Summary History of music Articles

History of music

ancient greek vase
The origins of music

People have always wondered about the origin of music, from Plato to Rousseau and Darwin, and many have tried to find an answer. Darwin, for example, hypothesised that music is the evolution of a natural behaviour linked to courtship, so the better a specimen can sing, the more chance it has of reproducing, but is it really that simple?

ancient greek vase
History of musical notation

Of all human advances and inventions, one has been chosen as the symbol dividing humanity's timeline into prehistory and history: writing.

Claudio Monteverdi portrait
Claudio Monteverdi and the madrigal

Through the works of Claudio Monteverdi it is possible to get to know the history of the madrigal which, despite the magnificent fruits of the composer from Cremona, suffered an unstoppable disappearance in the mid-seventeenth century. In fact, at the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries, important changes took place, changing the way music was produced and enjoyed, stylistic choices and the transition from the modal to the tonal system began.

Johann Sebastian Bach portrait
Johann Sebastian Bach: life and works

In the musical landscape of the late Baroque, a great composer emerged: the german Johann Sebastian Bach. Although he led a sedentary life, always including permanent assignments at courts or religious institutions, he had the ability to introduce the novelties of the changing atmosphere into his music while remaining tied to his own German tradition.

Georg Friedrich Haendel portrait
Georg Friedrich Händel: life and works

Händel was a composer and musician of the Baroque period who, unlike Bach, changed many residences and led a rather eventful life. There is no real justification for this, but it is probably due to an intolerance of stable jobs (such as Kantor or Kapellmeister) together with a strong drive towards an international career at ever higher levels.

inside a theater
The origins of Italian Opera

In 1600, a new theatrical and musical genre was born in Italy: Opera, which was destined to occupy theatre seasons and bring people together in a single hall to this day. Italian opera was born in the courts, moved to the theatre, changed its form and became one of the most beloved and profitable genres in the history of music. Among the greatest masterpieces are Verdi's Traviata, Puccini's Madama Butterfly, Boheme and Turandot, Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro and Così fan tutte, Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana, Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia etc..

sator square

“The Path to the New Music” is the title given by Anton Webern to a series of sixteen lectures he gave in a private house in Vienna in 1933 in which the composer wanted to illustrate the process that led Schönberg to the theorisation of dodecaphony.

portrait of the king of France Luigi XIV
Music at the Court of the Sun King

In 1643 King Louis XIII died and was succeeded by his son Louis XIV with a small problem: he was only 5 years old and so in his place ruled his mother Anne of Austria and Cardinal Julius Mazarin. Mazarin was an Italian who had served at the court of Antonio Barberini in Rome where he had seen Italian works such as stefano landi's Saint Alexis.