The Great Music Timeline

  • May 17, 1050

    Guido d'Arezzo

    Guido d'Arezzo
    Guido d'Arezzo is important to music history because he was the first person to create the musical notation, or staff notation, that started "Do re mi fa sol la ti do" in music.
  • Sep 17, 1179

    Hildegard of Bingen

    Hildegard of Bingen
    Hildegard of Bingen's surviving compositions (Ranging around 70 to 80) is the largest repertoire among Medievil composers. Her work gives an insight to musicians on how music was structured before modern day instruments. "Symphonia armoniae celestium revelationum" is an arrangement filled with all her compositions and script from plays she had written.
  • May 4, 1400

    The harpsichord was invented

    The harpsichord was invented
    The harpsichord was widely popular during the Renaissance and the Baroque era. It is considered one of the first pianos created for music, but lost its popularity with the rise of the piano, a more wide range instrument.
  • May 4, 1455

    The printing press

    The printing press
    The printing press was created by Johannes Gutenberg. Once the printing press was created, it was easier for literature and paper to be seen to the public. Music was easier to publish due to this machine for others to perform the pieces composed.
  • Feb 3, 1515

    Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina

    Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
    Palestrina saved music by writing "Missa Papae Marcelli" because the piece convinced Pope John III to not ban the use of polyphony style in sacred songs.
  • Sep 7, 1533

    Queen Elizabeth I

    Queen Elizabeth ruled over England during the rise in theatre and the arts in England.
  • Jul 4, 1540

    William Byrd

    William Byrd
    Along with Tallis, William Byrd was the only composer allowed during his time to publish music which was ordered by Queen Elizabeth in England.
  • May 12, 1555

    Missa Papae Marcelli

    Missa Papae MarcelliPalestrina's "Missa Papae Marcelli" was written during the time when the thought of banning polyphony style in sacred pieces was being discussed. With Palestrina's intelligent use of polyphony in this piece, he was able to convince Cardinal Carlo Barromeo.
  • May 11, 1562

    Romeo and Juliet

    Romeo and Juliet
    William Shakespeare's famous play is often used in plot structures of stories to tragic love stories. It was also written as an opera by the French composer, Charles Gounod.
  • May 11, 1565

    Pope Paul III

    Pope Paul III
    Pope Paul III was the leader of the church during the time when polyphony was being challenged in sacred compositions. He allowed Palestrina to continue using polyphony in his music, much to the displeasure of the church.
  • May 15, 1567

    Claudio Monteverdi

    Claudio Monteverdi
    Monteverdi's style of music marked the transition between the Rennaisance and the Baroque eras. Two styles he developed are the heritage of Rennaisance polyphony and the basso continuo technique of the Baroque style.
    He wrote one of the earliest operas called L'Orfeo
  • L'Orfeo

    L'OrfeoMonteverdi's Baroque opera is considered one of the earliest musical dramas to be performed. It is one of the first operas to be written, starting the works of many operas to come in the future.
  • Louis XIV

    Louis XIV
    King Louis XIV financed the royal court when it came to the arts, and protected French literature that is still be admired today. He is considered the "Patronage of the Fine Arts."
  • Henry Purcell

    Henry Purcell
    Henry Purcell is best known for his music in the Baroque era. Though he wrote for both Italian and French, Purcell is best known for his attributions toward English music during the Baroque.
  • Antonio Vivaldi

    Antonio Vivaldi
    Vivaldi is considered the greatest Baroque composer to this day. He has written over 40 operas that are set in Venice, Vienna and Mantua. His best known work is his series of violin concertos called "The Four Seasons".
  • Pachelbel's Canon in D Major

    Pachelbel's Canon in D MajorPachelbel's Canon in D Major's famous melodies is still being played in today's music such as Avril Lavinge's hit "S8ter Boy" and many country folk songs.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Johann Sebastian Bach
    Bach is known for his Baroque style on the organ and perfecting the ways of musical literature. He did not create any new concepts. He brought the German langue out and used forms and textures from France and Italy into his music.
  • Christoph Willibald Gluck

