Start My Family Tree Welcome to Geni, home of the world's largest family tree.
Join Geni to explore your genealogy and family history in the World's Largest Family Tree.

Great Composers of the Old Schools of Classical Music (XI - XIX Centuries)

« Back to Projects Dashboard

view all


  • Lobo de Mesquita (1746 - 1805)
    "José Joaquim Emerico Lobo de Mesquita was a Brazilian composer, music teacher, conductor and organist. Emerico was born at Vila do Príncipe (now Serro), in Minas Gerais State, Brazil. His parents Jos...
  • André da Silva Gomes (1752 - 1844)
    "André da Silva Gomes (1752–1844) was a Portuguese-born Brazilian composer from Lisbon. About 130 of his compositions are known, including mass settings, antiphons, psalm settings and other works for l...
  • Manoel Dias de Oliveira (aft.1734 - 1813)
    Manoel Dias de Oliveira As a composer, Manoel worked in Tiradentes, São João d'El Rey and Congonhas, in Minas Gerais. In many works, the composer used poems of the missionary Ângelo de Siqueira (1708-...
  • Ferdinando I. di Lasso, Composer (1560 - 1609)
    Ferdinando di Lasso (Komponist, 1560) Ferdinando di Lasso (* 1560 in München; † 1609 ebenda) war ein deutscher Komponist der Hochrenaissance. Leben Ferdinando di Lasso wurde 1560 als Sohn von Orlando ...
  • Ferdinando II. di Lasso, Composer (1592 - 1636)
    Ferdinando di Lasso (Komponist, 1592) Ferdinando di Lasso (* 1592; † 1636 in Reischach) war ein deutscher Komponist des Frühbarock. Leben Ferdinando di Lasso wurde 1560 als Sohn seines gleichnamigen V...

Historically Significant Composers of Classical Music [born before 1850].

To add a composer to this project, please include access to musical pieces by the composer (YouTube or sound only, etc.).

photo: Johann Sebastian Bach

Enjoy: 10,000 singing Beethoven - Ode an die Freude / Ode to Joy

Classical music is the art music produced in, or rooted in, the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music, encompassing a broad period from roughly the 11th century to present times. The central norms of this tradition became codified between 1550 and 1900, which is known as the common practice period.

European music is largely distinguished from many other non-European and popular musical forms by its system of staff notation, in use since about the 16th century. Western staff notation is used by composers to prescribe to the performer the pitch, speed, meter, individual rhythms and exact execution of a piece of music. This leaves less room for practices such as improvisation and ad libitum ornamentation, that are frequently heard in non-European art music and popular music.

The term "classical music" did not appear until the early 19th century, in an attempt to "canonize" the period from Johann Sebastian Bach to Beethoven as a golden age. The earliest reference to "classical music" recorded by the Oxford English Dictionary is from about 1836.

Links to other internet sites: *Web Gallery of Art, Classical Music, Composers (and music); *All Art, composers; *Classical music composers at classical net; *Classical composers at Youtube; *Komponister at wikipedia; *Norwegian classical music composers; *Classical music at wikipedia; *List of classical and art music traditions at wikipedia; *National anthems, list; *Classical music composerlist at Naxos; *Gutenberg, recorded music (MP3 Audio)

Ancient music / "The antique music"

The music of ancient Greece was almost universally present in society, from marriages and funerals to religious ceremonies, theatre, folk music and the ballad-like reciting of epic poetry. It thus played an integral role in the lives of ancient Greeks. There are significant fragments of actual Greek musical notation as well as many literary references to ancient Greek music, such that some things can be known—or reasonably surmised—about what the music sounded like, the general role of music in society, the economics of music, the importance of a professional caste of musicians, etc. Even archaeological remains reveal an abundance of depictions on ceramics, for example, of music being performed. The word music comes from the Muses, the daughters of Zeus and patron goddesses of creative and intellectual endeavours. *"First Delphic Hymn to Apollo" - Ancient Greek Music on Lyre. c.138 BCE. * "Recreation of Ancient Greek Music".

Less is known about Ancient Roman music than is known about the music of ancient Greece. There is a number of at least partially extant sources on the music of the Greeks. For example, much is known about the theories of Pythagoras and Aristoxenus (some of it from Greek sources and some through the writings of later Roman authors), and there exist about 40 deciphered examples of Greek musical notation. Very little survives about the music of the Romans, however. There are various reasons for this, one of which is that early fathers of the Christian church were aghast at the music of theatre, festivals, and pagan religion and suppressed it once Christianity became the official religion of the Roman empire.
The Romans are not said to have been particularly creative or original when it came to music. They did not attach any spiritual ethos to music, as did the Greeks. Yet, if the Romans admired Greek music as much as they admired everything else about Greek culture, it is safe to say that Roman music was mostly monophonic (that is, single melodies with no harmony) and that the melodies were based on an elaborate system of scales (called 'modes'). The rhythm of vocal music may have followed the natural metre of the lyrics.
There were also other, non-Greek, influences on Roman culture – from the Etruscans, for example, and, with imperial expansion, from the Middle Eastern and African sections of the empire. Thus there were, no doubt, elements of Roman music that were native Latin as well as non-European; the exact nature of these elements is unclear. An attempt to recreate Roman music reconstructing the instruments has been done recently in Italy by Walter Maioli and his group Synaulia. * "Ancient Visions", composition for replica 3000 year-old-lyre (by M. Levy).

In a culture as full of religious rituals as ancient Egypt, music tends to be a significant part of every day life. With countless wall murals showing musicians playing while dancers danced and others stood off and watched. Instruments have been unearthed as well. But, despite knowing how they played, the ancient Egyptian music itself -- the notes, the composition -- is wholly unknown to us. * "Hymn for the Sunrise" musical tribute to ancient Egypt.

