Start Date
Place
Notes
Source
0500 BCE
Greece
Typical Greek instruments aulos, cithara, lyre.
http://www.classicalworks.com/his.pages/earl
y.his.htm May 2012
0400 BCE
Greece
Trumpet playing competitions become popular in
Greece.
http://www.classicalworks.com/his.pages/earl
y.his.htm May 2012
0340 BCE
Greece
Aristotle lays the foundations of musical theory.
http://www.classicalworks.com/his.pages/earl
y.his.htm May 2012
0050 BCE
Italy
Earliest form of the oboe used in Rome.
http://www.classicalworks.com/his.pages/earl
y.his.htm May 2012
0038 BCE
China
Chinese octave is subdivided into 60 notes.
http://www.classicalworks.com/his.pages/earl
y.his.htm May 2012
0794
Japan
Gagaku is the traditional court music repertory of
Japan codified in the Heian period (794-1185); it
includes mikagura (court shinto music) and court
entertainment music.
Harvard Dictionary of Music
0988
Russia
In about AD 988, Byzantine Christianity became
Russia's official religion, and from that time on all
instruments were forbidden (as they still are) in
churches and discouraged in other contexts.
Oxford Companion to Music
1000
Italy
Early in the eleventh century Guido of Arezzo
wrote regarding his system of notation: 'For since
I have undertaken to teach this method to my
boys, certain of them have succeeded, easily,
within three days in singing melodies previously
unknown to them; a result which formerly, by other
methods could not have been brought about in
many weeks.'
Innis, Bias of Communication, P. 127
1030
Italy
Guido of Arezzo, an Italian monk, develops a
system for learning music by ear. Voice students
often use the system, called solfège, to memorize
their vocal exercises. In the 19th century, solfège
developed into the tonic sol-fa system used
today.
http://www.infoplease.com/ipea/A0151192.ht
ml July 2006
1100
France
Troubadour musicians organized in southern
France during the 12th Century.
http://timelines.ws September 2007
1100
Italy
The Ambrosian chant is a Latin liturgical traditon
of Milan, preserved in about 300 northern Italian
manuscripts mostly of the 12th century and later.
Harvard Dictionary of Music
1101
France
William IX, the Duke of Aquitaine, returned from
the Crusades and composed songs about his
adventures, thus becoming the first troubadour.
He was excommunicated for licentious acts, but
his lyrics led to the "courtly love" genre.
http://timelines.ws September 2006
1300
International
Renaissance music is European music written
during the Renaissance. Defining the beginning
of the musical era is difficult, given the gradually
adopted "Renaissance" characteristics:
musicologists have placed its beginnings from as
early as 1300 to as late as the 1470s.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renaissance_mu
sic August 2010
1396
India
The kirana style of Hindustani music began.
http://timelines.ws September 2006
1437
UK
Musical counterpoint was developed by English
musician John Dunstable.
Beckett, Story, P. 188
1498
Austria
Emperor Maximilian I relocated his court from
Innsbruck to Vienna and brought along the court
musicians. He also decided to include boy
singers which gave rise to The Vienna Boys
School and Choir. In 1918 the Austrian
government took control of the court musicians,
but not the boys' choir, which became a private
institution. The boys' choir began to give public
concerts in 1926. In 2007 the choir accepted its
first African-born member, Jens Ibsen (12) of
Daly City, California.
http://timelines.ws September 2006
1500
Poland
During the 16th century, which is often called the
golden age of Polish music, leading European
musicians such as Marenzio and Merula were
active in Poland.
Harvard Dictionary of Music
1511
Germany
Sebastian Virdung, German musician, published
the earliest manual for playing musical
instruments.
http://timelines.ws July 2008
1526
England
John Taverner, organist and composer, was
appointed the Master of Choristers at Oxford
University.
http://timelines.ws May 2011
1527
Italy
Adrian Willaert, Flemish composer, was made
maestro di capella at St. Mark's, in Venice.
http://timelines.ws May 2011
1530
France
Etienne Briard introduced round characters in
musical engraving.
http://timelines.ws September 2006
1533
Italy
The first madrigals, developed mostly in Italy and
England, were published in Rome.
http://timelines.ws September 2006
1536
Spain
The first song book with lute accompaniment was
published in Spain.
http://timelines.ws May 2011
1537
Italy
The first conservatories of music were founded
for girls in Venice, and for boys in Naples.
http://timelines.ws May 2011
1543
Italy
The Accademia filarmonic of Verona established
to study music.
Harvard Dictionary of Music
1555
France
Balthazar de Beaujoyeoux, violinist, introduced
several fellow violinists to the court of Catherine
de Medici. Under his influence the lute was
replaced by the violin as France's most popular
instrument.
http://timelines.ws September 2006
1562
Italy
In Pope Pius IV's Counter-Reformation, he
restores church music to its pure vocal form by
eliminating all instruments except the organ, any
evidence of secularism, harmony and folk
melody. Giovanni Da Palestrina satisfies the
pope's rigid requirements and creates a new
spiritual style that legend says “saved polyphony”
when he writes Pope Marcellus Mass, his most
famous and enchanting piece.
http://www.infoplease.com/ipea/A0151192.ht
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1570
France
The first French academy officially instituted by
royal decree gave pride of place to music: the
Académie de poésie et de musique was
established in 1570 by the poet Jean-Antoine de
Baïf and the musician Joachim Thibault de
Courville.
