Classical Music Eras

  • Period: 500 to 1400

    Medieval Period

    This is an era of music heavily linked to usage in religious settings and saw much of its works created for that purpose. The development of standardized musical notation and the transition from mainly monophonic compositions towards polyphony are two characteristic traits of this period. Notable composers in this era include Léonin, Comtessa de Dia and Guillaume de Machaut
  • Period: 1400 to

    Renaissance Period

    This time period began to see secular music become more commonplace, with madrigals and motets being popular forms for compositions. Many composers were employed by nobles to write commissioned pieces and perform for their entertainment (remember, there were no other ways to listen to music other than through live performance). Notable composers in this era include Thomas Tallis, William Byrd and Josquin des Prez
  • Period: 1580 to

    Baroque Period

    Notable composers in this era include Johann Sebastian Bach, George Friedrich Händel and Antonio Vivaldi
  • Period: to

    Classical Period

    This era saw the rise of larger productions such as symphonic orchestras and operas. Many of the instruments we know today were designed or modernized during this time period. A lot of what we would consider "pop classical" stems from the major composers of this era. Notable composers in this era include Joseph Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Period: to

    Romantic Period

    Notable composers in this era include Frédéric Chopin, Franz Schubert and Clara Schumann
  • Period: to

    Modern Era

    Impressionism and exploration of atonalism. Notable composers in this era include Gustav Mahler, Claude Debussy and Igor Stravinsky
  • Period: to

    Contemporary Music

    Contemporary music began to seriously push the boundaries of what was consider music. Minimalism as a concept for music arose through pioneers like Steve Reich and John Adams, while other experimental musicians like John Cage argued that sound in itself was music through compositions like "Water Walk". Notable composers in this era include John Cage, Milton Babbitt and Philip Glass