A CHRONOLOGICAL VIEW OF WESTERN MUSIC HISTORY IN THE CONTEXT OF WORLD EVENTS

January 1, 1780 – December 31, 1780

Event icon
January 1, 1780: Tomohito replaces Hidehito as Emperor of Japan.
Performance icon
January 1, 1780: And dares insulting France pretend, an ode by John Stanley (67) to words of Whitehead, is performed for the first time, in the Great Council Chamber of St. James' Palace, London.
Event icon
January 8, 1780: An earthquake centered near Tabriz, Persia kills around 200,000 people.
Event icon
January 17, 1780: War of the American Revolution: British naval forces defeat Spaniards off Cape Saint Vincent, thus relieving Gibraltar. Six Spanish warships are captured, three run aground. Admiral Don Juan de Langara is captured.
Event icon
January 26, 1780: War of the American Revolution: The court martial of Benedict Arnold ends in Morristown, New Jersey with aquittal on most charges. He is found guilty of abuse of authority.
Event icon
January 29, 1780: A salary is authorized for Dmitry Stepanovich Bortnyansky (29) in his new position of director of ecclesiastical music at the St. Petersburg court.
Event icon
February 1, 1780: Emperor Joseph II privately pays a visit to the Russian ambassador to Vienna and suggests a meeting with Empress Yekaterina.
Event icon
February 11, 1780: War of the American Revolution: A British expedition lands at John’s Island, near Charleston, South Carolina.
Performance icon
February 22, 1780: Atys, a tragédie lyrique by Niccolò Piccinni (52) to words of Marmontel after Quinault, is performed for the first time, at the Paris Opéra. The premiere is performed badly but by the second night it will be very successful, which is a comfort to the anti-Gluckists.
Death icon
February 22, 1780: Francesco III, Duke of Modena, Reggio, and Ferrara dies in Varese and is succeeded by his son Ercole III.
Event icon
February 29, 1780: Publication of six accompanied keyboard sonatas op.4 by Muzio Clementi (28) is announced in the Morning Post, London.
Event icon
March 1, 1780: The legislature of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania bars the enslavement of any person born after this date. It also ends the slave trade in the state.
Performance icon
March 8, 1780: L’amant anonyme, a comédie mêlée de ballets by Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges (34) after de Genlis, is performed for the first time, in Paris.
Event icon
March 10, 1780: Russia declares armed neutrality in the war between Great Britain and the United States.
Event icon
March 14, 1780: War of the American Revolution: Spanish forces capture the British garrison at Mobile, West Florida (Alabama).
Event icon
March 18, 1780: After two years in Italy, Antonio Salieri (29) departs Naples for Vienna.
Event icon
March 24, 1780: War of the American Revolution: British forces begin an offensive into the interior of Nicaragua from San Juan del Norte.
Event icon
March 26, 1780: The British Gazette and Sunday Monitor begins publication. It is the first Sunday newspaper in Britain.
Death icon
March 26, 1780: Duke Karl I of Braunschweig dies in Braunschweig and is succeeded by his son Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand.
Performance icon
March 28, 1780: Das tartarische Gesetz, a singspiel by Johann Rudolf Zumsteeg (20) to words of Gotter, is performed for the first time, in Stuttgart.
Performance icon
March 30, 1780: String Quartet in C by Samuel Wesley (14) is performed for the first time, at a Wesley family concert at their London home.
Event icon
March 30, 1780: War of the American Revolution: A large British force reaches to within one kilometer of Charleston, South Carolina.
Event icon
March 31, 1780: King Louis XVI bans Italian comic opera from the Théâtre Italien, recognizing French works and composers as the true voice of comic opera in the country.
Performance icon
April 1, 1780: Le sacrifice d’Abraham, an oratorio by Giuseppe Cambini (34), is performed for the first time, at a concert spirituel, Paris.
Event icon
April 1, 1780: William Billings (33) finds himself in a financial situation sufficiently comfortable to buy a house in Boston.
Event icon
April 6, 1780: A motion by John Dunning in the House of Commons that “the influence of the crown has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished,” is carried 233-215.
Event icon
April 8, 1780: Antonio Salieri (29) returns to Vienna after two years of travel in Italy, fearful that Emperor Joseph is unhappy with him.
Event icon
April 12, 1780: Publication of the Piano Sonatas nos.35-39 and 20 by Joseph Haydn (48) is advertised in the Wiener Zeitung .
Event icon
April 14, 1780: King Friedrich II of Prussia issues the Allgemeines Landrecht, directing that there be a unified code of law for all the Prussian states.
Event icon
April 14, 1780: War of the American Revolution: British forces capture the American supply depot at Monck’s Corner, 50 km north of Charleston, capturing large quantities of supplies and cutting off the city.
