Musical Events Timeline

Historical Event

Jamestown Founded

1607

Shakespeare dies

1616

Taj Mahal construction begins

1632

Mount Vesuvius erupts

1632

English Civil War ends

1651

First coffee house in England

1652

Monarchy restored in England

1660

Robert Hooke discovers cells using a microscope

1663

Isaac Newton, Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica

1687

John Locke’s first 'Letter Concerning Toleration'

1689

England and Scotland unite to form Great Britain

1707

Blackbeard (Edward Teach) is killed by Robert Maynard in a North Carolina inlet

1718

Daniel Defoe publishes Robinson Crusoe, the first novel in English

1719

French C. Hopffer patents the fire extinguisher

1722

Peter the Great, King of Russia dies

1725

Swift, Gulliver’s Travels

1726

Death of Isaac Newton

1727

Henry Fielding, Tom Thumb

1730

Colony of Georgia founded by James Oglethorpe

1732

French and British lay claim to Ohio

1749

China invades Tibet

1751

First female doctor in Germany

1754

The French and Indian War

1754 - 1763

Stamp Act introduced by UK Parliament into the Americas

1765

Boston Tea Party protesting the Tea Act

1773

American Revolution

1775 - 1783

American Declaration of Independence

July 1776

James Cook discovers Hawaii

1778

Constitution written in Philadelphia and sent to States for ratification

1787

George Washington elected first US President

1789

Mutiny on the HMS Bounty

1789

French Revolution

1789 - 1799

Haitian Revolution

1791 - 1804

First Black Republic

Louisiana Purchase

1803

Napoleon becomes Emporer of the French

1804

First steam locomotive begins operation

1804

Holy Roman Empire is dissolved

1806

War of 1812

1812 - 1815

Jane Austen publishes Pride and Prejudice

1813

Francis Scott Key writes The Star-Spangled Banner poem

1814

Napoleon defeated at Waterloo

1815

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

1818

Discovery of Antarctica

1820

Mexican independence from Spain

1821

Gauthe publishes the second part of Faust

1832

Battle of the Alamo

1836

Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist

1837

Queen Victoria succeeds to British throne

1837

Telegraph patented

1837

Photography developed

1838

The word "dinosaur" is coined by Richard Owen

1841

Anaesthesia used for the first time

1842

First intercity telegraph

1844

Between Baltimore, MD and Washington, D.C.

Irish Potato Famine

1845 - 1849

The Communist Manifesto is published

1848

California Gold Rush begins

1849

Phonautograph is invented

1858

The first audio recording and playback device

Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species

1859

The Pony Express is started

1860

American Civil War

1861 - 1865

Abraham Lincoln elected president

March 1861

Victor Hugo publishes Les Miserables

1862

Gregor Mendel publishes his laws of inheritance

1865

They pave the way for modern genetics

US purchases Alaska from Russia

1867

Suez Canal opens

1869

Links the Mediterranean to the Red Sea.

Yellowstone National Park is created

1872

The first national park

Blue jeans and barbed wire are invented

1873

Spanish-American War

April 25, 1898 - August 12, 1898

World War I

July 28, 1914 - November 11, 1918

Great Depression (U.S.)

October 29, 1929 - 1941

World War II

September 1, 1939 - August 15, 1945

Music Period

Baroque

1600 - 1750

Classical

1750 - 1830

Romantic

1830 - 1890

Modernist

1890 - August 1914

Post-Modernist

August 1914 - 1945

Post-War

1945 - 1960

Minimalist

1960 - 1980

Post-Minimalist

1980 - 2000

21st Century

2000 - Present

Musical Event

Claudio Monteverdi, L’Orfeo

1607

Frescobaldi, Tocatte e partite

1616

Frescobaldi, Fiori musicali

1635

Élisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre joins Louis XIV’s court at age 5

1670

Lully, The Bourgeois Gentleman

1670

Lully, Armide

1686

Invention of the clarinet

1690

Élisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre becomes the first woman to write a French ballet

1691

Pachelbel’s Canon

1694

Tomás de Torrejón y Velasco, La púrpura de la rosa

1701

The first opera from the Americas

Handel's first opera, Almira

1705

The piano is invented

1709

Handel moves permanently to England

1712

Bach, Brandenburg concertos

1721

Jean-Philippe Rameau, Treatise on Harmony

1722

Vivaldi, The Four Seasons

1725

Bach, St. Matthew’s Passion

1727

John Gay, The Beggar’s Opera

1728

Handel, Messiah

1742

Bach, The Art of the Fugue

1745

Bach, Musical Offering

1747

Haydn composes his Paris Symphonies

1785 - 1786

Mozart, The Marriage of Figaro

1786

Mozart, The Magic Flute, Clarinet Concerto, and Requiem

1791

Haydn, Trumpet Concerto

1796

Ludwig van Beethoven, Moonlight Sonata

1802

Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony

1808

First valved trumpets

1810

Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony

1812

Rossini, The Barber of Seville

1816

Schubert begins work on his Symphony No. 8 (“Unfinished”)

1822

Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony

1824

Schubert composes his Ave Maria

1825

Schubert, Winterreise

1827

Rossini, William Tell

1829

Berlioz’ Symphonie Fantastique is premiered

1830

Mary Had a Little Lamb is first published

1830

Tuba first patented in Prussia

1835

Chopin’s Preludes

1836 - 1839

Clara Schumann, Piano Concerto in A minor

1836

Berlioz, Grande Messe des morts (Requiem)

