Music History Throughout the Ages


Since the civilization started, it has become possible to pass information from one generation to another. Passing the history of music makes the course very interesting to consider and to learn.

The Middle Ages: Music in this age can be dated back to the period between 500AD and 1400AD. Music around this time was called church music because the Roman Catholic Church used its style to form musical notation. At this time, vocalists in Monasteries sang in a style called organuum. Organuum was a polyphonic music. Polyphonic music is music in which the singing was alternated between two parts or sang together. In other words, it is music with several melodies and voices. The musical instruments used in composing music of the Middle Ages included the wooden flute, the recorder, the germs horn and the pan flute. Composers of music in this time included Gilles Binchois and Guido de Arezzo, who invented musical instruments for sight singing and singing in harmony. John Dunstable was another musician who was known to be the first to use the counter point.

The middle ages of western music.

Context of music during the middle ages.

A brief history of music during the middle ages.

Music of the middle ages.

The Middle Ages and music.

The Renaissance: The Renaissance is characterized by incredible advancements in arts and science in Europe. Music at this time was mainly instrumental. Notable features and rhythms that thrived during this time period included The Terpischore of Michael Praetorius, The Dance of Music by Tielman Susato, and the A Cappella and La Spagna of Josquin des Prez. The musical instruments used at this time included the recorder and the lute.

Music in the Renaissance perod.

Comparing music of the Middle ages and Renaissance.

What is Renaissance music?

Vocal music: a major type of music during the renaissance period.

What is renaissance?

The Baroque Age: The word Baroque is of Italian origin. It comes from the word “barocco” which means strange. It was used in architecture to mean strange buildings. In other words, they were used to describe buildings that were beautifully decorated in a way that had not been seen before. Similarly, music during this period changed in structure and style. It was at this time that opera and instrumental music developed. One great instrument was the violin. During the Baroque Age, “organuum” was developed into what is now called harmony. More so, the piano was used in another dimension. Modulation of keys on the piano became much easier because of the ease in splitting octaves into 12 equal intervals. Major composers of this time were Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frederic Handel and Francois Couperin.

What is baroque music?

Biographies of composers of baroque music.

The baroque period

The Classical Period: This was the period between 1750 and 1820. Apart from the Opera and vocal music, orchestral literature was distinguished at this period. A major type of music during this period was homophony. After homophony came Sonata, an instrumental music. Sonata in the Classical Era was different from that of the Baroque Age. Major composers of this time included Franz Joseph Haydn, Ludwig Van Beethoven and Franz Schubert.

Historical context of classical music.

Music of the classical period.

Music literature: The classical period.

The Romantic Era: This was the period between 1850 and 1920. Here, the use of history to display cultural identities thrived. Harmonies and tones started taking new dimensions and in addition to this, dissonance and chromaticism became prominent. Other achievements of this time were the origin of symphonic poems and art songs. Popular composers of music at this time included Fredrick Chopin, Felix Mendelssohn and Franz Liszt.

Music of the Romantic era.

Musical language during the romantic period.

The Twentieth Century: There is not a particular style associated with the 20th century music. However, the use of dissonance became much more prevalent. This is why the music of the twentieth century is normally referred to as music of the dissonant period. Music in this period encountered tremendous changes with the advent of modern technology. Technology was used to invent modern sophisticated musical instruments. Some major composers at this time were Bartok, Bela (a Hungarian composer), Britten, Benjamin (an English composer) and Bernstein Leonard (a virtuoso pianist).

The twentieth century composers