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Evolution of Music: Part 1
by Dr. Jon K. Loessin
Wharton County Junior College
Gregorgian 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
13th-16 centuries
 Composers include Giovanni Palestrina and
William Byrd
 French, German, Italian, and Spanish courts
The Baroque Period: 17th
--Birth of “modern” music for the era
 --Represented an awakening in musical
 --Sophistication and repetition of harmony
through an aesthetic emotional method
 Composers include Antonio Vivaldi (16781741)
, Johann Sebastian Bach (16851750), and Georg Frideric Handel (16851759)
Johann Sebastian Bach
MAJOR COMPOSITIONS: The Brandenburg Concertos
Concertos for Violin
George Frideric Handel
MAJOR COMPOSITIONS: Messiah; Arrival of the
Queen of Sheba
; Love in Bath
; Water Music
The Classical Period:
18th Century
Composers included the great
 master composers like Wolfgang
 Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791
 Austria) and
Ludwig von
Beethoven (1770-1827
Beethoven and Mozart
Beethoven Compositions include:
 Symphony No. 5, No. 9, and Für Elise
Mozart’s works include: Eine kleine
and Turkish March
The Romantic Period:
Dominated the 19th 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
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 19th century also witnessed the PostRomantic (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