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The Renaissance Timeline #1 (476CE-1600)

  • 476

    The Fall of Rome

    The Fall of Rome
    The fall of Rome completed when the German chieftain Odoacer deposed the last Roman emperor of the West, Romulus Augustulus. This began the Medieval Era and brought Slow changes in life, culture, and dissemination of knowledge
  • Period: 476 to 1450

    Medieval Music Period

    During the earlier medieval period, the liturgical genre, predominantly Gregorian chant, was monophonic. Polyphonic genres began to develop during the high medieval era, becoming prevalent by the later thirteenth and early fourteenth century. Notation developed first for pitches, then rhythms Types:
    Romanesque Period (c. 850-1150)
    Gothic period (c. 1150-1450)
  • 500

    Quanat (Water Ducts)

    Quanat (Water Ducts)
    ancient and medieval people gained access to water through qanats/ water duct systems that would bring water from an underground/river source to villages/cities. It is a tunnel just big enough for 1 digger to travel through and find the source of water as well as allow for water to travel through the duct system to farm land or villages for irrigation or drinking purposes. These tunnels had a gradual slope which used gravity to pull the water from either an aquifer or a water well.
  • 500

    Ard (Plough) invented

    Ard (Plough) invented
    While ploughs have been used since ancient times, during the medieval period plough technology improved rapidly. The medieval plough, constructed from wooden beams, could be yoked to either humans or a team of oxen and pulled through any type of terrain. This allowed for faster clearing of forest lands for agriculture in parts of Northern Europe where the soil contained rocks and dense tree roots. With more food being produced, more people were able to live in these areas.
  • 590

    Gregorian Chant

    It is the Roman Dialect of Chant. The chants were reorganized and cataloged by Pope Gregory (ruled between 715 CE and 731 CE). It was set neumatically and melismatically; it would have been responsorial.
  • 600

    Carruca Invented

    Carruca Invented
    A type of heavy wheeled plough commonly found in Northern Europe. The device consisted of four major parts. The first part was a coulter at the bottom of the plough.
  • 800

    Crop-Rotation (Two-field system)

    One field would grow a crop while the other was allowed to lie fallow and was used to feed livestock and regain lost nutrients. Every year, the two fields would switch to ensure fields didn't become nutrient deficient. In the 11th century, this system was introduced into Sweden and spread to become the most popular form of farming.
  • 900

    Horseshoes Invented

    Horseshoes allowed horses to travel faster along the more difficult terrains. The practice of shoeing horses was initially practiced in the Roman Empire but lost popularity throughout the Middle Ages until around the 11th century. horses in the south could easily work bc of soft soil but the north had rocky soil that damaged hooves.The intro. to gravel roadways also made it popular. The loads a shoed horse could take on these roads were significantly higher than one that was barefoot
  • Period: 991 to 1033

    Guido d'arezzo

    He was an Italian was an Italian music theorist and pedagogue of High medieval music. He is credited with inventing the staff
  • 1000


    A distillation process was used as far back as 1800 BC to produce perfumes. The Chinese may have used distillation to produce alcohol from rice in ~800 BC, & the production of distilled spirits was reported in Britain before the Roman conquest. Around the 10th century, the alembic came into use (distillery with 2 vessels connected by a tube) The first distilled spirits were made from sugar-based materials like grapes and honey to make grape brandy and distilled mead.
  • Period: 1098 to 1179

    Hildegard von Bingen

    She was famous for her prophetic powers and revelations. She also wrote liturgical dramas and religious poetry. She is also the first female composer in contemporary musicology to receive extensive scholarly research
  • 1100


    A bowed, stringed musical instrument of European medieval and early Renaissance music. It was originally called a rubebe, developed about the 11th century from the similar Arab rabāb, and was carried to Spain with Muslim culture.
  • 1100

    Tidal Mill

    Water and windmills have been known to have been employed since antiquity, and early examples in Europe include evidence of tidal mills from 6th century Ireland, and an ancient Roman mill in London on the River Fleet. However, they did not come into common use in Europe until the 11th century, when a number were built along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean.
  • 1125

    Oil Paint

    As early as the 13th century, oil was used to add details to tempera paintings and paint wooden statues. Flemish painter Jan van Eyck developed the use of a stable oil mixture for panel painting around 1410
  • Period: 1150 to 1450

    Gothic Period

    It was developed during the Middle Ages & was more complex than musical forms before but used less instrumentation than those after. This style is largely choral & was practiced most famously in Paris and areas nearby. A new system of musical notation emerged during this period. Certain musical modes were adopted as the standard forms in western music & were based loosely on rhythmic structures taken from poetry. Six standard modes were used in the archetypical French form of Gothic music.
  • 1170


    The earliest-known wheelbarrows with archaeological evidence is the one-wheeled carts that date to second-century China. These placed the wheel in the center of the barrow.
    The first wheelbarrows in medieval Europe appeared sometime around 1170 - 1220. These featured a wheel at or near the front, as in modern wheelbarrows.
    By the 15th Century, they became commonplace for everything from mining to construction.
  • 1200

    Flying Buttress

    Flying Buttress
    Flying buttresses consist of an inclined beam carried on a half arch that projects from the walls to a pier which supports the weight and horizontal thrust of a roof, dome, or vault. The weight of these structures are carried by the flying buttress away from the building and down the pier to the ground. The addition of flying buttresses enabled buildings to become much taller and more elaborate in design, allowing for higher ceilings, thinner walls, and much bigger windows.
  • 1200


    It is an ancient and medieval musical instrument like a dulcimer but played by plucking the strings with the fingers or a plectrum.
    The psaltery has been compared to the harpsichord and dulcimer, though the latter is not plucked, but struck with hammers.
  • 1200

    Blast Furnace brought to Europe

    Blast furnaces may have their origins as early as the 1st Century AD in China, but they make their first appearance in Europe in the 1200s. These early blast furnaces were very inefficient by modern standards. The oldest European examples were built in Durstel and Lapphyttan in Switzerland and Sauerland in Germany. There is also some tentative evidence of earlier ones in Järnboås, Sweden that date to around 1100 AD.
  • 1200

    Wine Press

    Wine Press
    The act of making wine was people stepping on grapes inside of a box and then draining the fruit juice and allowing the fermentation process to begin. During the medieval period the wine press had been constantly evolving into a more modern and efficient machine that would give wine makers more wine with less work
  • 1280


    The first spectacles, invented in Florence, used convex lenses which were of help only to the far-sighted. Concave lenses were not developed prior to the 15th century.
  • 1282


    This medieval innovation was used to mark paper products and to discourage counterfeiting. It was first introduced in Bologna, Italy.
  • 1300


    The shawm is a loud double-reed instrument which is the ancestor of the oboe. It first appears in the l3th century, and by the end of the Middle Ages was the most important loud instrument in use, finding a place in dance bands as well as ensembles for municipal and court ceremonies. It was very common during this time period
  • 1300

    Gunpowder brought to Middle East

    Gunpowder is a mixture of saltpeter (potassium nitrate), sulfur, and charcoal. Chinese monks first discovered the mixture in the 9th century CE. The technology reached the Middle East around the 13th century and was brought to Europe by traders and crusaders soon afterward.
    Sir Roger Bacon conducted experiments to find the best ratio of ingredients and is generally credited with arriving at the modern formula and with describing in detail the process for making gunpowder.
  • 1300


    Paper was invented in China and transmitted through Islamic Spain in the 13th century. In Europe, the paper-making processes was mechanized by water-powered mills and paper presses
  • 1300

    Rotating Bookmark

    A rotating disc and string device used to mark the page, column, and precise level in the text where a person left off reading in a text. Materials used were often leather, velum, or paper.
  • Period: 1386 to 1466


    Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi was a famous Italian Artist who primarily built sculptures.
  • Period: 1390 to 1453

    John Dunstable/Dunstaple

    He was an English composer that influenced musical style in Europe.
    More 3rds and 6ths were used in the harmonies found in his music. This resulted in what we think of triadic music. His complete works were not published until 1953 (Bruh)
    Honorable mention: "Puisique M'amour"
  • Period: 1397 to 1474

    Guillaume Dufay

    Guillaume Du Fay was a French composer and music theorist of the early Renaissance. Regarded as the leading European composer by his contemporaries, his music was widely performed and copied. He was the first renaissance composer
  • 1400

    Musket was invented

    The time isn't quite exact but it was the 14th century.
  • 1400

    Spinning Wheel Reached Europe

    Spinning wheels may have their origin in India sometime between the 5th and 10th Century AD. There is evidence they were in use in China at about 1000 AD. They reached Europe via the Middle East, by around 1400. The spinning wheel replaced the earlier method of hand spinning, in which the individual fibers were drawn out of a mass of wool held on a stick, or distaff, twisted together to form a continuous strand, and then wound on a second stick.
  • 1430


    A lute is any plucked string instrument with a neck and a deep round back enclosing a hollow cavity, usually with a sound hole or opening in the body. It may be either fretted or unfretted. The discovery of an apparent lute on an Akkadian seal, now in the British Museum, may have pushed the known existence of the plucked lute back to c. 3100 B.C. but was popular during this time.
  • 1430

    Cultural Shift

    There was a shift in the Western world from a focus on God and religion to a focus on human beings and nature. This was seen in all art forms. Musicians in the Renaissance were either supported by churches, cities/States, were in the royal and aristocratic Courts, or in the trades of
    Instrument building/Printing/Music publishing Middle Ages = Unquestioning faith and mysticism Renaissance = Belief in reason and scientific inquiry
  • 1430

    Changes in Renaissance Music

    Chants were changed/added extra notes & new rhythms. The emphasis shifted from function to beauty. The new, transformed melodies were now placed in top voice & more voice parts were added (4 but now 5-8).This era is oftenKnown as the golden age of a cappella singing. Ren. music feat. a fuller/more consonant sound than music from the Ars Nova/Trecento/Middle Ages. Some Ren. music is built on a fixed/pre-existing melody "cantus firmus"/ Word Painting was also a popular comp. technique.
  • 1430

    Renaissance Job Market

    These available jobs were mostly for men: Choirmasters
    Singers, organists, instrumentalists, copyists, composers, teachers, instrument builders, music printers, and publishers
  • 1430

    A Capella

    Cappella means church or chapel. But a cappella means “in the manner of the church”, The most common genres are masses, motets, and hymns.
  • 1430

    Renaissance Genres

    There are two big types:
    Sacred music (masses, motets, separate pieces by liturgical titles) and Secular music like Frottola (the pop music from 1500-30s), madrigals (1530s-1600), and chansons.
  • 1430

    New Trends

    There was a rise in amateur music-making, new audiences for new genres, new secular vocal genres:
    Italian frottola, italian madrigals, french chansons, and english madrigals.
  • 1430

    Word Painting

    Word painting is an expressive compositional device in which the composer tries to set the text and its meaning in a way so that the music reflects the words
  • Period: 1430 to


    (means rebirth) This era had changes in art orig. from Italy and musical style changes inspired from England. The arts, sciences, & religion was prominent. The Ren. was an era of exploration, scientific inquiry, & artistic awakening. It moved from a highly religious society to a more secular one. Greece & Rome were looked to as ideals. Realism in art is reflected in painting. More effort was made to build palaces than churches. The introd. of gunpowder signaled the end of the age of knighthood
  • Period: 1435 to 1511

    Johannes Tinctoris

    He was a composer and music theorist who wrote about contemporary music. He also wrote the first dictionary of musical terms (Diffinitorum musices c. 1475). Tinctoris wrote that the “fountain and origin” of what he and his contemporaries thought was a distinctly new musical style “lies with the English, whose leading master was Dunstable.” (~1470) Dunstable = transitional figure from the late Medieval to the early Renaissance
  • 1436

    The Printing Press

    The Printing Press
    German goldsmith Johannes Gutenberg is credited with inventing the printing press around 1436.
    By the 1490s, when Venice was the book-printing capital of Europe
  • 1440


    It was also spelled krummhorn, krumhorn, krum horn, and cremorne. The crumhorn is a musical instrument of the woodwind family, most commonly used during the Renaissance period. The crumhorn seems to have originated in Germany and make a strong buzzing sound, but are quieter than their conical-bore relatives the rauschpfeife and shawm. it was associated with the royal court, with ceremonial occasions and religious worship.
  • Period: 1444 to 1510

    Sandro Botticelli

    Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi was an Italian painter, He also painted "The Birth of Venus"
  • 1450


    The earliest predecessors of the game originated in 6th-century AD India and spread via Persia and the Muslim world to Europe. Here the game evolved into its current form in the 15th century.
  • Period: 1450 to 1521

    Josquin des Prez

    He is from Northern France and served in Italian courts. The Sforza family in Milan from 1484-89. As Maestro di cappella to Duke Ercole I d’Este in Ferrara.
  • Period: 1452 to 1519

    Leonardo Da Vinci

    He was an Italian polymath of the High Renaissance who was active as a painter, draughtsman, engineer, scientist, theorist, sculptor and architect.
  • Period: 1475 to 1564

    Michelangelo Buonarroti

    Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect, and poet. He created the statue "Pieta" and painted "The Creation of Adam". Also think naked man statue.
  • Period: 1483 to 1520


    Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, known mononymously as Raphael, was an Italian painter and architect
    Honorable Mentions:
    Madonna della Tenda, and that picture of the 2 cherubs looking up.
  • Period: 1488 to 1576


    Tiziano Vecelli or Vecellio, known in English as Titian, was an Italian painter during the Renaissance, considered the most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school. He was born in Pieve di Cadore, near Belluno.
  • 1500

    Verge escapement/mechanical clocks replaced hourglasses

    The development of the verge escapement would lead to the creation of the first mechanical clocks in around 1300 AD. By the 15th century, they had become widespread around Europe. They would become the standard timekeeping device until the pendulum clock was invented in 1656.
  • 1500


    The instrument was also known as a fidel or a viuola. The vielle is a European bowed stringed instrument used in the medieval period, similar to a modern violin but with a somewhat longer and deeper body, three to five gut strings, and a leaf-shaped pegbox with frontal tuning pegs, sometimes with a figure-8 shaped body. It was one of the most popular instruments of the medieval period,It was one of the most popular instruments and sounded like a violin today.
  • 1500


    The Appalachian dulcimer (many variant names; see below) is a fretted string instrument of the zither family, typically with three or four strings, originally played in the Appalachian region of the United States. It is also rendered as "dulcimore", "dulcymore", "delcimer", "delcimore", etc. Some believe that the dulcimer originated in Europe in the 15th century, from the European psaltery (which was likely related to the psaltery of the Middle East) but prervious versions have existed before.
  • 1500


    This first appeared in Europe ~8th century AD, but, there is little evidence of its use there until early 14th century. It was likely first used on ships because the bobbing waves didn’t affect its accuracy.
    By the 15th Century, they were common sights on ships, in churches, and in industries. They were the first dependable, reusable, and fairly accurate means of measuring time and would only be superseded with the invention of the mechanical clock.
  • Period: 1525 to


    Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina was the most famous composer from the renaissance. He was Italian. Palestrina's music was notoriusly known for dissonances that are typically relegated to the "weak" beats in a measure This produced a smoother and more consonant type of polyphony which is now considered to be definitive of late Renaissance music.
  • Period: 1525 to

    Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina

    He was an Italian Composer tht opposed the church when they wanted homorhythmic but he continued to use polyphony. His style of counterpoint is still used as a teaching tool
  • Period: 1528 to

    Paolo Veronese

    Also known as Paolo Caliari, was an Italian Renaissance painter based in Venice, known for extremely large history paintings of religion and mythology, such as The Wedding at Cana and The Feast in the House of Levi
  • 1530

    Secular Genres

    Frottola is Italian with usually solo-4-voices, light-hearted, and homorhythmic. It can be compared as the pop music of the early 16th century. Chanson is like the frottola, but in French. Italian Madrigal is originally Italian but with more serious poetry and music. English Madrigal is in English and uses nonsense syllables. It was the last to develop.
  • Period: 1542 to

    William Byrd

    He was a Roman Catholic living in Protestant England that was
    harassed because of his faith. His talent provided protection from serious persecution. He wrote several anthems: Anthem implies English and Protestant composition.
  • Period: 1557 to

    Giovanni Gabrieli

    He was the leading composer of instrumental ensemble music and polychoral works in the late Renaissance. He was one of the first people to indicate the actual instruments he wanted in the score and sometimes indicate dynamics.
  • 1560

    Floating Dock Invented

    The earliest known description of a floating dock is in a small Italian book printed in Venice titled Descrittione dell'artifitiosa machina. In the booklet, an unknown author asks for the privilege of using a new method for the salvaging of a grounded ship and then proceeds to describe and illustrate his approach. The ship is pulled in an upright position by a number of ropes attached to the superstructure.
  • Period: 1564 to

    William Shakespeare

    He was an English playwright, poet and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's greatest dramatist. He lived into the early Baroque – many Renaissance-style songs were composed for and used in his plays
  • Period: 1567 to

    Claudio Monteverdi

    He was an italian composer that moved music from the Renaissance style to the Baroque.
  • Period: 1570 to

    John Farmer

    He was an English composer active in Dublin and London
  • Period: to

    Girolamo Frescobaldi

    He was the finest Organist of the Early Baroque. He worked at St. Peter’s Cathedral, Rome and was greatly influenced J.S. Bach.
  • Compound Microscope

    Compound Microscope
    Three Dutch spectacle makers—Hans Jansen, his son Zacharias Jansen, and Hans Lippershey—have received credit for inventing the compound microscope about 1590.
  • Period: to

    The Early Baroque Period

    Baroque is the term given to the time period from about 1600 to 1750 but is actually 1590s to 1730s.
    There are 3 parts: (1600-1650) Early Baroque, (1650-1700) Middle Baroque, (1700-1750) Late Baroque. The term "Baroque" Derives from the Portuguese word “barroco” which originally referred to a pearl of irregular shape. This meant that Baroque music was odd, mannered, and not well-formed.
    The Classical style exuded symmetry, balance, and restraint – the Baroque did not.
  • Compass Invented

    Compass Invented
    Modified by Galileo. This made voyages of discovery possible. With the seven proportional lines traced on the legs of the compass and the four scales marked on the quadrant, it was possible to perform with the greatest of ease all sorts of arithmetical and geometric calculations, ranging from calculating interest to extracting square and cube roots, from drawing polygons to calculating areas and volumes, from measuring gauges to surveying a territory.
  • Theorbo

    The theorbo was invented in Italy at the end of the 16th Century in order to accompany singers in the first operas. The composers needed a chordal instrument that didn't interfere with the audibility of the text being sung.
  • Paper currency

    Although paper "promissory notes" had been in existence for centuries, the first recorded use of government-issued paper money was in 9th Century China. These notes were a promise by the ruler to redeem them later for some other object of value, usually coin.
    By the 1120s, the Chinese gov. started to produce its own state-issued paper money with woodblock printing, & were in widespread circulation.
    Travelers spoke about it but the notes wouldn't become common in Europe until the late-1600s.