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Questions tagged [history]

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

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3answers
101 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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2answers
68 views

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

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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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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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 ...
12
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2answers
4k views

When did the half-step/whole-step modulation in the middle of a song become popular?

Many pop songs in modern times will use a half step or a whole step modulation in the middle of a song in order to increase excitement. I would like to know when this strategy started, and if it is ...
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2answers
61 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 ...
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 ...
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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" ...
5
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2answers
295 views

History of the baby grand piano

The first pianos were made in around 1700. Researching a little online, I've been able to find lots of info on the history of the piano. But when was the "baby grand" piano first created and/or ...
16
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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 ...
14
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2answers
335 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 (...
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1answer
2k views

Why are the black keys on some ancient fortepianos now white on modern pianos?

I am wondering what happened in the fortepiano's history that made the keyboard colors switch (why black keys on some ancient pianofortes are now white on modern pianos). Here is a picture of a ...
2
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1answer
121 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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5answers
6k views

When were the terms “Major” and “Minor” applied to keys?

In 1547, Heinrich Glarean published Dodecachordon in which he posited that in addition to the 4 existing pairs of church modes (plagal and authentic versions of modes with finals on D (Dorian), E (...
7
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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
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 ...
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3answers
178 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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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.
4
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4answers
185 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 ...
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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2answers
503 views

Why was the Forte-Piano abbreviated as 'Piano' and not as 'Forte'?

Piano is often just short for Forte-Piano, the instrument's christened name. Why is it that the more common name did not become the Forte? Is that just a thing that fate decided or was there someone ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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
3k views

The origin of “Battle Ends And Down Goes Charles' Father”

The order of the flats is given by the mnemonic "Battle Ends And Down Goes Charles' Father", and the order of sharps by the reverse ("Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battle"). What is the history ...
2
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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
181 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 ...
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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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4answers
42k views

Why note B is marked with H in Scandinavia and Germany?

At least in Scandinavia and Germany two notes are marked differently than in most other countries: B -> H B♭ -> B I have heard that this is due to mistake in interpreting messy sheet notes, as ♭ is ...
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9answers
19k views

Why is the double bass the only instrument in the violin family tuned in fourths?

Out of the 4 instruments of the Violin Family (Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass), the bass is the only instrument tuned in fourths. Wikipedia states The double bass is generally tuned in fourths, ...
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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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12answers
10k 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., etc., use the right hand for ...
5
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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 ...
4
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1answer
329 views

Whose idea was it to put three pedals on a piano?

Whoever decided to put foot pedals on a piano? Do we know who did it, or do we only know the general period that this happened? I would like to know who did this and when did it happen?
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1answer
298 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 ...
2
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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 ...
3
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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
841 views

What changes were made to Dvořák's Cello Concerto by Wihan?

Dvořák's Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104, B. 191, is a standard part of the modern cello repertoire, probably even the most popular concerto on the instrument. For the most part the version played ...
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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 ...
2
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1answer
94 views

Is there an English-language edition of “Dynamik und Agogik” by Hugo Riemann? [closed]

This book is cited by many theorists and it has inspired a lot of further works including the well-known book "Note Grouping" by Thurmond. There is a German language public domain version available at ...
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4answers
3k views

Did baroque composers think of ritardando on their compositions?

I've been always told that whenever I play any baroque piece on the piano, I should take special care when attending to, for example, the amount of right pedal I should use. It sounded perfectly ...
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3answers
178 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 ...
25
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7answers
17k 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 ...
34
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6answers
38k views

What are the practical reasons for still having transposing instruments?

I understand that historically there was a need for transposing instruments. e.g. Brass instruments would use lead pipes to change their key and players in brass bands would like to stick to the same ...
2
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3answers
327 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 ...