1837

Robert Schumann, Dichterliebe

1840

New York Philharmonic and Vienna Philharmonic orchestras founded

1842

Felix Mendelssohn, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

1842

Richard Wagner, Der fliegende Hollander

1843

Mendelssohn, Violin Concerto

1844

Hector Berlioz, Treatise on Orchestration

1844

Stephen Foster, Oh! Susanna

1848

Giuseppe Verdi, Il trovatore and La traviata

1853

Franz Liszt, Les Preludes

1854

Louis Moreau Gottschalk, Souvenir de Porto Rico

1857 - 1858

Jacques Offenbach, Orpheus in the Underworld

1858

First African-American spirituals published

1860 - 1865

The Russian Five forms

1861

To promote Russian nationalist music

Verdi, La forza del destino (The Force of Destiny)

1862

Premiere of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde

1865

Bedrich Smetana, The Bartered Bride

1866

Edvard Grieg, Peer Gynt

1867

Modest Mussorgsky, Night on Bald Mountain

1867

Brahms, A German Requiem

1868

Borodin begins Symphony No. 2 in B Minor

1869

Camille Saint-Saëns, Danse Macabre

1874

Mussorgsky, Pictures at an Exhibition

1874

Verdi premiers Aïda in Cairo

1875

Bizet’s Carmen is premiered in Paris

1875

First complete performance of Wagner's Ring Cycle

1876

Brahms, Symphony No. 1

1876

Premeired after at least 14 years since the first sketches

Tchaikovsky, Swan Lake

1876

Ives, Variations on America

1891

Tchaikovsky, Nutcracker premier

1892

Tchaikovsky, Symphony No. 6 "Pathetique"

1893

Dvorak, New World Symphony

1893

First gramophone record

1894

Mahler, Symphony No. 2 "Resurrection"

1895

Strauss, Also sprach Zarathustra

1896

Puccini, La Boheme

1896

Debussy, Nocturnes

1897 - 1899

Strauss, Don Quixote

1897

Sousa, Stars and Stripes Forever

1897

Sibelius, Finlandia

1899

Joplin, Maple Leaf Rag

1899

Elgar, Enigma Variations

1899

Rachmaninov, Piano Concerto No. 2

1900

Elgar, Pomp and Circumstance, Marches 1&2

1901

Mahler, Symphony No. 5

1902

Puccini, Madama Butterfly

1904

Strauss, Salome premier

1905

Mahler debuts at NY Metropolitan Opera

1908

Holst, Suite No. 1 in E-flat for Band

1909

Stravinsky, The Firebird

1910

Mahler dies

1911

Stravinsky, Petrushka

1911

Schoenberg, Pierrot Lunaire

1912

Stravinsky, The Rite of Spring

1913

Ives, Symphony No. 4

1914

Holst, The Planets

1915

Berg, Wozzek

1917 - 1921

Ravel, La Valse

1920

Milhaud, La creation du monde

1923

Gershwin, Rhapsody in Blue

1924

Henry Cowell, The Banshee

1925

Webern, Symphony, Op. 21

1927 - 1928

Ravel, Bolero

1928

Kurt Weill, Threepenny Opera

1928

Varese, Ionisation

1929

First Western percussion ensemble piece

Stravinsky, Symphony of Psalms

1930

Star Spangled Banner made official U.S. anthem

1931

Prokofiev, Lieutenant Kije film score

1933

Hindemith, Mathis der Maler

1933

Vaughan Williams, Symphony No. 4

1935

Gershwin, Porgy and Bess

1935

Louis Prima, Sing, Sing, Sing

1936

Carl Orff, Carmina Burana

1936

Bartok, Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta

1936

Samuel Barber, Adagio for Strings premier

1938

Prokofiev, Alexander Nevsky

1938

Frank Sinatra, I'll Never Smile Again

1939

Stravinsky and Bartok emigrate to U.S.

1940

Duke Ellington, Cotton Tail

1940

Messiaen, Quartet for the End of Time

1941

Copland, Fanfare for the Common Man

1942

Rodgers and Hammerstein, Oklahoma!

1943

Copland, Appalachian Spring

1944

Britten, Peter Grimes

1945

John Cage, Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano

1948

Messiaen, Turangalila Symphony premier

1949

Stockhausen, Kreuzspiel

1951

John Cage, Music of Changes

1951

Elvis launches career

1953

Boulez, Le marteau sans maitre

1953

Xenakis, Metastasis

1954

Stockhausen, Gesang der Jünglinge

1956

Varese, Poem electronique

1958

Beatles form in Liverpool

1960

Penderecki, Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima

1960

Beach Boys, Surfin' Safari album

1962

Bob Dylan, Blowin' in the Wind

1962

Barbara Streisand, People album

1964

Simon and Garfunkel, The Sound of Silence

1964

Terry Riley, In C

1964

Beatles first U.S. tour

1964

The Rolling Stones, The Rolling Stones, Now! album

1965

Steve Reich, Come Out

1966

Berio, Sequenza III

1966

Bee Gees 1st album

1967

Aretha Franklin, Respect

1967

Steve Reich, Piano Phase

1967

The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

1967

Marvin Gaye, I Heard it Through the Grapevine

1968

Karel Husa, Music for Prague

1968

Simon and Garfunkel, Mrs. Robinson

1968

David Bowie, Space Oddity

1969

Berio, Symphonia

1969

Edwin Starr, War

1969

Woodstock

1969

George Crumb, Black Angels

1970

Stevie Wonder, Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours

1970

Marvin Gaye, What's Goin' On

1971

Rod Stewart, Every Picture Tells a Story

1971

David Bowie, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars

1972

Stevie Wonder, Talking Book album

1972

Elton John, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album

1973

Billy Joel, Piano Man

1973