What is YOUR knowledge and what are YOUR perceptions about the world before Columbus? (Before 1500)
Musical Characteristics - Non-formalized in general, very little recorded secular music, however probably folk music was very common for public dances and performances, more modal in general, homophony less common, more monophony and polyphony
Instruments - Much more basic musical instruments. Flute-like instruments, plucked string instruments (lute?), in general less developed instruments
Composers - much fewer prominent composers prior 1500, don't know any by name
Time Periods - Ancient 3000BC - 500 AD, Dark Ages 500 AD - 1000 AD, Medieval 1000 - 1400, 1400-1650 Renaissance
Geography - countries broken up VERY differently (Gaul, beginning of the golden age of exploration), yet to discover the Americas, trade routes being established the the Indies and the Orient, the Silk Road, beginning of colonization
Politics & Government - primarily monarchies and theocracies, Pope wielding strong political power
Religion - extremely important to everyday life, life essentially focused on the church, church exerts incredible power of rulers and people at large, Latin unpublished in vernacular, all masses in Latin, thus only priests have direct access to the bible and thus access to god
Science - Copernicus has already published theory of Heliocentricity, beginning of curiosity about space, Renaissance shows initial signs of a return to humanism and interest in the non-secular aspects of life
Technology - guns just beginning to come into common use, developing sea-travel technologies, improving farming techniques and equipment
Medicine - very limited medicine, although improved by the the books on medicine discovered in Cordoba in Southern Spain where the Muslims had maintained a library full of classical texts that were rediscovered by Europeans after the Dark Ages during the Renaissance
Exploration - beginning of the Age of Exploration, exploring East to the Indies and the orient, around the tip of Africa, beginning to map Eurasia and Africa, Americas undiscovered
Gender - men certainly dominate society and the family, take essentially all roles of power in government and religion, women can't be priests, powerful historical women of the time generally only became powerful through their male relations, women almost never given education
Food - very constant and similar, most food deriving on very local, specific sources, lots of grains (wheat, barley, oats, etc), vegetables like carrots, onions, fruits, meat, milk, generally only food that can be grown or raised by oneself or in one's area

Fashion - greatly depended on level of income, Renaissance saw great expansion of clothes available to the rich, but clothes remained relatively constant for the poor because finer clothes were too expensive, course linens in general