Music History Timeline

By slemcoe
  • Period: 500 to 1450

    Medieval Period

  • 1030

    Guido of Arrezzo's "Micrologus"

    Guido of Arezzo created the staff with four lines, started relative pitch, and began the use of accidentals. We got these from his treatise publication.
  • Period: 1098 to 1179

    Hildegard of Bingen

  • 1323

    Ars Nova Treatise

    Ars Nova started in France, 1323, and replaced the old art styles of the time. Ars Nova brought with it the beginnings of the modern notation style for music and new note lengths. Music during this time has started being divided into triplet meter, "perfect meter" or duple meter, "imperfect meter."
  • Period: 1450 to

    Renaissance Period

  • 1485

    Josquin’s Ave Maria ... Virgo Serena Motet

  • 1529

    Martin Luther Chorale Ein Feste Burg (A Mighty Fortress..)

  • 1538

    Arcadelt Madrigal Il Bianco e Dolce Cigno

  • 1567

    Palestrina Pope Marcellus Mass

    This mass was dedicated to the Pope and demonstrated that sacred words were understandable in polyphonic music.
  • Victoria Missa O Magnum Mysterium

  • Gabrieli's Sonata Pian' e Forte

    Created to be used at St. Mark's Basilica in Venice, Italy, this was the first-ever to specify which instrument played which part AND to use dynamics.
  • Period: to

    Baroque Period

  • Monteverdi's L’Orfeo

  • First Public Concerts in England

  • Period: to

    J.S. Bach

  • Antonio Vivaldi's L’Estro Armonico

    This set of concertos is Vivaldi's first published concerto collection and one of his first published major works. This concerto collection heavily influenced how concertos were formed.
  • Rameau's Traité de l’harmonie

    This was a revolution in how people thought about music and boiled all the abstract details down to concrete ideas. This laid down the rules and principles of music theory as we know it.
  • Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier volume 1

    Bach proves that you can play in all 24 keys (12 major and 12 minor) with a keyboard tuned a certain way.
  • Period: to

    PreClassical Period

  • Period: to

    Franz Joseph Haydn

  • Handel's Messiah

  • Period: to

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

    Was an incredible composer, violinist, conductor, and champion fencer. He is known as the first black classical composer.
  • Period: to

    W.A. Mozart

  • Period: to

    Viennese Classical Period

  • Mozart's Don Giovanni

  • Haydn's Symphony No. 94 "Surprise"

  • Beethoven Symphony No. 5 in C minor (premiere)

    This piece is important because it was Beethoven's way of telling the world that even though he was going deaf, he wasn't going to give into fate and be trampled. An interesting fact is that the four note motif was used as morse code for WWII as the V for victory.
  • Schubert Erlkönig

    Schubert was 18 when he composed this and this was also the first piece he tried to have published. Breitkopf und Hartel, however, were not interested and sent it back (to the wrong Franz Schubert!)
  • Rossini Il Barbiere di Siviglia (premiere)

    This is easily considered one of the greatest works of comedic music of all time.
  • Nicolo Paganini 24 Caprices for Violin, op.1

    Paginini's playing was so good it was often questioned whether he made a deal with the devil or not for his skills. He also published very few pieces, so these were etudes everybody wanted to get their hands on.
  • Period: to

    Frederic Chopin Mazurkas Op.7

    These mazurkas not only display Chopin's love for his native country, Poland, but also the depth he feels for his people and the difficult times they were going through.
  • Berlioz Symphonie fantastique

    This was such an important piece because it was one of the first programmatic symphonies, which sparked a debate among musicians over which was the "true" music, program or absolute. Berlioz was also the first to make a career out of orchestral conducting.
  • Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel Das Jahr

    Fanny was most well known for this piece, and is one of the very few women composers of her time. She was encouraged not to take up music by everybody but her husband.
  • Period: to

    Louis Moreau Gottschalk Souvenir de Porto Rico

    The significance of this piece is Gottschalk's ability to take the afro- Caribbean rhythms and apply them into music seamlessly. He is also the first American composer to achieve international fame.
  • Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition

    composed in 1874, Mussorgsky wrote this for his artist friend that had passed away. He thought of the piece as he walked through a gallery of his friend's art and contemplated on their relationship.
  • Bizet Carmen (premiere)

    This opera is unique because the dialogue here is spoken and no recitative, unlike most operas at the time. When Carmen, the gypsy, walks in, they use an augmented 2nd motif to really outline her "exoticness."
  • Brahms' Symphony No.4 (premiere)

    Brahms was getting around to fine-tuning his technique and style as a composer in which he says many things in a few measures that might take other composers much much longer. Though so critics gave him negative reviews, the premiere was met with thunderous applause.
  • Mahler Symphony No.1 (premiere)

    The bulk of this piece was composed 6 weeks before it was finished and then two months later it premiered, and was unsuccessful. This led Mahler to tweak the piece until he found happiness with it at last
  • Wagner Der Ring des Nibelungen (premiere of complete cycle)

    This is a unique piece because of its timelessness and how easy it is to recognize. Another interesting fact about this is that Wagner chose not to use numbers to separate the parts as he wanted to give an air of continuity, so he just used names.
  • Claude Debussy "Voiles" from Prelude Book 1

  • Arnold Schonberg Pierrot Lunaire

  • Igor Stravinsky The Rite of Spring (Premiere)

  • Manuel de Falla Homenaje (Homage)

  • George and Ira Gershwin "I Got Rhythm"

  • Margaret Bonds "The Negro Speaks of Rivers"

  • Dimitri Shostakovich Symphony No. 5

  • Duke Ellington Cotton Tail

  • Aaron Copland Appalachian Spring

  • John Cage Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano

  • Miles Davis Kind of Blue

  • George Crumb Ancient Voices of Children

  • John Adams Short Ride in a Fast Machine