1st Millennium

<BC … 11th Century>

* = approximate date

60

  • *Nicomachus born (Jerash, Jordan) Greek mathematician, philosopher, music theorist. Author of Manual of Harmonics, a theoretical work that also describes contemporary instruments. Died c.120

90

  • *Ptolemy aka Claudius Ptolemaeus born (Egypt) Greco-Roman geographer, mathematician, polymath, author of Harmonics, a treatise on the mathematics of music. Died c.168

120

  • Nicomachus (c.60) dies, possibly in Jordan

132

  • Cai Yong born (Qi County, China) Chinese scholar, writer, scientist, musician. Father of Cai Wenji (177-250). Died c.192

150

  • *Ptolemy writes his theoretical treatise Harmonics which expands upon Pythagorean ideas of basing musical interludes on mathematical ratios

168

  • *Ptolemy (c. 78) dies in Alexandria

177

  • Cai Wenji aka Cai Yan born (Henan, China) Chinese poet, composer. Daughter of Cai Yong (132-192). Died c.250

192

  • Cai Yong (c. 60) dies in prison

200

  • Greek theologian Clement of Alexandria (c.150-215) denounces the use of musical instruments to support human voices in Christian music

220

  • *The earliest examples of woodblock printing found in Han Dynasty China

223

  • Xi Kang born (China) Chinese poet, philosopher, musician, author of Shengwu Aile Lun (on the Absence of Sentiments in Music). Died 262

250

  • *Cai Wenji (c. 73) dies

262

  • Xi Kang (c. 39) executed for sedition

306

  • *Ephrem the Syrian born (Nusaybin, Turkey) Syrian hymn writer (400 of which are known), theologian. Died 373

315

  • *Hilary of Poitiers born (Poitiers, France) Roman Bishop of Poitiers, theologian, writer, hymn writer. Died 368

335

  • *Nicetas of Remesiana born (Bela Palanka, Serbia) Roman bishop, hymn writer, possible author of Te Deum. Died c.414

338

  • *Saint Ambrose born (Trier, Germany) Roman Bishop, psalmist. Credited with introducing hymnody into the Western Church. Ambrosian Chant named in his honour, although not believed to be created by him. Died 397
St Ambrose of Milan (338-397)

St Ambrose of Milan (338-397)

348

  • *(Aurelius) Prudentius (Clemens) born (northern Spain) Roman poet, hymnodist. Died c.413

354

  • Nov 13 Augustine of Hippo aka Aurelius Augustinus Hipponensis born (Souk Ahras, Algeria) Roman theologian, philosopher, Bishop of Hippo [Algeria]. Died 430

360

  • *Alypius of Alexander’s (dates unknown) Introduction to Music written

368

  • Hilary of Poitiers (c.53) dies in Poitiers

373

  • Jun 9 Ephrem the Syrian (c. 67) dies in Edessa, Syria

374

  • Dec 7 Ambrose elected Bishop of Milan

387

  • The hymn Te Deum written by Ambrose on the occasion of Augustine’s baptism, according to tradition

390

  • *The first Hallelujah hymns sung in Christian Churches

391

  • Augustine of Hippo writes his treatise De musica [About music]

397

  • Apr 4 Saint Ambrose (c. 58) dies in Milan

405

  • *Prudentius’s hymn collection Liber Cathemerinon [Book in Accordance with the Hours] written

413

  • *Prudentius (c. 65) dies, probably in Spain

414

  • *Nicetas of Remesiana (c.79) dies

430

  • Aug 28 Augustine of Hippo (75) dies in Annaba, Algeria

480

  • *Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius born (Rome) Roman music theorist, philosopher, statesman. Died 525

485

  • *Dancing becomes an official part of Chinese Confucian ceremony

500

  • *Boethius writes De Institutione Musica
  • *Galician plainchant develops

521

  • Boethius introduces Greek musical letter notation to the West

522

  • Boethius imprisoned, charged with conspiring against Theodoric the Great

525

  • Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius (c. 45), executed in Pavia for treason by Theodoric the Great

