Friday, June 24, 2011

A Mozart Timeline

A preliminary version of a timeline I created as part of a larger Mozart project. Hopefully this chart and similar will give a clearer sense of who were contemporaries. Included are prominent family, friends, collaborators and librettists, students, employers, and composers. The red-shaded area is the life of Mozart, who as you can see came and went in the lives of many of these people.

Suggestions (both for comprehensiveness and clarity) are of course most welcome!

(click to enlarge)


  1. This is great! My brain responds well to this sort of graphic and it tells a story all by itself. There is a limit to what can be done in the available space but it might be useful to add two parts at the bottom, one that shows where Mozart was at the time and little dots with important historical events (both artistic, scientific and historical) that might be relevant. That's probably more useful for later people like Beethoven or Wagner but I think it is nice to have that persepective.

  2. Thanks! That's exactly what I was hoping for! What you've said is great and that's what this is a small step toward: giving some context to Mozart's life, both musically and socially in general. For example, to suggest who was king and queen where when he visited a certain city, or that Diderot was up to something when Mozart visited Paris in 1777, was Benjamin Franklin perhaps in town at the time?, and so forth. And yes, yes, dots for significant events over the lifespans of the people.

    As you say, though, space is a problem. I wonder if perhaps one might create one chart per time/place? I don't want to fragment it too much, though, since seeing it all overlaid is part of the plan.

    I'm going to get started with those dots. Time to play around in Excel.

    Thanks for the ideas!

  3. I look forward to seeing what you come up with. Maybe you could color code the pink band into sections which show geography, so like years in Salzburg would be a particular color. Side trips could be shown as dots along with the other events. I agree that different charts would get cumbersome and the approach I'm suggesting might get too long/tall but it will be interesting to play around with.

  4. Thanks for the ideas, Tom! I'm thinking of perhaps just making one very tall one. Maybe I'll get super fancy and do something with layers in Flash! Or perhaps in flash something that will move along at a certain speed, as I need a way to get all of this data both on and off the chart while still giving the impression of what's going on when. Mozart projects always have a way of getting bigger, it seems!