Questions tagged [history]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
11
votes
4answers
5k views

Is the tritone (A4 / d5 / DA3 / Dd6) still banned in Roman Catholic music?

The tritone is one of the most dissonant intervals in music. It is also known as the "Augmented 4th", "Diminished 5th", "Doubly Augmented 3rd" or "Doubly Diminished 6th", and it is composed of three ...
6
votes
2answers
88 views

Did the rain stick originate independently in multiple continents?

There is a traditional rain stick (percussion instrument) in Africa, Latin America, and I believe in Australia as well. Was it invented separately, or did one culture influence another? Here is a ...
5
votes
2answers
86 views

Anotations in Beethoven original score of the 9th symphony

I once heard that in the original handwritten score of the first movement of Beethoven's 9th symphony there are references to the creation myth as annotations. However, these were not replicated in ...
4
votes
1answer
84 views

What was the shortest note length commonly used during baroque period?

Eighth and sixteenth notes were obviously common enough. I've also seen some examples of 1/32 and 1/64 (link). Were 1/32 and 1/64 used frequently? And what was the shortest note length commonly used ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the oldest instrument ever?

What is the oldest musical instrument played other than the human voice, but body parts are acceptable? Did Neanderthals use instruments to play music?
13
votes
4answers
3k views

How did Mozart know about voice leading rules like consecutive fifths?

What education did Mozart receive in order to know basic harmony rules, like consecutive fifths are bad? And how did he make sure his compositions do not have errors? Did he have to check every voices ...
15
votes
3answers
489 views

Is the Baroque Schleifer, slide, or glissando symbol evolved from the Gregorian chant quilisma?

I posted this question on Wikipedia a year ago, with no answers. These two musical signs look eerily similar. The Baroque Schleifer or slide (see Wikipedia page): The quilisma in Gregorian chant (...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is ra lower than re while la is higher than le?

According to Wikipedia and this answer, the solfège syllables for 2 and ♭2 are re and ra, respectively, while the solfège syllables for 6 and ♭6 are la and le, respectively. Is there a reason for this ...
1
vote
1answer
137 views

What's the biological purpose of music? If music serves no purpose for survival? [closed]

What's the biological purpose of music? If music serves no purpose for survival? It's intuitive that people mey develop to do certain things, but in order for them to be "of fundamental type", I ...
13
votes
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 ...
19
votes
4answers
4k views

Is counterpoint still used today?

I was wondering if counterpoint is still used today or was it something that was just used by Bach? Does modern music like pop songs use it?
8
votes
5answers
3k views

How did students remember what to practise between lessons without any sheet music?

Before the time when sheet music was popular people were good at playing keyboard instruments. I am referring to the time when printing books was expensive. How did the students remember what to ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

Less known composers [closed]

As a personal hobby, I try to write about a new composer each week. ( nothing major just a short 2 page bio ) it helps round my knowledge of classical music. I'm looking to expand to less known ...
8
votes
3answers
741 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, ...
0
votes
1answer
116 views

what do you mean with the “common practice period?” [closed]

Does anybody know a German equivalent term? Now I have read some articles but nowhere found an answer (translation) in German. Looking up "Klassische Musik" - whereby I know this term is used for ...
17
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the reason for pitch inflation?

There's this phenomenon among instrumentalists to constantly raise the pitch of the concert A. This generally occurs among string players, since the range of tunings for woodwinds, for example, is ...
5
votes
1answer
110 views

Tetrachords in medieval music

Are tetrachords used in medieval/renaissance music the same way as modern chords are used in modern music (as a base for the melody)? And if so... how are the applied?
6
votes
2answers
800 views

Are there any thematic similarities between Shostakovichs' Symphony 5th and Beethovens' 7th symphony? [closed]

Taking a look at the opening bars of Shostakovichs' Symphony 5th and Beethovens' 7th symphony 4th movement (bar 136 onwards) see below they sound kind of similar. Somebody suggested (Radio 3 I think)...
3
votes
1answer
63 views

Was tube screamer designed to run into already distorted tone

Many guitar gear reviewers (one example) claim that tube screamer was designed to run into dirty amp. While it's definitely common application for all mid humped overdrive pedals (especially ones with ...
2
votes
2answers
213 views

Are there fewer rhymes in contemporary popular music? If so, why?

Vsauce mentions a study by Joan Serra showed contemporary pop music is less complex in its musical motives than it was, which he explains by a wider diversity in form and genres. While complexity of ...
11
votes
1answer
991 views

Musical Shape on music stand

I've seen this shape a few times, but what exactly does it represents?
4
votes
1answer
98 views

was the 12/16 measure usual in the time of Bach?

We met today this work by Bach with this strange time - strange to me as I've never met before this meter. Of course it is possible ... but I ask if someone knows another composition with this meter, ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

Naming convention for augmented 6th chords

There are three types of Augmented 6th chord the German, the Italian, and the French. Most chords are named for the intervals they contain or their function, but these seem like just arbitrary names ...
11
votes
2answers
102 views

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 ...
8
votes
1answer
609 views

On The Origin of Dissonant Chords

Without relying upon French harmonic theory (Rameau for instance), can you explain how the emergence of “freely” (by freely, I refer to such harmonies not being the result non-harmonic tones, or ...
4
votes
1answer
81 views

Ellington's Mood Indigo: clarinet voiced below trombone “never heard before”?

I'm writing a paper on the song 'Mood Indigo' by Duke Ellington, from 1930. It is known for its achingly beautiful sound, which is achieved via three-part harmony of trumpet, trombone, and clarinet. ...
8
votes
2answers
212 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 "...
-8
votes
1answer
161 views

Jaws vs. Dvorak [closed]

There is a worldwide-viral debate involving the Jaws theme as if it is a "rip-off" of the finale of Dvorak's Ninth Symphony. Some say if the theme is sampled from Dvorak. Did John Williams really ...
25
votes
3answers
4k views

Why does a 97 / 92 key piano exist by Bösendorfer?

Pianos normally have 88 keys, ranging from A0 to C8. One of Bösendorfer's pianos go down to F below the low A. The other model goes down to C. How did this happen?
4
votes
1answer
111 views

When did the aeolian mode change to the harmonic minor?

Looking for explaining the "transformation" of the minor 7th to a major seventh I found this question by Bart Brush in a Choral net forum. He asks about the modality of folk songs in the oral ...
4
votes
1answer
68 views

Has there ever been a piano accordion with piano keys on both hands?

It's possible to find a piano accordion with piano keys on the right hand and the triangular arrangement of buttons on the left-hand. It's also possible to find a button accordion with the triangular ...
28
votes
8answers
21k views

Why is the lowest note on the piano an A?

I've always wondered why almost every piano's lowest note is an A. In fact, I've never seen a piano whose lowest note is not an A, and I have also noticed that this pattern only occurs in pianos; most ...
6
votes
1answer
67 views

was the first inversion of triads usual before Renaissance? where there any rules about doubling or not doubling root tone?

We have the music of Palestrina, Gallus, Lassus, Cavalieri, Lechner and others. Most chords are in root position. But some are not. In which period the first inversion of triads came up? Was it right ...
15
votes
3answers
5k views

Baroque music composed in the 21st century

Which characteristically Baroque elements of music composition still have currency in the 21st century? Are there any 21st-century composers or songwriters who still compose primarily or largely in ...
36
votes
12answers
11k views

Why does conventional playing style give the string manipulation to the left hand?

For the majority of players, the right hand is used for most tasks that require exacting manipulation: writing, throwing, etc. However, guitar, violin, lute, etc., use the right hand for plucking ...
0
votes
1answer
133 views

Why wasn't Josef Matthias Hauer credited with inventing dodecaphony? [closed]

Most music history textbooks commence twelve-tone serialism with Schoenberg, but wouldn't commencing with Hauer be more accurate? Josef Matthias Hauer also developed something akin to Schoenberg'...
4
votes
4answers
869 views

The melody+chords pattern in perspective

Most of us who know the basics of music theory and share the "common" musical culture (western mainstream popular songs, mass media, "classical" music from the common practice period), tend to think ...
-1
votes
1answer
101 views

Why did Stuart and Sons invent a 102-key piano?

Stuart and Sons have invented a huge 102-key grand piano. What is the reason behind this?
8
votes
1answer
345 views

What piano music was played in “wild west” saloons before the ragtime appeared?

The stereotypical saloon scene in most movies about the Wild West often features ragtime being played on a piano. However, ragtime only appeared at the very end of the century (the first known ...
0
votes
1answer
110 views

Locrian mode is not part of standard usage?

I got this answer on one of my questions: The Locrian mode is mostly a music theory concept in western music history, and it is very rarely used for music pieces that use western harmony, but ...
3
votes
1answer
170 views

Why do very old pianos have only 85 keys?

Some extremely old pianos have only 85 keys, ranging from A0 to A7. These pianos are no longer existent today. What's the reason?
2
votes
3answers
71 views

Chromatic note between fourth and fifth degree of the minor scale?

In the first 5 notes of the natural minor scale: C D Eb F G I often see people add a chromatic note (Gb/F#) between the 4 and 5 degrees of the scale: so C D Eb F Gb G. Here's one example at 0:22 but ...
9
votes
1answer
821 views

What 1968 Moog synthesizer was used in the Movie Apollo 11?

I was watching the short YouTube video How ‘Apollo 11’ Gives the Moon Landing New Life | Anatomy of a Scene and near the end the narrator says: My music composer, Matt Morton decided to do a period ...
1
vote
0answers
73 views

What did Ligeti mean by 'shimmering effect'?

Stephen A. Taylor, Chopin, Pygmies, and Tempo Fugue: Ligeti's "Automne a Varsovie", Vol 3.3., Online Journal of the Society for Music Theory. I looked up 'shimmering' on ODO. David Bruce explains ...
0
votes
2answers
275 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
236 views

Is it true that Bach had no concept of suspended chord?

In an answer to a question in SE I read the sentence with the pretension above. Chord in the Bach d-minor prelude I think this can be easily be counter-proofed by many examples of Bach’s music and ...
6
votes
1answer
61 views

What are the differences between different marching music traditions?

I've often heard of people talking about "prussian marches" or "british marches" in the context of a style of march. It seems that they could tell just by hearing a march as to what tradition it's ...
-1
votes
2answers
90 views

Is it possible that Beethoven (after turning deaf) “heard” all of his symphonies in a different key? [closed]

According to this article on cmuse.org, Even though Mozart is the only Western musician and composer who was explicitly acknowledged as having perfect pitch, Bach, Händel, Chopin and Beethoven are ...
20
votes
3answers
2k views

Are octaves, fifths, fourths and thirds considered as “consonant” in all music cultures?

Our western music culture revolves around the rule that certain intervals are very consonant, and others (such as the interval between a B and F) are dissonant. The octave is the most consonant ...
10
votes
4answers
6k views

How did people tune their instruments in the past?

Today we are using electronic tuners and know everything about frequencies but in the past, like before the 16th century, how could people tune their instruments? Did they tune them to specific ...