Timeline Project

  • Period: 1347 to 1351

    Bubonic plague

    This plague ravaged europe during the renaissance. Approximately 75 million people died a gruesome death and the plague cut the population by a third. This exacerbated the feeling of hopelessness as conditions were already nearly unlivable for the lower classes.
  • 1372

    The Lute (c. 1372)

    The lute is a plucked stringed instrument that has a deep rounded back, The neck of the instrument is bent backwards in order to preserve the tension of the strings without snapping the neck. The lute is where the modern guitar gets its origins.
  • 1390

    Dunstable (1390-1453)

    John Dunstable was an extremely influential english composer. He utilized harmonies that contained many 3rds and 6ths, resulted in the forming of triadic music.
  • Period: 1430 to


    The renaissance of "rebirth" was a new era of musical, art, science and religion. While new changes in art originated out of Italy, changes in music originated from England. In this era, there was a major shift of religious ideals from centering around religion and they began focusing on science.
  • 1435

    Tinctoris (1435-1511)

    Johannes Tinctoris was a composer and music theorist that often wrote about contemporary music. From this he also wrote the first musical dictionary to universalize music compositional methods. Tinctoris was very critical of contemporary music but credited Dunstable for originating a new musical style.
  • 1452

    Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)

    da Vinci is a renowned artist and inventor of the renaissance era. da Vinci was known to incorporate music themes into his artwork in pieces like " The last supper".
  • 1483

    Martin Luther (1483-1546)

    Martin Luther is an author, priest, theologist, composer, and headed the protestant reformation.
  • 1505

    Tallis (1505-1585)

    Tallis is a renaissance composer known for composing works with extremely dense chords. For example, the piece "Spem in alium", a 40 part piece.
  • 1525

    Palestrina (1525-1594)

    Palestrina is one of the most notable composers of the renaissance. Palestrina is an italian composer that focused of sacred pieces.
  • 1550

    Giulio Caccini (1550-1618)

    Caccini is one of the founders of the new style of singing in this era, "monody." This is characterized by sung text accompanied by a basso continuo. This is a homophonic texture and was given the label of Secondo prattica, or second practice.
  • 1561

    Jacopo Peri (1561-1633)

    Peri can be attributed to the creation of the opera. His First work, "La Dafne" being composed around 1598. This was accomplished by making polyphony more complex and dramatic.
  • 1564

    Shakespeare (1564-1616)

    Shakespeare is a well known poet and playwright that incorporated many renaissance pieces into his plays.
  • 1567

    Monteverdi (1567-1643)

    Monteverdi is an italian baroque composer that is crucial in the transition from Renaissance to Baroque musical periods. While he is well renowned for both secular and sacred music, he is also a key component in the development of opera. His most notable Operatic work is "L'Orfeo".
  • Francesca Caccini (1587-after 1641)

    Caccini is a soprano and the daughter of Giulio Caccini. SHe is coined as the first woman to compose operas. From a young age (13) she made her mark as a renowned and highly sought after soprano. One of her most notable jobs being working for the king by the age of 20. This is only the beginning to her prolific career.
  • Period: to


    The baroque era can be identified by 3 subsections. This includes the early, middle and late baroque periods. This era began to explore more complex musical concepts such as harmony but polyphony still holds a great importance in this era.
  • Barbara Strozzi (1619-1677)

    Strozzi is an Italian composer that is known to compose a large variety of styles. Her first sets of song cycles were published in 1644 and each set was dedicated to a wealth patron. She is known for her dramatic cantatas and arias, though she did not venture into composing opera.
  • Opera

    To mark the growing popularity in Opera, the first opera house is opened in Venice in 1637(Teatro de San Cassiano). Opera created a new song form which is the "Aria" These pieces became the most saught after and adored music forms for many musicians, most notably vocalist.
  • Louis the 14th of France (1638-1715)

    Louis the 14th was well known for his beautiful dancing abilities and support of the arts. During his reign, composers and directors were expected to compose a section for him to dance during performances.
  • Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber (1644-1704)

    Biber is an Austrian composer that lived in Salzburg. Biber is one of the most important violin composers, not only of this period but far beyond. His composition stylings include, Catholic sacred music, violin sonatas and ensemble music.
  • Gian Lorenzo Bernini