Event icon
April 16, 1780: The University of Münster is founded by Franz Freiherr von Fürstenberg.
Event icon
April 17, 1780: War of the American Revolution: British and French fleets meet in a muddled engagement off Martinique. Much damage is done but no advantage is gained by either side.
Event icon
April 22, 1780: Antonio Sacchini’s (49) Armida is revived at the King’s Theatre, London as Rinaldo. It is the hit of the London season.
Event icon
April 29, 1780: War of the American Revolution: After a siege of two weeks, the Spanish defenders of Immaculada Concepción fort (El Castillo, Nicaragua) surrender to invading British. The British will hold the fort for six months, then leave after hundreds of them die of disease.
Event icon
May 2, 1780: William Herschel discovers Xi Ursae Majoris, the first identified binary star.
Event icon
May 2, 1780: War of the American Revolution: A large French convoy carrying 6,000 men sets sail from France for America.
Event icon
May 4, 1780: The Derby is first run at Epsom.
Event icon
May 4, 1780: The American Academy of Arts and Sciences is chartered in Boston “to cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, dignity, honor and happiness of a free, independent and virtuous people.” It is the first scientific society in the United States. The first president is John Bowdoin.
Event icon
May 7, 1780: War of the American Revolution: Americans surrender Fort Moultrie, South Carolina to the British.
Event icon
May 12, 1780: War of the American Revolution: After a siege of six weeks, US forces in Charleston, South Carolina surrender unconditionally to the British.
Event icon
May 14, 1780: This is the date of a diploma awarded to Joseph Haydn (48) upon being given membership in the Philarmonic Society of Modena.
Performance icon
May 19, 1780: Symphonie concertante in Bb, C48 by Johann Christian Bach (44) is performed, possibly for the first time, in the Tottenham Street Rooms, London.
Event icon
May 19, 1780: Darkness covers New England and parts of Canada during the day. It has never been explained.
Event icon
May 22, 1780: François-Joseph Gossec (46) is appointed sous-directeur of the Paris Opéra under Dauvergne.
Event icon
May 22, 1780: Johann Friedrich Peter (34) departs his post in Lititz, Pennsylvania heading for Salem, North Carolina.
Event icon
May 25, 1780: War of the American Revolution: Two regiments of the United States Army mutiny at Morristown, New Jersey over unpaid wages and dwindling rations. The mutiny is put down.
Event icon
May 26, 1780: War of the American Revolution: Spanish defenders repulse a British attack on Saint Louis (Missouri).
Event icon
May 29, 1780: A meeting of the Protestant Association takes place in London. The group, founded by Lord George Gordon, opposes the Roman Catholic Relief Act which removes disabilities of Catholics. They resolve to present a petition to Parliament.
Event icon
May 29, 1780: War of the American Revolution: British forces defeat Americans at Waxhaws Creek, near Lancaster, South Carolina.  The British, led by Banastre Tarleton, kill several Americans as they try to surrender.
Event icon
June 2, 1780: Members of the Protestant Association, numbering 20,000 to 40,000 march on Parliament in London to petition against the Roman Catholic Relief Act. Along the way, their numbers swell to as much as 60,000. At the Houses their entrance is forbidden except for their leader, Lord George Gordon. While he is inside, the crowd begins to riot and attack Catholics and their property. Churches are a particular target. Parliament flees.
Event icon
June 2, 1780: Emperor Joseph II arrives in Mohilev (Mogilev, Belarus) for his meeting with Empress Yekaterina of Russia.
Event icon
June 4, 1780: After a lull yesterday, anti-Catholic rioting resumes in London.
Performance icon
June 4, 1780: Still o’er the deep does Britain reign, an ode by John Stanley (68) to words of Whitehead, is performed for the first time, in the Great Council Chamber of St. James' Palace, London to honor the birthday of King George III.
Event icon
June 4, 1780: Empress Yekaterina II and her retinue arrive in Mohilev (Mogilev, Belarus) where she meets with Emperor Joseph II.
Performance icon
June 5, 1780: La finta amante, an opera buffa by Giovanni Paisiello (40), is performed for the first time, in Mogilev, Poland.
Event icon
June 6, 1780: As Parliament meets for the first time since June 2, the anti-Catholic mob attacks again and forces them to flee. They turn their attention to attacks on the home of the Lord Chief Justice, Newgate and Clerkenwell Prisons, where the prisoners are freed, the Bank of England and foreign embassies which have Catholic chapels on their premises, particularly Sardinia and Bavaria. Over 30 fires are started.
