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Dates of classical music eras

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Dates of classical music eras

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It is difficult to pick particular years for the beginning and end points of eras in European classical music. There are several reasons for this. First, these eras began and ended at different times in different locations. Second, works of particular styles can be found that were composed after the style was no longer popular or important. Third, the styles themselves overlap and absolute categorization is not possible in all cases. For example, a "late Rennaissance" piece would likely be very similar to an "early Baroque" piece.

Date ranges of classical music eras are therefore somewhat arbitrary, and are only intended as approximate guides. Scholars of music history do not agree on the start and end dates, and in many cases disagree whether particular years should be chosen at all.

The following graph depicts commonly accepted dates for major movements in classical music.


  • Ancient music extended from approximately 1500 B.C. until the fall of Rome in 476 A.D.
  • Prehistoric music encompasses that music which existed prior to any historical record.

Home | Up | Dates of classical music eras | Prehistoric music | Ancient music | Early music | Common practice period | Contemporary classical music

Music Sound, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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