Harvard Dictionary of Music
1570
Germany
The Berlin Staatskapelle was formed.
http://timelines.ws August 2006
1588
UK
The English Madrigal School is firmly
established. The movement, led by Thomas
Morley, produces some of the most delightful
secular music ever heard. Madrigals often told
stories of love or grief.
http://www.infoplease.com/ipea/A0151192.ht
ml June 2008
14 Jun 1594
Germany
Orlando di Lasso (b. ~1532), Franco-Flemish
composer, died in Munich. He was the most
famous and influential musician in Europe at the
end of the 16th century. Along with Palestrina (of
the Roman School), he is considered to be the
chief representative of the mature polyphonic
style of the Franco-Flemish School.
http://timelines.ws September 2006
03 Sep 1596
Italy
Nicolo Amati (d.1684), Italian violin maker, was
born. He was the grandson of violin maker
Andrea Amati and taught Antonio Stradivari and
Andrea Guarneri.
http://timelines.ws September 2006
1600
Europe
The Baroque period, characterized by strict
musical forms and highly ornamental works,
begins in Europe. This period signals the end of
the Renaissance.
http://www.infoplease.com/ipea/A0151192.ht
ml August 2006
1607
Italy
The Accademia degli elevati of Florence was
established in 1607 to study music.
Harvard Dictionary of Music
1619
USA
The first Africans are brought to the British colony
of Jamestown as indentured servants. The
African's emphasis on musical elements such as
call and response, improvisation, polyrhythms,
and percussive affinities will form the basis of
gospel and all other forms of African American
musical expression.
http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/gmha/controller/ti
meline.htm Feb 2012
1631
England
Professional female singers appear for the first
time on the English stage in the production of
Chloridia, a court masque produced by Ben
Jonson and Inigo Jones.
http://www.infoplease.com/ipea/A0151192.ht
ml October 2006
1637
Germany
Dietrich Buxtehude, German composer, was
born. He was a transitional figure between early
and later baroque. Bach made a legendary
journey on foot to hear the aging composer
perform. Handel also journeyed to see him 3
years before Bach. He died in 1707.
http://timelines.ws September 2006
1640
Sweden
The violin was introduced, possibly by French
musicians at the court of Queen Christina during
the 1640s.
http://timelines.ws September 2006
1640
US
The first music published in North America was
The Bay Psalm Book printed in 1640 by Harvard
College Press. The book contained only text
because the congregations of churches were
assumed to know the songs by heart.
http://www.madehow.com/Volume-5/Sheet-
Music.html December 2010
1666
Italy
The first signed Stradivarius violins emerge from
Antonio Stradivari's workshop in Cremona, Italy.
http://www.infoplease.com/ipea/A0151192.ht
ml
1669
France
In 1669 the Académie Royale de Musique was
founded with letters patent granted to the poet
Pierre Perrin and composer Robert Cambert (the
patent passed to Jean-Baptiste Lully in 1672).
Harvard Dictionary of Music
1678
England
The earliest room in London designed as a
public concert hall was in York Buildings, off the
Strand. Built in 1678, it could accommodate an
audience of 200.
Oxford Companion to Music
14 Jan 1690
Germany
The clarinet was invented in Germany.
http://timelines.ws August 2006
1700
Italy
The inventory of Medici instruments for 1700
establishes that at least one piano created by
Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655-1731) had been
completed by this date. Cristofori began work on
the “harpsichord with soft and loud” in 1698.
http://timelines.ws September 2007
1711
UK
Tuning fork is invented by John Shore.
http://www.terramedia.co.uk August 2006
1717
Germany
In the court of Dresden for example, the German
concertmaster was paid 1,200 Thaler (a good
wage), but the Italian singers were paid 3,000-10,
500 each.
http://www.musicianwages.com/the-working-
musician/musician-history-court-musicians/
May 2012
1717
International
From the foundation of freemasonry in London
(1717), Paris (1725), and Hamburg (1737),
music played an integral part in ceremony and
socializing. Ritual music consisted of hymnody
with new texts to tunes borrowed largely from the
Protestant Church and of processional music for
organ (in England) or wind and brass choir (on
the Continent) derived from military traditions.
Harvard Dictionary of Music
18 Dec 1737
Italy
Antonio Stradivari, the most renowned violin
maker in history, died in Cremona, Italy. He made
about 1200 violins of great quality of which half
still survive. In 2006 Joseph Nagyvary, a Texas
biochemist and violin maker, put forward
evidence that the quality of sound in a Stradivari
violin was due to chemicals used to protect the
wood from wood-eating worms.
http://timelines.ws August 2006
1742
Italy
Giuseppe Guarneri, aka Guarneri Del Gesu,
created the violin later dubbed "The Cannon" by
Paganini.
http://timelines.ws August 2006
1750
Germany
Bach dies. The end of the Baroque period is
often seen in conjunction with his death. The
highly ornate style of the Baroque period gives
rise to the simpler clarified styles of the Classical
period, which sees the emergence of
symphonies and string quartets.
http://www.infoplease.com/ipea/A0151192.ht
ml
1765
Austria
Artaria, an Austrian firm of music publishers was
founded in 1765 in Mainz but moved to Vienna
soon afterward. Already renowned as art and
map publishers, Artaria also achieved a
dominant position in Viennese musical life.
Oxford Companion to Music
1765
Germany
The basset horn was probably invented by Anton
and Michael Mayrhofer in Passau.
Oxford Companion to Music
1770
Italy
In the 1770s Burney wrote that at musical
performances in Italian churches, since clapping
was prohibited, 'they cough, hem and blow their
noses to express admiration.'
Oxford Companion to Music
1790
US
The earliest recorded musical contests were
between rival church choirs held in the 1790s.
Oxford Companion to Music
1791
Germany
The Berlin Sing-Academie was established.
Timelines.ws October 2008
15 Feb 1797
US
Henry Steinway (d.1871), German-American
piano maker, was born in Germany as Heinrich
Steinweg. He moved to the US in 1851. The
name was anglicized in 1864.
http://timelines.ws October 2008
1800
Europe
The Romantic period in European music history
usually is considered to ave lasted from the early
19th century until the modernist innovations of the
early 20th and sometimes subdivided, with an
early phase before about 1850 and a late one
from about 1890. Terms such as Pre-Romantic
and neo-Romantic have been used for historical
prefigurations and survivals of Romantic traits.
Harvard Dictionary of Music
1803
France
The Prix de Rome was a prize awarded on the
basis of a competition held by the Académie des
Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1803 until 1968.
Harvard Dictionary of Music
1804
Germany
Beethoven's Third Symphony (Eroica) begins
music's Romantic period.
http://www.mediahistory.umn.edu January
2011
1807
Russia
In Russia, Romani (Gypsies) are allowed to form
a music chorus and perform.
http://www.mediahistory.umn.edu January
2011
1816
Germany
In Germany Johann Maelzel patented the
metronome a couple of years after it was drawn
up by Dutch inventor Dietrich Nikolaus Winkel.
http://timelines.ws August 2006
1817
Germany
A German choral festival, the Lower Rhine
Festival, was established.
Oxford Companion to Music
1851
Germany
Modern musicology is often thought to have
begun with the start of the Bach Gesellschaft
edition of J. S. Bach's music in 1851 and of
Friedrich Chrsysander's Jarhrbuch für
musikalische Wissenschaft in 1865.
Oxford Companion to Music
04 May 1855
Austria
Camille Pleyel (66), Austrian piano builder,
composer, died.
http://timelines.ws August 2006
1860
US
The slave trade introduces West African rhythms,
work songs, chants and spirituals to America,
which strongly influence blues and jazz.
http://www.infoplease.com/ipea/A0151192.ht
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1870
Italy
After the unification of Italy, castration for musical
purposes was officially made illegal (the new
Italian state had adopted a French legal code
which expressly forbade the practice).
http://timelines.ws October 2006
1870
Italy
The conductor of an Italian opera receives as a
maximum, from $3500 to $4000 for a season;
about $450-$500 per month is the general
emolument.
http://theomniscientmussel.com/2009/05/hav
e-musicians-wages-gotten-better-or-worse/
May 2012
1870
US
The salary of a distinguished conductor is difficult
to establish. Last year, the Philharmonic concerts
yielded Mr Bergmann, perhaps fully $1000, the
musicians receiving about $100 apiece.(New
York)
http://theomniscientmussel.com/2009/05/hav
e-musicians-wages-gotten-better-or-worse/
May 2012
1880
UK
The Guildhall School of Music and Drama, a
British conservatory, was founded in London in
1880.
Oxford Companion to Music
1890
Argentina
During the "belle époque" (1890s), the working
class of the "Boca" of Buenos Aires (Argentina)
invented a new rhythm, the tango.
http://www.scaruffi.com/history/latin.html July
2011
1890
US
By 1890, many department stores had counters
for the sale of sheet music, and its popularity
forced the price down. By 1910, Woolworth sold
sheet music for 10 cents a copy.
http://www.madehow.com/Volume-5/Sheet-
Music.html December 2010
1895
US
The first electronic instrument was Thaddeus
Cahill's dynamophone or telharmonium, made in
three versions between 1895 and 1911, which
produced musical sounds by rotating toothed
wheels near electromagnets, the resulting purse
sounds being combined in appropriate
combinations to resemble those of ordinary
instruments.
Oxford Companion to Music
1896
US
Ragtime, a combination of West Indian rhythm
and European musical form, is born.
http://www.infoplease.com/ipea/A0151192.ht
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1896
US
The American Federation of Musicians was the
largest union of professional musicians, formed
in 1896 and chartered by the American
Federation of Labor; in 1900 it expanded its
representation to include Canada as well as the
US.
Harvard Dictionary of Music
30 Oct 1896
Switzerland
Kaspar Wicki, Swiss inventor, received Swiss
patent Nr. 13329 for a key configuration for the
concertina that made fingering identical in any
key.
http://timelines.ws October 2008
1902
France
Claude Debussy introduces impressionism to
music in Pelléas and Mélisande at the Opéra
Comique in Paris.
http://www.infoplease.com/ipea/A0151192.ht
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1908
Germany
A major change in classical-music style comes
about with the release of Arnold Schoenberg's
Book of Hanging Gardens. The harmony and
tonality characteristic of classical music are
replaced by dissonance, creating what many
listeners consider to be noise.
http://www.infoplease.com/ipea/A0151192.ht
ml March 2007
1908
International
Saint-Saens (L;assassinat du duc de Guise,
France, 1908) and Mihail Ippolitov-Ivanov
(Stenka Razin, Russia, 1908) were the first to
compose scores expressly for film.
Harvard Dictionary of Music
01 Jun 1909
US
Guido Deiro, European vaudeville star,
introduced the "fizarmonica systema piano" at
the Alaskan Exposition in Seattle, Washington.
He was contracted by the Ranco Antonio
Accordion Company of Italy and is credited with
naming the instrument "piano accordion." His
brother Pietro Deiro was the first to play the
accordion in San Francisco.
http://timelines.ws August 2006
1910
US
350,000 pianos are manufactured in the USA.
[Note: Sound recordings have still not affected
piano sales as significantly as they will eventually.
