40″ x 27″ (approx. 102 cm x 69 cm).
The poster is printed on heavy, high-quality art stock.
$21.95 (less if you buy more than one).
The poster is shipped with an information sheet that includes an alphabetical list of composers and their dates. This is especially helpful when you’re looking for a particular composer in the timeline.
The poster is shipped rolled in a sturdy tube to protect it from the depredations of the postal service.
The third edition includes 959 composers.
Many of the composers lived in earlier times when people were smaller.
Small (but readable) type and many hours of arranging and re-arranging.
The poster provides birth and death years, countries of origin and activity, and significant works and dates of composition.
The composers are ranked in four groups based on their historical and cultural importance. The four groups are represented by black type (first rank), purple type (second rank), grey type (third rank) and blue type (fourth rank).
Good question. A variety of sources (see below) were used to decide where composers belong, as well as which composers to include. In the case of composers like Bach and Beethoven, there isn’t much controversy. On the other hand, the 20th century presents a number of difficulties. Overall, an effort was made to strike a balance between critical considerations and popular appeal.

Ammer, Christine. The Harper Dictionary of Music. 2d ed. New York: Harper & Row, 1987.
Antokoletz, Elliott. Twentieth-Century Music. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1992.
Brown, Howard M. Music in the Renaissance. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1976.
Ewen, David. Composers Since 1900. New York: The H. W. Wilson Co., 1969.
Ewen, David. Composers Since 1900. First Supplement. New York: The H. W. Wilson Co., 1981.
Grout, Donald Jay and Palisca, Claude V. A History of Western Music. 5th ed. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1996.
Grove Music Online (grovemusic.com)
Hindley, Geoffrey, ed. The Larousse Encyclopedia of Music. New Jersey: Chartwell Books, Inc., 1976.
March, Ivan, Edward Greenfield, and Robert Layton. The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs and Cassettes. London: Penguin Books Ltd, 1994, 2001.
Lebrecht, Norman. The Companion to 20th Century Music. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992.
Sadie, Stanley, ed. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. 20 vols. London: Macmillan Publishers Limited, 1980.
Sadie, Stanley, ed. The Norton/Grove Concise Encyclopedia of Music. Revised and Enlarged. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1994.
Simms, Bryan R. Music of the Twentieth Century. New York: Schirmer Books, 1986.
Slonimsky, Nicolas. Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. 7th ed. New York: Schirmer Books, 1984.
Stolba, K Marie. The Development of Western Music. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 1998.
Wikipedia (en.wikipedia.org)

The poster runs chronologically from left to right, from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. The placement of each composer corresponds to when he or she lived.

The medieval section condenses about 550 years into one column, but from 1400 on spacing is proportional (1/16″ = 1 year). Thus the rectangles enclosing first- and second-rank composers exactly correspond to their life spans and indicate precisely who lived when. Third- and fourth-rank composers are arranged by year of birth and (mostly) alphabetically from top to bottom. They’re also staggered to give a rough indication of their life spans.

Not really. It sounds confusing, but actually it works very well visually.
The background image is an archival engraving that depicts Franz Liszt conducting one of his oratorios. It’s more visible on the actual poster, but it’s purposely screened back so as not to interfere with the text.
Much early music was written for the Church and services were conducted in Latin. The primary language of the poster is English, but the titles of many works appear in their original languages, including French, Italian, German and Latin. However, many popular compositions in languages other than English are translated for ease of identification, e.g., “An der schönen, blauen Donau (‘The Blue Danube’).”
The small timeline along the bottom of the poster chronicles significant events in music history, from the establishment of Gregorian chant and the beginning of music printing, to the launching of the iPod and the awarding of the first Pulitzer Prize to a woman composer.
The poster doesn’t use batteries. It will work on any wall and requires no special hardware or software (although a frame might be nice).
The original version of the poster was compiled and designed over the course of about two years. Subsequent editions have required about a month of supplemental work.
The Classical Composers Poster is our sole product.
I’m glad you asked. Please check out our Ordering page for full details.