Research Paper on History of Music

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1139 Words
Date:  2023-02-07


Thomas Weelkes was one of the composers in the medieval and renaissance periods. His date of birth is not known, but it is estimated to be around the mid-1570s, and he died in 1623. He was born in Hampshire and died in London. Weelkes was trained at Oxford University where he obtained his bachelor in music in 1602. He taught himself William Byrd's Flemish polyphonic technique; later he also became familiar with the Italian madrigal that was commonly used by Thomas Morley.

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

Being a Tudor composer, his leading influencers were Thomas Morley and William Byrd. Weelkes had a drinking habit that led to his absentia from work; hence, he was fired from multiple jobs. Some of his famous works include Of Care, Thou Wilt Despatch Me, Like two proud armies marching in the field, O Lord Arise, and Thule. His major challenge was the drinking habits that, to some level, contributed to his early demise. His creativity and innovativeness were evident in his style of composing madrigals and anthems (The Kennedy Center, 2019).

The Baroque Era

Johann Pachelbel was born in August 1653 in Nuremberg, Germany where he started his musical career at an early age. He went to Vienna, where he was given a job at St. Stephen's Cathedral as an assistant organist; the organ was an instrument that he played most of the time. He also worked in Eisenach and Erfurt. His training started at St. Lorenz high school, and later at a university in Altdorf. The dominant genre that he played was classical electronic with George Kaspar Wecker and Heinrich Schwemmer who influenced him the most as they trained together.

Pachelbel was devoted to his works, and he excelled in his organ chorales, which were vital to him. Some of his famous works include the six arias and Hexachordum Apollinaris. Despite the financial challenges that limited him from finishing his university education, he was an innovative organist, and he was skilled in chamber music concerto keyboard. Pachelbel died on March 3, 1706, in Nuremberg, Germany (Cummings, 2019).

The Classical Era

William Billings, an American composer, was born on 7th October 1746 Boston, Massachusetts where he also advanced his music career. He was a self-trained musician who used to sing schools in America and also a composer of various American choral works of his time. Influenced by his friends Samuel Adams and Paul Revere he was interested in multiple musical genres which included hymns, psalms, anthems, and fudging tunes with hymns dominating his works.

Billings displayed an extravert character and among his famous works were The Singing Master's Assistant, The New-England Psalm-Singer, and The Continental Harmony released in 1778, 1770 and 1794 respectively. Despite his fame in the 1790s, he had financial challenges in the 1790s which led to the deterioration of his music career that was almost forgotten by the time of his death. His skill and austerity of the canon displayed his innovative abilities in building emotional music. Billings died aged 53 on September 26, 1800, in Boston, Massachusetts, USA (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2019).

The Romantic Era

Modest Mussorgsky is one of the Russian Five who wrote many pieces representing artworks. He was born on 21st March 1839 in Karevo, Russia. Balakirev, a composer, and piano player trained him how to compose and play piano in 1856 after joining the army where they met. He could not fish the training and decided to follow his passion. He wrote several pieces of romantic music influenced by Viktor Hartmann, who was a friend and an artist. Among his famous works were the orchestra pieces such as St. John's Night on Bare Mountain. He also composed "Pictures at an Exhibition" an art that made him famous. His challenge was mainly alcoholism, which brought him poverty. He showed his innovative skills through his ability to create a path for musical impressionism and expressionism despite his setback in training. Mussorgsky died: 28 March 1881, Saint Petersburg, Russia (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2019).

The Early Twentieth Century

Manuel de Falla was born on 23rd November 1876 in Cadiz, Spain. He moved to Madrid and later to Paris. His mother trained him on how to play the piano before he went to Madrid to continue learning where he was facilitated by Felipe Pedrell. The piano was the most played instruments by Falla. Felipe Pedrell influenced him into music through his enthusiasm for the 16th-century Spanish church music, native opera, and folk music. Some of the famous works by Falla include El Amor brujo which means 'Love, the Magician.' Another famous song was El corregidor y la molinera that he released in 1917.

Falla faced various challenges at the beginning of his musical career, which included competition from other musicians and his learning abilities though he later overcame them. His innovative skills in playing piano led to his victory in winning various prizes, including the one for the national opera, La Vida breve. Falla died on 14th November 1946, Alta Gracia, Argentina (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2019).

American Innovations in the Arts

William Christopher Handy was an African-American composer and a leader who was also known as 'the father of blues' in the 20th century. He was born on November 16, 1873, in Florence, Alabama, USA. Initially, he had trained and worked as a teacher but continued with his musical career on weekends, leaves and holidays when he played the cornet. He composed and performed African American folk music which was later evolved to blues. His major influencer was the W. A. Mahara's Minstrels band which he joined in 1896 as its bandleader.

Some of Handy's famous works were St. Louis Blues, Memphis Blues, and Aunt Hagar's Blues. At his young age, when he developed an interest in music, he was discouraged by his father, who was strongly opposed to secular music and only paid for Handy's organ lessons. He faced various challenges including the split of his band called Lauzette Quartet, which was caused by the postponement of the Chicago World's Fair from 1892 to 1893. Handy died on March 28, 1958, in Sydenham Hospital (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2019).

Twentieth Century Internationalism

UNESCO's Global Goodwill Ambassador Tan Dun is a Chinese composer born on 18th August 1957, in Simao, China. He rose from working in rice paddies and a village musical conductor to becoming an international orchestra musician. Dun played the violin, and his primary music genre was Orchestra. Some of his famous works include his Organic Music Trilogy of Water, Paper and Ceramic which are played in major concerts all over the world. Some of the challenges he faced include lack of a violin teacher, and he could only play three strings. Another problem was forbidding of teaching western music and lack of money to buy the extra string (TanDun, 2019).


Cummings, R. (2019). ALLMUSIC- Artist Biography. Retrieved from

Encyclopaedia Britannica. (2019). Biographies. Retrieved from

TanDun. (2019). Tan Dun Official Biography. Retrieved from

The Kennedy Center. (2019). Thomas Weelkes. Retrieved from

Cite this page

Research Paper on History of Music. (2023, Feb 07). Retrieved from

Free essays can be submitted by anyone,

so we do not vouch for their quality

Want a quality guarantee?
Order from one of our vetted writers instead

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the website, please click below to request its removal:

didn't find image

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism