174 episodes

Join VPR Classical host James Stewart on a journey into the events, characters and concepts that shaped our Western musical tradition. We'll start at the very beginning and trace the steps of music through history. This music, and its history, is ours.

VPR Classical Timeline Vermont Public Radio

    • Music

Join VPR Classical host James Stewart on a journey into the events, characters and concepts that shaped our Western musical tradition. We'll start at the very beginning and trace the steps of music through history. This music, and its history, is ours.

    164 - Which Came First, Language Or Music?

    164 - Which Came First, Language Or Music?

    Which came first, language or music? It’s not just a “chicken or the egg” type of question. Many linguists and theorists have debated this subject. For a long time the accepted norm stated that music appears “to be derived from language,” meaning that music is a subset of verbal communication. But modern research is painting a different picture. There’s an earlier episode of Timeline called “Baby Talk” that dives into that research regarding the development of human communication.

    • 3 min
    163 - 40,000 BCE: A Musical Odyssey

    163 - 40,000 BCE: A Musical Odyssey

    Do you remember the opening scene of Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey”? The director starts a movie about space by first showing us early humanity. We are introduced to two warring factions of hairy proto-humans, yelling and grunting at one another over some unknown conflict. That night one of the tribes wakes up at sunrise to a strange, black, rectangular object. In the shadow of this monolith, one of the members of the tribe picks up a bone and examines it. After a moment, it begins to beat the ground with this first “tool.”

    • 3 min
    162 - When Music Changed The World

    162 - When Music Changed The World

    Over the years we’ve talked about a lot different subjects and explored the development of music throughout history. We’ve had deep discussions about where music comes from and what music is. We’ve looked at the ways music touches our lives and influences our health and behavior. We’ve explored the ancient past and modern practice. However, over the past few months I’ve been asking a question, “so what?” What does all of this mean? Maybe a better question is, for what? What is this exploration for?

    • 3 min
    120 - Art And Civilization

    120 - Art And Civilization

    originally aired December 10, 2018
    Art is everywhere and always has been. It lines the walls of museums, buildings and caves. It fills our halls and ears with sound and music. It captures the eye with beautiful movement and imagery. Art doesn’t just express our passions and history; it defines, influences and shapes culture and civilization.

    • 3 min
    113 - Where is Music?

    113 - Where is Music?

    On Timeline we’ve asked a lot of questions; what is music? How was music created? Why is music written? Here’s another interesting question I’d love for us to ponder, where is music?

    • 3 min
    100 - Popular Music And Classical Music

    100 - Popular Music And Classical Music

    Another favorite episode of Timeline...
    Musical labels are useful. The title of a genre or style comes in handy in the record store, on the radio or for streaming services, because when you click on or tune into a station it’s helpful to know what programming to expect. But these labels can also be problematic and divisive. Today there are many labels that separate the musical landscape but none are more controversial then the terms, popular music and classical music.

    • 3 min

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