In a world where pop music is all pervasive, the danger of musical amnesia is great. I grew up in an environment consisting only of traditional and popular music and wasn't seriously exposed to classical music until my late teens. What do I mean by musical amnesia? It is the specific malady, akin to cultural or historical amnesia, that occurs when you really have no sense of the music that exists outside the narrow horizons of the last few years of popular genres. You know Lady Gaga, but not J. S. Bach. You know Rihanna, including all the details of her personal life, but nothing of Beethoven.
So what do you do? You could either wail and gnash your teeth in the outer darkness, or read this blog! See, that was easy, wasn't it? The series of posts entitled "Masterpieces of Music" are a good place to start because they are a somewhat fragmentary stab at music history starting with Guillaume de Machaut, one of the first great composers and who worked in the later Middle Ages, the 14th century:
Next in the series is this post on the early Renaissance composer, Guillaume Dufay:
The series continues on up to the 19th century and will continue on, bit by bit, from there.