Music M401
History and Literature of Music I:
Antiquity to 1800

Indiana University School of Music

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Historical Timeline

ca. 1012-972 BCE Reign of David, King of Israel Many psalms attributed to David; later sung in Jewish observances
ca. 380 BCE Plato, Republic
Aristotle, Politics
Ancient Greek music: one line, closely linked to poetry and ethos
ca. 330 BCE Aristoxenus, Harmonic Elements (ca. 330 BCE), defines pitch, notes, intervals, scale, and other concepts
ca. 4 BCE Birth of Jesus
ca. 30 CE Crucifixion of Jesus, beginnings of Christian observances; Christianity begins to spread Psalms and hymns sung as part of Christian observances
313 Roman Emperor Constantine ends persecution of Christianity (Edict of Milan)
395 Roman Empire divided into Western Empire (capital at Rome) and Eastern Empire (also called Byzantine Empire, capital at Constantinople/Byzantium)
476 Fall of Rome, dissolution of Western Roman Empire
Europe divided; Middle Ages begin
ca. 480-524 Boethius, major authority on music for the Middle Ages
5th-6th cent. Bishop of Rome (Pope) recognized as head of western church Popes consolidate liturgy and chant
768-814 Reign of Charlemagne, King of the Franks (crowned Emperor in 800); introduces Roman rite throughout empire in 789 Charlemagne's drive for uniformity seeks to standardize chant repertory throughout empire; this repertory becomes Gregorian chant
9th cent. Charlemagne's empire divided after his death, but remains the most active cultural and musical region of Europe through 14th century Notation begins to develop; helps fix chant melodies
Tropes and sequences begin to be added to established chant
ca. 850-900 Early polyphony (parallel and oblique organum) described in Musica enchiriadis
1014 Catholic Mass liturgy finalized with addition of Credo
ca. 1020s Guido of Arezzo (ca. 991-after 1033) codifies solmization, staff lines on F and C (leading to four-line staff and clefs)
1054 Split between Western (Catholic) and Eastern (Orthodox) churches becomes permanent
1066 Normans conquer England
11th cent. Free polyphony (note against note organum), described in Ad organum faciendum (ca. 1100)
early 12th cent. Aquitanian polyphony: florid organum
12th-13th cent. Crusades (1095-13th century) Troubadours/trobairitz, trouvères
12th-14th cent. Minnesingers
1163-1230 Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris built (finished in 14th century) Notre Dame style develops, culminating in rhythmic notation based on rhythmic modes
early 13th cent. Albigensian Crusade (begun 1208) crushes south of France Troubadours disperse, north becomes dominant in music through 16th century
Development of the motet
ca. 1280 Franco of Cologne: rhythmic notation based on note shapes
1309 Pope moves to Avignon, France; church politics and corruption lead to secularization of culture
early-mid 14th cent. Ars Nova (New Art): new notation, duple as well as triple meters
Guillaume de Machaut (ca. 1300-77), French poet and composer
1338-1453 Hundred Years War between France and England
1348-50 Black Death (plague) across Europe
1386 Chaucer's Canterbury Tales
late 14th-early 15th cent. Papal schism (1378-1417), with two or three rival popes at once Ars Subtilior (More Subtle Art): height of complexity in music
1431 Execution of Joan of Arc
1453 Constantinople falls to the Turks; end of Byzantine Empire

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Last updated: 25 August 2017
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