History of Music

  • Period: 500 to 1450

    Medieval Period

    The Medieval Period, also known as the middle ages, was a time where music was written in a way that did not distract from worship. There was also a neumatic notation system that was used during this time period.
  • 1030

    Guido of Arezzo's Micrologus

    The innovation of this document was the hexachord system which is a 6 note system. In addition to the hexachord system, the document innovated sight singing as well as the idea of relative pitch. It also was the foundation for the four line staff.
  • Period: 1098 to 1179

    Hildegard of Bingen

    She was considered the greatest composer of the Middle Ages. In addition, she was a poet and a writer. She did not compose from existing Gregorian melody and her compositions consisted of a wide range for the singers.
  • 1323

    Ars Nova Treatise

    The important innovation that came from the Ars Nova Treatise was secular music. This is the first time in history where composers are creating more secular music than sacred music.
  • Period: 1450 to

    Renaissance Period

    The Renaissance is a time period of exploration, colonization, and the idea of humanism. It was an age of genius in regards to literature, the arts, and sciences.
  • 1485

    Josquin's Ave Maria...virgo serena Motet

    This is one of Josquin's earliest motets and remains one of his most popular. The text that has been put into a polyphonic setting refers to the five feasts of the Virgin Mary.
  • 1529

    Martin Luther's Chorale "Ein feste burg" (A Mighty Fortress is Our God)

    This chorale is considered the anthem for the Protestant Reformation.
  • 1538

    Arcadelt's Madrigal "Il bianco e dolce cigno"

    This piece has a chordal texture with points of imitation throughout.
  • 1567

    Palestrina's "Pope Marcellus Mass"

    This mass was dedicated to the Pope. According to legend, it demonstrated how even with 6 polyphonic voices, the sacred words could be understood.
  • Victoria's "Missa O Magnum Mysterium"

    This is a parody/imitation mass. It imitates Victoria's motet, "O Magnum Mysterium" that was composed 20 years before.
  • Gabrieli's Sonata "Pian’e Forte"

    This piece was composed for St. Mark's Basilica. Not only was it the first piece to dictate which instrument should play each specific line, it also is the first piece with dynamics written into the music.
  • Period: to

    Baroque Period

    The term baroque was a derogatory term. Many found the period to be bizarre and overcomplicated. By the widespread experimentation this era brought, it resulted in the concerto, aria, and sonata. We also gained major and minor tonality as well as barlines from this period.
  • Monteverdi's L’Orfeo

    This is the first opera to enter standard repertory.
  • First Public Concerts in England

    These public concerts started the rise of public concerts in other countries. It was the beginning of modern concert culture.
  • Period: to

    JS Bach

  • Antonio Vivaldi's L’Estro Armonico

    It is a set of 12 concertos for stringed instruments. It was published by Estienne Roger in Amsterdam. These works influenced Bach.
  • Rameau's Traité de l’harmonie

    This became the basis for teaching harmony. It was the most influential of all his theoretical works.
  • Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier volume 1

    This is compiled of 24 preludes and fugues. They go through the 12 major keys and the 12 minor keys. It employed a tuning system for the keyboard that we still use today. It is called “equal temperament” because the octave is divided into 12 semitones that are equal intervals apart.
  • Period: to

    Franz Joseph Haydn

  • Handel's Messiah

    It premiered in 1742, but was completed in 1741. Handel’s Messiah is a sacred work in three parts.
  • Period: to

    WA Mozart

  • Period: to

    Viennese Classical Period

  • Period: to

    Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges as director of Concerts des Amateurs

    Joseph Bologne was also called "le Mozart noir" or "the black Mozart”. This was one of the finest orchestras in Europe.
  • Mozart's Don Giovanni

  • Haydn's Symphony No. 94 "Surprise"