132 Answered Questions for the topic music history

Music History

05/03/19

Was the pitch A given that letter because the minor key was originally the "basic" mode?

It's something that's puzzled me; The key that has no sharps and no flats, in essence the "basic" key, is C Major. Well, fine, but why C? Why not label that key and note A, if it's the foundation... more
Music History

04/28/19

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... more
Music History

04/28/19

Fux counterpoint: why is it in the modal system?

Assuming Fux's counterpoint was written in 1752, why are there some references to the modal system and none to tonality? I mean... 1752 is way beyond the end of modality! Composers already had the... more
Music History

04/28/19

Succinct Definition of "Western vs. Non-Western Music"?

Does anyone have a succinct way of defining "Western Music" as opposed to "Non-Western Music"?
Music History

04/28/19

Erhu vibrato before Western contact?

Was vibrato known as a technique in China before the introduction of Western string instruments? How common was it to use vibrato when performing the erhu?
Music History

04/28/19

When did keyboard partitions start to use the G-clef for the upper staff ?

When you look at very old sheetmusic (for harpsichord or organ), you see that the upper staff has a C-clef, first line. The lower one is the familiar bass F-clef, fourth line.Why and when did the... more
Music History

04/28/19

What is the history of classical music?

Music History

04/28/19

What types of guitars are used for spanish music?

I am fascinated by Spanish guitar music, and I have started exploring it. I have heard classical music like Gypsy Kings, Taranta, Romance, etc.Does anyone here know what types of guitars are used... more
Music History

04/27/19

Scales in modal versus tonal music?

When tonal music replaced modal music, why were 6 of the 8 scales (modes) used in modal music abandoned in favor of only two, major and minor? Superficially this would look like a reduction in the... more
Music History

04/26/19

Was alto in the past lower in pitch than where they are today?

I wonder why alto clefs are so low that they doesn't seem to match the range of alto(female low voice). Why did J.S. Bach use alto clef so much for the middle part of his fugue? Is it because alto... more
Music History

04/25/19

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... more
Music History

04/20/19

Where did the symbols ♭ and ♯ originate from, and why those?

We're all used to flat and sharp signs, also naturals. Accidentals in some cases. But why those unusual signs? I suspect the ♭ may have something to do with the German B, but the ♯ sign? Something... more
Music History

04/20/19

Where did the British names for different note lengths come from?

I was always taught to use a certain set of names for the length of a note, such as crotchet, minim, quaver, and so on. I'm aware though that those terms aren't used as much outside the UK, and... more
Music History

04/20/19

Why is a 2-5-1 progression so often associated with JAZZ?

Why is a 2-5-1 progression so often associated with JAZZ?? Is there something inherent in this progression that makes it sound jazzy? Or rather, is it just that jazz people started to use it,... more
Music History

04/20/19

What led to the historical predominance of the four-part harmony in Western Music?

Introductory music theory heavily empasizes analysis and writing of music with four-part harmony, putatively the basis for music at the beginning of the common practice. Why did four-part voice... more
Music History

04/20/19

The origin of "Battle Ends And Down Goes Charles' Father"?

The order of the flats is given by the mnemonic "**B**attle **E**nds **A**nd **D**own **G**oes **C**harles' **F**ather", and the order of sharps by the reverse ("**F**ather **C**harles **G**oes... more
Music History

04/20/19

Wood vs Stone first drum?

What was the first drum instrument? Was it wood or stone? Maybe there is an answer out there, but all I found were mere discussions.
Music History

04/20/19

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

The piece sounds lovely, why did he name it "Wrong Note"?
Music History

04/20/19

Looking for a 'Danse Macabre' baroque antecedent?

My daughter is currently practicing a piano version of *Danse Macabre* by Saint-Saens (so I have it in my head). The other day, I heard a baroque piece for violin and recorder. At one point, the... more
Music History

04/19/19

What is the difference between "Opus" and "Song Cycle"?

What is the difference between "Opus" and "Song Cycle", because "Opus" is a separate composition or a set of compositions. A song cycle is the same, isn't it? Whenever I go to wikipedia for a song,... more
Music History

04/18/19

How much do we know about how ancient Greek and Roman music sounded?

Specifically for music composed earlier than the third or fourth century A.D. I have heard several reports about deciphering examples of ancient greek musical notation. And you can find CDs of... more
Music History

04/12/19

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... more
Music History

04/12/19

What is the history of considering Rock 'n' Roll to be "the Devil's music"?

Historically, what evidence has been cited in support of the claim that Rock 'n' Roll is the music of Devil? This notion exists in the popular culture, fueled by *Footloose* and half-remembered... more
Music History

04/12/19

Where/When did the modern guitar originate?

I keep thinking of Greeks playing Lyres - there had to be a point where someone added strings and the modern shape...

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