Questions tagged [history]

For questions about how music has developed and changed over time or for questions about concepts and ideas of a historic period of music. Do not use just because the subject of the question is a historic figure or piece.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
4
votes
1answer
21 views

Original sources for note-increment dot

A dot after a note adds half of its duration. This is called a “dotted note”. I am interested in the history of the dot itself. How is it called, and what is its origin. I’m looking for earliest ...
1
vote
2answers
43 views

Why are western double-reed instruments smoother than double-reed instruments outside Europe?

When one thinks of the timbre of double reed instruments, we tend to divide them as two groups: Oboe, English horn, bassoon. (Western instruments.) The sound is very smooth and pure. Other double-...
0
votes
2answers
26 views

What is Echo (a type of dance)?

This question is about a type of Baroque dance called Echo. For example, Bach: Overture in the French Style in B Minor, BWV 831 - VIII. Echo. Why it is called Echo? I searched in wikipdiea, but out ...
5
votes
2answers
435 views

What scale were the very first modes based on?

If all modes derive from a scale which scale were the very first modes derived from? I know the modern modes are derived from the diatonic scale but if the first modes came before the major and minor ...
0
votes
2answers
60 views

Is the Descending Fifths sequence also an Ascending Fourths sequence ? Who is the original source of this sequence?

Can the Descending Fifths sequence also be correctly named as an Ascending Fourth's sequence ? in major : I - IV - vii dim - iii - vi - ii - V - I Is Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706) and his Canon in D ...
1
vote
2answers
90 views

Pandiatonicism in “She’s leaving home” (Beatles)?

In a documentary about the Beatles it was said She’s leaving home is in aeolian mode. I thought this would be rather dorian as we have a major 6th in the scale passage of the cello after the first ...
29
votes
8answers
4k views

Aldous Huxley and 5/4 Meter in Music Predating “Take 5”

Background: "Take 5" by Paul Desmond (and famously recorded by the Dave Brubeck Quartet) is one of the more famous jazz standards out there, and one thing any analyst would point out immediately is ...
2
votes
3answers
108 views

Meaningfully significant BPMs

A bit of a trivial question perhaps, but are there any historically/intrinsically meaningful BPMs? As in, there's obviously 60 bpm. I ask because while trying to correct my rushing, I've noticed ...
1
vote
1answer
111 views

Did J.S.Bach know the categories *major* and minor* when he wrote his WTC?

Something interesting: I've read the other day that Bach when he wrote his WTC there he didn't know the terms *major" and "minor". I can't find the source again but may be someone can help me. May ...
4
votes
1answer
331 views

staff, grand staff, staves? what does it mean?

I've understood that staff is one system of 5 note lines and the term for both systems (l. & r. h. keyboard) is grand staff, is this correct? ... while in a full score would be several staves?
1
vote
4answers
82 views

Did the music of the common practice period always end with a full measure?

If there are pieces which end with an incomplete measure, then what would be some examples? And is there a term for an incomplete measure at the end? Something that would be the opposite of anacrusis.
1
vote
0answers
71 views

Mozart as a Freemason [closed]

Mozart's opera 'The Magic Flute' is full of masonic symbolism. Freemasonry is all about 'brotherly love' and 'mutual aid' for fellow masons, yet Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died in a pauper's grave with ...
1
vote
9answers
259 views

How was violin practiced before electronics, say, in the 1800s?

One might say with an instructor, but how about when not in the presence of their instructor? How did beginning students practice hitting the right notes? For example, there were no electronic ...
2
votes
2answers
58 views

Where can I read more about Monteverdi's role in the evolution of the orchestra?

I have seen it mentioned here and there that Claudio Monteverdi was the first composer to score for a specific set of instruments, for his opera Orfeo in 1607, and that this had a significant impact ...
3
votes
4answers
124 views

What is the significance of triads in western music?

I am a beginner to western classical music. In Howard Goodall's The Story of Music, he mentions “Triads are the chords around which every harmonic, or chordal, journey is structured, in virtually all ...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

Where can I find accurate traditional sheet music online? [closed]

A lot of the sites I see are arrangements or versions transcribed by others; although this is somewhat good, I am looking for more accurate sources for traditional songs in the category of; Holiday/...
1
vote
2answers
111 views

Was there a conscious decision of medieval composers to compose within a harmonic framework?

