Music History Timeline

  • Period: 500 to 1450

    Medieval Period

  • 800


    Holy Roman Emperor
    Crowned in 800 - 814
    Was a pioneer in Gregorian Chants, created 500-600
  • 900

    Musica Enchiriadis

    FIrst set of rules in polyphonic music
    - Vox principalis
    - Improv
    - Parallel 5ths, octaves
    - Oblique motion
  • 1030

    Guido of Arezzo's: Micrologus

    Guido's most famous written work. It is a music treatise with a major development of the hexachord system. This is a scalar system built on modal music.
    - 4 line staff
    - relative pitch
    - sight singing
  • 1098

    Hildegard of Bingen

    Notable female in music who was considered a saint.
    Wrote lyric poems.
  • 1163

    Notre Dame School Polyphony

    • Leonin: 1163- 1190
    • Perotin 1190- 1225
  • 1170

    Troubadour/ trobairitz

    Years active: 1170- 1260
    Female composers of secular music
  • 1280

    Franco of Cologne/Ars Cantus Mensurabilis

    ca. 1280
    Creation of consonant and dissonant intervals
    - Perfect: Unison, octave
    - Intermediate: Fourth and Fourth
    - Imperfect: Major and minor thirds
    - Imperfect: minor seventh, major sixth, whole tone
    - Perfect: minor sixth, semitone, tritone, major seventh
  • 1300

    Guillaume de Machaut

    b. (1300) ,d. (1377)
    Continued troubadour/ trouvere tradition
    4- roundeau style
    Cantilena style
  • 1323

    Ars Nova Treatise

    Demonstrates innovations in rhythmic notations
    - Breve
    - 9/8: Perfect time, major prolation
    - 6/8: Imperfect time, major prolation
    - 3/4: Perfect time, minor prolation
    - 2/4: Imperfect time, minor prolation
  • 1325

    Francesco Landini

    b. (1325- 1397)
    Created Landini cadences
    Musica ficta
  • 1440

    Gutenberg Printing Press

    • Johannes Gutenberg invented
    • Made in France
    • Created to mass produce the Gutenberg Bible
  • Period: 1450 to


  • 1515

    Josquin’s Missa Pangue Lingua

    • Was Josquin's last mass
    • Known as the swan song
    • Free flowing polyphony
  • 1529

    Martin Luther’s Ein feste burg

    • "A mighty fortress is our god"
    • Important for isorhythmetry
    • Luther's best known hymn
  • 1538

    Arcadelt Il bianco e dolce cigno

    • English Madrigal music
    • "The Gentle White Swan"
    • The text draws an extended analogy between the gentle swan, who is thought to sing only at the sorrowful moment of his death, and the poet who sings at the moment of a much sweeter "death,"
  • 1562

    Palestrina Pope Marcellus Mass

    • Palestrina's best mass
    • Written in honor of Pope Marcellus
    • lots of 4th leaps followed by a step
  • 1580

    Concerto delle Donne

    ca. 1580-88
    A musical group based in Ferrara, Italy known for musical innovation of the concerto delle donne was the multiplication of the ornamented upper voices
  • Sonata pian’e forte

    • Composed by Gabrielli in Italy
    • One of the earliest pieces written for specifically brass
    • Brass is divided amongst the cathedral
  • Period: to


  • Monteverdi's L’Orfeo

    • Opera style canons introduced
    • arioso and recitativo introduced
    • One of the earliest musical dramas
  • First Public Concerts in England

    • Begun by John Banister in London
  • Handel

    - Born same time as Bach, but the two never met
    - Spent his time in London
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    (1685- 1750)
    - One of most notable composers of Baroque period
    - Most known for Art of Fugue, the Brandenburg Concertos, and the Goldberg Variations, and for vocal music such as the St Matthew Passion and the Mass in B minor. as well as a few symphonies
  • Purcell's Dido and Aeneas

    • Composed by Henry Purcell
    • Performed by Josias Priest's girls' school
    • Three act opera
  • Antonio Vivaldi's L’Estro Armonico

    • Set of 12 concertos
    • Each concerto had seven individual parts
    • Published in Amsterdam
  • Brandenburg Concertos

    • 6 concertos
    • Highlight of the happiest moments of Bach's life
    • Inspired by the Italian concerto Grosso style
  • The Well-Tempered Clavier volume 1

    • Published in 2 books, in 1722 and 1742
    • Preludes and fugues in all 24 major and minor keys
    • For solo keyboard
  • Rameau's Traité de l’harmonie

    • Music theory book
    • Published in Paris
    • Composed by Jean-Philippe Rameau. Published by Jean-Baptiste-Christophe Ballard
    • Divided into 4 books
  • Period: to

    Pre Classical Era

  • Franz Joseph Haydn

    - One of the most prolific composers of the classical era
    - wrote 107 symphonies, 26 operas, 83 string quartets, 45 piano trios, 62 piano sonatas, and 14 masses
  • Handel's Messiah

    • An easter offering, story about Christmas
    • 3 part opera, but not in dramatic form
  • Chevalier de Saint-Georges as director of Concerts des Amateurs

