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

January 1, 1784 – December 31, 1784

Performance icon
January 1, 1784: Enough of arms, to happier ends, an ode by John Stanley (71) to words of Whitehead, is performed for the first time, in the Great Council Chamber of St. James' Palace, London.
Event icon
January 5, 1784: Antonio Salieri (33) and the poet François-Louis-Gaud Lebland Du Roullet sign a contract with the Paris Opéra to produce Les Danaïdes.
Event icon
January 7, 1784: Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny (54) marries Amélie de Villemagne, a daughter of his employer.
Event icon
January 8, 1784: Russian and Turkish ministers agree to the Convention of Aynali Kavak. It confirms the Treaty of Küçük-Kainardji, dropping all reference to Crimean independence. Thus, Turkey agrees to Russian annexation of the Crimea.
Event icon
January 8, 1784: The legislature of the State of Connecticut passes a law providing for the gradual end of slavery. All slaves born after 1 March will become free at age 25.
Event icon
January 14, 1784: The United States Congress ratifies the Treaty of Paris.
Event icon
January 15, 1784: English chemist Henry Cavendish reads his paper “Experiments on Air” to the Royal Society in London. He describes how he burned hydrogen and noted that water formed on the cooler parts of the container, thus proving that water is a combination of hydrogen and oxygen.
Event icon
January 26, 1784: A group of 78 members of the British Parliament resolve to support a coalition between Prime Minister William Pitt and Charles James Fox. They are named after their regular meeting place, the St. Alban’s Tavern.
Event icon
February 2, 1784: The British House of Commons votes a lack of confidence in Prime Minister William Pitt. However, Pitt remains in office.
Event icon
February 5, 1784: Giovanni Paisiello (43) and his wife depart St. Petersburg. They probably do not intend to return.
Event icon
February 9, 1784: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (28) dates the score to his Piano Concerto no.14 K.449 in Vienna. It is the first entry in his catalogue of musical compositions.
Event icon
February 13, 1784: Empress Yekaterina II formally incorporates the Crimea into the Russian Empire.
Event icon
February 13, 1784: Henry Cort receives a British patent for his puddling system for refining iron.
Event icon
February 16, 1784: Iyasu III Azequ replaces Tekle Giyorgis I Yohannes as Emperor of Ethiopia.
Event icon
February 21, 1784: Empress Yekaterina II orders the creation of the city of Sevastopol.
Event icon
February 21, 1784: Emperor Joseph II begins the practice of issuing death certificates.
Event icon
February 22, 1784: The Empress of China becomes the first US ship to sail to China as it leaves New York. It will return next year, its investors enriched.
Performance icon
February 26, 1784: Armida, a dramma eroico by Joseph Haydn (51), is performed for the first time, at Esterháza.
Event icon
February 26, 1784: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (29) gives a concert at the Vienna residence of the Russian ambassador, Prince Galitzin. It is the first of 25 concerts he will give between now and April 29.
Event icon
February 27, 1784: Ice on the Rhine begins breaking up and floods the town of Bonn. The Beethoven family carry their belongings from their third floor apartment in the Rheingasse to the attic. It is the worst flood in Bonn since the 14th century and the family, including Ludwig (13), are forced to exit the house by ladder to get to higher ground.
Event icon
February 28, 1784: John Wesley signs a deed of declaration as the charter of Wesleyan Methodism. It will be enrolled in Chancery in a few days.
Event icon
February 29, 1784: With the closing of the Vincennes prison, the Marquis de Sade is transferred to the Bastille.
Event icon
March 1, 1784: By act of the legislature of the State of Rhode Island, any child born of a slave after this date will become free on achieving majority, 21 for boys, 18 for girls.
Event icon
March 4, 1784: The Academy of Sciences in Toulouse receives notice of the discovery of a new element by Spanish chemists Juan José de Elhuyar y de Zubice and his younger brother Fausto de Elhuyar y de Zubice. They call the new substance Wolfram (Tungsten), after Wolframite.
Performance icon
March 5, 1784: Théodore et Paulin, a comédie lyrique by André-Ernest-Modeste Grétry (43) to words of Desforges (pseud. of Choudard), is performed for the first time, at Versailles.
Event icon
March 11, 1784: A peace treaty is signed by Great Britain and Sultan Tipu of Mysore. The situation is returned to status quo ante.
Event icon
March 11, 1784: William Herschel reads his paper On the remarkable appearances at the polar regions on the planet Mars, the inclination of its axis, the position of its poles, and its spheroidical figure; with a few hints relating to its real diameter and atmosphere to the Royal Society of London. He puts forth his discovery of the axial inclination of Mars, the polar ice caps and the atmosphere of Mars.