Performance icon
June 6, 1780: Andromaque, a tragédie lyrique by André-Ernest-Modeste Grétry (39) to words of Pitra after Racine, is performed for the first time, at the Paris Opéra.
Event icon
June 7, 1780: After dithering for several days, the British government calls out troops to halt anti-Catholic rioting in London. They are given shoot-to-kill orders against those who refuse to disperse. 285 people are killed, 173 wounded, 139 arrested.
Event icon
June 7, 1780: A constitution for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is ratified by plebiscite.
Event icon
June 9, 1780: The anti-Catholic riots in London are brought under control. 25 people will be hanged for their part in the insurrection, but the leader, Lord George Gordon, will be found not guilty of treason.
Event icon
June 15, 1780: Johann Friedrich Peter (34) arrives in Salem, North Carolina from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. His new post is as secretary to the Elders’ Conference, reader, and musician.
Event icon
June 22, 1780: War of the American Revolution: Canadians and Indians capture Riddle’s Station on the South Fork of the Licking River (Harrison County, Kentucky).
Event icon
June 28, 1780: Having already met with Empress Yekaterina II and visited Moscow, Emperor Joseph II arrives in Saint Petersburg where he will stay until 18 July.
Death icon
June 30, 1780: Count Karl Paul Ernst of Bentheim and Steinfurt dies in Steinfurt and is succeeded by his son, Ludwig I Wilhelm Geldricus Ernst.
Event icon
July 9, 1780: Denmark declares armed neutrality in the war between Great Britain and the United States.
Performance icon
July 10, 1780: L’italiana in Londra becomes the first opera by Domenico Cimarosa (30) to be performed in Teatro alla Scala, Milan, the first of many.
Event icon
July 11, 1780: War of the American Revolution: Count de Rochambeau, commander of a large force of French troops and ships, comes ashore with a retinue at Newport, Rhode Island to help the revolutionary cause. As no one is there to greet him, he spends the night in a hotel. General Washington’s emissary will arrive tomorrow.
Event icon
July 21, 1780: War of the American Revolution: Royal Navy ships arrive off Narragansett Bay and blockade the French within.
Event icon
August 1, 1780: Sweden declares armed neutrality in the war between Great Britain and the United States.
Event icon
August 9, 1780: War of the American Revolution: Benjamin Franklin writes from Paris to the Continental Congress telling them that John Adams is hindering his relationship with the French court.
Event icon
August 16, 1780: War of the American Revolution: British and American troops blunder into each other in the dark near Camden, South Carolina, 175 km northwest of Charleston. There is a brief fire fight. After dawn, fighting resumes. The Americans are demolished, suffering three times the casualties of the British. Many units run away, along with their commander, Horatio Gates.
Event icon
August 20, 1780: After a journey to Russia of four months and almost 5,000 km, Emperor Joseph II returns to Vienna.
Event icon
August 24, 1780: King Louis XVI of France orders the abolition of torture as a means of extracting confessions.
Event icon
August 29, 1780: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (24) completes his Symphony K.338 in Salzburg.
Performance icon
September 2, 1780: One of the nights September 2-4 probably sees the premiere of Symphony K.338 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (24) in Salzburg.
Event icon
September 3, 1780: War of the American Revolution: Henry Laurens, United States representative to the Netherlands, is arrested off a merchant ship by a British man-of-war off Newfoundland. He will remain in the Tower of London for the duration of the war.
Performance icon
September 7, 1780: Der Herr segne euch for chorus and strings by Johannes Herbst (45) is performed for the first time.
Event icon
September 10, 1780: Haider Ali of Mysore completes his conquest of the Carnatic by reaching the British garrison at Madras.
Event icon
September 14, 1780: War of the American Revolution: Near Augusta, Georgia, American troops assault a Creek village. They inflict heavy losses but are beaten back. This is the largest engagement of the revolution involving Indians.
Event icon
September 16, 1780: Because of the success of the Moravian colony in Salem, North Carolina is so great, church musician Johann Friedrich Peter (34) and two others are ordained to help the overworked clergy.
Event icon
September 16, 1780: War of the American Revolution: In Amsterdam, John Adams learns that he has been empowered by Congress to negotiate a loan from the Dutch.
Event icon
September 20, 1780: War of the American Revolution: A French force under Admiral de Ternay and General Jean Baptiste Rochambeau, having marched from Rhode Island, meets Washington in Hartford.
Event icon
September 23, 1780: A bust of André-Ernest-Modeste Grétry (39) is installed in the Liège City Theatre.
Performance icon
September 23, 1780: Adelheit von Veltheim, a Schauspiel mit Gesang by Christian Gottlob Neefe (32) to words of Grossmann, is performed for the first time, in Frankfurt-am-Main.