- SM]
http://www.scaruffi.com August 2006
1911
Japan
The Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra (To-Phil) was
formed.
http://timelines.ws August 2007
1912
Jamaica
Nyabinghi music is the most integral form of
Rastafarian music. It is played at worship
ceremonies called grounations, which including
drumming, chanting and dancing along with
prayer and smoking of ritual ganja. Nyabinghi
probably comes from an East African movement
from the 1850s to the 1950s that was led by
women who militarily opposed European
imperialism. This form of nyabinghi was centered
around Muhumusa, a healing woman from
Uganda who organized resistance against
German colonialists. The British later led efforts
against nyabinghi, and classified it as witchcraft
through the Witchcraft Ordinance of 1912. In
Jamaica, nyabinghi was appropriated for similar
anti-colonial efforts, and is often danced to
invoke the power of Jah against an oppressor.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_music
Feb 2012
1913
Italy
Almost 100 years ago, shortly before the
outbreak of the First World War, the Italian
Futurist Luigi Russolo proposed the idea that
urban and industrial sounds, including the noises
of modern warfare, were a new and enthralling
source of musical material. Their nature was
unprecedented – their intensity, volume, texture
and shape – and so musical history should come
to an end. The slow evolution of musical
language had suffered a massive stroke, to be
replaced by a vigorously healthy art of noises.
http://www.tate.org.uk/tateetc/issue3/theartof
noise.htm March 2011
1913
US
Billboard magazine publishes a list of the most
popular vaudeville songs. It's the predecessor to
their trademark charts.
http://www.infoplease.com/ipea/A0151192.ht
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1914
International
The sheet music industry experienced another
boost in 1914 when the first performance rights
society was established. The American Society
of Composers, Authors and Publishers, Inc.,
(ASCAP) was followed by The Society of
European Stage Authors and Composers
(SESAC, Inc. 1931) and Broadcast Music, Inc.
(BMI 1940). These organizations are essential to
the orderly administration of performance data
and distribution of royalties for music in copyright.
These organizations also play an important role
in funding the first efforts of young composers
and songwriters.
http://www.madehow.com/Volume-5/Sheet-
Music.html December 2010
1919
US
After moving from its southern rural roots, jazz
establishes Chicago as its capital. The city will
become home to such jazz greats as trumpeter
Louis Armstrong and pianist Jelly Roll Morton.
http://www.infoplease.com/ipea/A0151192.ht
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1920
Russia
Leon Theremin (d.1993) invented the theremin
musical instrument. He was a Russian physicist
who invented the instrument made of vacuum
tubes and oscillators. In 1927 he was allowed to
go to the US to promote his instrument and to spy
for the Soviets. He returned to Russia in late
1938. [He was later abducted by operators of
Stalin and taken back to Moscow where he is
forced to work on devices for the Soviet Ministry
of Internal Affairs.] He was sent to Siberia for a
year and then back to Moscow to work on aircraft
design. He later designed some listening
devices. The theremin was an early electronic
instrument with an eerie, sliding tone. The 1994
film "Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey," featured
the instrument. Clara Rockmore (d.1998 at 88),
born Clara Reisenberg in Vilnius, became a
theremin virtuoso, and was the focus of the 1998
video documentary: "Clara Rockmore, The
Greatest Theremin Virtuoso."
http://timelines.ws October 2008
1920
US
Experiments with crude pickups and air
microphones on guitars go back to the early
1920s, and the first commercially manufactured
electric guitars, the Rickenbacker A22 and A23
were introduced in 1931 by the Electric String
Instrument Company.
Oxford Companion to Music
1923
Russia
The Association for Contemporary Music was
founded in Moscow. It promoted concerts of
contemporary music and maintained close
contacts with the International Society for
Contemporary Music (ISCM) in London.
Maes, History, P. 245
1923
Russia
The Russian Association of Proletarian
Musicians or RAPM was formed in June 1923
and was a musicians' creative union of the early
Soviet period. It was disbanded together with
other unions, such as RAPP, by The Decree on
the Reformation of Literary and Artistic
Organizations on April 23, 1932.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Associa
tion_of_Proletarian_Musicians August 2010
1924
Italy
The Chianti Classico Consorzio was formed.
http://timelines.ws October 2008
1924
Russia
Andrey Pashchenko wrote a Symphonic Mystery
for Termenvox and orchestra in 1924.
Maes, History, P. 249
1924
US
The musicians of Tin Pan Alley in New York City
were made famous early in the 1900s by the swift
availability of their tunes in sheet music form;
George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue (1924) is
an excellent example. Composers Aaron
Copeland, Charles Ives, and Virgil Thompson
established their own publishing house and gave
the American public its own contemporary,
classical music. When Charles Lindberg made
his solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927,
100 songs commemorating the event were
printed in sheet-music form within a year.
http://www.madehow.com/Volume-5/Sheet-
Music.html December 2010
1927
US
The pipe organ becomes the most popular
instrument in America (2,400 sold in one year).
http://www.scaruffi.com October 2006
Dec 1927
Germany
Harry Frommermann placed an ad for an audition
in Berlin that led to the formation of the
"Comedian Harmonists." They rocketed to fame
as concert performers. Their act was banned in
1935 by the government because 3 of the
performers were Jews (Frommermann, Collin
and Cycowski). In 1997 a film based the group's
history was directed by Joseph Vilsmaiar.
http://timelines.ws October 2008
1930
Germany
The Neo Bechstein piano of the 1930s,
developed under the direction of Walther Nernst
in Berlin had strings but no soundboard;
electromagnets picked up the vibration of each
string, as on an electric guitar. Oskar Vierling's
Electrochord of 1936 was similiar.