How much were medieval composers (such as Hildegard von Bingen) aware of modal approach when they composed and "engineered" their pieces? Now, this question is almost stupid. They didn't compose ...
20
votes
9answers
6k views

Why did we never simplify key signatures?

I understand that the key signature indicates what are the exact notes represented on the staff lines and spaces and thus tells us the diatonic scale in which the music is composed, which in turns ...
5
votes
2answers
118 views

When was “Nashville Tuning” invented?

Answering a question about alternate tuning today got me thinking about Nashville Tuning and that this is basically the exact same concept used by Stanley Clarke (and apparently Ron Carter) to "invent"...
-1
votes
1answer
65 views

What does the term “ex tempore” mean?

I was going to give an answer and in this quotation about Werckmeister I encountered the term ex tempore. enter link description here I first thought this means memorizing and playing by heart. A ...
3
votes
2answers
90 views

Has it always been the tradition for conceto soloists to have their music memorized?

At all the performances of concertos I've attended, the soloists perform without sheet music, whether it is a concerto for piano, viola, or horn. Has this always been the performance tradition for ...
1
vote
1answer
35 views

Earliest piano lyre?

When was the first piano built/marketed/sold whose pedals were mounted on what we now call a lyre, instead of onto a harpsichord-like crossbar between the front legs?
1
vote
1answer
131 views

When was the change from tablatures to staff notation in the history of music?

As the other day someone asked: Why do we notate keyboard sheet music as we do ... (the question has been probably put on hold as off-topic ...) I think this question is interesting: Why do we notate ...
4
votes
2answers
61 views

Books on music theory that give historical context? [closed]

Can someone recommend 1-2 books that introduce music theory but also give historical context? It is easy to find music theory books but many lack discussions of history. I'm looking for books that ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

Fivefold division of the whole tone - What does it mean?

I am recently reading this article: Jan W. Herlinger. Journal of the American Musicological Society. Vol. 34, No. 2 (Summer, 1981), pp. 193-216 (Title: Marchetto's Division of the Whole Tone). In the ...
-1
votes
3answers
124 views

Why is Eastern Music a Mode of Western Music?

Western music (to me at least) is best captured in the major scale. And Phrygian, which is the 3rd mode of the major scale can be used to get a more Eastern sound (for example Jefferson Airplane/White ...
1
vote
3answers
138 views

Where did JSBach study composing? Was he an autodidact? [duplicate]

We know that Bach comes from a family of musicians. But who was his teacher in composition?. Who did he study with? Or was he self-taught?
30
votes
4answers
8k views

How did composers “test” their music?

How did composers "test" their music, especially in multi-instrument works (eg. chamber, orchestra) or in pieces for instruments they didn't know how to play? Did they really have an orchestra (for ...
8
votes
10answers
3k views

Why is reverb typically called “wet' or ”drippy"?

Reverb is a type of natural effect you can get playing in walled spaces, giving a sort of echo/reverberation as the name implies. But I'm referring more to emulated reverb through use of a guitar ...
1
vote
1answer
96 views

What do we know about the oldest found melody?

In the 1950ies there has been found a Sumerian fragment of music in Syria: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurrian_songs The complete song is one of about 36 such hymns in cuneiform writing, found ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

Is this accompaniment of Seîkilos Epitaph original?

I've recently asked when the polyphonic music came up. Now I've encountered this accompaniment of Seikilos Epitaph. This sounds exactly like I was imagining that the Greeks would have accompanied ...
0
votes
2answers
142 views

What does “vox humana” mean in Organ building?

Reading a thesis about temperature in Organ construction I encountered this term and I didn't know anything about it before. So I wonder what you can tell us about "vox humana".
4
votes
1answer
458 views

What is the “Trio” in a march?

