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Music History Fall 2020

  • 530

    Writing of the Rule of St. Benedict

    set of rules for the Office on running a monastery,
  • Period: 768 to 814

    Reign of Charlemagne

    -Importance of monastery grew
    -under more centralized/stable gov't, the arts began to flourish
    -return to "Roman" ideals
  • 800

    Charlemagne crowned Emperor by Pope

  • Period: 800 to 900

    Musica Enchiriadis

    9th century musical treatise, first surviving attempt to set up rules of performance in polyphony in western music
  • Period: 800 to 900

    Scolica enchiridas

    9th century musical treatise and commentary (companion of Musica enchiriadis)
  • 850

    First definitive references to notation

    nuemues used to indicate melodic gesture for each syllable, served as reminders for the structure of the melody but could not be sight read, so learning was still done by ear
  • Period: 850 to 890

    Organa from musica enchiriadis

    parallel organum and mixed/oblique organum (early polyphony)
  • 860

    Liber hymnorum

    examples of early sequences
  • Period: 991 to 1033

    Guido of Arezzo

    elaborated the music notation system (4 lines, specific notes but no sense of absolute pitch), devised early sofege syllables to aid sight singing, developed "Guidonian hand" to train singers
  • 1014

    Last major item (Credo) added to Mass

  • 1025

    Tropes of Mass for Christmas Day copied into manuscript for abbey near Limoges

  • 1026


    a practical guide for singers; covers notes, intervals, the 8 modes, melodic composition, and improvised polyphony; written by Guido of Arezzo
  • Period: 1098 to 1179

    Hildegard von Bingen

    -One of the first known composers, the first of whom we have a large body of work for, and first WOMAN composer whose name we know
    -Abbess of S. German monastery
    -Wrote primarily antiphons and responsories for the Office and sequences for Mass
  • 1100

    Jublimeus, exultemus (aquitanian polyphony)

    versus in anquitanian polyphony; represents florid organum style; appears in score notation (lines up the notes of the two voices, creating first attempts at rhythm notation)
  • 1100

    Alleluia Justus ut palma from Ad organum faciendum

    note-against-note organum (early polyphony)
  • Period: 1100 to 1200

    Troubadours/trouveres flourished

    (12th century)
  • Period: 1100 to 1140

    Aquitanian polyphony used

    (early 12th century)
  • Period: 1130 to 1200

    Bernart de Ventadorn

    one of the best known/most influential troubadours, brought troubadour traditions to the North to inspire trouveres
  • 1140

    First gothic buildings

  • Period: 1150 to 1201


    first "named composer; known through "Anonymous IV"; worked and Notre Dame and nearby monastery, compiled Magnus Liber Organi (Great Book of Organum)
  • 1151

    Hildegard von Bingen writes "Ordo virtutum"

    earliest surviving music drama
  • Period: 1157 to 1225

    Notre Dame school flourished

    (technically late 12th to early 13th centuries, during Leonin and Perotinus' time)
  • Period: 1160 to 1230


    editied Magus Liber and made many better clauelae, wrote 3 and 4 voice organa (tripla, quadrupla)
  • Period: 1170 to 1180

    Bernart De Ventadorn writes "Can vei la lauzeta mover"

    one of the widely know of his/and all troubadour songs, example of fine amour
  • Period: 1170 to 1310

    Ars antiqua

    Ars antiqua, also called ars veterum or ars vetus, is a term used by modern scholars to refer to the Medieval music of Europe during the High Middle Ages (covers the Notre Dame school of polyphony and early development of the motet)
  • 1183

    First Mass at Notre Dame

  • 1198

    Perontinus writes "Viderunt omnes"

    combined organum and discant styles, compositional devices gave sections in organum coherence and variety
  • Period: 1250 to 1280

    Ars cantus mensurabilis, Franco of Cologne

    Summarized the 6 rhythmic modes being used at the time.
  • 1257

    University of Paris founded

  • 1258

    Notre Dame cathedral finished

  • Period: 1265 to 1321

    Dante Alighieri

    Italian poet, prose writer, literary theorist, moral philosopher, and political thinker; best known for the monumental epic poem La commedia, later named La divina commedia (The Divine Comedy).
  • Period: 1270 to 1290

