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C. 5th Century BCE, Monochord

Illustration of a monochord drawn by Robert Fludd, 1624.
Sonification of World Order with a Monochord by Robert Fludd, 1624. 1

The monochord, a primitive, single-stringed scientific instrument, attributed to Pythagoras, used as a way of teaching harmonics, measuring musical intervals, tuning scales and encouraging experimentation. It is thought that Pythagoras used the monochord to delineate the three Western Scales (diatonic, chromatic, and enharmonic), illustrating how numerical ratios could be visualized with sound. The single string was typically plucked, though later developments would offer other variations, including the use of a bow. The introduction of a sound box to enhance the lower-frequency response of the single string led to the invention of the soundboard.

YouTube Placeholder Image for DZ-dPV7PPK8
Dan Bao Monochord Improvisation, performed by Phong Nguyen. 2

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[1]
Rötel, Kaspar (Drucker).  Divine Monochord.  1617 – 1621.  Fludd, Robert.  Utriusque Cosmi Maioris Scilicet et Minoris Metaphysica, Physica atque Technica Historia Oppeinheim: Theodore de Bry.  (Collection Centre Candien d’Architecture, Montreal)  Gutenberg-E.Org.  Web.  13 Oct. 2015.  Public Domain.
[2]
Brink, Wayne.  “Dan Bao Improvisation, Three Rivers One Source.”  Online Video Clip.  YouTube.  YouTube, 29 Nov. 2013.  Web.  14 Oct. 2015.  Standard YouTube License.

800, Music Notation

Music notation first developed, a curve representing the rise and fall of pitch.

C.1160, Staff Appeared

Depiction of a musical staff with treble clef and 4/4 time signature.
Musical Staff. 1

A staff appeared with the traditional five lines.

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[1]
Cralize.  "Staff."  Digital Art.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 25 Sept. 2005.  Web.  9 Oct. 2015.  GFDL, and CC BY-SA 3.0.

C.1400, Open Closed Notes

In England, a system of notation developed, much like it is today, with open and closed notes on the staff; and the first inclusion of ‘colouration,’ by composers.

1668, Couperin

Portrait of François Couperin, early 18th century, in the Palace of Versailles, Versailles, France.
François Couperin, Early 18th Century. 1

François Couperin (1668–1733): French Composer, Harpsichordist, Organist, Teacher (Son of Charles Couperin) – Baroque Period

  • His treatise The Art of Playing the Harpsichord (L 'Art de Toucher le Clavecin) (1716) covers fingering, touch, ornamentation and performance on the harpsichord.

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[1]
Unknown, and uploaded by Charvex.  François Couperin.  Early 18th C.  Palace of Versailles, Versailles.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.,  28 Dec. 2007.  Web.  18 Aug. 2015.  Public Domain.
Additional References:
  • Higginbottom, Edward.  "François Couperin."  Oxford Music Online.  Oxford University Press, 2007 – 2015.  Web.  14 Sept. 2015.

1692, Marchand

Louis-Joseph Marchand (1692 – 1774): French Theorist, Composer, Priest – Baroque Period

  • His book Singing from the Book (Traité du Contrepoint Simple, ou Chant sur le Livre) (1739) considered to be the first French counterpoint handbook.

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Additional References:
  • Aleksandrowicz, Milosz.  "The Rules of the Improvised Vocal Religious Polyphony.  Louis-Joseph Marchand’s Traité Du Counterpoint Simple (1739)."  KUL.  The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, n.d.  Web.  14 Sept. 2015.
  • Montagnier, Jean-Paul.  "Marchand, Louis-Joseph."  Oxford Music Online.  Oxford University Press, 2007 – 2015.  Web.  14 Sept. 2015.

1711, Term: Pianoforte

Term Pianoforte ( “soft and loud” ) coined by poet/journalist Scipione Maffei; he named Cristofori’s instrument a “gravicembalo col piano, e forte.”

1714, CPE Bach

Portrait of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, painted by Franz Conrad Löhr, in the Gemäldegalerie der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. 1

C. P. E. Bach (1714 – 1788): German Composer, Harpsichordist, Organist (Son of JS Bach) – Late Baroque / Early Classical Period

  • His famous treatise Essay on the True Art of Playing the Keyboard Instruments (Versuch über die wahre Art das Clavier zu spielen) (1753) covers technical advice on fingering (helped to standardized the use of the thumb), position & figured bass, improvisation and ornamentation and his philosophy of performance, believing that music should “touch the heart” and “awaken the passions.” “…it was the most important work of practical musical instruction of the second half of the 18th century.” [ 2 ]
  • Mozart once said of him: “Bach is the father. We are the children!”

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[1]
Löhr , Franz Conrad, and uploaded by Phrood~commonswiki.  Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach.  Gemäldegalerie der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin, Berlin.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 10 June 2005.  Web.  14 Sept. 2015.  Public Domain.
[2]
Leisinger, Ulrich.  "Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach."  Oxford Music Online.  Oxford University Press, 2007 – 2015.  Web.  14 Sept. 2015.
Additional References:
  • Dammann, Guy.  "CPE Bach: Like father, like son."  The Guardian.  Guardian News and Media Limited, 24 Feb. 2011.  Web.  14 Sept. 2015.
  • "Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714 – 1788)."  Early-Music.  Early~Music, n.d.  Web.  14 Sept. 2015.
  • Leisinger, Ulrich.  "Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach."  Oxford Music Online.  Oxford University Press, 2007 – 2015.  Web.  14 Sept. 2015.

1718, Marpurg

Portrait of Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg, drew by Friedrich Kauke and engraved by Berol in 1758.
Portrait of Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg 1

Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg (1718–1795): German Critic, Journalist, Theorist, Composer – Classical Period

  • Initially interested in discussing how music had an effect on audiences but later shifted and became more concerned about the works themselves & the composer’s relation to the work.
  • Among his many works are topics ranging from teaching keyboard performance, thoroughbass, and composition and fugue.
  • Developed Rameau’s theories.
  • His works used in the study of the history of 18th century music. He had three periodicals in which he wrote and edited: Der critische Musicus an der Spree (1749–50), Historisch-kritische Beyträge zur Aufnahme der Musik (1754–62, 1778), and Kritische Briefe über die Tonkunst (1760–64).

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[1]
Berol engraving, original painting by Friedrich Kauke, and uploaded by FastilyClone.  Engraving of Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg.  1758.  Gallica – The Digital Library of the National Library of France, Paris.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 20 April 2005.  Web.  18 Aug. 2015.  Public Domain.
Additional References:
  • Serwer, Howard.  "Marpurg, Friedrich Wilhelm."  Oxford Music Online.  Oxford University Press, 2007 – 2015.  Web.  14 Sept. 2015.
  • Johnson, Keith.  "Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg Biography."  AllMusic.  All Media Network, LLC., n.d.  Web.  14 Sept 2014.
  • Pulver, Jeffrey.  "Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg."  The Musical Times.  Vol. 53, No. 832.  1 June 1912.  JSTOR.  Web.  14 Sept. 2015.

1738, Boroni

Image of sheet music, La Notte Critica, from composer Antonio Boroni.
La Notte Critica Score by Antonio Boroni. 1

Antonio Boroni (1738–1792): Italian Composer, Choirmaster – Late Baroque / Early Classical Period

  • Taught his relative Muzio Clementi.
  • Maestro din Cappella at Saint Peter’s Basilica.

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[1]
Boroni, Antonio, and uploaded by jakej.  La Notte Critica.  International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP).  Internet Archive.  Web.  13 Oct. 2015.   No Known Copyright Restrictions.
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