NB: For a genuine timeline of composers see Classical Net Paleolithic Period Natural Tempering & The Fifth Banging - fifths drums Birds - thirds flutes Civilization and Language Natural Tempering & The Fifth Harmony Chant & Structure in linearity Polyphony Baroque Period Well Tempering Harmony revisted in union with polyphony Chromaticism - J.S. Bach baroque German v. French (Rameau) Classical Period Classical pullback from baroque chromaticism C.P.E. Bach Mozart Hummel, Weber, Clementi, The Scarlattis Romantic Period Beethoven - the fracturer Brahms - neo classicism Liszt - the innovator Reger and neo baroque classicism Wagner - pivotal - Tristan chord Modern Period Impressionism - (Debusy) graphic interaction Expressionism - (Ravel) graphic interaction Atonalism emerges from increasing chromaticism Dodecaphony (A. Schoenberg) Berg with Schoenberg enlarge atonal forms using the principle of dodecaphony Webern - refinement Klangfarben Postmodern Period Post Webernian Threads Total Serialism & the mathematicians Babbit, Boulez, Xenakis Splintering Mysticism (O. Messien) v. Logic (K. Stockhausen) Aleatorism (performer|Audience choices) Stockhausen, Xenakis Stochastic music (Xenakis) Continuing Romaticism (R. Strauss) Later Post Webernian Threads Nihilism & Anarchy (Wourinen) Electronic Music Varese Babbit - Luenning - Usachevsky Boulez Xenakis Minimalism (Glass) Popularism - The tonal repetition is empty Junk - Rock Yet Worse Junk (Yanni!) Neo Popularism - Semi Anarchism To please the pretentious illiterati A Renewed Search for Tonality Concept Wolpe, Pleskow You Are Here!
All the above has happened. Nothing is now what it seems unless you know what you are hearing. This is not a good thing. That's unlikely - unless you happen to be a musical old fart who happens still to have a memory and a knowledge of musical history or an unbeaten young mind who works for knowledge and understanding. This is a good thing.
Still, you won't know what music is being written because nobody plays it except in special concerts or recitals in big cities, it's not recorded or the recording disappears before you even knew it existed, and it's not likely to be recorded again; the scores are either unavailable or they cost enough to require a grant that you can't get. The musical world is actually ruled by reptiles like a certain Shrub and Jack Valenti. What musical world? Real music is virtually an underground enterprise.
As a fighting response, thanks to the power of the Internet, visit Vox Novus - the new voice in contemporary music.
The are "Arts" no longer deemed worthy, by an unworthy government.
Truly, Arts & Sciences don't come to you; you must go to them, cultivate and nurture them freely; they are the only things that make life worth living. They are the only things by which any future paleontologist will measure us, and they will be doing just that.
Email me, Bill Hammel at