    Cantigas de Santa Maria compiled by Alfonso the Wise

    collection of poems in Galician-Portugese language with musical notation, monophonic songs all involving the Virgin Mary, example of the multi ethnic/religious count Alfonso held
  • 1285

    Magnus Liber Organi

    collection of organa/treatise; contained 2 voice settings of solo portions of responsorial chants; intended for use at Notre Dame
  • Period: 1291 to 1361

    Philippe de Vitry

    wrote music in Roman de Fauvel, credited with starting Ars Nova period
  • Period: 1300 to 1377

    Guillame de Machaut

    most important composer/poet of French Ars Nova period, work copied multiple times in manuscripts (great preservations), wrote first hand accounts of how he worked/what happened in his life
  • Period: 1300 to 1399

    The Trecento

    14th century Italian cultural history; largest surviving body of music was secular polyphony (composed/sung as refined entertainment for literate audiences in courts/cities)
  • Period: 1304 to 1374

    Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch)

    Italian scholar and poet during the early Italian Renaissance, and one of the earliest humanists; rediscovery of Cicero's letters is often credited with initiating the 14th-century Italian Renaissance and the founding of Renaissance humanism; wrote Il Canzoniere
  • 1307

    The Divine Comedy

    Dante Alighieri
  • Period: 1310 to 1377

    Ars Nova

    Developments in notation allowed notes to be written with greater rhythmic independence, shunning the limitations of the rhythmic modes which prevailed in the thirteenth century; secular music acquired much of the polyphonic sophistication previously found only in sacred music; and new techniques and forms, such as isorhythm and the isorhythmic motet, became prevalent. (ended with death of Machaut)
  • 1317

    Roman de Fauvel, manuscript with music

    allegorical poem that satirizes corrupt politicians/church officials, contains first examples Ars Nova written by Philipe de Vitry, example of music/poetry/art being used for protest
  • 1320

    Ars Nova notandi

    ars nova treatise, Philippe de Vitry
  • Period: 1325 to 1297

    Francesco Landini

    leading composer of ballate and foremost Italian musician of the Trecento; "created"/popularized the landini cadence
  • Period: 1337 to 1453

    The Hundred Years War

  • Period: 1347 to 1350

    The Black Death pandemic

  • Period: 1348 to 1353

    The Decameron, Giovanni Boccaccio

    frame story containing a hundred tales told by a group of ten young men and women sheltering in a villa just outside Florence to escape the Black Death, which had struck the city; shows how people used art/music to cope with hardship
  • Period: 1360 to 1420

    Ars Subtilior

    Ars subtilior is a musical style characterized by rhythmic and notational complexity, centered on Paris, Avignon in southern France, and also in northern Spain at the end of the fourteenth century. The style also is found in the French Cypriot repertory. Rhythmic complexities made possible by new notational signs/practices (vertical combinations of different mensurations)
  • Period: 1365 to 1397

    Francesco Landini at San Lorenzo in Florence

  • Period: 1378 to 1417

    Great Schism (Western Schism)

    The Western Schism, also called Papal Schism, Great Occidental Schism and Schism of 1378, was a split within the Catholic Church lasting from 1378 to 1417 in which two men simultaneously claimed to be the true pope, and each excommunicated the other.
  • Period: 1380 to 1453

    John Dunstable

    most highly regraded English composer of the early 1400s; composer most often sited as influencing continental composers
  • Period: 1380 to 1440

    Baude Cordier

    French composer from Rheims; it has been suggested that Cordier was the nom de plume of Baude Fresnel; works are considered among the prime examples of ars subtilior
  • Period: 1387 to 1400

    The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer

  • Period: 1397 to 1474

    Guillame Du Fay

    associated with Burgundian court; most famous composer of his time; traveled widely; large contributor of the development of the international style
  • Period: 1400 to 1460


    worked in service of English and Burgundian nobles; most important composer at the court of Philip the Good; works widely copied and imitated by others; wrote 'De plus en plus'
  • Period: 1410 to 1415

