History of Western Music

  • Period: 500 to 1450

    Medieval Period

  • 1030

    Guido of Arezzo's Micrologus

    This document was a guide for singers that created ideas such as the 4-line staff, relative pitch with intervals, scales, and modes, and was used to teach people how to sight sing.
  • Period: 1098 to 1179

    Hildegard of Bingen

    A famous nun composer who wrote her own music. She has 69 large musical composition that set her music apart from the rest of the music at the time due to her large melodic ranges, divine harmonies, and more lyrical foundation compared to gregorian chant. Most famous work: Ordo virtutum.
  • 1323

    Ars Nova Treatise

    This Treatise, written by Philippe de Vitry, shows the innovations in rhythmic notations of new music.
  • Period: 1450 to

    Renaissance Period

  • 1485

    Josquin’s Ave Maria ... virgo serena Motet

    Often called the Mona Lisa of Renaissance Music. Text refers to the five feasts of the virgin or the stations in the life of Mary from Conception through Assumption. The text contains 7 sections.
  • 1529

    Martin Luther Chorale Ein feste burg (A Mighty Fortress..)

    Anthem hymn for the Reformation. It is based off of Psalm 46 "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."
  • 1538

    Arcadelt Madrigal Il bianco e dolce cigno

    One of the most performed early madrigals with points of imitation and harmony.
  • 1567

    Palestrina Pope Marcellus Mass

    This mass became a model for generations to come and is used to to show counterpoint. It has stepwise melodic motion. Dissonances are only allowed in a stepwise motion before being resolved on strong beats during a suspension. Also, most leaps are followed by stepwise motion in the opposite direction, resulting in the Palestrina Arch.
  • Victoria Missa O magnum mysterium

    A parody mass of his earlier composed motet "O magnum mysterium" in 1572.
  • Gabrieli Sonata pian’e forte

    Gabrieli was the main composer for St. Mark's Basilica in Venice, Italy. He composed the Sonata Pian'e Forte. It was the first piece with dynamics written and notated in the music. It was also the first piece to show what instruments would play what voice part (line).