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Composers You Should Know: Home


While this LibGuide was made primarily for Music History and Composition students, everyone can benefit from learning about at least a few representative composers from different time periods and countries.

The top boxes are composers that EVERYONE should know. The lower boxes are additional composers that music students, especially in Composition and Music History, should be familiar with.

Time Periods

The various time periods of music history are not clearly defined and there is considerable overlap during every transitional time.

The time periods we have used in this LibGuide are as follows (These time periods reflect when the various composers were active, not their specific birth years.):

Medieval Composers: 500 - 1430

Renaissance Composers: 1430 - 1600

Baroque Composers: 1600 - 1750

Classical Composers: 1750 - 1820

Romantic Composers: 1820 - 1900

Twentieth Century Composers: 1900 - 1975

Contemporary Classical Composers: 1975 -

Film Music Composers: various years



Tips on Using this LibGuide

CNU ONLY Off campus access instructions

Links in this LibGuide:

  • Composer names are linked to their biographies in Oxford Music Online when possible
  • Links are provided to any books by/about them or their music available in the library.
  • Links are provided to any CDs/DVDs and Scores available in the library
  • Links are provided to the composer's pages on Music Online (Alexander Street Press) and Naxos Music Library when possible.



This LibGuide was created by Scott Pfitzinger, Multimedia Librarian at Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Ohio.

Any librarian or other LibGuide creator is welcome to copy this guide and customize it for their own library's needs. Simply leave this one content box on the front page to acknowledge authorship.

© 2013, Scott Pfitzinger

Please Note:

This guide was modified to reflect resources available for Christopher Newport University Students, Faculty and staff.

Please see for Scott Pfitzinger's original guide.

Guide Owner

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