While new music undoubtedly gets the most attention from the media today, it’s important to remember that music is an art form which has lasted for thousands of years. Even though I devote this blog to discussing new music, I am one musician that enjoys music from all different time periods. Seeing that I also like to share my perspective on all things music, I decided to rank who I thought were the best musicians who lived before 1600. This is merely a fun list, and is obviously just my opinion. I hope you enjoy!
Setting my criteria for making this list was a bit difficult, since “before 1600” can mean a lot of things. Instead of strictly excluding any musical activity that happened after 1600, I used the life of musician Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) as a benchmark. He is not on this list, as I considered him to be the beginning of a new generation and musical movement after the generations I desired to focus on. I had two rules I went by for a musician to be considered for this list: the majority of their musical career had to take place before 1600, and they could not have outlived Monteverdi. With that said, on to the list!