Event icon
March 12, 1784: King Louis XVI of France appoints a panel of scientists (including Lavoisier, Guillotin and Franklin) to study the methods of Franz Anton Mesmer.
Event icon
March 12, 1784: Michael Haydn (46) dates his Symphony MH358 P.18 in Salzburg.
Performance icon
March 15, 1784: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (28) gives the first performance of a piano concerto, either K.449 or 450, at the Esterházy residence in Vienna. See 17 March 1784 and 24 March 1784.
Performance icon
March 17, 1784: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (28) gives the first public performance of a piano concerto, probably K.449, in the Trattner Saal, in the first of three lenten subscription concerts attended by the height of Viennese society.
Performance icon
March 22, 1784: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (28) premieres one of his piano concertos, probably K.451, at the Esterházy residence in Vienna. See 31 March 1784.
Performance icon
March 23, 1784: Parts of the Serenade for 13 winds K.361 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (28) are performed for the first time, at the Burgtheater, Vienna.
Performance icon
March 24, 1784: In the second of three Lenten subscription concerts, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (28) gives the first public performance of a piano concerto, probably K.450. See 15 March 1784.
Performance icon
March 25, 1784: Der Herr dein Gott wird sich for chorus and strings by Johannes Herbst (48) is performed for the first time.
Performance icon
March 31, 1784: The third and last of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s (28) lenten subscription concerts takes place in Vienna. It includes public premieres of his Piano Concerto no.16 K.451 and the Quintet for piano and winds K.452. See 22 March 1784.
Performance icon
April 1, 1784: The Southwark Theatre reopens in Philadelphia, thus ending Pennsylvania’s ban on theatre performances instituted in 1759.
Birth icon
April 5, 1784: Ludwig Spohr is born in Braunschweig (now Spohrplatz 7), Duchy of Braunschweig, the first of six children born to Karl Heinrich Spohr, a physician, and Juliane Ernestine Luise Henke.
Death icon
April 15, 1784: Maximilian Friedrich, Elector-Archbishop of Cologne, and employer of Christian Gottlob Neefe (36) and Ludwig van Beethoven (13), dies and is succeeded by Maximilian Franz, Archduke of Austria.
Event icon
April 24, 1784: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (28) writes to his father from Vienna, “I must tell you that some quartets have just appeared, composed by a certain [Ignaz] Pleyel (26), a pupil of Joseph Haydn (52). If you do not know them, do try and get hold of them; you will find them worth the trouble. They are very well written and most pleasing to listen to.”
Performance icon
April 26, 1784: Les Danaïdes, a tragédie lyrique by Antonio Salieri (33) to words of DuRoullet and Tschudi after Calzabigi, is performed for the first time, at the Paris Opéra. In an attempt to encourage attention and sales, Salieri is listed as co-composer with Christoph Willibald Gluck (69). Gluck will eventually announce publicly that he had nothing to do with the work. See 16 May 1784.
Event icon
April 27, 1784: Maximilian Franz, the new Elector of Cologne, arrives in Bonn to take up his position.
Event icon
April 27, 1784: Three years after being banned by King Louis XVI, Le mariage de Figaro by Pierre Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais is performed publicly for the first time, at the Comédie-Française, Paris. It is an enormous success.
Performance icon
April 29, 1784: The Sonata for keyboard and violin K.454 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (28) is performed for the first time, in Vienna, the composer at the keyboard. The work is probably not completely on paper. Mozart plays much of the piano part out of his head. According to Constanze, Emperor Joseph II saw the blank paper on the piano desk through his opera glasses. Later, he asks Mozart to produce the music and the secret is unveiled to the delight of all.
Event icon
May 1, 1784: Giovanni Paisiello (43) arrives in Vienna from St. Petersburg. Within a week, he will have an audience with Emperor Joseph II who will commission an opera from him. See 23 August 1784.
Event icon
May 8, 1784: Publication of Muzio Clementi’s (32) keyboard sonata and toccata op.11 is announced in the Morning Herald, London.
Performance icon
May 8, 1784: Issipile, a dramma per musica by Pasquale Anfossi (57) to words after Metastasio, is performed for the first time, in King’s Theatre, London.
Event icon
May 10, 1784: Muzio Clementi’s (32) op.12 containing four piano sonatas and a two-piano duet is entered at Stationers’ Hall, London.
Event icon
May 10, 1784: Six weeks of voting conclude in the British general election. The results are a strong show of support for the ministry of William Pitt.
