Timeline 1: The Middle Ages (476 CE to ca. 1435 CE) and The Renaissance Era (1430-1600)

By sydowen
  • 476

    Fall of Rome

  • Period: 476 to 1435

    Common Stylistic Traits (Middle Ages)

    Music was primarily functional, used for very specific purposes like church services, dances and entertainment; Melodies had small ranges; Rhythms were steady and regular; Official harmonies are not established but fourths, fifths, and octaves were commonly used; Music was monophonic; Poetry and words formed the structure of the music; Chants were extremely common
  • Period: 476 to 1435

    Genres Commonly Composed (Middle Ages)

    Secular, Ballads, Lais, Rondeaux, Virelais, Madrigals, Chant
  • Period: 476 to 1430

    Pitch and Rhythm Notation Invented

  • Period: 480 to 524


    ca. 480- ca. 524. Important music theorist
  • Period: 991 to 1033


    credited with inventing the staff
  • Period: 1098 to 1179

    von Bingen

    The first female composer in contemporary musicology to receive extensive scholarly research. She was a very important poet, composer, teacher, and author.
  • Period: 1130 to 1190


    ca. 1130/40- ca. 1190/1200. Famous troubadour.
  • Period: 1135 to 1201


    ca. 1135- ca. 1201. Master of organum purum at the Cathedral of Notre Dame.
  • Period: 1140 to 1200


    ca. 1140- ca. 1200. Famous troubadour.
  • Period: 1150 to 1200


    ca. 1150/60- ca. 1200. Took the poetic style to new heights.
  • Period: 1155 to 1200

    de Nesle

    ca. 1155/60- 1200. One of the most important early trouveres.
  • Period: 1160 to 1213


    ca. 1160- after 1213. One of the earliest trouveres and most famous of poets.
  • Period: 1160 to 1230


    We do not know the exact dates of his life but estimate it to be sometime during the late 12th/early 13th century. May have been a student of Leonin.
  • Period: 1170 to 1230

    von der Vogelweide

    ca. 1170-1230. Wrote the earliest surviving minnesinger melody.
  • Period: 1180 to 1278


    ca. 1180- ca. 1278. One of the most celebrated troubadours of his time.
  • Period: 1201 to 1253

    Thibaut IV

    Headed the Crusades to Jerusalem. Prolific composer and poet.
  • Period: 1250 to 1300

    Eyeglasses Invented

    ca. the late 13th century
  • Period: 1250 to 1300

    Anonymous IV

    We do not know the exact dates of their lifetime but estimate it to be sometime during the late 13th century. One of the most important Medieval music theorists.
  • Period: 1291 to 1361

    de Vitry

    French composer known as the "inventor of a new art".
  • Period: 1300 to 1350

    Ars Nova in France

  • Period: 1300 to 1400

    Trecento in Italy

  • Period: 1300 to 1377

    de Mauchaut

    ca. 1300-1377. The leading composer and poet of the Ars Nova in France.
  • Period: 1320 to 1362

    de Firenze

    ca. 1320/25- 1362/63. Important Italian composer of the Trecento in Italy.
  • Period: 1325 to 1397


    ca. 1325-1397. The most celebrated musical personality of the Trecento in Italy.
  • Period: 1337 to 1453

    Hundred Years War

  • Period: 1390 to 1453


    ca. 1390-1453. English composer who influenced musical style in Europe.
  • Period: 1397 to 1474


    ca. 1397-1474. First Renaissance composer.
  • Period: 1420 to 1497


    ca. 1420-1497. Very respected and prolific. A low bass.
  • Period: 1430 to

    Common Stylistic Traits (Renaissance)

    Melody voice was usually the bottom voice; Rhythms were simple; Progressions of 3rds and 6ths were popular; Dissonances were avoided; Tonal system used modality; Tended to be homorhythmic, Common forms: cantus firmus, poetic strophic, binary, madrigals; Was now more about beauty than function or purpose
  • Period: 1430 to

    Genres Commonly Composed (Renaissance)

    Ballet, Balletti, Chant, Masses, Motets, Hymns, Secular, Sacred
  • Period: 1435 to 1511


    ca. 1435-1511. Composer and music theorist who wrote about contemporary music.
  • 1440

    Printing Press Invented

  • Period: 1450 to 1517


    ca. 1450-1517. Prolific German composer.
  • Period: 1450 to 1521

    des Prez

    ca. 1450-1521. From France but served in Italian courts. His music was so emotion-filled and popular that others would try and pass it off as their own.
  • Period: 1450 to 1521


    ca. 1450-1521. One of the earliest Italian madrigal composers.
  • Period: 1452 to 1519

    da Vinci

    Very important artist, scientist, engineer, sculptor and architect of the Renaissance.
  • Period: 1483 to 1546


    German theologist and composer. Also the founder of the Lutheran Church.
  • 1487

    Bell Chimes Invented

  • Period: 1490 to 1562


    ca. 1490-1562. Father of text expression.
  • 1492

    Columbus Lands in the Americas

  • Period: 1505 to


    English composer who wrote a 40-voice part motet.
  • Period: 1515 to 1565

    de Rore

    ca. 1515-1565. Composed at least 125 madrigals.
  • Period: 1521 to

    de Monte

    Most prolific composer of the Renaissance.
  • Period: 1525 to


    The most famous composer from the Renaissance.
  • Period: 1525 to

    da Palestrina

    ca. 1525-1594. Awarded the most posthumous fame.
  • Period: 1532 to

    di Lasso

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


    Important Catholic English composer working in Protestant England.
  • Period: 1548 to

    de Victoria

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


    ca. 1557-1612. The leading composer of instrumental ensemble music and polychoral works in the late Renaissance.
  • 1563

    Black Plague Outbreak

  • Period: 1567 to


    Moved music from the Renaissance style to the Baroque style.
  • Period: 1570 to


    ca. 1570-1603. English composer and organist who was known for clever word painting.