    Bernini is a baroque era artist that showed the extravagance and detail of the art of the time. this translates in to the opulence of the musical period as well. One of his most notable artworks:
    “The Ecstasy of Saint Therese”
    Marble,In the
    Cappella Cornaro, Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome
  • Solo Italian cantata

    During the mid baroque period, a new song form arose. These are characterized by an ensemble of 1-2 singers accompanied by a basso continuo and potentially a small string ensemble. These were secular pieces that often depicted strong emotions such as love and lust.
  • Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713)

    Corelli is known best for his mastery of the trio sonata form.
  • Henry Purcell (1659-1695)

    Purcel is an italian composer, organist and singer. Purcell worked in the court for Charles II when theater was reintroduced. His most notable opera is "Dido and Aeneas." This is notable because of how Purcell incorporated the Italian opera style, french music stylings as well as the english song style.
  • Opera spreads to England

    In 1660, Opera had finally made its debut in England after being banned by the puritans for religious reasons. Charles II issued patents for two companies of players (theatre troupes) and performances immediately began.
  • Alessandro Scarlatti (1660-1725)

    Father of composer Domenico Scarlatti, Alessandro is known deeply for his sacred texts. During his time as a teacher in Naples, he helped his students foster a new style of music, the classical style.
  • Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)

    Vivaldi is an italian composer known for his vast works of varying difficulty levels. Vivaldi worked in an al girls orphanage called "pieta." here he would write hundreds of vocal, string and keyboard pieces, not only for commision but for his students in the orphanage to learn. He is considered the master of the concerto as he has composed over 800 works of varying concerto style.
  • Georg Philip Telemann (1681-1767)

    Telemann is a German composer that specialized and composed over 125 orchestra suites. He is known for incorporating the french style. Telemann was good friends with J.S. Bach.
  • Jean-Joseph Mouret (1682-1738)

    Mouret is a french composer that even to this day is a staple in homes, whether it is realized or not. Many modern commercials still use some of his works. Mouret is known for his grand operas and suites in his time commissioned by Louis the XIV's son.
  • Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)

    Scarlatti is known for his works under the portuguese and spanish courts. Scarlatti was a keyboard virtuoso that composed over 500 sonatas for harpsichord, operas, cantatas, and keyboard exercises.
  • G. F. Handel (1685-1759)

    Handel is quite prolific for his extravagant orchestral suites. One of his most notable being "water music." This was a suite specifically composed for a large boat party. The ensemble rode/ played alongside the royal boat to entertain the royal party guests.
  • J. S. Bach (1685-1750)

    Bach is undoubtedly the master of the fugue. The fugue is characterized by a theme that is passed around and imitated by all voices. His most prolific fugue based work is the "Well-Tempered Clavier." Bach was persistent at the end of his life to continue composition despite a botched eye surgery that made him blind.
  • Handel; Messiah

    Another one of Handels most notable works is the Messiah. This sacred mass is still very well used in the church. This english oratorio was composed in only 3 weeks but many themes were borrowed from his previous compositions.
  • Mahler (1860-1911)

    Gustav Mahler is an Austrian maximalist composer. While being heavily influenced by the classic composers, Mozart and Beethoven his venture into chromaticism is what influenced atonal composers such as Schoenburg.
  • Debussy (1862-1918)

    Claude Debussy is a french born composer that coined the styling of impressionism. One of Debussys most notable works is "Claire de Lune." This song refers to a french folk song used in a french pantomime about a lovesick Pierrot. He uses crunchy chromaticism and parallel chords to paint (vague) scenes. Debussy's work allows for many interpretations of his work.
  • Strauss (1864-1949)

    Richard Strauss is a German romantic composer. Strauss has ties to Wagner's compositional stylings but was encouraged to explore the stylings of Liszt to encourage creativity through poems and tonality.
  • Scott Joplin (1868-1917)

    Scott Joplin is a Texas born composer. Joplin film composed for major films featuring famous actors such as Charlie Chaplin.
  • Schonburg (1874-1951)

    Schonburg was a musical expressionist that rejected the idea of tonality. Though he was inspired by Brahms, he created a system that encompasses all 12 tones and 12-tone rows.
  • Ravel (1876-1937)

    Maurice Ravel is another french impressionist that is credited for writing the first impressionist piano composition. WHile being of swiss descent, Ravel is credited as a french composer. In slight contrast to fellow impressionist Debussy, Rvel was still grounded in tonality. Ravel liked to play with modes such as the Phrygian and Dorian scales instead of using atonality.
  • Stravinsky (1882-1971)