Oxford Companion to Music
1932
US
Jazz composer Duke Ellington writes “It Don't
Mean a Thing, If It Ain't Got That Swing,” a song
that presaged the swing era of the 1930s and
1940s.
http://www.infoplease.com/ipea/A0151192.ht
ml January 2009
1933
US
Laurens Hammond introduces his Hammond
organ.
http://www.infoplease.com/ipea/A0151192.ht
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1935
Hungary
Denes Koromzay (d.2001 at 88) founded the
Hungarian String Quartet. In 1962 he moved to
Boulder, Colorado, and the group was named
resident ensemble at the University of Colorado.
http://timelines.ws October 2006
13 Jul 1935
Germany
Richard Strauss resigned as chairman of the
Nazi Reichskulturkammer.
http://timelines.ws August 2006
1936
US
Electric guitars debut.
http://www.infoplease.com/ipea/A0151192.ht
ml June 2010
1937
US
Glenn Miller Orchestra (14-piece band) 8:00pm-
3:00pm Sunday June 6th1937 Playland Casino,
New York: $200 total ($14.25 per musician).
http://www.trocadero.ca/history11.html May
2012
1938
Switzerland
In Lucerne, Switzerland, the International Festival
of Music began its annual event. Toscanini and
Ernest Ansermet created the music festival of
Lucerne, Switzerland, at Tribschen, the house in
which Wagner wrote "Die Meistersinger."
http://timelines.ws October 2007
1940
US
BMI formed and welcomed everyone ASCAP
turned down: Appalachian musicians, fiddlers,
blues singers, etc. Professional recognition goes
to the vast body of American music outside the
commercial mainstream. In 1940, ASCAP
withdrew all its music from the air so radio
stations turn to BMI records. The public is eager
for this music!
http://www.stayfreemagazine.org January
2011
03 Feb 1940
US
FDR pledges his support to the $1 million drive
to save the Metropolitan Opera at its historic New
York location.
Leonard, The Forties
09 Dec 1940
US
ASCAP announces it has signed new 10 year
agreements with 135 music publishers who
control more than 200,000 songs.
Leonard, The Forties
14 Dec 1940
US
President James Petrillo of the American
Federation of Musicians announces that Army
bands will not be permitted to broadcast from
Army posts until he has an opportunity to confer
with the War Department.
Leonard, The Forties
16 Dec 1940
US
The American Federation of Musicians reaches
an agreement with the Columbia, National, and
Mutual broadcasting systems under which they
are permitted to broadcast Army band music on
condition that they do not dismiss their own
studio musicians.
Leonard, The Forties
23 Dec 1940
US
NBC drops all music controlled by the ASCAP,
following the lead of CBS and MBS.
Leonard, The Forties
24 Dec 1940
US
ASCAP is declared an illegal combination in
restraint of trade and in violation of the Sherman
Antitrust Act by a three-judge Federal Court in
Tacoma Washington.
Leonard, The Forties
26 Dec 1940
US
Attorney General Jackson authorizes criminal
proceedings under the Sherman Antitrust Act
against ASCAP, NBC, and CBS charging them
with illegal pooling of copyright music to eliminate
competition, illegal discrimination against non-
member composers, illegal price fixing and
mutual boycotts.
Leonard, The Forties
01 Jan 1941
US
ASCAP contract with National Association of
Broadcasters expires, forcing 674 radio stations
to stop broadcasting 1,500,000 ASCAP-
controlled songs, including the nation's most
popular hits.
Leonard, The Forties
05 Feb 1941
US
The Justice Department files suit against the
American Society of Authors, Composer and
Publishers (ASCAP), charging it is an unlawful
combination in restraint and trade.
Leonard, The Forties
1943
UK
The Society for the Promotion of New Music
(SPNM) was founded in London in 1943 with the
intention of promoting the creation, performance
and appreciation of new music. It was a
membership organization which sought to find
the best new composers and to help support their
careers, especially in the UK. As of May 2009,
the SPNM merged with the British Music
Information Centre (BMIC), the Contemporary
Music Network and the Sonic Arts Network to
create a new organisation to promote
contemporary Music in the UK called Sound and
Music. The SPNM awarded the annual
Butterworth Prize for music composition (There
are also Butterworth Prizes for Law and for
Literature).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Society_for_the_
Promotion_of_New_Music May 2011
1944
UK
The Composers' Guild of Great Britain was
founded to protects composers' interests.
Oxford Companion to Music
1945
Australia
The Australian Musica Viva Chamber Music
Society was founded. It promoted tours by many
front-rank ensembles.
Oxford Companion to Music
1945
Canada
Vacillating between music and physics, the
former became the all-consuming interest of his
life. With the invention of the electronic Sackbut in
1945, Hugh Le Caine opened the era of
electronic music (the more widely-accepted
advent of this music occurred three years later
when the French engineer/composer Pierre
Schaeffer recorded street sounds in Paris,
combining them in various ways to form his
"musique concrete"). The original Sackbut was
the earliest form of the slide trumpet derived from
the Roman buccina, which afterwards developed
into the trombone. Although Le Caine's work on
the instrument began at home, NRC entered the
picture in 1954, supporting it as a form of
communication between scientists and artists.
http://www.ieee.ca/millennium/electronic_mu
sic/em_lecaine.html February 2011
1946
New Zealand
The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, founded
in 1946, is the country’s leading professional
orchestra. It has an establishment of 90 players
and performs over 100 concerts annually.
http://www.nzso.co.nz/news_and_media/fact
_sheet March 2011
1946
UK
The Galpin Society was formed in 1946 to
continue the work of Francis William Galpin
(1858-1945), an authority on ancient musical
instruments. It publishes the annual Galpin
Society Journal.
Oxford Companion to Music
1947
US
Leo Fender launches the guitars that built rock
and roll when he debuts his Broadcaster solid-
bodied electric guitar. Later renamed the
Telecaster, the guitar will become a favorite with
guitar slingers worldwide.
http://xroads.virginia.edu/~MA99/grogan/thes
is/Timeline2.html June 2010
1948
Germany
Composer Hans Eisler was deported from the
US by the House Un-American Activities
Committee for non-cooperation. He went to East
Germany and composed the East German
national anthem.
http://timelines.ws August 2006
1950
Africa
During the 1950s, when they experienced rapid
urbanization and a relatively booming economy,
the two French-speaking colonies of the Congo
area (capitals in Brazzaville and Kinshasa)
witnessed the birth of an African version of the
Cuban rumba played by small American-style
orchestras (called "kasongo", "kirikiri" or
"soukous") with a touch of jazz and of local
attitudes.
http://www.scaruffi.com/history/african.html
July 2011
1951
Canada
The Canadian League of Composers is an
organization formed in 1951 of Canadian
composers primarily interested in raising
awareness and acceptance of Canadian music.
The activities of the League are overseen and
directed by an executive and a National Council
(a board of 12 elected members who aim to
represent regions of Canada equally). The
league is funded by the SOCAN Foundation, the
annual dues of the members, and donations from
the public.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chttp://anadian_L
eague_of_Composers May 2011
1951
France
The Groupe de Recherche Musicales was an
electronic music studio (the first) established in
1951 in Paris by Pierre Schaeffer.
Oxford Companion to Music
1951
US
In an effort to introduce rhythm and blues to a
broader white audience, which was hesitant to
embrace "black music," disc jockey Alan Freed
uses the term rock 'n' roll to describe R&B.
http://Www.infoplease.com/ipea/A0151192.h
tml October 2006
1952
France
The Répertoire International des Sources
Musicales (RISM) was established in 1952 under
the auspices of the International Musicological
Society and the International Association of
Music Libraries. RISM provides information on
manuscript and printed sources of music and
writings about music from the earliest times to
circa 1850.
Oxford Companion to Music
1952
International
Importance of music to Jews in psalms - taken
over by Christians - oral tradition.
Innis, Idea File, 28-89 (1952)
1952
International
Music not the universal medium generally
supposed - rather an index of a civilization -
Spengler noted shift from unison to counterpoint
as significant in west - importance of
counterpoint to cathedrals. Shift from singing to
use of instruments after 16th century - difficulty of
understanding music as between periods with
development of different instruments and
between cultures - 22 notes of Indian music - 5 of
Chinese - incomprehensible to west.
Innis, Idea File, 28-3 (1952)
1952
US
In 1952, David Tudor sat down in front of a piano
for four minutes and thirty-three seconds and did
nothing. The piece 4?33" written by John Cage,
is possibly the most famous and important piece
in twentieth century avant-garde. 4?33" was a
distillation of years of working with found sound,
noise, and alternative instruments. In one short
piece, Cage broke from the history of classical
composition and proposed that the primary act of
musical performance was not making music, but
listening.
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/ep
isodes/john-cage/about-the-composer/471/
February 2011
1955
US
15,000 letters, mostly written by young adults, are
sent to Chicago rock stations accusing them of
playing "dirty" records. Radio station WABB runs
editorials call "About The Music You won't Hear
on WABB." The editorials promise that the
station will censor itself of all controversial music,
especially rhythm and blues - in other words,
"black" music.
http://censorshipinamerica.com/2010/09/20/
music-censorship-a-timeline/ February 2011
1955
US
The Juvenile Delinquency and Crime
Commission of Houston, Texas banned more
than 30 songs it considered obscene. Almost all
of the artists on the Commission's list were black.
http://www.aclu.org/
freespeech/censorship/11454res20050926.
html March 2007
1957
Africa
The gaining of political independence between
1957 and 1963 in most of Africa led to the
development of national styles of music.
Harvard Dictionary of Music
1957
Sweden
The Academy Chamber Choir of Uppsala was
founded by Folke Bohlin and Eric Ericson.
http://timelines.ws October 2007
04 Jul 1965
International
Pope Paul criticizes youths for wild outbursts at
music concerts.
Nelson and Parker, The Sixties
06 Jul 1966
US
Ford Foundation announces extensive grants to
support US symphony orchestras.
Nelson and Parker, The Sixties
30 Dec 1966
International
The harsichord's popularity in the musical world
is seen increasing.
Nelson and Parker, The Sixties
1967
USA
Oh Happy Day is recorded by the Northern
California State Youth Choir (later dubbed the
Edwin Hawkins Singers). This one song almost
single-handedly creates the genre known as
contemporary gospel. Key groups soloists, and
composers in this movement include Walter
Hawkins, Tramaine Hawkins, Andrae Crouch and
the Disciples, the Winans, and the Clark Sisters.
