About the TIMELINE

This TIMELINE showcases our Canadian composers and musicians within an international context providing supporting material to enrich your listening pleasure. The site allows for the creation of playlists that can be shared with friends. And best of all…it's all free. Happy listening!

How it Works

The NAC musicbox TIMELINE is organized by decade. Each decade is represented by a column of blocks, each block in turn represents a single performance of a musical composition. By clicking on a block, the web site visitor can instantly play the music. By clicking the "Open" button you can read about the work. The program notes, composer's biography and contextual events divided into categories like history, science, the arts, etc. are available on the Overview page.

The filters, help you search for music by period (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, etc.), nationality, title, soloist and no fewer than eight themes called Music Connections. You can clear your search using the top red button titled "Reset Filter".

Music Connections, which include samples like "Landscape and Soundscape," "Power of the Voice" and "Visually Inspired," are all developed by selected musicologists and educators to provide easily accessed means of exploring of our rich cultural legacy. This legacy spans three hundred years of music, from the early eighteenth century (the High Baroque) to modern times (right up to the present).

How It Came To Be

In 2009, the National Arts Centre launched an exciting new online resource called NACmusicbox.ca. This free web site allows any visitor to access more than 150 performances – most live, some studio recordings – by the NAC Orchestra since its inaugural season back in 1969-1970. These performances are supplemented by biographies of the composers, essays and various educational activities.

One year later, the NAC builds on the success of NACmusicbox.ca by adding a whole new concept to the picture, the TIMELINE. This one-of-a-kind project incorporates the repertory found in NACmusicbox.ca plus an additional 65 compositions by Canadian composers into a single continuous chronology of the world's great music. All performances are by Canada's National Arts Centre Orchestra.

With the integration of Canadian content into the TIMELINE, the great narrative woven by our famous composers, conductors and musicians can easily be recognized and accessed online. We now have a comprehensive tool for teachers, students and all Canadians to compare and contrast music of different eras, styles and national origin. All of this comes to you free of charge.