    Squarcialupi Codex

    illuminated manuscript compiled in Florence in the early 15th century. It is the single largest primary source of music of the 14th-century Italian Trecento
  • Period: 1414 to 1418

    Council of Constance meets to end papal schism

  • Period: 1415 to 1421

    Old Hall Manuscript

    largest, most complete, and most significant source of English sacred music of the late 14th and early 15th centuries, and as such represents the best source for late Medieval English music.
  • Period: 1419 to 1467

    Reign of Philip the Good; duke of Burgundy

  • Period: 1419 to 1435

    Burgundy allied with England in war against France

  • Period: 1420 to 1497

    Jonhannes Ockegham

    one of the most renowned composers in the generation after Du Fay; worked in N. Europe; served Kings of France; praised for his masses
  • 1425

    De plus en plus

  • Period: 1430 to 1492

    Antoine Busnoys (Busnois)

    French composer and poet of the early Renaissance Burgundian School; noted as a composer of motets and other sacred music; was one of the most renowned 15th-century composers of secular chansons; serve Charles the Bold, Mary of Burgundy, and Maximilian of Hapsburg; most prolific and widely praised chanson composer of his time
  • 1436

    Nuper Rosarum Flores

    motet by Du Fay; contained connections to the architecture of the church and the dome the song was dedicated to; use of isorhythmic motet connected the music to the past for the important occasion
  • Period: 1450 to 1517

    Henricus (Henrich) Isaac

    Franco-Flemish/born and trained in the Low Countries; traveled widely; singer/composer in different churches in Florence; court composer for the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I; musical knowledge was the most pan-Eurpoean out of his colleagues; wrote Choralis Constantinus; adapted Italian homophonic style for his German lieder (2 of the 3 Franco-Flemish composers w/ a general style)
  • Period: 1450 to 1521

    Josquin Des Prez (Desprez)

    Frano-Flemish/born and trained in the Low Countries; traveled widely; most influential composer of his time; held various prestigious positions at courts/churches in France and Italy; appeared in a large number of manuscripts (more than any composer before 1500), but some of his authorship is questioned; showed greatly increased interest during the Renaissance in the individual artist/artwork and the power of music to express feelings/ideas (3 of the 3 Franco-Flemish composers)
  • 1452

    Missa Se la face ay pale

    cyclic mass by Du Fay based on one of his own chansons; earliest know complete mass to use a secular tune for the cantus-firmus, creating a tradition for composers to do so
  • Period: 1457 to 1505

    Jacob Obrecht

    Franco-Flemish/born and trained in the Low Countries; traveled widely; worked in churches, became Master of the Chapel at one point; wrote 30 masses, 27 motets, numerous chansons, song in Dutch, and instrumental pieces; music remarkably clear and comprehensive (1 of the 3 big Franco-Flemish composers w/ a general style)
    (*birth year either 1457 or 58)
  • Period: 1467 to 1477

    Reign of Charles the Bold; duke of Burgundy

    son of Philip the Good
  • 1477

    Charles the Bold dies in battle

    France absorbs the Duchy of Burgundy
  • Period: 1485 to

    Tudor Dynasty in England

  • 1492

    Columbus' voyage to the New World

  • 1492

    Isabella and Ferdinad conquer Granata

    ended centuries of coexisting/mutual influence between Muslims, Jews, and Christians in Spain
  • Period: 1493 to 1519

    Reign of Maximilian I as Holy Roman Emperor

  • 1494

    French invade Italy; beginning the Italian Wars

  • 1495

    Leonardo da Vinci's 'The Last Supper'

  • 1504

    Michelangelo's 'David'

  • 1509

    Henry VIII becomes King of England

  • 1519

    Charles V becomes Holy Roman Emperor

  • 1536

    Henry VIII becomes head of the Church of England

    became creating it in 1530 so he could legally divorce his wife
  • Period: 1562 to 1563

    Council of Trent bans tropes and most sequences