Reverend James Cleveland and Mattie Moss
Clark helped give rise to the movement by their
tireless work composing, arranging, and
recording for large choirs.
http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/gmha/controller/ti
meline.htm Feb 2012
26 Mar 1967
Germany
Herbert von Karajan founded the Salzburg Easter
Festival with the idea of staging his ideal Ring of
the Nibelung with his own Berlin Philharmonic
Orchestra.
http://timelines.ws September 2006
1968
Sweden
The first gathering of folk-musicians at Bingsjö
was held.
http://timelines.ws September 2006
1969
Japan
In Japan the New Star Orchestra was formed as
a part-time avocation by young musicians. In
2000 it merged with the Tokyo Philharmonic.
http://timelines.ws October 2006
1970
Costa Rica
Costa Rica has a youth symphony orchestra,
founded by ex-President Jose Figueres Ferrer in
1970.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_of_Costa_
Rica July 2011
13 Apr 1970
Greece
Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis (b.1925)
was allowed to go into exile. His music included
the film score for Zorba the Greek (1964).
http://timelines.ws August 2006
1972
Benin
The government of Kerekou called out curfews
that led to the curbing of music in Benin.
http://www.mapsofworld.com/benin/culture/m
usic.html April 2011
1973
Benin
Ignacio Blazio Osho was a very renowned
musician of Benin. Pedro Gnonnas y sus
Panchos produced song like Feso Jaiye. This
song became so popular that many bands
performed this song in the 1973 2nd All-Africa
Games.
http://www.mapsofworld.com/benin/culture/m
usic.html April 2011
1973
Germany
Musica Antiqua Köln was founded by violinist
Reinhard Goebel.
http://timelines.ws August 2006
1973
Switzerland
Paul Sacher (d.1999 at 93), industrialist and
symphony conductor, set up the Paul Sacher
Foundation to house manuscripts and letters of
composers in Basel.
http://timelines.ws September 2006
13 Jun 1979
Afghanistan
Ahmed Zahir (b.1946), Afghanistan pop star, was
killed in a car crash. His death is believed to
have been arranged by Hafizullah Amin.
http://timelines.ws June 2007
1981
US
Academy of Country Music selected music group,
Alabama, "Vocal Group of the Year".
http://timelines.ws June 2007
1983
International
An industry-wide protocol was established in
1983 for passing control information between
keyboards, synthesizers, and ancillary signal-
processing devices. The protocol is called MIDI
(musical instrument digital interface).
Oxford Companion to Music
1987
International
The International Standard Music Number or
ISMN (ISO 10957) is a thirteen-character
alphanumeric identifier for printed music
developed by ISO. The original proposal for an
ISMN was made by the UK Branch of IAML
(International Association of Music Libraries,
Archives and Documentation Centres), put
forward by Alan Pope (Blackwell's Music
Department, Oxford), Malcolm Lewis (music
librarian in Nottingham) and Malcolm Jones
(music librarian in Birmingham). A draft ISMN
structure and application was presented at the
1987 IAML conference in Amsterdam, then after
further discussions at the 1989 IAML conference
in Oxford it was decided that the UK, French and
German branches should, through their
respective national standards bodies (BSI,
AFNOR and DIN) file ISMN as an ISO work
project. After meetings in Ottawa and Paris in
1993 the draft was finalized and published by
ISO.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inhttp://international_St
andard_Music_Number August 2010
1987
US
A record clerk was arrested in Florida for selling
a copy of 2 Live Crew's album 2 Live Is What
We're to a 14-year-old boy.
http://www.aclu.org/freespeech/
censorship/11454res20050926.html
1988
International
Bill Graham produced a worldwide tour on behalf
of Amnesty International featuring Bruce
Springsteen, Sting and Peter Gabriel. They
toured Costa Rica, India and Zimbabwe.
http://timelines.ws March 2007
1989
Germany
In Berlin, Germany, the Love Parade festival was
begun to celebrate techno music.
http://timelines.ws July 2006
1990
Belarus
Rock music in the Belarusian language first
developed in the 1990s.
http://www.everyculture.com/A-
Bo/Belarus.html May 2011
1990
International
In classical music, once again, the decline in the
old genres was concealed by the enormous
increase in their performance, but mainly in the
form of a repertoire of dead classics. How many
new operas, written after 1950 had established
themselves in the international, or even any
national, repertoires, which endlessly recycled
the products of composers of whom the youngest
had been born in 1860?
Hobsbawn, Age of Extremes, P. 511 (1990)
1990
US
Missouri legislators introduced a bill that would
forbid the sale of records containing lyrics that
are violent, sexually explicit or ""perverse.""
Similar measures were introduced in 20 other
states.
http://www.aclu.org/
freespeech/censorship/11454res20050926.
html January 2011
1992
Switzerland
In Zurich, Switzerland, a festival was begun
known as the Street Parade to celebrate techno
music under the motto: "Love, peace and
tolerance." From 2,000 people at the first event it
grew to some 400,000 by 1997.
http://timelines.ws October 2007
Sep 1994
Algeria
Lounes Matoub, a popular Berber singer, was
kidnapped by Islamic militants. He was held for
over 2 weeks and released after over 100,000
people demonstrated for his freedom.
http://timelines.ws May 2008
1996
US
Janet Jackson became the highest-paid
musician in history when she signed an $80-
million deal with Virgin Records.
http://www.infoplease.com February 2007
12 Jan 1996
US
Pop singer Janet Jackson signs a record
contract worth an estimated $80 million with her
current label Virgin Records. The four-album deal
is reportedly the most lucrative in the history of
the music industry.
