Harrison to watch the band; the fifteen-year-old auditioned for Lennon, impressing him with his playing, but Lennon thought Harrison was too young for the band. After a month of Harrison's persistence, during a second meeting, he performed the lead guitar part of the instrumental song "Raunchy" on the upper deck of a Liverpool bus, they enlisted him as their lead guitarist. By January 1959, Lennon's Quarry Bank friends had left the group, he began his studies at the Liverpool College of Art; the three guitarists, billing themselves at least three times as Johnny and the Moondogs, were playing rock and roll whenever they could find a drummer. Lennon's art school friend Stuart Sutcliffe, who had just sold one of his paintings and was persuaded to purchase a bass guitar, joined in January 1960, it was he who suggested changing the band's name to Beatals, as a tribute to Buddy Holly and the Crickets.
They used this name until May, when they became the Silver Beetles, before undertaking a brief tour of Scotland as the backing group for pop singer and fellow Liverpudlian Johnny Gentle. By early July, they had refashioned themselves as the Silver Beatles, by the middle of August shortened the name to The Beatles. Allan Williams, the Beatles' unofficial manager, arranged a residency for them in Hamburg, but lacking a full-time drummer they auditioned and hired Pete Best in mid-August 1960; the band, now a five-piece, left four days contracted to club owner Bruno Koschmider for what would be a 31⁄2-month residency. Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn writes: "They pulled into Hamburg at dusk on 17 August, the time when the red-light area comes to life... flashing neon lights screamed out the various entertainment on offer, while scantily clad women sat unabashed in shop windows waiting for business opportunities." Koschmider had converted a couple of strip clubs in the district into music venues, he placed the Beatles at the Indra Club.
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona