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Questions tagged [history]

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

4
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1answer
76 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
60 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 ...
27
votes
8answers
19k 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 ...
5
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0answers
57 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?
7
votes
1answer
56 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
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3answers
4k 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
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., use the right hand for plucking ...
0
votes
1answer
111 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
693 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
89 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
149 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
751 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)...
0
votes
1answer
95 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
136 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?
24
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?
2
votes
3answers
63 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
771 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
60 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
42 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. ...
0
votes
2answers
149 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
190 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
57 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
77 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
1k 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
5k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
93 views

Is there a chord containing an augmented and diminished fifth?

What chord is this? There’s a chord progression often used at the beginning of a new phrase (chorus or interlude) leading from I6 to the ii: In C-major this would be: Starting: E-G-(C) ...
0
votes
2answers
44 views

What does the “across the sea” mean in this opera? [closed]

In the book Music in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries (Western Music in Context: A Norton History) I see this line: Krenek’s opera ends with Jonny standing on top of a globe while a ...
5
votes
5answers
4k views

Is it true that Mozart would pale in comparison to child prodigies today? [closed]

Apologies if this question is off-topic. I read in a book somewhere (I think it was Think Like a Freak) that many child pianists today would outshine famous prodigies of the past, for example Mozart, ...
-1
votes
2answers
85 views

How did Rameau's Treatise on Harmony (1722) influence the mass production of musical instruments?

Rameau's Treatise on Harmony (1722) initiated a revolution in music theory but in what ways did that translate into popularizing music ... particularly the mass production of musical instruments? ...
19
votes
3answers
4k views

Origin of the 'squigly line' used for quarter note rest?

This has been driving me nuts - I can't find a single thing on the net that would indicate why the quarter rest is penned the way it is. Did it evolve from some initial or abbreviation or was it ...
4
votes
2answers
204 views

Are there historical references that show that “diatonic” is a version of 'di-tonic' meaning 'two tonics'?

Wikipedia says that "diatonic" refers to a whole note scale or a scale with seven pitched per octave. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diatonic_and_chromatic But my take is that the major and minor ...
5
votes
3answers
197 views

Need help understanding the difference between diatonic and chromatic semitones

I am writing an essay on musical temperaments for which I was doing some research on the history of tuning and how it evolved over time. I understand the Pythagorean tuning system quite well now but I ...
0
votes
3answers
72 views

Usage of “to paraphrase” in music

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 ...
10
votes
3answers
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 ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

History of screaming in music throughout the world

Screaming is a common technique in metal and other music genres but according to Wikipedia it has also been used in blues music and very few times in more classical Western works. Are there other ...
7
votes
1answer
68 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
122 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 ...
-2
votes
2answers
76 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
59 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?
13
votes
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 ...
10
votes
1answer
98 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
76 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
votes
2answers
343 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
votes
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
votes
2answers
393 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 (...
8
votes
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
votes
1answer
179 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 ...
40
votes
5answers
7k 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
votes
1answer
337 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 ...