Classifying historical things into “periods” or “eras” is so complex that it’s almost become a business among historians.
It’s difficult to classify music, or any other historical event. Classifying music – like classifying art – is particularly complex, because creativity evolves in its own time, and doesn’t respect dates. Most experts (musicologists) disagree about dates, because everyone has a different way of thinking about when and how things change.
It’s not important to put precise dates on the evolution of music, but it IS important to have a general overview of how it has evolved through the time that humans have been on the earth, making and enjoying music in every part of their lives.
Identifying the major changes of music over time is important.
In this course, we’ll look at the main periods of time where music had certain characteristics which were different from other periods of time. You won’t be tested on the actual dates, only on the order of the periods.
Each lesson will present a different musical period, or era, and will give you a general idea of how it is special, and which instruments, composers, and musical works it’s good to be familiar with.
You’ll be able to test yourself at the end of the lesson, and when you’ve completed all of the lessons you can do some review activities before taking a final test that will show how well you have understood and remembered the most important parts of the course.
Music is made of life experiences, of emotions, of imagination; not just of notes and rhythms.
You’ll also be given an opportunity to say which eras, works, composers, or instruments you especially enjoyed. After all, music is first and foremost an expression of emotion and ideas, not just an academic subject to master.
Good luck, and enjoy!