During a band rehearsal the bandmaster may ask when playing a march: Let’s start from the trio! a) What is meant by this term? b) where does it come from?
0
votes
4answers
513 views

Stradivaris: are they worth their price? [closed]

An ordinary violin may cost about 1000 dollars. A Stradivari may cost some millions. Why are Stradivaris so expensive? Are they worth their price?
0
votes
0answers
64 views

Efforts and examples of modernizing Indian lyrics and music?

English lyrics can express anything using “common language” (words you hear in everyday conversation) whether it’s love, politics, poverty, violence, or the end of times. English lyrics are direct, ...
2
votes
1answer
147 views

The New Complexity movement

What are the main ideas incorporated into the New Complexity movement (contemporary classical music, late 20th century)? What kind of notation, musical techniques, or theoretical ideas would composers ...
0
votes
2answers
387 views

How low is the lowest tone that a human can sing?

Thinking about the range of human voices and the bass voices - especially whether there has been an average of lowest tones through the past - I wonder which is the lowest tone that a human can ...
3
votes
2answers
160 views

How could the Greek (Pythagoras et al.) measure the frequencies - as they didn't have a mobile app? [duplicate]

How could the Greek (Pythagoras et al.) measure the frequencies - as they didn't have a mobile app? They didn't have a tuning fork or any other standardized measure. But even without standards they ...
3
votes
3answers
115 views

Who has brought up the English term **figured bass** for thorough bass?

I wonder when and by whom figured bass has been introduced as synonym for thorough bass in the basso continuo. In my view this must be somehow an error or a misunderstanding of figurierter bass in ...
2
votes
2answers
106 views

Varied bass line and varied tune: What is the term used for this style?

I‘ve been looking for the term in English for this kind of gestures or ornamentations: Figuration is understood in the music playing a melody in small note values, in contrast to an ornament. The ...
9
votes
2answers
197 views

Where is the circle of fifths mentioned for the first time?

How and when was the Circle of Fifths invented, and who is responsible for the discovery of this musical godsend?
2
votes
2answers
112 views

English translation of Brahms' essay: “Octaven und Quinten”?

I am now doing some research on Brahm's essay, Octaven u. Quinten. I cannot read German, so I cannot do anything with the original manuscript. I have read some secondary sources about this essay, but ...
3
votes
3answers
181 views

You are the sunshine of my life: how is this off-beat singing called?

Stevie Wonder sings in a typical style I‘d like to know the english term. I wonder as I wander through Stevie Wonders style. What is this style called? Just syncopated? And when came this style up? (...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the name for a fluid transition between two tones? When did it first appear?

With instruments such as violins or trombones, it is possible to shift from one tone to another fluidly. What is this practice called? When has it first appeared in [Western] music?
2
votes
1answer
67 views

How can we play a Bach chorale in different ways? [closed]

Reconstructing Chorales: How can Bach Chorales be arranged or played differently? Are there typical kinds of harmonization named by criteria? What would be the effects? Some styles will be better ...
3
votes
1answer
169 views

Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring: What term is appropriate for the instrumental ornaments in Bachs Choral arrangements?

a related question asks if there is a specific term for the voicing in Bach's Chorals: What is the term for the sung voice found especially in Bach's chorale music (eg. Jesu Joy of Man's ...
13
votes
2answers
3k views

I wish you a merry Christmas: what is this chord progression called?

Is there a special term for this chain of secondary dominants V/IV, V/V, V/vi ? (or in C major: C,F,D,G,E,Am) It’s a frequent chord pattern in the era of Baroque and has also been used in the ...
0
votes
2answers
79 views

Composition types of music [closed]

Composition types in Western classical music. Is it possible for people to recognize the types of composition without the knowledge of the name given for the piece?
8
votes
5answers
4k views

Is there a relationship between prime numbers and music?

Is there a relationship between prime numbers and the series of overtones and their frequencies? I've found links to Euler's research about math and about music, and I got goose bumps when I found ...
1
vote
2answers
92 views

History of standardization of pitch and tuning: measuring waves

The velocity of a traveling wave in a stretched string is determined by the tension and the mass per unit length of the string. for a string of length cm and mass/length = gm/m. For such a string, the ...

1
2 3 4 5
7