Event icon
May 16, 1784: A letter from Christoph Willibald Gluck (69) appears in the Journal de Paris. He names Antonio Salieri (33) as the sole author of Les Danaïdes and says that he had nothing to do with its composition. See 26 April 1784.
Event icon
May 20, 1784: A peace treaty is signed at Versailles by ministers of Great Britain and the Netherlands. The Dutch cede Negapatam (Nagappattinam), India, 120 km south of Pondicherry, to Britain.
Event icon
May 22, 1784: Samuel Wesley (18) completes his Missa de spiritu sancto, composed to express the seriousness of his conversion to Catholicism. In September he will send a copy to its dedicatee, Pope Pius VI. The Pope will express his pleasure.
Event icon
May 25, 1784: Polish authorities expel all Jews from Warsaw.
Event icon
May 29, 1784: The Principality of Wied-Neuwied is created from the County of Wied under Prince Johann Friedrich Alexander.
Performance icon
May 30, 1784: Georg Joseph Vogler (34) performs before the Prussian court in the Garrisonkirche, Berlin.
Event icon
June 2, 1784: The Favorite Songs in the Opera Issipile by Pasquale Anfossi (57) is entered at Stationers’ Hall, London.
Event icon
June 3, 1784: The United States Congress adjourns in Annapolis.
Performance icon
June 4, 1784: Hail to the day, whose beams again, an ode by John Stanley (72) 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 10, 1784: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (28) brings Giovanni Paisiello (44) to hear one of his Academy Concerts in Vienna. It is a great success.
Performance icon
June 12, 1784: Le due gemelle, a dramma giocoso by Pasquale Anfossi (57) to words of Tonioli, is performed for the first time, in King’s Theatre, London.
Performance icon
June 13, 1784: The Concerto for piano and orchestra no.17 K.453 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (28) is performed for the first time, at the home of Gottfried Ignaz von Ployer, in Döbling. He is the Salzburg agent in Vienna and a relative of the pianist for whom Mozart wrote the concerto, Barbara Ployer. Attending at the composer’s invitation is Giovanni Paisiello (44) on his way to Naples from Russia.
Event icon
June 16, 1784: The anti-Stadholder stronghold of Holland bans the wearing of orange clothing.
Event icon
June 18, 1784: The final decision to separate New Brunswick from Nova Scotia is taken in London. It becomes effective on 16 August.
Event icon
June 24, 1784: L’épreuve villageoise, an opéra bouffon by André-Ernest-Modeste Grétry (43) to words of Desforges, is preformed for the first time, at the Comédie-Italienne, Paris.
Event icon
June 26, 1784: King Carlos III of Spain orders his governor in Louisiana to prohibit US navigation on the Mississippi River.
Event icon
June 27, 1784: Ludwig van Beethoven (13) is hired as second organist by the new Elector of Cologne, Maximilian Franz. He is under the direction of first organist Christian Gottlob Neefe (36). Neefe’s salary is reduced from 400 to 200 florins and Beethoven is hired at 150 florins.
Event icon
July 1, 1784: France cedes St. Bartholomew in the Caribbean to Sweden.
Death icon
July 1, 1784: Wilhelm Friedemann Bach dies of a pulmonary disease in Berlin, Kingdom of Prussia, aged 73 years, seven months and nine days. His mortal remains will be laid to rest in Luisenstadtischer Friedhof I, Berlin.
Event icon
July 4, 1784: In an attempt to unify his rule, Emperor Joseph II suspends the constitution of Hungary.
Event icon
July 6, 1784: The Journal de Paris announces the printing of parts for Joseph Haydn’s (52) keyboard concerto XVIII: 11.
Event icon
July 7, 1784: Publication of the Piano Sonatas K.284, 333, and the Violin Sonata K.454 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (28) is advertised in the Wiener Zeitung.
Performance icon
July 10, 1784: L’Olimpiade, a dramma per musica by Domenico Cimarosa (34) to words of Metastasio, is performed for the first time, in Teatro Eretenio, Vicenza.
Event icon
July 22, 1784: Elector Karl Theodor of Bavaria and the Palatine outlaws secret societies.
Event icon
July 23, 1784: Christian Gottlob Neefe writes that he has taken a position as a schoolmaster in order to make up for the reduction in salary of 27 June.
Death icon
July 30, 1784: Denis Diderot dies in Paris at the age of 71.
Performance icon
August 2, 1784: La statue, a comédie by Giuseppe Cambini (38) to words of Montalembert, is performed for the first time, at the Hôtel de Montalembert, Paris.
Death icon
August 3, 1784: Padre Giovanni Battista Martini dies in Bologna, Papal States, aged 78 years, three months and ten days.
