Music History

  • 1900

    Jean Sibelius's Finlandia premieres in Helsinki.
  • 1908

    A major change in classical-music style comes about with the release of Arnold Schoenberg's Book of Hanging Gardens. The harmony and tonalitycharacteristic of classical music are replaced by dissonance, creating what many listeners consider to be noise.
  • 1919

    After moving from its southern rural roots, jazz establishes Chicago as its capital. The city will become home to such jazz greats as trumpeter Louis Armstrong and pianist Jelly Roll Morton
  • 1924

    The Juilliard School opens in New York.
    Maurice Ravel's Bolero opens in Paris.
    George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue premieres in New York.
  • 1936

    Electric guitars debut.
  • 1949

    45 rpm records are sold in the U.S
  • 1957

    Leonard Bernstein completes West Side Story
  • 1963

    A wave of Beatlemania hits the U.K. The Beatles, a British band composed of John Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney, take Britain by storm.
    The Rolling Stones emerge as the anti-Beatles, with an aggressive, blues-derived style
  • 1967

    The Beatles release their break-through concept album, Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
    Psychedelic bands such as The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane enjoy great success during this period with songs celebrating the counterculture of the '60s.
  • 1970

    The Beatles break up. By the end of the year, each member had released a solo album
  • 1980

    John Lennon of the Beatles shot dead in New York City
  • 1988

    CDs outsell vinyl records for the first time
  • 1999

    The merger of two major recording labels, Universal and Polygram, causes upheaval in the recording industry. It is estimated that the new company, Universal Music Group, controls 25% of the worldwide music market.
    Woodstock '99 kicks off in Rome, N.Y. Concertgoers complain that the spirit of the original Woodstock has been compromised and commercialized.