A Brief History of Western Music

  • Period: 500 to 1400

    Midieval Period

    Starts right after the fall of the Roman empire.
    Influences of Medieval Music:
    -The crusades that came along with the growth of Christianity
    -The idea of courtly love
    -The music and songs of troubadours and minstrels
    -The patronage of Medieval nobles
    -Poets and authors
    Main Elements:
    Dark Ages (500-1000)
    -Gregorian chant
    -crude notation (an approximate indication of pitch)
    Later Medieval
    -polyphonic vocal texture (sacred and secular)
    -staff notation (precise indication of pitch and rhythm
  • Jan 1, 1098

    Hildegard of Bigen

    Lived from 1098 to 1179
    Composed secular works
    Ordo Virtutum
    O Pastor Animarum
  • Jan 1, 1150


    Lived from 1150 to 1201
    Created the Magnus Liber Organi that contained around 100 pieces
    Used melismatic improvisation
  • Period: 1400 to

    Renaissance Period

    The period of great artistic resurgence for Europe.
    Music Elements:
    -Arsnova (new way of notating meter)
    *perfection = triple meter
    *imperfection = duple meter
    Types of Music:
    -music controlled, performed by, and written for church
  • Jan 1, 1505

    Thomas Tallis

    Lived from 1505 to 1585 - England
    Created Anglican music that established the formal and stylistic norms of an entirely new repertory in enlgish.
  • Jan 1, 1532

    Orlando de Lassus

    Lived from 1532 to 1594
    Musica Dei Donum
    Mantona mia cara
  • Period: to

    Baroque Period

    A new movement in art of bold, clear, and easily interpreted detail.
    Musical Elements:
    -Unity of rhythm over a whole movement (strong feeling of pulse)
    -Opers, Cantata, Oratorio, Concerto, and Sonata
    Types of Music:
    -Concerto Grosso
  • Antonio Vivaldi

    Lived from 1680 to 1750 - Venice, Italy
    -Late Baroque composer-in-residence (Patrons and Audiences), violinist, music teacher
    L'Estro Armonico Opus
  • George Frideric Handel

    Lived from 1685 to 1759 - London, England
    German-British composer was famous for his operas, oratorios, anthems, and organ concertos. Served aristocratic patrons.
    Giulio Cesare in Egitto
  • JS Bach

    Lived from 1685 to 1750
    German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist. Remembered for his secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments.
    Durch Adams Fall
    Cantata 140
  • Period: to

    Classical Period

    During this period of time music was developed on expression.
  • Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart

    Lived from 1756 to 1791 - Austria/Vienna
    A Child prodigy, composer, and performer. His music was very accessible and popular.
    Composed over 600 works.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Lived from 1770 to 1827 - Germany/Vienna
    A composer and pianist. A philosopher of music. One of the most famous and influential. Had a heroic attitude to life.
  • Carl Czerny

    Lived from 1791 to 1875 - Austria.
    A pianist, composer, and teacher. Best remembered for his book of Etudes for the piano. A student of Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Franz Schubert

    Lived from 1797 to 1828 - Austria
    A composer in the early romantic era and is one of the most frequently performed composers.
    Example Works:
    Erl King
  • Period: to

    Romantic Period

    Related to the European artistic and literary movement that arose in the second half of the 18th century. Dominated more within Germany.
    Musical Elements:
    -softer pulse in the music
    -speed fluctuations
  • Johannes Brahms

    Lived from 1833-1897 - Germany/Vienna/Austria
    A composer, pianist, and one of the leading musicians of the Romantic period. He was born in Germany but spent most of his professional life in Vienna and Austria.