Event icon
August 11, 1784: Around midnight. On the grounds of Versailles, Louis, Prince de Rohan, cardinal bishop of Strasbourg meets a young woman he assumes to be Queen Marie Antoinette. It is, in fact, Nicole Leguay d'Oliva, a prostitute hired by his mistress, Jeanne de Saint-Rémy de Valois, Madame de La Motte, to impersonate the queen. This is the beginning of the famed “Queen’s Necklace Affair.”
Event icon
August 13, 1784: The British Parliament passes the India Act. The East India Company is placed under a government-appointed Board of Control.
Event icon
August 14, 1784: The Redbreast, a cantata by John Stanley (72) to words of McClellan, is entered at Stationers’ Hall, London.
Event icon
August 16, 1784: The creation of the Colony of New Brunswick goes into effect.
Event icon
August 17, 1784: Luigi Boccherini (41) renews his contract with Infante Don Luis of Spain, with an additional 12,000 reals.
Event icon
August 18, 1784: Publication of the Two-Piano Concerto K.365 and the Piano Variations K.460 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (28) is advertised in the Wiener Zeitung.
Event icon
August 21, 1784: Benjamin Franklin writes from Passy to George Whately, proclaiming himself “happy in the invention of Double Spectacles, which, serving for distant objects as well as near ones, make my eyes as useful to me as ever they were.”
Performance icon
August 23, 1784: Il re Teodoro in Venezia, a dramma eroicomico by Giovanni Paisiello (44) to words of Casti, is performed for the first time, in the Vienna Burgtheater. The work, commissioned by Emperor Joseph II, is very successful. In the audience is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (28), returning Paisiello’s courtesy of 13 June. The opera, especially the libretto, strikes Mozart “like a bolt of lightning.” (Kneppler, 110)
Event icon
August 23, 1784: Emperor Joseph II declares to the Netherlands that he will act as if the Scheldt River were completely free.  Any disrespect to his flag by the Dutch will be treated as an act of war.  The Dutch will refuse to accept this.
Event icon
August 25, 1784: Publication of the Piano Sonatas K.330-332 and the Variations on “Les Hommes Pieusement” K.455 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (28) is advertised in the Wiener Zeitung.
Event icon
August 26, 1784: Great Britain separates Cape Breton from Nova Scotia and makes it a separate colony.
Performance icon
August 26, 1784: Il trionfo dell’Arno, a cantata by Luigi Cherubini (23), is performed for the first time, in Volterra.
Event icon
August 27, 1784: James Tytler makes the first balloon ascent in Great Britain, at Edinburgh.
Performance icon
August 28, 1784: A Mass in E flat by Johann Georg Albrechtsberger (48) to celebrate St. Augustine’s Day, is performed for the first time, in Vienna. Owing to Emperor Joseph’s decree of 25 February 1783, the orchestral accompaniment is replaced with organ.
Event icon
August 28, 1784: Publication of three keyboard sonatas K.284, 333, 454 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (28) is announced in the Wiener Zeitung.
Event icon
August 31, 1784: The Frankfurt Staats-Ristretto announces the authentic edition by Bossler of three new piano sonatas by Joseph Haydn (52) XVI: 40-42.
Event icon
September 1, 1784: John Wesley ordains two Presbyters for the American mission, in Bristol.
Performance icon
September 7, 1784: Diane et Endymion, an opera seria by Niccolò Piccinni (56) and JF Espic Chevalier de Lirou to words of Espic, is performed for the first time, at the Paris Opéra.
Event icon
September 12, 1784: A special celebration at Esterháza observes the completion of the palace.
Event icon
September 15, 1784: The University of Yekaterinoslav is founded.
Event icon
September 15, 1784: Before thousands of spectators, including the Prince of Wales, Italian Vincenzo Lunardi ascends in a balloon from London with a dog, a cat, and a pigeon, setting down about 50 km to the north at Ware in Hertfordshire.  In honor of the event, Samuel Wesley (18) composes the piano piece Lunardi’s March.
Performance icon
September 18, 1784: Dardanus, a tragédie by Antonio Sacchini (54) to words of Guillard after Le Clerc de La Bruère, is performed for the first time, at Versailles. It is not successful.
Birth icon
September 21, 1784: A second child is born to Constanze and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (28) in Vienna, named Karl Thomas.
Event icon
September 22, 1784: Russian merchant Grigory Shelikhov leads 193 people in three ships to Kodiak Island where they create the first Russian settlement in Alaska.
Event icon
September 28, 1784: Michael Haydn (47) dates his Symphony MH384 P.19 in Salzburg.
