History Timelines and other Deeper Dives

One of the most important things to understand about music is context. Timelines and deeper dives are invaluable. Here are some great places to look.

Concert Hotels
The site, despite the name, offers a nice timeline that moves vertically tracing a variety of genres.

The Complete History of Hip Hop
Although widely synonymous with rap music today, hip-hop actually got its start as a full-on cultural movement in the 1970s. For the first few decades that the term was around, hip-hop wasn’t just about music: it also referred to art, style, dance, and philosophy.

In this article, we cover the full history of hip hop dance and music and include a helpful hip hop history timeline for reference.

The Classical Composers Poster
The Classical Composers Poster is an extraordinary work of educational art that explores the history of classical music in a large-scale timeline format.

Jimi Hendrix

Country Music Timeline
To accompany episodes of “Country Music: a Film by Ken Burns,” the WGBH Archives team searched the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) for public radio and television programs related to the genre’s history. Each program provides a deeper look at the influential people and places behind this American art form. Timeline was compiled by Christopher Brown, AAPB Intern 2019.

The Current
Every February, The Current honors Black History Month. We’ll be celebrating by spotlighting black musical artists whose voices and songs changed the world, throughout the decades and across genres. We’re also posting a series of essays delving into a deep, enduring and ever-evolving body of work. In this entry, we trace a timeline of historic black musical events, with extended riffs on selected items.

Music Timeline
A good one.

A Passion for Jazz
The timeline of Jazz music style development has evolved significantly over three centuries. Since its birth, well over two dozen distinct Jazz styles have emerged, all of which are actively played today…The site features history of Jazz music origins, styles and musicians, timeline, glossary, photos, festivals, webcasts, guitar/piano chords & scales.

Rock Music Timeline
An online chronology of rock and roll history. Experience rock & roll in the order it happened, decade by decade, year by year, and month by month. Enjoy vintage band photos, important events in music history, along with all the hit songs and albums in the first fifty years of rock music.

This timeline will take you through six different eras in Western Music. You will find popular characteristics, artists, and pieces from these periods. This project encompasses everything we have learned throughout the semester.

WFMU Genre Finder
The links are to programming at WFMU – an independent station in New York City and New Jersey. The list of genres is very comprehensive and valuable for that purpose.

The Music Genres List
Music comes in many different types and styles ranging from traditional rock music to world pop, easy listening and bluegrass. Many genres have a rich history or geographical significance, a cult following or music roots that go far beyond the 20th century.

The Fundamental Music Genre List: How are your digital music genres organized? Are they general musical styles, like ‘rock’ or ‘pop’ or are they very specific, like ‘ambient techno’ or ‘bubblegum pop’?

Discover the best artists and albums in genres ranging from rock, jazz, and rap, to folk, classical, and the blues. Focuses on: Flamingo and dice; rock; pop; alternative; classical; country; folk; rap/hip hop; rhythm & blues; world; punk; heavy metal; jazz; Latin and oldies.

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. Drawing on the 70,000 documents in the Gilder Lehrman Collection and an extensive network of eminent historians, the Institute provides teachers, students, and the general public with direct access to unique primary source materials.


The Summer 2012 edition of the “History Now” journal was entitled “The Music and History of Our Times” and featured eight articles: “The Forties and the Music of World War II,” “Fun, Fun Rock ’n’ Roll High School,” ” ‘People Get Ready’: Music and the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s,” “The Sixties and Protest Music,” “Women and the Music Industry in the 1970s,” “Globalizing Protest in the 1980s: Musicians Collaborate to Change the World,” “Pop Music and the Spatialization of Race in the 1990s” and “9/11 and Springsteen.”

Library of Congress
The music division–formally created in 1896 and established in quarters within the Library’s Jefferson Building upon its completion in 1897–traces the origin of its collections to the thirteen books on music literature and theory that were contained in Thomas Jefferson’s library, purchased by the Congress in 1815. At that time, the cultivation and development of a music library were scarcely matters of great importance. By the closing years of the century, however, some 400,000 music items had been added to the Library’s collections, largely effected through the deposits under the Copyright Act. Today, the Music Division’s collections number close to eight million items, including the classified music and book collections, music and literary manuscripts, microforms, and copyright deposits.

The National Jukebox
The Library of Congress presents the National Jukebox, which makes historical sound recordings available to the public free of charge. The Jukebox includes recordings from the extraordinary collections of the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation and other contributing libraries and archives.

Piero Scaruffi
Piero Scaruffi is a really, really smart guy. Among his many pursuits is musical commentary, which crosses many genre lines.