- The ballo first appeared circa 1453 as danced by Italian courtiers. The ballo’s multi-rhythmic music could include the following forms: bassadanza, quadernaria, saltarello, and piva. The variations supported pantomimic dances (movement phrases highlighting dramatic storytelling). As the name “ballo” implies, it was a precursor to “ballet.”
- The Medicis rule Florence, which becomes the center of Renaissance Humanism.
- Joan of Arc leads the French army to important victories over the English in the Hundred Years’ War, which ends in 1453.
- Henry Tudor rules as the first in the Tudor dynasty in England.
- Ferdinand and Isabella rule Spain; the Spanish Inquisition occurs.
- Christopher Columbus, born in Genoa, discovers the American continent; Spanish colonists impose on American Indians.
- Johannes Gutenberg, inventor of the mechanical printing press, prints the Bible; the Vatican founds their library.
- John Dunstable develops counterpoint: the art of combining several melodies.
- The first printed music appears.
- Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Sandro Botticelli, and Albrecht Dürer produce early Renaissance and classical works.
- Previously made from wood, metal printing plates are introduced to Europe.
- In England, Edward IV passes an edict outlawing the “hustling of stones”—i.e., bowling—or other sports.