From the 18th Century, the Czech Land began to be called „Europe´s conservatory,“ primarily thanks to the large number of talented musicians from this region working in Europe at that time. The first historical musical monuments in the region date from the 10th Century, but in the strict sense, Czech music was founded by what was known as the „national school“ in the 19th Century, the best-known representatives of which are Bedřich Smetana and Antonín Dvořák. The 19th Century also witnessed the formation of the organizational structure of public music life, research and education. Famous composers to emerge in the late Romantic and early Modernist period include Leoš Janáček, Josef Suk and Bohuslav Martinů. Major figures of popular interwar music include comic opera composer and well-known conductor Oskar Nedbal, songwriter Karel Hašler, composer, bandmaster and singer R. A. Dvorský, composer and bandmaster, author of the most frequently plaid polka “Škoda lásky/Beer Barrel Polka” Jaromír Vejvoda and the artists of the Liberated Theatre (Osvobozené Divadlo, Voskovec and Werich, Jaroslav Ježek).
After 1945, the institutional base of music life expanded, but creative production was regulated by the doctrine of Socialist Realism. Nevertheless, from the 1960s onwards, a number of distinctive works were created, most of them by Petr Eben, Luboš Fišer, Miloslav Kabeláč, Jan Klusák, Zbyněk Vostřák, Rudolf Komorous (later in emigration founding own composer school in Canada), in the music for film especially by Luboš Fišer, Zdeněk Liška, Otmar Mácha and others. The top pop singer most known around the world since 60s has been Karel Gott (Lady Carneval, music Karel Svoboda). Czech music has also a strong folklore and jazz tradition.
After 1989, musicians of every genre became more internationally mobile and the music scene diversified into a large number of organizations and independent projects. Czech Republic has one of most dense network of professional orchestras and opera houses, there are about 500 regularly held festivals, of which approximately 140 are devoted to classical music and 35 to folklore. Most known in the world is Prague Spring in classical music, Folklore Festival in Strážnice, Colours Ostrava in world music, Bohemia Jazz Fest in jazz, Rock for People in rock music, Sázava fest in folk and multigenre, Autumn Strings Prague in multi and cross genre music, Hip Hop Kemp in Hradec Králové in this genre. The best known composers in the generation of classical musicians of this period include Sylvie Bodorová, Martin Smolka, Vít Zouhar, Kryštof Mařatka, Ondřej Adámek, Miroslav Srnka, Michal Rataj and others. So-called international formats and musicals established themselves in the popular music scene. Indies have had to cope with an international platform of large music publishers and media. Amateur and folk music also continues to thrive. Recently, Jan Hammer, Michael Kocáb belong to the best known composers and musicians of pop music abroad (on the grounds of inquiry of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of CR). In classical music they are actually mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená, soprano Eva Urbanová and conductor Jiří Bělohlávek, but Czech Music scene is much richer.