Music History Timeline

  • 500 BCE

    Union of Poetry and Music

    Kithara (Large Lyre)
  • Period: 500 BCE to 100 BCE

    Ancient Greece

  • 400 BCE


    He realized the relationship of music with mathematical intervals.
  • 350 BCE


    believed music should be included in the education systems for young men
  • 435

    Seven Liberal Arts

    "Martianus Capella"
    Quadrivium and Trivium was introduced
  • Period: 500 to 1450

    Medieval Period

  • 604

    Gregorian Chant

    Pope Gregory I stayed away and wrote many chants because a god came down as a little bird and told him too. "little bird told me" Charlemagne established 500-600 Gregorian chants in his reign.
  • 800


    Doubling perfect fifths were seen as beautiful at this time
    Orgamum was used to a lot through this period because they wanted to enhance the chants further
  • Period: 990 to 1050

    Guido of Arezzo

    Established the hexachord system
    Named Guidonian Hand
  • 1030

    Guido of Arezzo Established...

    4 line staff, relative pitch and sight singing
  • Period: 1098 to 1179

    Hildegard of Bingen

    Named a doctor of the church
    Was popular after her life
    Was an unofficial saint until 2012
  • 1100

    John of St Gall Established...

    Church Modes
    Authentic vs Plagal
  • Period: 1150 to 1400


    Tall gothic structures help support the polyphony chants and to give an extra flare to it like they wanted with the orgamum
  • 1250

    Notre Dame Cathedral

    took almost a century to build
    It held its first mass before it was finished
    It suffered a major fire in 2019 and has been closed
  • Period: 1270 to 1320

    Le Manuscrit du Roi

    includes 8 estampies
    estampies was the dance you would do with the songs playing at this time
  • 1280

    Shape Notes

    Shape notes were created to help common people to read music easier.
    It helps determine the duration of the note and the vowel of the text
  • 1300

    Introductions to secluar and vernacular songs

    Troubadours, Trobairitzs, and trouveres started to pop up during this time
    Musical Instruments started to pop as well for example:
    Positive Organ, Hurdy Gurdy and Lute
  • Period: 1300 to 1377

    Guillaume de Machaut

    wrote love songs in the troubador style
    4 voice rondeau
    He stayed in his home during the winter during the plague
    He was the first to claim his music as his own
  • Period: 1305 to 1377

    Babylonian Captivity

  • 1323

    Ars Nova Treatise

  • Period: 1325 to 1397

    Francesco Landini

    Wrote 140 Balletes
    He was influenced by the treble dominated french chanson
  • Period: 1337 to 1453

    Hundred Year War

  • Period: 1345 to 1370


    A popular melody style with a strict canon set
    It was usually written to represent a hunt
  • Period: 1348 to 1360


  • Period: 1378 to 1417

    Great Schism

  • Period: 1450 to


  • Period: 1450 to 1521

    Josquin Des Prez

    Was known to be the most famous composer of his time
    He did 65 Chansons, 18 Masses and 55 Motets
    He wrote the Missa Pange Lingue
  • 1453

    Fall of Constantinople

    Humanism and the age of genius in literature, arts and science was introduced
    The 100 year war ends
    The Gutenberg Printing Press was invented, now sheet music could be mass produced
  • 1485

    Josquin's Motet "Ave Maria"

    "Ave Maria Virgo Serena"
    Was as popular as the Mona Lisa
    It is polyphonic with Latin text that wasn't Mass Ordinary
  • 1510

    SATB origin

    Josquin's "Missa Pange Lingue" helped establish the four basic vocal parts that we have today
  • 1530

    Pavane and Galliard

    Popular dances at the time that was held almost ceremonial like. It help men and women to flirt with one another and to court each other.
  • 1550

    La Volta

    A flirtatious dance that was seen to be lewd because of the hand positioning. It was used at parties and Queen Elizabeth required her court to know how to dance it.
  • Period: 1550 to

    Instrumental Music Introduction

    The introduction of consort and broken consort was here.
    This was either just instrumental pieces or accompanied music to vocal parts.
  • St Marks Cathedral

    "Sacrae Symphonic"
    Abstract instrumental music was presented at this time
    "Sonata Pian E Forte"