Classical Music: a history according to YouTube
May 5, 2011 7:29 PM   Subscribe

The Australian ABC's Limelight magazine has put together a potted history of music, with video examples (40LYTP).
Of course, with millions of YouTube clips dedicated to classical music there’s plenty of filler to sift through. Limelight has strung together just 40 of the most informative, representative and entertaining videos we could find to present a selective, chronological history of western classical music from the twelfth century to the modern age. Concert, recording and documentary footage has been assembled to illustrate the most epoch-making moments and innovations in the field.
Page 1 The Middle Ages
Page 2 The Renaissance
Page 3 The Baroque
Page 4 The Classical era
Page 5 The Romantics
Page 6 The Birth of Modernism
Page 7 Post-WWII innovators
posted by coriolisdave (9 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
Oh very nice.

For payback, I'll just throw in this fine performance (despite alas being curtailed by the time limit) I found a couple weeks back of Schubert's Quintet in C, D 956 at Zagreb. Would have missed it if not for the YT :-)
posted by Twang at 8:13 PM on May 5, 2011

Ooh nice. Very nice indeed.
Of course, now I'm aching to play that again, and have just moved to a town with apparently no musicians.
posted by coriolisdave at 8:32 PM on May 5, 2011

This is excellent, but I can't help but be disappointed. When you said "potted," I thought you meant "drunk."
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:03 PM on May 5, 2011

Man, this takes me back to college and my music history classes. We had to memorize a plethora of music from the Middle Ages to early 20th century. Our tests consisted of the professor dropping the needle at a random point on a record for exactly two seconds, after which we had to identify the song, composer, and year.

Good times.
posted by narwhal bacon at 9:47 PM on May 5, 2011

Our tests consisted of the professor dropping the needle at a random point on a record for exactly two seconds, after which we had to identify the song, composer, and year.

That sounds like a pretty useless class, if that's what he was testing for. Nothing where you had to expound about the sweep of development in complexity of harmony? Just identifying music based on two second clips? Gaah.
posted by hippybear at 9:52 PM on May 5, 2011

Well, upon further reflection, I bet the tests consisted of more than just identifying music. Honestly, it was years ago and all I remember is the anxiety of the needle drop.

There was a lot of class discussion about how and why music evolved the way it did. It was a very informative set of classes, and I certainly walked away with a greater appreciation for music.
posted by narwhal bacon at 10:14 PM on May 5, 2011

Well, good. I'm glad it was actually educational and not simply trivia torture. :)

posted by hippybear at 10:26 PM on May 5, 2011

though, many years later, it seems to be the main thing that you remember...
posted by wilful at 11:11 PM on May 5, 2011

narwhal bacon: Me too! We had the same kind of listening exams -- needle drop, two seconds of sound, BAM! Ockeghem! We had long-form essay exams, too, but those listening exams were much harder to cram for. I had a form and analysis teacher who used to like to do something similar when we covered Beethoven piano sonatas -- he had a bonus exam at the end of the term where he'd play the first note or chord of any movement of a random sonata, and we'd have to identify which one it was. That was a lot easier than the needle-drop tests, though...
posted by mothershock at 5:36 AM on May 6, 2011

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