Timeline 1 Renaissance

  • Period: 476 to 1430

    Medieval Era

    Fall of Rome = start of middle ages
  • Period: 715 to 731

    Gregorian Chant

    The Roman Dialect of Chant
    The chants were reorganized and cataloged by Pope Gregory (ruled between 715 CE and 731 CE)
  • Period: 850 to 1150

    Romanesque Period

  • Period: 900 to


    First described c. 900 CE, extant in the 800s CE, notated c. 1000 CE
    Plainchant “melody” with an added melody
    What resulted was a musically sung piece of parallel 4ths and 5ths
    3rds were dissonant and should not be used
    Multiple forms
  • 904

    Gunpowder Invented

  • Period: 991 to 1033

    Guido d’Arezzo

    Invented Staff
  • Period: 1150 to 1450

    Gothic Period

  • Period: 1346 to

    Bubonic (Black) Plague

    Nearly 700 years after the Black Death swept through Europe, it still haunts the world as the worst-case scenario for an epidemic. Called the Great Mortality as it caused its devastation, this second great pandemic of Bubonic Plague became known as the Black Death in the late 17th Century.
  • Period: 1390 to 1453

    John Dunstable (Dunstaple)

    English, but influenced musical style in Europe.
    Composers who heard his music were impressed by the “English quality”. (la contenance angloise)
    More 3rds and 6ths were used in the harmonies: this resulted in what we think of triadic music.
  • Period: 1397 to 1474

    Guillaume Dufay

    First Renaissance composer
  • Period: 1400 to 1450

    Puisque M’Amour

    Attributed to Dunstable in two separate sources.
    Rondeau (forme fixe) for 3 voices.
  • Period: 1420 to 1497

    Johannes Ockeghem

    Very respected and prolific; also a low bass
  • Period: 1430 to

    Renaissance Era

    •New complex currents of
    thought concerning:
  • Period: 1435 to 1511

    Johannes Tinctoris

    Composer and music theorist: wrote about contemporary music. Wrote the first dictionary of musical terms: Diffinitorum musices (c. 1475).
  • 1436

    Printing Press

  • Period: 1450 to 1521

    Josquin des Prez

    Most revered Renaissance composer, esp. by Martin Luther. His music was so emotion-filled and popular that others would try to pass off their music as his. Over 100 motets, 17 masses, many French chansons, and Italian secular songs are extant
  • Period: 1450 to 1517

    Heinrich Isaac

    Prolific German composer
  • Period: 1452 to 1519

    Leonardo da Vinci

    Introducing the viola organista, an incredible instrument conceived by Renaissance polymath Leonardo da Vinci.
  • Period: 1480 to 1480

    Ave Maria

    Motet (Latin motet) for 4 voices
    Textures: Imitative polyphony, homorhythmic, and polyphonic
    He is thinking about motives and imitation
    •Opening motive is derived from the chant melody
  • Period: 1490 to 1562

    Adrian Willaert

    Father of text expression
  • Period: 1500 to

    Other secular genres

    •Chanson: like the frottola, but in French
    •Italian Madrigal: originally Italian, more serious poetry and music
    •English Madrigal: in English, use of nonsense syllables, last to develop
  • Period: 1504 to 1511


    Secular genre: “Pop music” of the later Renaissance. Ottaviano Petrucci: one of the most important early music publishers.
  • 1510

    Pange lingua Mass

  • Period: 1521 to

    Philipp de Monte

    Most prolific composer of the Renaissance
  • Period: 1525 to

    Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina

    The most famous composer from the Renaissance.
    The church wanted everything homorhythmic.
    Palestrina continued using polyphony, showing that he could make any texture understood.
  • 1530

    The Italian Madrigal

    •Used aristocratic poetry
    •Flourished in Italian courts
    •Spread to England
    •Instruments participated but were rarely notated
    •First madrigals were homorhythmic and 4 solo voices (similar to a frottola)
    •5 solo voices became the norm around 1550: by 1600 no restrictions
    •Became the experimental genre for the Baroque style
  • Period: 1531 to

    The Lutheran Liturgy

    The Catholic church excommunicated Martin Luther. Chants still important: they served cantus firmi (cantus firmus)
    Composers began using secular tunes for the cantus firmus
    Cantus firmus: A pre-existing melody that was used as the foundation, usually in the tenor part, for a newly composed polyphonic piece – usually a mass or motet
  • Period: 1532 to

    Orlando di Lasso

    Ranks in importance with Josquin and Palestrina
  • Period: 1543 to

    William Byrd

    Important Catholic English composer working in Protestant England. •A Roman Catholic living in Protestant England
    •Harassed because of his faith and put up with a lot
    •His talent provided protection from serious persecution
    •Wrote several anthems: Anthem implies English and Protestant composition
  • Period: 1545 to 1563

    The Council of Trent

    Catholic musical reforms. Set new guidelines for music and musicians.
  • Period: 1548 to

    Tomás Luis de Victoria

    Carries on Palestrina’s style while working in Spain
  • Period: 1557 to

    Giovanni Gabrieli

    The leading composer of instrumental ensemble music and polychoral works in the late Renaissance
  • Period: 1564 to


    He lived into the early Baroque – many Renaissance-style songs were composed for and used in his plays.
  • Period: 1567 to 1567

    Pope Marcellus Mass

    Supposedly written to satisfy the Council of Trent
    •6 a cappella voices
    •Polyphonic and homorhythmic
  • Period: 1567 to

    Claudio Monteverdi

    •Moved music from the
    Renaissance style to the Baroque
    •He wrote 9 books of madrigals
    •During the Baroque era, he composed several operas
  • Period: 1570 to

    John Farmer

    English composer active in Dublin and London Fair Phyllis
    •4 solo voices
    •Word painting on
    “all alone,” “up and
    down,” etc.