Within these pages, important musical events over the last 250 years are listed chronologically along with general historical events. We pay homage to the fact that composers live in the world. They affect the world and are affected by it. If one reads a range of dates for any length, one can understand how the music being produced fits within the culture and historical period.
This survey begins in 1752. That was the year that the British Empire converted to the Gregorian calendar. Before this, being sure about a specific date is very difficult. Many authors do not seem to know that there were different calendars between Britain and the Continent. Others do not seem to care. That problem also applies to Russia which did not convert to the Gregorian calendar until 1918; but we have tried to compensate for that. If you spot a Russian event on the wrong date, please let us know.
We have attempted to place everything in the Gregorian calendar. Dates are according to local time. (This can sometimes be confusing. For instance, the Japanese attack on Malaya on December 8, 1941 actually happened before their attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.) Some attempt has been made to keep the chronological order for multiple items within one date, but this is next to impossible to ensure.
Some caveats apply:
- If you find a mistake, or if you see things that seem contradictory, please contact us and gently point it out. Please cite specific scholarly sources for any correction you wish to suggest.
- The focus in the early decades is euro-centric, in music and history. As western art music took in more and more non-western sources, the focus begins to spread out to encompass the entire planet.
- No historical events are included for the last ten years.
- We generally don't translate titles in French, German, Italian, or Spanish.
You may search in a number of ways:
Search for everything that happened on a specific date in a specific year.
Search for everything that happened on a specific date in every year of the survey.
Seach a range of time (click range) from date ____ until date ____.
Find out what happened today in history (click the bottom of the homepage).
Search for any keyword (use the search engine on the upper right).
Let us know if you find this site useful. We would like to hear all constructive comments.