View the major music events in connection with world history
The 17th Century
1600s · 4 eventsclick to show
Miguel de Cervantes published "Don Quixote de la Mancha".
Jamestown, Virginia, was established as the first permanent English colony on American mainland.
First performance of Monteverdi's opera "L'Orfeo".
Johannes Kepler published his Laws of Planetary Motion which explained the movement of planets around the sun.
1610s · 3 eventsclick to show
1620s · 2 eventsclick to show
1630s · 3 eventsclick to show
1640s · 1 eventclick to show
End of the Thirty Years' War.
1660s · 3 eventsclick to show
1680s · 9 eventsclick to show
Pennsylvania founded by William Penn.
Jean-Philippe Rameau was born.
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz discovered calculus.
Johann Sebastian Bach was born.
George Frideric Handel was born.
Domenico Scarlatti was born.
Isaac Newton's Principia was first published.
Peter the Great became Czar of Russia and attempted to westernize nation and build Russia as a military power.
Henry Purcell's Dido and Aeneas premiered in London.
1690s · 1 eventclick to show
French settlers moved into Mississippi and Louisiana.
The 18th Century
1700s · 4 eventsclick to show
1710s · 1 eventclick to show
Water Music was composed by G.F. Handel.
1720s · 4 eventsclick to show
1730s · 2 eventsclick to show
1740s · 1 eventclick to show
Capt. Vitus Bering discovered Alaska.
1750s · 5 eventsclick to show
1760s · 6 eventsclick to show
Mozart toured Europe as six-year-old prodigy.
C.W. Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice premiered in Vienna.
Jean-Philippe Rameau died.
A French trading company establishes a trading post on the Mississippi River, to be known as St. Louis.
The French explorer Louis Bougainville "discovers" Tahiti and claims it for King Louis XV of France, though it had already been sighted by Europeans.
Napoleon Bonaparte was born.
1770s · 5 eventsclick to show
English explorer James Cook sights the East Coast of Australia. He lands at Botany Bay and claims the land for England.
Ludwig Van Beethoven was born.
Joseph Priestley and Daniel Rutherford independently discovered nitrogen.
The American Revolution began with battle of Lexington and Concord.
France Signs Treaty of Alliance with U.S., recognizing its independence.
1780s · 6 eventsclick to show
Immanuel Kant published the first edition of the "Critique of Pure Reason".
Sir William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus.
The Constitution of the United States was created.
Mozart's Don Giovanni premiered in Prague.
George Washington elected president of the US with all 69 votes of the Electoral College.
French Revolution began with the storming of the Bastille.
1790s · 9 eventsclick to show
Benjamin Franklin died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died.
U.S. Bill of Rights ratified.
Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette executed. Reign of Terror began in France.
L.V. Beethoven published his first piano sonatas Opus 2, dedicated to J. Haydn.
Franz Schubert was born.
U.S. Navy Department established.
Rosetta Stone discovered in Egypt.
George Washington died in Mt Vernon, Virginia.
The 19th Century
1800s · 8 eventsclick to show
U.S. negotiates Louisiana Purchase from France for $15 million.
Napoleon is crowned Emperor of France.
L.V. Beethoven finishes his "Eroica" Symphony Opus 55.
Official end to the Holy Roman Empire.
Britain declares the Slave Trade illegal, in a first attempt to end slavery across the British Empire.
L.V. Beethoven publishes the famous 5th Symphony Opus 67.
Joseph Haydn died.
Felix Mendelssohn was born.
1810s · 14 eventsclick to show
L.V. Beethoven completes his 5th Piano Concerto Opus 73, the "Emperor".
Robert Schumann was born.
Frédéric Chopin was born.
Franz Liszt was born.
Charles Dickens, author of "A Christmas Carol", was born.
Napoleon's Grand Army invades Russia in June. Forced to retreat in the winter, most of Napoleon's 600,000 men are lost.
United States Congress declares war on England.
The Congress of Vienna redraws the European map, following the Napoleonic Wars.
The Battle of Waterloo marks the end of the Napoleonic wars.
Independence of Argentina.
Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) by Gioachino Rossini, premieres in Rome.
The famous Christmas Carol "Silent Night" is written by Josef Mohr.
Karl Marx was born.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is published anonymously. Shelley was just 20 years old.
1820s · 11 eventsclick to show
Simón Bolívar liberates New Granada (now Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador) as Spain loses hold on South American countries.
Mexico gains independence from Spain with the Treaty of Córdoba.
Napoleon Bonaparte dies in exile on the island of Saint Helena.
Prince Pedro declared Brazil independent from Portugal and was crowned as Emperor Dom Pedro I of Brazil.
U.S. Monroe Doctrine warns European nations not to interfere in Western Hemisphere.
Mexico becomes a republic, three years after declaring independence from Spain.
Beethoven's finishes his 9th Symphony Opus 125.
First passenger-carrying railroad in England is constructed.
Nicéphore Niépce takes the world's first photograph.
Ludwig Van Beethoven died.
Franz Schubert died.
1830s · 5 eventsclick to show
Johannes Brahms was born.
Slavery abolished in British Empire.
The Republic of Texas declares independence from the Republic of Mexico.
R. Schumann completes his famous Kinderszenen Opus 15.
First Opium War starts between Britain and China, over the importation of drugs into China.
1840s · 9 eventsclick to show
Pyotr Tchaikovsky was born.
Lower and Upper Canada united.
Edvard Grieg was born.
Texas is annexed into the United States of America.
Edgar Allan Poe publishes The Raven and Other Poems.
Felix Mendelssohn died.