    Igor Stravinsky is a Russian born composer that had a musical style that often changed. Stravinsky wrote compositions that were heavily influenced by the locations that he resided. He began with a French period (1910), Russian period (leading up to 1920), Neoclassical period (1920-1954) and a serialist period (1954-1968). Stravinsky's change compositional influence and subsequent compositional style is an example of the diversity his works offer.
  • Nadia Boulanger (1887-1979)

    Boulanger is a renowned composer and teacher as she taught nearly all notable 20th century composers. Boulanger turned away Gershwin because of his interest in her personal composition style instead of finding his own. Boulanger worked closely and befriended composers such as Stravinsky and Milhaud.
  • Louis Durey(1888-1979)

    Durey is a French composer and member of the popular group Les Six. Durey was a major influence in creating the first Les Six album. Durey also liked to integrate other cultures such as vietnamese themes into his compositions
  • Period: to


    The Post-Romantic era classifies a time period in music that is closely related to the Romantic era stylings but transitioned into new themes of tonality. Some of the notable styles derived from this era include: Maximalism, Impressionism and expressionism.
  • Period: to


    Maximalism can be identified through is larger than life and boisterous musical presence. The key characteristics include extreme chromaticism, large symphonies/ ensembles, and thick textures to flaunt a larger than life transition into the 20th century.
  • Period: to


    Impressionism is a style of music that contrasts the Germanic Romantic style. While still being considered tonal, there are many ways that the composers stray from the "rules" of composition. This meaning there were many different uses of scales, expressive dissonance and the use of parallel chords. The name impressionism itself is just as vague as the themes of the compositions of this era.
  • Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)

    While being raised in france, Honegger considered himself to be Swiss. Honegger appreciated the structure of music and considered it while composing.
  • Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)

    Milhaud is also a Southern France native and member of Les Six. Milhuad befriended Taillefaire as he needed encouragement to continue to compose. While Milhaud studied Debussy, he quickly rejected Impressionism.
  • Germaine Tailleferre (1892-1983)

    Germaine Tailleferre is the only female member of Les Six. Tailleferre escaped the war by moving to the United States, losing many of her works when her home was taken by soldiers.
  • George Gershwin (1898-1937)

    Gershwin is an American born composer that composed many classical works with jazz and musical theater undertones. He wrote many classic musicals such as Porgy and Bess, An American in Paris and many more.
  • Auric (1899-1983)

    George Auric Is a Neo-classical composer originating from southern France. While in France, Auric studied composition under Satie's teachers. Auric is a member of the iconic group Les Six.
  • Francis Poulenc (1899-1963)

    Poulenec was born to wealthy french parents. While being mostly self-taught, he also had many musical tutors. While studying under many neo-classical composers such as Schoenburg, he quickly rejected the stylings.
  • Duke Ellington (1899-1974)

    Duke Ellington is an American composer and performer.
  • Aaron Copland(1900-1990)

    Copland is an American composer and professor/ lecturer at Harvard University. Copeland composed a variety of genres including Film, Opera, ballet, symphonies and fanfares. While being centered in tonality, Copeland did venture very briefly into atonality.
  • Period: to


    expressionism takes the theme of moving from tonal music to atonal music to more of an extreme. There is not any emphasis of chord structural rules. This is expressed in an example such as Schoenburg's 12-tone system. This is a system in which all 12 tones are numeralized and utilized in motifs throughout a piece. This means music is heavily chromatisized and typically free from rhythmic cohesion.
  • Period: to


    The first world war originated in Europe and erupted causing mass destruction.
  • Billie Holiday (1915-1959)

    Billie Holiday broke racial barriers by performing with white bands. Billie Holiday is one of many performers that first went to Europe to gain fame as to avoid discrimination.
  • Period: to


    While the roots are traced back hundreds of years, American jazz arose in the early 20th century. Jazz stylings can vary greatly depending on region. New Orleans jazz and northern jazz practices have very different aspects.
  • Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990)

    Leonard Bernstein is a Jack of all trades musically. Composer, conductor, teacher, pianist etc.
  • Period: to


    The world wars were fuel for hundreds of composers. The injustices of the Nazi party, rallying troupes and building patriotic rapport during trying times.
  • Gershwins Taxi horn

    Gershwins Taxi horn was often recreated by tuning car horns to match the key of the orchestra but in reality he had an invention of 4-5 horns that created the sound.