530

  • *Venantius Fortunatus born (Veneto, Italy) Byzantine hymn writer, bishop of Poitiers. Died c.600

534

  • *Taliesen born (Wales) Welsh bard. Died c.599

540

  • *Pope Gregory I aka Gregorius born (Rome) Byzantine theologian, patron saint of musicians, writer. Died 604

555

  • *Taliesin becomes court bard to King Brochfael of Powys

560

  • Isidore of Seville (born Cartagena, Spain) Spanish theologian, Bishop, historian, writer, author of the 20 volume encyclopaedia Etymologiæ. Died 636

569

  • Nov 19 Venantius Fortunatus’s hymn Vexilla Regis first sung on a procession between Tours and Poitiers

590

  • Sep 3 Gregory I becomes Pope

599

  • *Taliesen (c. 65) dies in Wales

600

  • *Venantius Fortunatus (c. 70) dies in Poitiers
  • *Pope Gregory orders the compilation of church chants, entitled Antiphonar
  • *Bishop Isidore of Seville writes his 20 volume Etymologiæ (encyclopædia) including a section on music in book III
  • *The first lutes appear in Iran, Armenia and Turkey

604

  • Mar 12 Pope Gregory I (c. 64) dies in Rome

609

  • *The crwth, a Celtic string instrument, appears in Wales

620

  • *Orchestras featuring hundreds of players reported in China

636

  • Apr 4 Isidore of Seville (c.75) dies in Seville

650

  • *Andrew of Crete born (Damascus) Byzantine Bishop, theologian, hymnographer. Introduced the canon to the Orthodox Church. Died c.720
  • *Neumes, notation for groups of notes, first used

676

  • John of Damascus aka John Chrysorrhoas born (Damascus) Syrian priest, monk, hymnodist. Died 749

700

  • *The Schola cantorum (papal choir) established under Pope Sergius I (c.650-701)

715

  • Ibn Misjah dies in Iran. Birth date unknown. Persian pioneer of Arabic music

720

  • Paulus Diaconus aka Paul the Deacon born (Friuli, Italy) Italian monk, historian, biographer, hymnodist. Died 799
  • *Andrew of Crete (c. 70) dies in Mytilene, Lesbos, on the way back to Crete from Constantinople

735

  • *Alcuin of York born (York) English scholar, poet, teacher, theologian, member of Charlemagne’s court. Died 804

742

  • Ibrahim Al-Mausili born (Kufa, Iraq) Persian singer. Father of Ishaq Al-Mausili (767-850). Died 804

749

  • Dec 7 John of Damascus (c. 73) dies in Mar Saba monastery near Bethlehem

750

  • *Wind Organs, originally from Byzantium, start to replace water organs in Europe

767

  • Ishaq Al-Mausili born (Baghdad) Persian singer, musician, teacher. Son of Ibrahim Al-Mausili (742-804). Died 850

789

  • Mar 23 Emperor Charlemagne issues the Admonitio generalis (General Advisory) reinforcing the suppression of Gallican chant and decreeing that liturgical texts be carefully checked
  • *Ziryab aka Abu l-Hasan born (Baghdad?) Persian or Kurdish poet, musician, polymath. Died 857

790

  • *Schools for church music established at Paris, Cologne, Soissons and Metz, all under the supervision of the Schola Cantorum in Rome

799

  • Apr 13 Paulus Diaconus dies (c. 79) in Monte Cassino

801

  • Abū Yūsuf Yaʻqūb ibn Isḥāq al-Kindī aka Alkindus born (Kufa, Iraq date). Iraqi polymath. Writer of fifteen treatises on music theory of which five survive. Died 873

804

  • May 19 Alcuin of York (c.70) dies in Tours
  • Ibrahim Al-Mausili (c.62) dies in Kufa, Iraq

810

  • *Kassia born (Istanbul) Byzantine Abbess, composer, hymnographer (approx date). Died c.865

