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Questions tagged [history]

The study of how music has developed and changed over time.

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Notation of triplets in Bach’s *Orgelbüchlein*

In the following piece from J.S. Bach’s Orgelbüchlein, the nearly constant triplet line seems to be incorrect: The time signature is 3/2, but there are 9 eighth-note triplets per measure rather than ...
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3answers
103 views

When was the Ionian scale invented?

The Ionian scale is the major scale, which is one of the two most commonly used scales. (As the remaining five are rare compared to) It is far the most commonly known, and it is being even used in ...
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1answer
52 views

Who did introduce the mediant keys in to music harmony progression?

Which composer(s) introduced as the first time mediant chords and mediant keys in their compositions - or in which period the use of this kind of modulation was coming up?
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2answers
68 views

What elementary notation principles are there to provide a “PRE-NOTATION” state of a musical idea? [closed]

How can we help someone who doesn't know reading sheet music to design his own ideas or to interpret a musical score? I call this graphic design (something of a enhanced neumes of the gregorian ...
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0answers
48 views

was Don Shirley also a composer even if he didn't write down any sheet music? [migrated]

first I want to say that I'm just trying to find some questions to pay attention to Doc Shirley. Yesterday we went to see the movie "THE GREEN BOOK" and from the first piece he played I realized what ...
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2answers
62 views

who gave the titles to chopin's etudes op.10? [duplicate]

Chopin's etudes op. 10 are all named related to some features and shapes of the compositions. Who gave these names - that may also say something about their performing - to the études? Was it ...
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1answer
25 views

is paraphrase and “paraphrasing” the same?

The term paraphrase in music seems quite clearly defined. Right coming from searching another term for the fill-ins, echo-ing, answering in a musical dialog of 2 instruments, a singer and piano or ...
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1answer
64 views

what is a “leitmotif” and by whom has it been introduced into music language?

after debating about Paraphrase in music and whether "paraphrasing" could mind something different I came to the question, that someone has been used the first time the German term of "leitmotif" ...
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1answer
122 views

What does the word “Grand” in a title of a piece of music (by e.g. Beethoven or Chopin) mean?

Chopin wrote four "grandes valses brillantes" (Opera 18, 34) and Beethoven wrote a sonata (Opus 13) that the publisher called a "grande sonate pathétique". What is the sense of the word "grand" in ...
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1answer
47 views

Dampers in 19c fortepianos

I recently listened to performances at the 1st International Chopin Competition of Period Instruments, and I noticed that the chords in the fortepianos used there (manufactured in the early 19th ...
5
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3answers
108 views

To Slash or not to Slash?

In years gone by, when I saw a chord marked, for example, A, I would use any inversion or voicing I felt was appropriate - still do; it doesn't have to be root position. Or does it? Is there an untold ...
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3answers
41 views

When did Henri Bertini publish his Etudes, Op. 32?

Can anyone say about when Henri Bertini published his Op. 32 of Etudes? IMSLP doesn't turn anything up.
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4answers
186 views

Why is Debussy's Clair de Lune not considered a nocturne?

Leaving the title of the piece aside, it sounds evocative of the night, though compared to what I've listened to from Chopin's nocturnes for example, it sounds more descriptive than contemplative. Is ...
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2answers
87 views

What exactly is a Christmas carol?

I looked up differences between Christmas carols and other Christmas songs. Generally about carols being about nativity or some other traditional songs not necessary religious while other Christmas ...
10
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1answer
95 views

When did the practice of exiting-reentering during applause in classical concerts start?

As the title suggests, I'm looking for some information on when the practice (concerning soloists and directors) of exiting and reentering the stage during an applause after a classical performance ...
7
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1answer
120 views

How do people measure which tuning freqency were used during Baroque period?

