Musical Eras

Musical works and their composers are usually described as belonging to a specific era: Bach wrote "Baroque" music, for example, while Chopin was a "Romantic" composer.

These terms serve as a sort of shorthand to tell us that the music shares aspects of style with other pieces written at roughly the same time. These eras of music, however, relate to more than just the sounds of the pieces.

They reflect broad changes in society and culture that influenced the way music was written, performed, and heard.

In this section you can explore the historical themes, musical context, and stylistic ideas that mark the six major periods of music: Middle Ages, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and 20th Century.

You can also learn about the composers of these periods and explore how musical style changed from era to era.

Musical Eras:

  1. Middle Ages
  2. Renaissance
  3. Baroque
  4. Classical
  5. Romantic
  6. 20th Century