Event icon
October 8, 1784: Three Imperial ships sent by Emperor Joseph II to force the Scheldt are fired on by a Dutch warship near the fort of Lillo.  One of them surrenders.
Performance icon
October 10, 1784: I due supposti conti, ossia Lo sposo senza moglie by Domenico Cimarosa (34) to words of Anelli, is performed for the first time, in Teatro alla Scala, Milan.
Event icon
October 14, 1784: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (28) dates the score to his Piano Sonata K.457.
Event icon
October 16, 1784: The Colony of New Brunswick is separated from Nova Scotia by the British government.
Event icon
October 17, 1784: The Eiderkanal, connecting the North Sea with the Baltic Sea, opens to traffic.
Performance icon
October 21, 1784: André-Ernest-Modeste Grétry’s (43) comédie mise en musique Richard Coeur-de-Lion, to words of Sedaine after La Curne de Sainte-Palaye, is performed for the first time, at the Comédie-Italienne, Paris. Among the audience is a diplomat named Thomas Jefferson.
Performance icon
October 23, 1784: The first performance in the Théâtre du Comte de Beaujolais takes place in the Palais-Royal. The stage will produce mostly pantomimes.
Event icon
October 30, 1784: The Holy Roman Empire declares war on the Netherlands over disputed lands around the Scheldt and the incident of 9 October.
Event icon
October 31, 1784: Peasants begin a revolt against the cruelty of their nobles at Mesztákon in Transylvania, led by Nicola Ursu, aka Horea.
Event icon
November 1, 1784: The United States Congress convenes in Trenton, New Jersey.
Event icon
November 1, 1784: From this day forward, by order of Emperor Joseph II, the language of the central administration of Hungary must be German.
Event icon
November 11, 1784: Leaders of the two-week-old revolt in Transylvania issue a manifesto asking that the privileges of the nobles be abolished and their land distributed to peasants.
Event icon
November 17, 1784: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (28) dates the score to his String Quartet K.458.
Event icon
November 18, 1784: The Netherlands resolves to form an army to battle the Empire over the Scheldt.
Event icon
November 20, 1784: When Emperor Joseph II learns what the Transylvanians are revolting against (the summary execution of 37 peasants by their nobles), he rescinds martial law and offers amnesty to the rebels.
Event icon
November 21, 1784: Governor Thomas Carleton arrives in Parr-Town, New Brunswick. His first act is to make St. Anne’s the capital, renaming it Frederick’s Town after the Duke of York.
Event icon
November 26, 1784: The Roman Catholic Church creates the Apostolic Prefecture of the United States independent of the London Vicarate.
Event icon
November 30, 1784: Richard Henry Lee replaces Thomas Mifflin as President of the Congress of the United States.
Performance icon
December 6, 1784: Antonio Salieri’s (34) dramma giocosa Il ricco d’un giorno to words of da Ponte, is performed for the first time, at the Burgtheater, Vienna. It will receive only six performances.
Event icon
December 11, 1784: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (28) dates the score of his Piano Concerto no.19 K.459 in Vienna.
Death icon
December 13, 1784: Samuel Johnson dies in London at the age of 74.
Event icon
December 14, 1784: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (28) is initiated as an Entered Apprentice at the Freemason Lodge “zur Wohlthätigkeit” in Vienna.
Event icon
December 14, 1784: The peasant revolt in Transylvania is ended at Câmpeni by its leader, Horea.
Event icon
December 15, 1784: Publication of Six String Quartets B.307-312 by Ignaz Pleyel (27) is announced in the Wiener Zeitung.
Event icon
December 22, 1784: Benjamin Franklin gives a lecture in Manchester wherein he postulates that the extremely cold winter last year was due to the eruption of the Laki Volcano in Iceland.
Event icon
December 24, 1784: The United States Congress adjourns in Trenton, New Jersey.
Performance icon
December 26, 1784: L’Idalide, an opera seria by Luigi Cherubini (24) to words of Moretti, is performed for the first time, in Teatro La Pergola, Florence.
Performance icon
December 26, 1784: Domenico Cimarosa’s (35) dramma per musica Artaserse to words of Metastasio, is performed for the first time, in Teatro Regio, Turin.
Event icon
December 29, 1784: Joseph Haydn (52) applies for admission to the Freemason lodge “Zur wahren Eintracht.”
Performance icon
December 30, 1784: Lucette, an opéra-comique by Niccolò Piccinni (56) to words of GM Piccinni, is performed for the first time, at the Comédie-Italienne, Paris.
Event icon
December 30, 1784: Michael Haydn (47) dates his Symphony MH393 P.20 in Salzburg.