In a website decribing the story of A=415Hz, it points out that In the Baroque Era, pitch levels as high as A-465 (17th century Venice) and as low as A-392 (18th century France) are known to ...
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3answers
144 views

A pianist that used a wooden spacer/tool to artificially increase the length of their fingers

I've once heard a story about a pianist of the past who wrote a music piece that critics told him was impossible to play - the length of any person's fingers wouldn't be sufficient. But he used some ...
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2answers
153 views

Why are key signatures put in a circle?

Why are key signatures arranged in a circle like it is today, why not a triangle... or a square? Who came up with the idea to arrange the key signatures in a circle?
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2answers
590 views

Why are some Beethoven works given names like WoO 40 or Hess 238?

Why is it called WoO 40 or Hess 238? These are names of Beethoven's symphonies. They have peculiar names.
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1answer
184 views

Is this entire movement by Bach really only a single measure with just two chords?

I'm spending a lot more time with early music, and as I was studying the score to J. S. Bach's third Brandenburg Concerto, I encountered something unexpected: an entire Adagio movement that's only one ...
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6answers
1k views

What Constitutes Theory?

There are many questions here concerning theory. Hardly surprising given the site's title! What I'm trying to establish is where theory starts and possibly ends. For example, is just knowing a major ...
6
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1answer
114 views

When was the dominant ninth chord incorporated in music theory?

The "ninth chord" that Rameau, Kirnberger, Marpurg or Koch (inter alia) discuss during the 18th century is the chord formed by a triad and an added ninth, and its explanation is always through a "...
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1answer
26 views

Where to find original song booklets of composers that released in their time [closed]

As I know, as I understand, composers shared new compositions with pressed booklets in their time. Where to find those booklets? Are there any archive? or any information about booklets? Thank you!
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3answers
56 views

What is the generic term for Allegri's Miserere-like music?

What is the word/adjective that could describe music pieces similar to Allegri's "Miserere" or Henry Ley's "A Prayer of King Henry VI"? This music appears to be be sung a capella, with a four-voice ...
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3answers
157 views

Need help understanding the difference between diatonic and chromatic semitones

I am writing an essay on musical temperaments for which I was doing something extensive research on the history of tuning and how it evolved over time. I understand the Pythagorean tuning system quite ...
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3answers
179 views

What is the historically informed way of playing the 1/16 notes in Handel's Water Music suite no. 1 overture?

Handel's Water Music suite no. 1 starts with a slow overture with 1/16 notes at the middle and end of each measure: Some performances play it "as written" [Koopman], but some play the 1/16 notes ...
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1answer
299 views

When were chords invented?

I'd like to know in what period/year chords were invented and by whom. Did musicians like Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven think in chords to harmonize their melodies or did chords only emerge in the ...
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2answers
123 views

Why aren't notes and intervals plain numbers?

Beginner question: If we were to leave the historical context aside and redesign the system of musical notation: would we base this around the 12 steps we've divided octaves in? What strikes me as ...
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0answers
44 views

Did the rain stick originate independently in multiple continents?

There is a traditional rain stick (percussion instrument) in African, Latin America, and I believe in Australia as well. Was it invented separately, or did one culture influence another? Here is a ...
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2answers
2k views

Why did it take so long for keys with several accidentals to become common?

(I am referring mostly to the common practice period.) Before the advent of well temperament in the 1700s, moving very far from C was not done often because of the mean temperament causing out of tune ...
8
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3answers
179 views

In which music should I add my own embellishments?

I know that music from the baroque era was composed with the assumption that performers would add their own embellishments (when viable, not for canons or fugues). I've also heard that Mozart didn't ...
2
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3answers
328 views

Important composers in transitional eras

I understand Beethoven (and Schubert) to be very important composers in the transition from the Classical Era to the Romantic, such that they could be considered the first Romantic composers. Are ...
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2answers
90 views

How did popular music influence classical music?

In the baroque, classical, and romantic periods, how did popular "low culture" music influence the classical music produced during those periods? Were influences more frequently from previous ...
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3answers
185 views

When did the popular music overtake classical music in terms of influence/significance? [closed]

Preface 1: I do not have any formal training in music, or music history. I am a piano hobbyist, interested in classical pieces. Preface 2: I believe this post is better divided into separate ...
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2answers
85 views

Where do I get answers to my musical “Why” questions, i.e. are there any “Why” books out there? [closed]

I have been studying music theory for some time now and I have become genuinely interested in the genealogy of music theory. I keep asking why when I study even the most basic of theories. For example,...
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1answer
265 views

Why did Mozart only write two symphonies in a minor key?

Mozart wrote over fifty symphonies, but only two of them, the 25th and 40th, are in a minor key. Interestingly, those two are some of his most highly regarded and most often played works. Why did he ...
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0answers
113 views

Beautiful quote about “B durum”

This one goes out to all the scholars and historians. I'm trying to put together a little booklet, for my students, to explain the accidental markings (sharp, flat etc) and where they come from. My ...
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2answers
326 views

Example of Classical Composer having two albums/works of two different periods

I would like to find the clearest, most obvious case for a composer whose work at one point of his life is considered to be part of "Period A" and work at another point of his life is considered "...
12
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1answer
220 views

In ancient Greece, did they use the Pythagoras discovery of ratios to create tetra-chord?

To my basic understanding: In ancient Greek they were primarily using tetra-chords and there was three main standard divisions of these tetra-chords called genus. In the same era Pythagoras ...
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0answers
91 views

What is the historical time line of the diatonic and chromatic scales? (history pov) [duplicate]

I was wondering the historical origin of the diatonic/chromatic scale and how it ended up looking the way it does now in our equal temperament system. And whats the difference between chromatic and ...
7
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1answer
472 views

History of triplets

I was wondering about triplets : when and where were they used for the first time in scores? More generally, when were triplets used significantly (i.e. not one single time on one particular score, ...
6
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1answer
180 views

How did the harmonium and violin become an integral part of Hindustani music?

The Harmonium hails from Germany and it is not an Indian instrument. Also, it is a equal tempered instrument. But the harmonium is a very common accompanying instrument in Hidustani Classical and ...
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2answers
424 views

Origin of Roman Numeral Analysis

Out of curiosity, I was searching for the origin of Roman Numeral analysis and the only online source I could find was this passage in Wikipedia: Gottfried Weber's Versuch einer geordneten Theorie ...
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2answers
348 views

Why is the hexatonic scale that can be derived via a chain of perfect fifths so little-known?

When learning about European classical music, it's heptatonic scales. The pentatonic scale is also very well known and widely used in folk music in different parts of the world. However, before I ...
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4answers
1k views

Why does unpitched percussion play a less prominent role in classical music than many other genres?

With my little knowledge of classical music I noticed, and I believe most people would agree, that unpitched percussive instrument play a much less prominent role in classical music than in most ...
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2answers
3k views

Why does Brahms stand next to Bach and Beethoven?

I've often heard the expression, "Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms" as sort of a summary of classical music, or something. I feel that I understand why Bach and Beethoven should serve as pillars of ...
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1answer
3k views

Why is Debussy's remark brilliant (on going out and smoking, at the start of Beethoven's developments)?

From: Charles Rosen. Critical Entertainments. p. 117 Bottom - 118 Top.   In the same way, attacks on Beethoven could be profound and even persuasive, and would continue to be so after his death ...
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1answer
331 views

Who invented rhythmic value names based on fractions of a measure of 4/4 music?

In American music a Semibreve is called a "whole note". Here it states that the name "whole note" comes from a German expression (ganze Note): In the world of music, you may encounter different ...
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1answer
1k views

Why did Chopin name Etude Op. 25, No.5 the “Wrong Note”?

The piece sounds lovely, why did he name it "Wrong Note"?
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5answers
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Why do we always call a quarter note a **quarter** note? [closed]

Edit: After a lot of discussion I try to restate my question so that it becomes easier to understand: A concise version of my question, suggested by Stinkfoot: Why do we always call a quarter note a ...