    Christoph Willibald Gluck
    Gluck brought a practical reform to how opera was traditionally written. He wrote eight operas for the French, and is considered helping bring a revolution to the French opera.
  • Brandenburg Concertos

    Brandenburg Concertos Bach's Brandenburg Concertos are the six instrumental works, and are regarded as one of the finest musical compositions during the Baroque era.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Mozart is the most well-known composer of all time. He wrote his piece at the age of 9 and he has influenced many composers such as Beethoven and Brahms. He is one of the prime examples of the classical era due to his brilliance with the classical form.
  • Nikolaus Esterhazy

    Nikolaus Esterhazy
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Ludwig van Beethoven
    Next to Mozart, Beethoven is also a well-known composer of the classical era. He is the crucial figure during the transition between the Classical era and the Romantic era for Western music. Beethoven is considered one of the most influencial and famous composers of all time due to his variation of style during his career.
  • The Requiem Mass

    The Requiem Mass Johannes Ockeghem's famous mass was performed for churches for hundreds of years was never published to the public outside of the church until Mozart composed the piece himself after seeing the sacred mass.
  • Gioachino Rossini

    Gioachino Rossini
    Rossini is considered "The Italian Mozart" due to his style of writing song-like melodies throughout his opera scores. Rossini is known for his famous operas. His most well-known opera is The Barber of Seville, but he wrote over 39 operas.
  • The gas light is invented

    The gas light is invented
    The gas light was invented by William Murdoch, allowing more light into homes. This allowed artists and writers more light during the night when creating their masterpieces.
  • Franz Schubert

    Franz Schubert
    Though he was not noticed until a decade after his death, Schubert is considered the leading component to the early Romantic Eea. His music is one of the most frequently performed today.
  • Lyrical Ballads

    Lyrical Ballads
    The Lyrical Ballads is a collection of poems written by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The poems are considered to have marked the beginning of the English Romantic movement in literature.
  • Fourdrinier Machine is invented

    Fourdrinier Machine is invented
    Louis Robert invents the Fourdrinier Machine for sheet paper making. He got the idea at his papermill to create a machine that would create paper continuously. This allowed books and music to become more frequent with the use of paper.
  • Frederic Chopin

    Frederic Chopin
    Chopin is considered one of the great masters of the Romantic music. Most of his pieces are written for piano, and critics have all agreed that Chopin knew how to move the music along to grab at the heart, a trait Romantic music needed to grab listeners in.
  • Hector Berlioz

    Hector Berlioz
    Berlioz style of music was an influence on music that was critical in order for Romanticism to evolve with composers such as Wagner and Liszt. His most well-known opera is Carmen.
  • Napoleon

    Napoleon was a military leader at the end of the French Revolution. He took power as the Emporer of the French in 1804 and his legal reform, the Napoleonic Code, has been a major influence on many civil laws on jurisdiction worldwide. He spread the idea of revolution throughout Europe and was idolized by Beethoven until he became emporer.
  • Symphony No. 3: Eroica

    Symphony No. 3: EroicaEroica written by Beethoven is the first piece to often be cited as the first Romantic piece of music with its way of emotion throughout the symphony.
  • Beethoven's Symphony No. 5

    Beethoven's 5th SymphonyBeethoven's Symphony No. 5 is the most popular and best known compositions from all of the compositions written in the classical era. It is also the most played symphonies.
  • Franz Joseph Haydn

    Franz Joseph Haydn
    Haydn is often called "Father of the Symphony" and "Father of the String Quartet" because of his contributions to both. He was considered one of the most original composers at his time. He was a teacher of Beethoven's as well.
  • Franz Liszt

    Franz Liszt
    Liszt is considered one of the most talented Hungarians to date. His pieces can only be played by few due to how challenging his pieces are. He is still considered one of the most techinically advanced pianists of all times. He influenced, or foreshadowed trends that would soon take place in the 20th century.
  • Richard Wagner

