London Shanahan: The Baroque and Classical Eras Timeline

Timeline created by LondoneWithYou
In Music
  • May 15, 1567

    Monteverdi was born

  • L'Orfeo composed by Monteverdi

  • L’Arianna written by Monteverdi

  • Strozzi was born

  • Death of Monteverdi

  • Corelli was born

  • Opus 5 “Mater Anna” composed by Strozzi

  • Purcell was born

  • Arie a voce sola op. 8 composed by Strozzi

  • Jacquet de La Guerre was born

  • Death of Strozzi

  • Vivaldi was born

  • Opus 1: 12 sonate da chiesa composed by Cordelli

  • Period: to

    The Baroque Era

    Representative genres: opera, fugue, dance suites, cantata, chorale, allemande, courante, sarabande, gigue, gavotte, minuet, sonatas, etc. Characteristics:
    Vigorous rhythm (hints of virtuosity), free-flowing from one key to another, lyricism in slow movements, use of the Basso Continuo, dissonances ornamentation, suite form, homophonic with melody and accompaniment, but also featuring prominent polyphonic and imitative moments between instruments, triadic harmony, terraced dynamics
  • J.S. Bach was born

    J.S. Bach was born
  • George Frideric Handel was born

  • Les pièces de clavessin Suite in D mi composed by Jacquet de La Guerre

  • Dido and Aeneas written by Purcell

  • Hail! Bright Cecilia composed by Purcell

  • Death of Purcell

  • Poland, Russia and Denmark attack Sweden, beginning the 21-year Northern War

  • The War of the Spanish Succession breaks out between French and Austrian claims to the Spanish throne

  • Anne becomes queen of England and Scotland after the death of her brother-in-law, William III

  • Toccata and Fugue in D minor composed by Bach

  • Bach worked at Cothen and Weimar

  • The Act of Union merges England and Scotland as one kingdom by the name of Great Britain

  • In a friendly keyboard contest in Rome between Handel and Domenico Scarlatti, the result is a draw – Handel being the winner on the organ and Scarlatti on the harpsichord

  • Handel's success in London with his opera Rinaldo prompts him to settle in Britain

  • Rinaldo composed by Handel

  • The treaties signed in Utrecht bring to an end the War of the Spanish Succession

  • Death of Corelli

  • In the aftermath of the War of the Spanish Succession, the Spanish Netherlands are transferred to Austria

  • Opus 6: 12 concerti grossi composed by Corelli

  • Reign of Louis XV Begins

  • Louis XIV dies after seventy-two years on the throne

  • Gloria composed by Vivaldi

  • Le Raccommodement Comique de Pierrot et de Nicole composed by Jacquet de La Guerre

  • Cello Suite in G major, Prelude composed by Bach

  • The lighter rococo style, beginning in France, becomes an extension of the baroque

  • The symphony begins to develop as a musical form, deriving from the overtures of operas

  • Like the symphony, the string quartet develops during the eighteenth century, moving from simple beginnings to great complexity

  • With the transfer of Swedish territory on the Baltic coast, Russia becomes the dominant power in the region

  • Johann Sebastian Bach writes the six Brandenburg Concertos for his employer at the court of Köthen

  • BWV 80 Cantata composed by Bach

  • The Four Seasons composed by Vivaldi

  • Bach worked at Leipzig

  • Ein feste burg ist unser Gott composed by Bach

  • Julius Caesar in Egypt written by Handel

  • J.S. Bach conducts the first performance of his St Matthew Passion in the St Thomas's church in Leipzig

  • On the death of his father, George I, George II becomes king of Great Britain

  • Handel composes Zadok the Priest for the crowning of George II, and it has been sung at every subsequent British coronation