Death icon
September 23, 1780: Duke Ernst Friedrich II of Saxe-Hildburghausen dies in Seidingstadt and is succeeded by his son, Friedrich.
Event icon
September 23, 1780: War of the American Revolution: British Major John Andre is captured in disguise near Tarrytown, New York. He carries papers betraying the American garrison at West Point, signed by the fort's commander, Benedict Arnold.
Event icon
September 25, 1780: War of the American Revolution: Hearing of the capture of Major John Andre, Benedict Arnold flees to a British ship in the Hudson River where he is awarded a commission and the rank of Brigadier General in the British army.
Event icon
October 2, 1780: War of the American Revolution: British Major John Andre is hanged as a spy by the Americans at Tappan, New York.
Event icon
October 7, 1780: War of the American Revolution: Americans demolish a loyalist force at King’s Mountain, North Carolina, 300 km northwest of Charleston. They kill, injure or capture the entire force of 1,100 men. Some loyalists are killed after the surrender.
Event icon
October 10, 1780: What may be the most powerful hurricane to hit the Caribbean makes landfall on Barbados. Over the next week it will strike every island in the Lesser Antilles and Santo Domingo. 22,000 people are killed. There is much destruction, including many British and French naval vessels carrying thousands of soldiers.
Event icon
October 18, 1780: Six weeks of voting conclude in the British general election. The supporters of the Prime Minister, Lord North, are returned but with a slim majority.
Event icon
October 27, 1780: A party of four professors and six students from Harvard College view a solar eclipse from Penobscot Bay, Maine. It is the first American expedition to view an eclipse. The British commander of the area allows the expedition to land, view the eclipse and depart in peace.
Performance icon
October 27, 1780: Persée, a tragédie lyrique by François-André Danican Philidor (54) to words of Marmontel after Quinault, is performed for the first time, at the Paris Opéra. The public response is frigid.
Event icon
October 31, 1780: War of the American Revolution: While sailing from Fort Niagara to Oswego on Lake Ontario, HMS Ontario goes down in a storm. About 130 men go down with her, including British soldiers, American prisoners, and a Canadian crew.
Event icon
November 5, 1780: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (24) departs Salzburg for Munich to produce Idomeneo.
Event icon
November 6, 1780: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (24) arrives in Munich to produce Idomeneo.
Event icon
November 10, 1780: Inca leader Tupac Amaru, having captured the Spanish Corregidor Antonio de Arriaga six days ago, executes him in Tungarica. This leads to an indigenous uprising against the Spanish.
Performance icon
November 13, 1780: Wir haben ein Fest des Herrn for chorus and strings by Johannes Herbst (45) is performed for the first time.
Death icon
November 29, 1780: Empress Maria-Theresia, Archduchess of Austria, Queen Mária Terézia of Hungary, Queen of Bohemia, dies, probably of a heart ailment, in the Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna. She is succeeded by her son Emperor Joseph II, King of the Romans, King of Bohemia, Archduke of Austria, King József II of Hungary.
Performance icon
December 6, 1780: Alcide al bivio, a festa teatrale by Giovanni Paisiello (40) to words of Metastasio, is performed for the first time, at the Hermitage, St. Petersburg.
Event icon
December 12, 1780: War of the American Revolution: The British ambassador at The Hague withdraws over Dutch financial support for the American cause.
Event icon
December 13, 1780: Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges (34) is welcomed into the Masonic Lodge of Saint John of Scotland of the Social Contract.
Event icon
December 16, 1780: The Netherlands declares armed neutrality in the war between Great Britain and the United States.
Performance icon
December 18, 1780: Incidental music to Blumauer’s play Erwine von Steinheim by Johann Schenk (27) is performed for the first time, in the Vienna Burgtheater. (It is possible that Schenk’s music was not used at the first performance)
Event icon
December 20, 1780: War of the American Revolution: Great Britain declares war on the Netherlands.
Event icon
December 25, 1780: Luigi Galvani records his conclusion, after a series of experiments in Bologna, that muscles are operated by electrical stimulation of nerves.
Event icon
December 27, 1780: Niccolò Piccinni (52) writes to French Secretary of State Amelot, “Piccinni has learnt that M. Dauvergne wishes to give Gluck’s (66) Iphigénie at the same time as his own, and would rather withdraw his work than be involved with some kind of rivalry.” (Darlow, 176)
Event icon
December 30, 1780: War of the American Revolution: The Netherlands declares war on Great Britain.
Event icon
December 30, 1780: In Munich, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (24) writes to his father Leopold (61) in Salzburg, trying to allay his fears about Idomeneo. “Everything has been composed, just not written down.” (Wolff, 160)