Timeline

Mondays at 5:30 p.m., Wednesdays at 10 a.m., and Fridays at 7 a.m.

Timeline is a journey into the events, characters and concepts that shaped our Western musical tradition. Hosted by VPR Classical's James Stewart.

Check out our new web app where we can listen to all of the episodes in order.

If you'd like to go deeper, please see our suggested reading list.

Timeline is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Ida and William Rosenthal Foundation.

    

US-PD / Wikipedia Creative Commons

There are moments in music history, like all history, that stand as dividing lines. Once they happened, nothing could ever be the same.

US-PD / Wikipedia Creative Commons

Though the church was instrumental in the development of musical notation, it was not the sole arbiter of music in medieval times.  The high middle ages were also the time of the troubadours or trouveres; French composers and performers of secular lyric poetry and song beginning in the late 11th Century.

Engraving by W. Marshall from "Fuller's Holy State", published 1648.

Hildegard of Bingen was a writer, composer, philosopher, mystic, abbess, polymath and a literal visionary of the 12th Century.

US-PD / Wikipedia Creative Commons

Have you ever been to a restaurant and heard an off-brand version of the popular “Happy Birthday To You” song? The reason why a restaurant would choose to use that version, rather than the traditional “Happy Birthday To You,” is because, until recently, that song was protected under copyright.

US-PD / Wikipedia Creative Commons

Guido de Arezzo was one of the first music theorists in our western musical tradition.

US-PD / Wikipedia Creative Commons

It’s easy to take for granted this ability to take a piece of music and understand it instantly, but this wasn’t always the case. Let’s explore the birth of modern musical notation and the history of this elegant practice.

DNY59 / Istock

There is a long history of connection between the world of music and the world of mathematics.

US-PD / Wikipedia Creative Commons

The art of writing down melodies, preserving sound in time, was not something that was first invented just 1,000 years ago. Humans have made music for most of our history, let's explore some of the earliest examples of musical notation. The first comes to us from a culture that’s nearly 3,400 years old.

We are excited to announce a new educational series on VPR Classical: Timeline is an exploration into the development of Western music. Take a journey into the events, characters and concepts that shaped our Western musical tradition. Hosted by VPR Classical's James Stewart, we’ll start from the very beginning and trace the steps of music through history.

Starting Monday, April 27, broadcasts Mondays at 5:30 p.m., Wednesdays at 10 a.m., and Fridays at 7 a.m.

Pages