Avasthi, Nineties, P. 827
1997
Brazil
The state of Amazonas formed the Amazona
Filarmonica with a core of musicians from the
former Soviet Union.
http://timelines.ws June 2011
1997
US
Three owners of a concert venue in Mississippi
were arrested and given six-month jail terms for
booking a performance by 2 Live Crew.
http://www.aclu.org/freespeech/censorship/
11454res20050926.html January 2007
01 Mar 1997
Austria
It was announced that the Vienna Philharmonic
Orchestra would allow Ann Lelkes, a harpist who
had played with the orchestra for 26 years, to
become an official member. There still existed an
unofficial but firm policy against admitting
members of racial or ethnic minorities.
http://timelines.ws April 2007
1998
US
An 18-year-old was suspended from a Michigan
high school for wearing a tee shirt promoting the
band Korn. The shirt contained no images or
words save the band's name.
http://www.aclu.org/freespeech/censorship
October 2007
12 May 1998
Sweden
Singer Ray Charles and sitar master Ravi
Shankar received the Polar Music Prize, $133,
000, from King Carl Gustav XVI in Sweden. The
award was established by Stig Anderson,
manager of the Abba pop group.
http://timelines.ws August 2006
11 Jul 1998
Germany
Some 600,000 people gathered in Berlin for the
annual Love Parade, billed as the largest
celebration of techno music.
http://timelines.ws September 2006
1999
South Africa
NewMusicSA is the South African section of the
International Society for Contemporary Music
(ISCM). Its formation on 10 May 1999 heralded
the return of South African representation at the
ISCM after many decades.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NewMusicSA
May 2011
16 Jul 1999
Austria
In Wiener Neustadt the Woodstock '99 "One
World" experienced music festival was projected
to have an audience of 250,000.
http://timelines.ws October 2006
06 Aug 1999
Poland
The fifth free Station Woodstock rock festival was
held in Zary with an estimated 200,000 people in
attendance.
http://timelines.ws August 2006
2000
US
In Louisiana, a federal judge ordered officials to
return all confiscated music, including the Disney
Tarzan soundtrack and songs by Britney Spears
and Snoop Doggy Dog, to a roller skating rink
owner, saying that a local sheriff may not censor
the music played at the rink. The sheriff had
seized the music claiming that the recordings
played in the rink had caused a fight to break out
in the parking lot. A private school in Texas
suspended four students who attended a
Backstreet Boys concert, violating a school
policy forbidding "involvement in inappropriate
music [or] dancing."
http://www.aclu.org/freespeech/censorship
March 2007
10 Jun 2000
Germany
In Germany the 3-day Rock of the Ring music
festival in Neurburg drew some 100,000 people
to see 90 bands.
http://timelines.ws October 2006
12 Sep 2001
Japan
Hatsuko Kikuhara (born as Hatsu Nunohara),
master of traditional Japanese music, died at
age 102. She was a master of the 3-string
shamisen and 13-string koto.
http://www.scaruffi.com September 2006
12 Jul 2003
Germany
In Germany Techno fans took part in the 15th
Love Parade in Berlin. Hundreds of thousands
fans of techno music were expected to join the
event.
http://www.scaruffi.com September 2006
31 Jul 2004
Poland
Some 200,000 people gathered for the 10th
annual weekend concert called Woodstock in
Kostrzyn.
http://timelines.ws September 2006
2005
International
Rumours again reported in mainstream media on
12 May about the possible merger of music
giants EMI Group (UK) and Warner Music Group
(USA). In 2000, the companies dropped plans for
a proposed $20 billion merger in the face of
European Union (EU) antitrust concerns.
http://www.commoncause.org July 2007
Mar 2005
China
China's National People's Congress proposes a
bill to ban lip-synching at pop music concerts.
http://www.danwei.org/internet/china_
media_timeline_danwei_wo.php August
2010
05 Dec 2007
Germany
Karlheinz Stockhausen (b.1928), German avant-
garde composer, died. His innovative electronic
works made him one of the most important
composers of the postwar era. His work included
“Kontakte” (1959-60) and “Stimmung” (1968), a
sextet for unaccompanied voices on a 6-note
chord of B-flat.
http://timelines.ws January 2010
2010
International
While there may be a choir to provide music,
there are no musical instruments at all. "The main
theological reason," explains Father Bohdan
Hladio of St. Vladimir Ukrainian Orthodox Church
in Hamilton, Ontario, "is that of all the musical
instruments, only the voice was created by God."
The concept is to maintain "God-centeredness
as opposed to man-centeredness."
http://pictureofweddingcake.blogspot.com/20
08/10/types-of-wedding-ceremonies-
ukrainian.html December 2010
2011
Canada
Confident its financial troubles are behind it, the
Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony has agreed to pay
its unionized musicians wage increases of 2.7
per cent annually for the next four years. The
increases mean the base annual pay for a
bottom-tier musician will go from $27,486 this
year to $31,737 by the end of the contract. On the
top end, the highest-paid musicians in the 52-
member symphony will earn 40 per cent above of
that. The symphony says it can afford the higher
wages, only a few years removed from an
emergency fundraising campaign and staggering
deficits that threatened to kill the KWS entirely.
Last year, the symphony posted a deficit of $46,
753.
http://www.therecord.com/news/local/article/5
38922--symphony-agrees-to-pay-hikes-for-
musicians May 2012
2011
US
The pay varies widely in symphony orchestras.
Many small towns have orchestras that pay "per
service" (meaning per rehearsal or
performance). Larger cities generally have
salaried orchestras that range in pay based on
prestige and budget. A third tier orchestra
(Buffalo, Oregon, North Carolina) generally pays
in the $30,000-50,000 range and up to the "big
five" orchestras (Cleveland, Chicago, New York,
Boston, Philadelphia) which have starting
salaries around $110,000.
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_salar
y_for_a_musician_in_a_national_symphony
_orchestra February 2011
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