Early medieval music (before 1150)

Medieval music was both sacred and secular. During the earlier medieval period, the liturgical genre, predominantly Gregorian chant, was monophonic. The Jewish Synagogue tradition of singing psalms was a strong influence on Christian chanting. Chant developed separately in several European centres. Although the most important were Rome, Hispania, Gaul, Milan, and Ireland, there were others as well. These chants were all developed to support the regional liturgies used when celebrating the Mass there.

Much of the music from the early medieval period is anonymous. Some of the names may have been poets and lyric writers, and the tunes for which they wrote words may have been composed by others. Attribution of monophonic music of the medieval period is not always reliable.

High medieval music (1150 – 1300)

The flowering of the Notre Dame school of polyphony from around 1150 to 1250 corresponded to the equally impressive achievements in Gothic architecture. This was the period in which rhythmic notation first appeared in western music, mainly a context-based method of rhythmic notation known as the rhythmic modes.

The motet, one of the most important musical forms of the high Middle Ages and Renaissance, developed initially during the Notre Dame period out of the clausula, especially the form using multiple voices.

The music of the troubadours and trouvères was a vernacular tradition of monophonic secular song, probably accompanied by instruments, sung by professional, occasionally itinerant, musicians who were as skilled as poets as they were singers and instrumentalists.

Late medieval music (1300 – 1400)

France: Ars nova. The beginning of the Ars nova is one of the few clean chronological divisions in medieval music, since it corresponds to the publication of the Roman de Fauvel, a huge compilation of poetry and music, in 1310 and 1314. The Roman de Fauvel is a satire on abuses in the medieval church, and is filled with medieval motets, lais, rondeaux and other new secular forms. While most of the music is anonymous, it contains several pieces by Philippe de Vitry, one of the first composers of the isorhythmic motet, a development which distinguishes the fourteenth century. The isorhythmic motet was perfected by Guillaume de Machaut, the finest composer of the time.

Italy: Trecento. Most of the music of Ars nova was French in origin; however, the term is often loosely applied to all of the music of the fourteenth century, especially to include the secular music in Italy. There this period was often referred to as Trecento. Italian music has always, it seems, been known for its lyrical or melodic character, and this goes back to the 14th century in many respects. Italian secular music of this time (what little surviving liturgical music there is, is similar to the French except for somewhat different notation) featured what has been called the cantalina style, with a florid top voice supported by two (or even one; a fair amount of Italian Trecento music is for only two voices) that are more regular and slower moving. This type of texture remained a feature of Italian music in the popular 15th and 16th century secular genres as well, and was an important influence on the eventual development of the trio texture that revolutionized music in the 17th.

Germany: The Geisslerlieder were the songs of wandering bands of flagellants, who sought to appease the wrath of an angry God by penitential music accompanied by mortification of their bodies. There were two separate periods of activity of Geisslerlied: one around the middle of the thirteenth century, from which, unfortunately, no music survives (although numerous lyrics do); and another from 1349, for which both words and music survive intact due to the attention of a single priest who wrote about the movement and recorded its music. This second period corresponds to the spread of the Black Death in Europe, and documents one of the most terrible events in European history. Both periods of Geisslerlied activity were mainly in Germany.

Renaissance music (1400 – 1600)

Renaissance music is music written in Europe during the Renaissance. Consensus among music historians – with notable dissent – has been to start the era around 1400, with the end of the medieval era, and close it around 1600, with the rise of the Baroque period, therefore commencing the musical Renaissance about a hundred years after the beginning of the Renaissance as understood in other disciplines. As in the other arts, the music of the period was significantly influenced by the developments which define the Early Modern period: the rise of humanistic thought; the recovery of the literary and artistic heritage of ancient Greece and Rome; increased innovation and discovery; the growth of commercial enterprise; the rise of a bourgeois class; and the Protestant Reformation. From this changing society emerged a common, unifying musical language, in particular the polyphonic style of the Franco-Flemish school.

Baroque music (1600 – 1760)

Golden Age of Classical music (1750 – 1830)

Romantic music (1815 – 1910)

Modern music [by great composers born between 1850 – 1900]

Other Composers

  • Georg von Bertouch (1668 – 1743)
  • Johan Henrik Freithoff (1714 – 1767)
  • Johan Daniel Berlin (1714 – 1787)
  • Israel Gottlieb Wernicke (1755 – 1836)
  • Ole Andreas Lindeman (1769 – 1857)
  • Hans Hagerup Falbe (1772 – 1830)
  • François-Joseph Fétis (1784 – 1871)
  • Carl Arnold (1794 – 1873)
  • Christian Blom (1782 – 1861)
  • Waldemar Thrane (1790 – 1828)
  • Franz Berwald (1796 – 1868)
  • Hans Skramstad (1797 – 1839)
  • Fredrik Pacius (1809 – 1891)
  • Ole Bull (1810 – 1880)
  • Rikard Nordraak (1842 – 1866)
  • Christian Cappelen (1845 – 1916)
  • Agathe Backer Grøndahl (1847 – 1907)
  • Edgar Tinel (Mar. 27, 1854 – Oct. 27, 1912)
  • Gerhard Rosenkrone Schjelderup (Nov. 17, 1859 – Jul. 27, 1933)
  • Shmuel Cohen (ca 1850 – ..?..)
  • Ole Olsen (1850 – 1927)
  • Pancho Vladigerov (1899 – 1978)
  • Marlos Nobre (1939)