4406 entries. 94 themes. Last updated December 26, 2016.

Timeline Outline ViewEra: All Eras   |   Theme: Music


Circa 33,000 BCE
A flute, found in the hills west of Ulm Germany, that is believed to be 35,000 years old.
The Earliest Musical Instruments
335 BCEThe Beginnings of Musicology 250 BCEThe First Keyboard Musical Instrument Circa 175 BCE
A Taoist text preserved on silk and discovered in Mawangui in 1973.
The Mawangui Silk Texts
Circa 50 CE – 200 CE
Hero of Alexandria
Automata Invented by Heron of Alexandria
Circa 125 CE
The Yale Musical Papyrus. (View Larger)
Ancient Greek Songs
Circa 125 CE
The Michigan Instrumental Papyrus. (View Larger)
Ancient Musical Notation
Circa 250 CE
Fragment 2687 of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri, which supplements fragment 9. (View Larger)
Greek Writings on Music and Rhythm
524 – 525
Boethius teaching his students. (View Larger)
Thedoric Executes the Philosopher Boëthius: Beginning of the Middle Ages
A diagram of a 'self trimming lamp' from the Book of Ingenious devices, preserved in the 'Granger Collection' in New York. (View Larger)
The First Programmable Machine & the Earliest Known Mechanical Musical…
Circa 950Discovery of the Earliest Known Practical Example of Polyphonic Music 960 – 970
Graduale Notkeri Sequentiae Codex 121).
The Oldest Documentation of Occidental Music
January 14, 1040
Page from Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg, Cod. Pal. graec. 281showing Latin writing referencing the text as being Greek musical theory. Please click on image to see full page.
The Earliest Codex Preserving Ancient Greek Music Theory
1100 – 1120
Folio 1 of Codex 2527, preserved at the Austrian National Library. (View Larger)
Medieval Handbook of Applied Arts Including Book Production
Circa 1150
Detail of page from the Codex Calixtinus–or Liber Sancti Jacobi / Book of Saint James Calixtinus–or Liber Sancti Jacobi / Book of Saint JamesCodex Calixtinus–or Liber Sancti Jacobi / Book of Saint James.
An Illuminated Medieval Travel Guide and Music Compendium
1167 – 1185
Plate 8 of the Englehardt facsimile of the Hortus delicarum. In the centermost circle, Philosophy rests upon a queenly throne, holding a banner that says 'All wisdom comes from God, only the wise can do what they want.' Directly below sit Socrates and Plato, at abutting desks. In the surrounding orbs stand the Seven Liberal arts: grammar, rhetoric, dialectics, music, arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy. (View Larger)
Written and Illuminated by the Nun Herrad of Landsberg
1206The First Recorded Designs of a Programmable Automaton 1206
A depiction of the Castle Water Clock from al-Jazari's 'Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices.' This manuscript is preserved at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. (View Larger)
al-Jazari's Clocks: Perhaps the Earliest Programmable Analog Computer
Folio 31r of the Rossi Codex, upon which is written a madrigal entitled 'in un broleto, al'alba.' (View Larger)
One of the Earliest Sources of Trecento Secular Polyphonic Music
Circa 1410 – 1415
A facsimile version of the Squarcialupi Codex. (View Larger)
The Largest Primary Source for Music of the Trecento
Circa 1415 – 1421One of the Oldest Surviving Collections of English Part Music August 14, 1457
The colophon of the 1457 Mainz Psalter, featuring the first printer's mark. (View Larger)
The Mainz Psalter. . . .without "Any Driving of the Pen"
Circa 1473The Earliest Printed Music Appears in the "Constance Gradual" October 12, 1476Ulrich Han Issues the First Dated Printed Book Containing Music March 21, 1480Franciscus Niger's "Grammatica", Containing the First Appearance of a "Musical Idea" in a Printed Book Circa 1496The First English Book Printed on Paper Made in England May 25, 1498 – 1501
 'Harmonice Musices Odhecaton,' a collection of secular songs, was the first book of music to be printed using movable type.  (View Larger)
The First Book of Sheet Music Printed from Movable Type
Circa 1500By 1500 Five Different Kinds of Music Notation Were Cut into Type 1536 – 1541
 In 1536, King Henry VIII formally disbands all monasteries in his realm and seizes their property, including thousands of books and manuscripts, most of which were subsequently lost or destroyed.  (View Larger)
Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries Brings Destruction and Dispersal…
July 6, 1599Christophorus Guyot Issues the Earliest Surviving Catalogue of a Book Auction 1617Michael Maier Publishes Early Multimedia: Words, Images and Music 1725Johann Joseph Fux Describes Baroque Counterpoint 1731 – 1742Jacques Vaucanson's Automata: Complex Enough to Provide a Credible Imitation of Life 1768 – 1774The Jacquet-Droz Automata February 9, 1784 – 1805Mozart's Autograph Catalogue of His Own Compositions, and its First Printed Editions 1791Von Kempelen Builds the First Successful Speech Synthesizer 1796 – 1819Alois Senefelder Invents & Develops Lithography September – November 1814Francis Scott Key Issues "The Star Spangled Banner" June 1840Cantata by Mendelssohn to Honor Gutenberg 1860de Martinville Produces the Earliest Sound Recordings, without Playback 1862Ludwig Ritter von Köchel Issues the Köchel-Verzeichnis of Mozart's Works August 12, 1877Edison Invents the Phonograph 1878David Hughes Invents the Loose-Contact Carbon