The Evolution of Music, Part 1


Evolution of Music: Part 1 by Dr. Jon K. Loessin Wharton County Junior College

Gregorian Chants    *The roots of the Gregorgian music can be found in the third millennium BC. This is confirmed by archaeological findings, such as three-hole pipe made of swan shin bone. In the ancient period 7 hole-pipes, lyres, bag-pipes, banduras, drums etc. were already in use. *Gregorgian sacred and secular music has a rich and complex history, relatively little of which is documented in any depth in English. Very strikingly, Gregorgian music uses an ancient system of polyphony, usually in three parts, and a unique tuning system conceived outside of what the western ear is used to. It makes a great use of parallel motion and dissonance (and usually ending in a unison pitch). Therefore, you are hearing tone pairings that speak a different musical vocabulary.

Populus Sion

Gothic Era Music  Gothic—A term often used to refer to the late middle ages (a.d. 1100-1450)  Examples:  Organum Viderunt omnes (abt. 1160) Roman de Fauvel (abt.1250)

Music of the Royal Courts: The Renaissance Period  13 th -16 centuries  Composers include Giovanni Palestrina and William Byrd  French, German, Italian, and Spanish courts

The Baroque Period: 17 th Century  --Birth of “modern” music for the era  --Represented an awakening in musical composition  --Sophistication and repetition of harmony through an aesthetic emotional method  Composers include Antonio Vivaldi (1678 1741) , Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 1750), and Georg Frideric Handel (1685 1759)

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) MAJOR COMPOSITIONS:

The Brandenburg Concertos ; Concertos for Violin

George Frideric Handel (1685-1759) MAJOR COMPOSITIONS: Messiah; Arrival of the

Queen of Sheba ; Love in Bath ; Water Music

The Classical Period: 18 th Century  Composers included the great  master composers like Wolfgang  Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791  Austria) and  Ludwig von  Beethoven (1770-1827  Germany)

Beethoven and Mozart  Beethoven Compositions include: 

Symphony No. 5


No. 9

, and

Für Elise

 Mozart’s works include:

Eine kleine Nachtmusik


Turkish March

The Romantic Period: Dominated the 19 th Century  Divided into the early romantic, romantic, and late romantic periods, but dominated by the music of the German composer Richard Wagner (1813-1883) with pieces like

The Ride of the Valkyries

Other Romantic Period Composers  Franz Schubert (1797-1828)  Frederik Chopin (1810-49)  Johann Strauss II (1825-99)  Johannes Brahms (1833-97)   Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-93) - The Sleeping Beauty…  The 19 th century also witnessed the Post Romantic (like Gustav Mahler), Modern Romantic (like Sergei Rachmaninov) , and Expressionist composers (like Maurice Ravel)

Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)  Ravel became famous for what some say is the most sensual and erotic musical composition of all time: Bolero  It is so synonymous with Ravel it is usually referred to as Ravel’s Bolero  7ZBzIXoJDM