    "The Black Mozart"
  • WA Mozart

    -Toured in (1762-1781)
    - Lived in Salzburg (1774-1781)
    - In Vienna (1781-1791)
  • Beethoven

    (1770-1827) - German composer and pianist
  • Period: to

    Viennese Classical Era

  • Haydn's op.33 String Quartets

    Set the standard for intricacy in string quartets
  • Mozart's Piano Concerto No.23

    composed : 1786, published: 1800
    - Mozart's most intimate and impression concerto
    - Omitted trumpets and replaced with clarinets/oboes to create a dark atmosphere
    - winds are solo characters
  • Mozart's Don Giovanni

    • Based on Don Juan
    • "The dissolute man punished"
    • Sung in italian
  • Haydn's London Symphonies

    Reflect's mozart's influence on Haydn
    - trumpets became independent
    - basses separated from cellos
  • Franz Schubert

    - Late classical/Early romantic
  • Beethoven's 5th Symphony in C minor

    • Fate Motive (Dun dun dun daaaah) ((He's going deaf))
    • Cyclic
    • A very significant symphony
    • First time trombones were made standard in orchestra
  • Frederic Chopin

  • Schubert's Erlkönig

    • Based on a poem about a legend about a beast who brings youth into the afterlife
    • This poem was turned into many musical renditions
  • Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia

  • Niccolo Paganini 's 24 Caprices for Unaccompanied Violin, op.1

    • By Ricordi
  • Schubert's Symphony No.8 “Unfinished”

    • Only 2 movements
    • He was diagnosed with an illness and so he continued onto other works he could complete
  • Beethoven's 9th Symphony

    • Final complete symphony
    • first composer to Include chorus and voice
  • Berlioz Symphonie fantastique

    • Comprised "idee fixe"
    • a dream that he killed his beloved
    • Recurring idea of longing for romance
    • Supposedly he was on opium
  • Mazurkas Op.7

    • famous dance miniatures
    - polish folk dances
  • Robert Schumann: Carnaval

    • 21-piece set exclusively on piano representing various Carnival goers
    • The music is remarkable because it is on four notes; Carnaval was subtitled Scènes mignonnes sur quatre notes, or Little Scenes on four notes. These four notes are A, B, C and E
  • Fanny Mendelssohn - Hensel: Das Jahr

    • Female composer !!
    • 12 part piano suite (12 months)
  • Clara Wieck Schumann: "Liebst du um Schönheit"

    - each verse is slightly altered from the original verse
  • Berlioz Treatise on Instrumentation

    • historical document on instrumental practice
    • Technical study of western instrument
  • Felix Mendelssohn: Bartholdy - Violin Concerto in E minor, Op.64

    • His last large orchestra work
    • One of the most reputable violin concertos in history
  • Verdi 's La traviata

    • 3 act opera
    • Falling for the fallen women
    • the story of verdi's love affair
  • Louis Moreau Gottschalk's Souvenir de Porto Rico

    • American composer
    • Use of afro-american and latin-american rhythms long before ragtime and jazz flourished
  • Wagner's Tristan und Isolde

    • Richard Wagner
    • 3 act opera
    • Contains the trinity of love, sex, and death. An unholy trinity
  • Mussourgsky's Boris Godunov

    • Premiered in Russia
    • His only completed opera
  • Bizet's Carmen

    • 4 act Opera
    • Considered groundbreaking realism
    • "Toréador Song” and “Habanera" became incredibly recognizable and unique to the opera
    • Opera-comique
  • Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen

    • First performance at first festival in bayreuth
    • The ring cycle
    • Requires several nights of performance
  • Brahms' Symphony No.4

    • (1833–97)
    • Considered when brahm became pessimistic in expression
    • his final symphony
    • music for the future
    • a tragic character to contrast his other symphonies
  • Mahler's Symphony No.1

    • Symphonic poem
    • 4 movements
    • Used to have 5 movements
  • Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker

    • two part ballet
    • its initial debut is considered a failure, but has gained significance as one of the most performed ballets
    • based on a fairy tale
  • Dvorak's Symphony No.9 “New World"

    • commissioned by the new york phil
    • influenced by native american music and african american spirituals. also embodies melodies of indian music
  • Debussy's Prélude à l’aprés midi d’un faune

  • Maple Leaf Rag

  • Jean Sibelius' Finlandia

  • Puccini's Madama Butterfly

    • premiere date
    • inspired by David Belasco’s one-act play Madame Butterfly
    • wanting to introduce realism
  • Schönberg's Pierrot Lunaire

    composed in
  • Stravinsky's Le sacre du Printemps

  • Schönberg's Piano Suite, Op.25

    Composed in 1921-23
  • George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue

  • Louis Armstrong's "Hotter Than That"

    Recorded in
  • Shostakovich Symphony No.5

  • Prokofiev Alexander Nevsky

  • Olivier Messiaen's Quatuor pour le fine du temps

  • Ellington's Cottontail

    Composed in
  • Bela Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra

    Composed in
  • Copland Appalachian Spring

    Composed in:
  • John Cage's 4’33’’

  • Edward Varese Poeme Electronique

  • Miles Davis Kind of Blue

  • George Crumb's Black Angels

  • John Adams' Short Ride in a Fast Machine