    Richard Wagner
    Wagner is most known for his certain style of opera. He brought opera to the next level by creating "The Ring Cycle" , the longest opera to date. He quickly shifted tonal centres which influenced the developement of European classical music.
  • Symphonie Fantastique

    Symphonie FantastiqueBerlioz's symphony is one of the most important and representative pieces of the early Romantic era. The piece was inspired by a woman Berlioz had fallen in love with and wanted to grab her attention by writing his feelings out into the movements.
  • Johannes Brahms

    Johannes Brahms
    Brahms is one of the most well-known composers of the Romantic Era. His style ranges on the most classicaly styled forms. His contribution to staying true to the classical form was questioned by some, but many admired his stance on continuing on with staying true to the classical style.
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Tchaikovsky is a Russian composer during the Romantic era who has two of the most well-known ballets to date: Swan Lake and The Nutcracker. Both have had a wide impact in our culture and his music for either is in many commercials today.
  • Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 in C Sharp Minor

    Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 in C Sharp MinorLiszt's Hungarian piece was inspired by what he believed was considered Hungarian folk music. The piece gave off a different culture that differed from Italian, German and French.
  • Civil Disobedience

    Civil Disobedience
    Civil Disobedience is an essay written by Henry Thoreau which argues that people should not allow governments to overrule them and their conscious.
  • The Five

    The Five
    Maily Balakirev, Cesar Cui, Modest Mussorgsky, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Alexander Borodin all met in St. Petersburg, Russia during the time of 1856- 1870. These men created a Russian style of music instead of immitating Western music.
  • Tristan and Isolde

    Tristan and Isolde Wagner's piece is often cited as a landmark to the development of Western music. It is often noted for its use of the expansion of harmonic parts and tonality that influenced the Western music .
  • Giacomo Puccini

    Giacomo Puccini
    Puccini is most known for his many operas such as La Boheme and Madame Butterfly. His real life themes influenced modern musicals today such as Rent and Miss Saigon. Puccini's music is popular amongst young opera listeners for its lighter Italian and less mythical plots.
  • A Tale of Two Cities

    A Tale of Two Cities
    A Tale of Two Cities written by Charles Dickens is set during the times of the French Revolution. The French Revolution inspired many writers and composers to document the events for the Romantic era.
  • Crime and Punishment

    Crime and Punishment
    Crime and Punishment, written by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, is a Russian novel that discussed the anguishes occurring in Russia at the time. The novel brought a taste of Easten culture into the Western part of the world.
  • War and Peace

    War and Peace
    War and Peace, written by Leo Tolstoy, is a Russian novel that uses graphic details leading up to the French invasion of Russia and the impact of the Napoleon era on the Tsarist society.
  • The phonograph is invented

    The phonograph is invented
    When the phonograph was invented, it allowed the music to be listened to at the homes of the listeners instead of travelling to concert halls. It spread music to everyone.
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams

    Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Von Williams is considered "The Next Purcell" by collecting various English folk songs and combining them with his own original pieces called English Hymnal.
  • Gustav Holst

    Gustav Holst
    Holst is another English composer that brought the English traditions back to modern music. His most famous piece is "The Planets".
  • Bela Bartok

    Bela Bartok
    Bartok is considered one of the most influential composers of the 20th century for the use of culture in his music. He is also considered one of Hungary's greatest composers. Bartok is one of the founders of ethnomusicology, the study between music and its culture.
  • The Dictaphone was invented

    The Dictaphone was invented
    The Dictaphone was invented by Thomas Edison in 1910, and was the first recording device that was able to trace the human voice.
  • John Cage

    John Cage
    John Cage is the pioneer to modern styles of music such as chance music, electronic music and the nonstandard forms of using musical instruments. He is considered the most influencial American composer of the 20th century for his odd use of instruments, and his most famous piece "4'33" brought a new style of music to the modern era.
  • The Rite of Spring

    The Rite of SpringStravinsky's "Rite of Spring" brought the use of modern day use of dissonance into the piece yet moved back to a neoclassical style. It was a scandal to music history at the time. The use of dissonance in the ballet was to emote color to the piece.