California and New Mexico annexed by U.S.
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels write the Communist Manifesto.
Frédéric Chopin died.
1850s · 8 eventsclick to show
Herman Melville writes Moby-Dick.
Crimean War begins as Turkey declares war on Russia.
Robert Schumann died.
First public performance of F. Liszt's Piano Sonata in B Minor by H.V. Bülow.
Abraham Lincoln makes strong antislavery speech: “This Government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free.”
First trans-Atlantic telegraph cable completed by Cyrus W. Field.
Richard Wagner concludes his famous opera Tristan und Isolde.
Charles Darwin writes "The Origin of Species".
1860s · 6 eventsclick to show
U.S. Civil War begins.
Claude Debussy was born.
Lewis Carroll writes Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
Gen. Lee surrenders and the Civil War is over. Lincoln fatally shot at Ford's Theater by John Booth.
U.S. buys Alaska from Russia for $7,200,000.
Mendeleev creates the periodic table of elements.
1870s · 9 eventsclick to show
Alexander Scriabin was born.
Germany is unified and the German Empire is proclaimed with Prussian King as Kaiser Wilhelm I.
Sergey Rachmaninoff was born.
Arnold Schoenberg was born.
R. Wagner concludes his opera Götterdämmerung, finishing "The Ring Cycle".
First performance of P. Tchaikovsky's famous ballet Swan Lake Opus 20.
Alexander Graham Bell patents the telephone.
Phonograph is invented by Thomas Edison.
Thomas Edison invents practical electric light.
1880s · 6 eventsclick to show
Béla Bartók was born.
The construction of the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City is completed.
The original Metropolitan Opera House, at Broadway in New York City, opens with a performance of C. Gounod's opera Faust.
World's first steel-frame skyscraper built in Chicago.
Franz Liszt died.
Eiffel Tower is built for the event to celebrate the centennial of the French Revolution.
1890s · 9 eventsclick to show
The Carnegie Hall is built in New York City by Andrew Carnegie.
A. Dvořák moves to the US to become the director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York City.
Pyotr Tchaikovsky died.
New Zealand becomes first country in the world to grant women the vote.
G. Mahler's Symphony No. 2 (the "Resurrection") premieres in Berlin, Germany.
Auguste and Louis Lumière premiere motion pictures at a café in Paris.
First modern Olympic games held in Athens, Greece.
Johannes Brahms died.
Famous American writer Ernest Hemingway was born.
The 20th Century
1900s · 8 eventsclick to show
Tosca by G. Puccini premieres in Rome.
Pelléas et Mélisande, C. Debussy's most famous opera, premieres in Paris.
First controlled plane flight by the Wright Brothers.
New York City subway opens.
Albert Einstein publishes his theory of Special Relativity.
Dmitri Shostakovich was born.
Edvard Grieg died.
North Pole is reached by American explorers Robert E. Peary and Matthew Henson.
1910s · 11 eventsclick to show
Chinese Republic proclaimed after a revolution overthrows Manchu dynasty.
Titanic sinks on its first voyage.
New Mexico and Arizona admitted as states of the U.S.
Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring premieres in Paris.
World War I begins with the assassination of Austrian Archduke Francis Ferdinand.
Alexander Scriabin died.
First American combat troops in France as the U.S. declares war on Germany.
Russian Revolution begins.
U.S. buys Virgin Islands from Denmark for $25 million.
Claude Debussy died.
The World War I ends with the Treaty of Versailles.
1920s · 9 eventsclick to show
Women in the United States conquer the right to vote.
Death of Lenin and Stalin wins the power struggle to rules as Soviet dictator.
G. Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue premieres in New York.
Big record labels begin using electric microphones for recording.
Adolf Hitler publishes his autobiographical manifesto "Mein Kampf".
John T. Scopes convicted and fined for teaching evolution in a public school in Tennessee, U.S.
First film combining music and speech ("The Jazz Singer") premieres.
Edwin Hubble proposes theory of expanding universe.
The Great Depression starts in the U.S.
1930s · 5 eventsclick to show
1940s · 3 eventsclick to show
1950s · 2 eventsclick to show
1960s · 3 eventsclick to show
1970s · 1 eventclick to show
Dmitri Shostakovich died.
1980s · 7 eventsclick to show
Ronald Reagan elected president of the United States.
John Lennon of the Beatles murdered in New York City.
Reagan nominates Judge Sandra Day O'Connor, 51, of Arizona, as first woman on U.S. Supreme Court.
AIDS is first identified.
Major nuclear accident at Soviet Union's Chernobyl power station alarms world.
After 28 years, Berlin Wall is open to West.
Voyager 2 spacecraft speeds by Neptune after making startling discoveries about the planet and its moons.
1990s · 1 eventclick to show
The hugely successful Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling debuted in 1997. The series would go on to become the best-selling series in world history.
The 21th Century
2000s · 4 eventsclick to show
Terrorists attack the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in NYC.
On the Transmigration of Souls, John Adams' homage to the victims of the 9/11 attacks premieres in NYC.
Licht ("Light"), Karlheinz Stockhausen's cycle of seven operas, started in 1977 and was completed in 2003 with the opera Sonntag aus Licht.
Third largest ever recorded earthquake devastates the west coast of northern Sumatra, Indonesia.
2010s · 4 eventsclick to show
The existence of the Higgs Boson was confirmed at the Large Hadron Collider in Cern, Switzerland.
Bob Dylan receives the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Pierre Boulez, one of the dominant figures of the post-war classical music world, dies on January 5th.
Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking dies on March 14th.