  • Death of Jacquet de La Guerre

  • Period: to

    The Transitional Period

  • Period: to

    The Classical Era

    Representative genres: symphony, opera, quartet, sonata, concerto,
    Characteristics: Periodicity: Musical ideas articulated in distinct phrases, more of a rhetorical style in phrase structure (question/answer), singable melodies, occasional triumphant melodic ideas, less use of ornamentation, lower harmonic change, modulations less frequent and adventurous, tonic and dominant chords prevail, wind instruments, fortepiano, homophonic, greater use of dynamics
  • With the performance of Esther Handel taps a rich new vein, the English oratorio

  • George Washington was born

  • Joseph Haydn was born

  • Britain declares war on Spain

  • Frederick II, inheriting the throne in Prussia, establishes a cultured and musical court

  • Frederick II launches the War of the Austrian Succession

  • Death of Vivaldi

  • Messiah by Handel composed

  • France formally declares war on Britain half way through the War of the Austrian Succession

  • J.S. Bach publishes another set of 24 Preludes and Fugues, as an addition to his previous Well-Tempered Clavier

  • The treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle ends the War of the Austrian Succession, but only postpones the continuation of hostilities (in the Seven Years' War)

  • Shortly before his death (in 1750) J.S. Bach completes his Mass in B Minor, worked on over many years

  • Death of Bach

  • Mozart was born

  • Death of Handel

  • On the death of his grandfather, George II, George III becomes king of Great Britain

  • Haydn hired at Esterhazy

  • Johann Sebastian Bach's youngest son, Johann Christian, moves to London and becomes known as the English Bach

  • 6-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart plays for the Habsburg empress Maria Theresa

  • A treaty signed in Paris ends the Seven Years' War between Britain, France and Spain

  • 7-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart begins a three-year concert tour of Europe

  • Beethoven was born

  • Haydn's Farewell Symphony gives a subtle hint to his employer at Esterházy that it is time for the musicians to return home

  • The Boston Tea Party

  • The American Revolution begins

  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, now 25, leaves Salzburg to settle in Vienna

  • String quartet in C, Op. 33, No. 3 "The Bird" composed by Haydn

  • The American Revolution ends

  • Mozart's Marriage of Figaro premieres in Vienna and then has a huge success in Prague

  • Piano Sonata no.39 in D major composed by Haydn

  • Mozart's opera Don Giovanni has its premiere in Prague

  • Symphony No. 40 composed by Mozart

  • Beginning of the French revolution

  • At Turnhout, the rebel army from the Netherlands defeated the Austrians

  • Mozart's opera Così fan Tutte has its premiere in Vienna, in the court theatre of Joseph II

  • Rebels in the Austrian Netherlands form the United States of Belgium

  • Emperor Joseph II dies

  • Leopold swears oath of allegiance as archduke of Austria

  • Triple Marriage of Archduke Franz and Princess Marie Therese, and marriages between four of their younger siblings

  • Coronation of Leopold as emperor of the Holy Roman Empire

  • Coronation of Leopold as King of Hungary

  • Haydn arrives in London for the first time

  • Symphony no. 94 composed by Haydn

  • The Magic Flute written by Mozart

  • Requiem composed by Mozart: it went unfinished due to his death

  • Coronation of Leopold as King of Bohemia

  • Death of Mozart

  • Beethoven leaves Bonn and goes to Vienna to study composition with Haydn

  • Death of Leopold II, succeeded by his son Franz

  • France declares war against Austria

  • Haydn arrives in Vienna after his first visit to London

  • France declared as a republic

  • Reign of Terror begins

  • Louis XVI executed

  • Marie Antoinette executed

  • Haydn's oratorio The Creation has its first public performance in Vienna, in the Burgtheater

  • Beethoven seeks medical advice for a very alarming condition, an increasing deafness

  • Death of Haydn


    Oxford Reference. “18th Century.” Oxford Reference, HistoryWorld, 2012,
    Rice, John A. “The Operatic Culture at the Court of Emperor Leopold II and Its Connection to Mozart's La Clemenza Di Tito - John A. Rice, History of Music.” Google Sites, Google Sites, 27 Aug. 2013,

    York, Wesley. “Music History Timeline.” Timetoast, Timetoast, 2020,