Microphone June 1878Edison Describes Future Uses for his Phonograph June 22, 1878 – October 2012Listening to the Earliest Surviving Recording of a Musical Performance 1887The Flat Disc Gramophone 1894The First Illustrated Song: Precursor of the Music Video 1900The Oldest Surviving Magnetic Audio Recording 1906Lee de Forest Invents the Triode October 1920Invention of the Theremin 1922 – 1936George Owen Squier Invents Muzak 1924 – April 1925The First Electrical Sound Recording 1927Invention of Magnetic Tape October 1927The First Full-Length Film with Synchronized Dialogue 1934 – April 27, 1935The First Practical Tape Recorder April 24, 1934 – April 1935The Hammond Electric Organ 1936 – 1939The Voder, the First Electronic Speech Synthesizer: a Simplified Version of the Vocoder February – March 1945Bombing of Dresden Destroys Books and Manuscripts 1948Columbia Records Introduces the First Long Playing Record (LP) 1950Schmieder's Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis March 3 – March 5, 1951The First Rock and Roll Recording, Named After First American Muscle Car? August 7 – August 9, 1951The First Demonstration of Computer Music Circa November 1951The Second Oldest Known Recordings of Computer Music 1953 – 1957Probably the First Computer-Controlled Aesthetic System Circa 1956The First Sample-Playback Keyboard 1957The First Significant Computer Music Composition 1957The First Computer Widely Used Program for Sound Generation 1959First Book on Computer Music 1961The IBM 7094 is The First Computer to Sing 1963Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin' " October 1964Introduction of the Moog Synthesizer July 1966"Bobb Goldsteinn" Coins the Term Multimedia June 25, 1967"Our World," the First Live, International Satellite Television Production 1968The Computer Artis Society, the First Society for Computer Art, is Founded in London 1968"Incredible Machine" State of the Art in Computer Generated Film, Graphics and Music in 1968 August 2 – October 20, 1968Cybernetic Serendipity: The First Widely-Attended International Exhibition of Computer Art Circa 1969EMS Produces the First Digital Sampler in the First Digital Music Studio 1969Heinz von Foerster Issues the First Book on Computer Music to Include Recordings of Compositions 1971
Cover of Computergraphik-Computerkunst, by H.W. Franke. Please click on image to see larger version of image.
Franke Issues the First Comprehensive Treatise on Computer Graphics with the First History of Computer Art
1976 – 1983The Compact Disc (CD) is Developed August 20, 1977 – September 5, Launching "Messages in a Bottle" into the Cosmic Ocean 1979The First Widely Used Music Scheduling System 1983One of the First Practical Data Compression Systems September 1984The First Music CDs Pressed in the United States 1985The CD-ROM is Introduced November 1994The Rolling Stones Present the First "Cyberspace Multicast Concert" November 10, 1994The First Internet Only Broadcast of a Live Band September 1996 – March 1997DVDs are Introduced 1998MP3 is Introduced June 1, 1999The Napster Sharing Service for MP3 Files is Launched January 2000
The Pandora logo
Pandora Radio is Founded, Based on the "Music Genome Project"
March 5, 2001
The Napster logo
An Injunction Against Napter to Prevent Trading of Copyrighted Music
July 2, 2001
Bram Cohen
The BitTorrent Peer-to-Peer File-Sharing Protocol
October 23, 2001
The original Apple iPod
Apple Launches the iPod
December 2001
The Rhapsody logo
Rhapsody is Launched
April 28, 2003
The iTunes interface
Apple Opens the iTunes Store
January 6, 2004GarageBand: a Streamlined Digital Audio Workstation January 22, 2006File-Sharing Exceeds Sales of Digital Music Downloads February 22, 2006
Steve Jobs speaking about the one billionth iTunes download
Over One Billion iTunes Downloads
April 23, 2006The Biggest Music Retailer in the World: Apple's iTune Store June 28, 2008The Effect of Decay Fungi on Wood Used in the Production of Violins November 25, 2008Downloads Trump CDs January 6, 2009Apple Eliminates Anticopying Restrictions from iTunes April 15, 2009The First Collaborative Online Orchestra April 30, 2009Using YouTube Videos to Study the Origins of Music in Societies June 25, 2009The Death of Michael Jackson Impacts the Internet September 2009Confirmation that Fungally-Treated Wood Enables Great Violin Sound September 15, 2010The First Recording of Ancient Asian Melodies October 15, 2010The First Fragment of Contemporary Classical Music Composed by a Computer in its Own Style January 2011The First Independently Published Magazine Exclusively for the iPad January 10, 2011Universal Music Group Donates a "Mile of Music" to the Library of Congress May 9, 2011The First Major Print Magazine Publisher to Offer iPad Subscriptions September 2011 – July 2, 2012The First Complete Album Composed Solely by Computer and Recorded by Human Musicians October 5, 2011Steve Jobs Dies October 29, 2012Penguin to Merge with Random House December 12, 2012
Screen shot from first video to hit one billion views on youtube.com
The First YouTube Video to Reach a Billion Views
December 30, 2012The Year In Graphics and Interactives from The New York Times February 20, 2013"Billboard" Starts to Include YouTube Streams in its Calculation of the Most Popular Songs of the Week January 2014Animating Classical Representational Paintings