840

  • *Hucbald born (Tournai, Belgium) Frankish music theorist, composer, teacher, Benedictine monk. Died 930
  • *Notker the Stammerer (Balbulus) born (Saint Gall, Switzerland) Swiss musician, poet, Benedictine monk. Author / compiler of hymn collection Liber hymnorum. Died 912
Notker the Stammerer aka Notker of St Gall (840-912)

Notker the Stammerer aka Notker of St Gall (840-912)

850

  • *Regino of Prüm born (Altrip, Germany) German Benedictine abbot, chronicler, writer. Died c.915
  • *Tuotilo born (Ireland) Irish Benedictine monk, composer, musician, painter, sculptor. Contemporary of Notker at the monastery of St Gallen. Died 915
  • Ishaq Al-Mausili (c. 83) dies
  • *Aurelian of Réôme’s (dates unknown) Musica disciplina written, the earliest extant treatise on music from medieval Europe
  • *Origin of Church Modes in music

857

  • Ziryab (c. 68) dies in Cordoba

865

  • *Kassia (c. 55) dies

872

  • Abū Naṣr al-Fārābī aka Alpharabius born (Afghanistan or Kazakstan) Arab polymath, writer, author of  Kitab al-Musiqa [The Book of Music]. Died c.950

873

  • Abū Yūsuf Yaʻqūb ibn Isḥāq al-Kindī (c.72) dies in Baghdad

878

  • *Odo of Cluny born (Le Mans, France) French Benedictine abbott, theologian, religious reformer, writer, music theorist. Died 942
Odo of Cluny (878-942)

Odo of Cluny (878-942)

880

  • Hucbald’s Musica aka De harmonica institutione written

885

  • Notker’s Liber hymnorum written

889

  • Regino of Prüm’s musical treatise Epistola de harmonica institutione written

897

  • Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani aka Abulfaraj born (Isfahan, Iran) Persian scholar, poet, writer, anthologist. Died 967

900

  • *Ibn al-Munajjim’s Risala fi’l-musiqi [Book about music] completed
  • *Organum polyphonic chant develops

912

  • Apr 6 Notker the Stammerer (c. 70) dies in St Gall, Switzerland
  • Ibn al-Munajjim dies in Armenia. Birth date unknown. Arab music theorist, writer

915

  • Apr 27 Tuotilo (c. 65) dies in St Gall, Switzerland
  • *Regino of Prüm (c. 65) dies in Trier

930

  • Jun 20 Hucbald (c. 90) dies in Tournai, Belgium
  • *Musica enchiriadis musical treatise written, possibly by Odo of Cluny

942

  • Nov 18 Odo of Cluny (c. 64) dies in Tours

950

  • Abū Naṣr al-Fārābī (c. 85) dies in Damascus

960

  • *Wulfstan the Cantor aka Wulfstan of Winchester born (Winchester) English Benedictine monk, musician, composer, scribe, cantor. Died c.1010
  • *Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani’s Kitāb al-Aghānī [Book of Songs] completed, running to more than 10,000 pages

967

  • Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani (c. 70) dies in Baghdad

973

  • The Regularis Concordia written, a code of monastic law prepared in Winchester by Bishop Æthelwold (c.909-984) that included music preserved in the first Winchester Troper, one of two manuscripts containing more than 160 examples of organum.

978

  • *Berno of Reichenau born (Reichenau, Germany) German Benedictine abbot, music theorist, reformer of Gregorian Chant. Died 1048

980

  • *An organ with 400 pipes finished at Winchester Monastery

991

  • Guido of Arezzo born (Arezzo, Italy) Italian music theorist, Benedictine monk, inventor of staff notation, author of the treatise Micrologus. Died 1050

995

  • *Wipo of Burgundy born (Solothurn, Switzerland) Swiss priest, poet, biographer, chaplain to the Holy Roman Emperor Conrad II. Attributed author of Victimae paschali laudes, a sequence used in the Catholic Easter Mass. Died c.1048

<BC … 11th Century>

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