Who Invented Opera?

Who Invented Opera?

The history of opera began in the 1500s in Italy. Jacopo Peri’s Dafne (1598) is widely held to be the first opera ever performed. The Earliest Operas By the 15th century, several new musical instruments had emerged, notably the trumpet. This instrument, along with other ones, changed the face of stage plays considerably. The result was that actors had to belt out their lines or sing along so their voices wouldn’t get drowned out by the music. This innovative approach would gain popularity throughout Europe. The Medici family of Florence was known for being patrons of the arts. Some historians believe that they commissioned Jacopo Peri to compose Dafne in 1598. In the history of opera, this play is often singled out as the first. However some historians bevel opera came about in stages and not via one play. Opera Spreads throughout Europe The impact of Dafne and succeeding plays was immense. The new musical form spread from Italy to France, Germany and the Austrian Empire. With the exception of Italy however, acceptance of opera was limited to the wealthy and aristocratic. Opera took a strong hold in Venice, and it would eventually become the staging ground for some of the finest operas in the continent. Claudio Monteverdi became one of the leading composers of the Renaissance. His inaugural play Orpheo was conducted in 1607. What set him apart from the others was that his plays were designed for everyone. Unlike other operas, his compositions had appeal for both royalty and merchant. This was a significant point in the history of opera. As opera became widespread, two forms emerged, opera seria (dramatic) and opera buffa (comedic). At the same time, stories changed. The storylines became more complex, with symbolism...
Who Invented the Clock?

Who Invented the Clock?

Who invented the clock? Introduction Many types of clocks are in use today. Each kind has its own inventor and history. But from the beginning, men have used all kinds of objects and materials to be able to keep time. Here are the different types of clocks used and how they were made. Astronomical Calendars When men looked up at the sky, they noticed that the sun, moon, stars and other heavenly bodies moved in cycles. This allowed them to tell time. The Sumerians used a solar calendar with 30-day long months and 12 periods in each day. The famous Stonehenge in Britain was an ancient timekeeping monument. It marked various astronomical and seasonal events like eclipses, equinoxes, etc. The Egyptians first used a lunar calendar, just as the Chinese did. Later the Egyptians invented a 365-day solar year based on when the Dog Star Sirius would rise near the sun. The Mayans had a very accurate calendar too. They used not only the sun and moon, but also the planet Venus. Sun and Water Clocks Ancient peoples had other ways to tell time. The Egyptians invented the obelisk. Its shadow was used to mark the hours of the day. This was a type of sundial. Another kind of clock was the water clock. Different models of water clocks existed. The oldest was a vessel with a hole at the bottom. The vessel was filled with water and it would pour out at a constant rate. The Chinese made use of water clocks to time the fertility of the emperor’s consort. The Pendulum Clock The first accurate, modern clock was the pendulum clock. It was invented in 1656 by a Dutch scientist, Christian Huygens. When he first built the...
Who Invented Valentines Day?

Who Invented Valentines Day?...

Who Invented Valentine’s Day? Valentine’s Day is celebrated worldwide as lovers’ day. There are different versions of this holiday’s origin depending on who you ask. Some say it was a pagan festival while others honor it in memory of a Christian saint. Here are the accounts. Valentine’s Day As a Roman Festival According to the first story, the Romans invented Valentine’s Day in the 3rd century AD. It was a pastoral holiday in honor of the god Lupercus. In those days, shepherds would take their flocks out to pasture in the outskirts of Rome. There packs of wolves would surround them waiting for stray sheep to prey on. The shepherds believed that their god Lupercus was watching over them, guarding their herds from the wolves. Every year in February they held a festival called Lupercalia to secure the god’s continued favor. Hardly suggests why this would make the Romans the inventors of Valentine’s Day! But a curious detail about the Lupercalia is telling: During the same festival, girls would put their names in a box and boys would draw lots to see who gets paired with whom. The partners would be a couple for the whole year that followed. This practice was held to honor the goddess Juno. Valentine’s Day Becomes a Christian Festival After some time, Christianity took over the Roman empire. To facilitate the spread of their religion, Christian priests changed the names and meanings of the Roman festivals. To replace Lupercalia, they invented St. Valentine’s Day. Instead of girls’ names in the box, now there were names of Christian saints. Each lad who drew a saint’s name had to devote a whole year to imitating that saint’s life. Undoubtedly this was much less appealing to the...
Who Invented the Steam Engine?

Who Invented the Steam Engine?...

The history of steam engines points to Thomas Savery (1650-1715) as its inventor. He created the engine in 1698 but the basic principles were already known years before. The Evolution of the Steam Engine In the first century AD, Hero of Alexandria had detailed the fundamental principles of the steam engine. The steam turbines that Taqi al Din and Giovanni Branca made (in 1551 and 1629) were mainly for assessing the properties of steam. They were not actually put to any practical use. Savery’s invention in 1698 was the first practical application of steam. It was a water pump and used in some pumping stations. The history of steam engines asserts that the early models sometimes failed to work. In 1712, Thomas Newcomen invented the atmospheric engine. Newcomen’s design was actually an improvement over Savery’s machine. It was mostly used for water pumping too, but it could also be used for draining. James Watt’s Engine While Newcomen’s work help usher in the Industrial Age, it was James Watt’s innovations that helped make steam engine more practical. His pumping engine needed 78% less coal than Newcomen’s device. Watt also included a rotary motion. This allowed the device to be used for moving factory equipment. This meant factories no longer had to be built near rivers or water sources. Watt’s invention was still an atmospheric engine. This meant power was produced by the vacuum from the condensed steam. The history of steam engines changed with Richard Trevithick’s new engines. Trevithick’s Engines Trevithick’s engines utilized high pressure. Compared with Watt’s engine, this was much more powerful. Its small size also made it ideal for usage in transport. The engine came to be recognized as a power source. In 1801 Trevithick created the...
Who Invented Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches?

Who Invented Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches?...

The origin and history of peanut butter and jelly sandwich isn’t clear as to who actually invented it. What is known is that during World War II the sandwich was eaten by US soldiers. Possible Origin and Source Bread had been eaten for thousands of years. Various forms of jelly have also been in existence for several hundred years at least. However peanut butter wasn’t invented until the 1890s. Records show the peanut butter became popular during the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. By the 1920s and 1930s, several companies had come out with many peanut butter products. These Included Peter Pan and Skippy. It was also around this time that pre sliced bread started to appear. But food records don’t actually state that peanut butter and jelly were being sold. One theory is that the history of peanut butter and jelly sandwich began when US soldiers combined the two so they could eat quickly. There are claims peanut butter and jelly were part of their food rations. Another theory is that peanut butter was used because other popular foods were hard to find during the 1940s. Because meat and other food staples were scarce or costly, people begin trying other meals. The results were peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Other Accounts There are claims the sandwich was already in existence in the early 1900s. Some claim that during the early 1900s peanut butter was served with various sweets and toppings. According to this account of the history of peanut butter and jelly sandwich, peanut butter was regarded as a delicacy. They were served with crackers, pimento and jelly. Some historians assert that the sandwich was already being eaten during the 1910s but wasn’t called peanut butter and...
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