Three Musicians

Pablo Picasso

1921

 

 

Fundamentals of Music

MUSC 2133 

MUSIC HISTORY

20th Century

 

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Music Dictionary  

 

 

20th Century Music

 

 

General Characteristics of 20th Century Music

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Rhythm was underdeveloped in Western music before 1900. It became much more complex and irregular in the 20th century.

 

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Melody became of secondary importance in much of the music in the 20th century. Melodies were often erratic with wide leaps, irregular rhythms, and unexpected phrases - an instrumental rather than vocal approach.

 

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Harmony was freed from "the tyranny of tonality" (Schoenberg). References to a "key" or tonal center were often determined unimportant and atonality was explored. New scale and chord structures were developed.

 

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Timbre was explored in depth. New playing techniques were developed on traditional instruments to expand their tonal range. New instruments were created (mostly electronic) and instruments unique to "world" or ethnic music were incorporated into the sonic spectrum.

 

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Recording technology increased accessibility for audiences and change the way musicians created music and made a living.

 

 

Impression:  Sunrise

Claude Monet

 

 

Impressionism

 

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tonal sonorities

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non-functional harmony

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colorful texture

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primarily French

 

Claude Debussy

French

(1862 - 1918 )

Clair de Lune

Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune

 

Maurice Ravel

French

(1875 -1937)

Bolero

 

 

 

Expressionism

 

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emotional expression

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dissolution of tonality

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jagged melodic lines

 

Serialism

(then Hyperserialism)

Arnold Schoenberg

(1874 - 1951 )

Austrian

Verklarte Nacht (excerpt)

Pierrot Lunaire (excerpt)

 

Milton Babbitt

(1916 -   )

American

Composition for Synthesizer

EXPRESSIONISM   (1910-40)

Expressionism was centered in Vienna (Freud) and focuses on the subconscious and extreme inner emotions.

It is a reaction to the "prettiness" of Impressionism.

Expressionist music and art is not intended to be real or pretty.

Van Gogh was the initiator of this style in art although he died (1890) before the period began.

Starry Night

Vincent Van Gogh 1889

 

These paintings were actually painted by Schoenberg.

 

B Bb G C# Eb C D A F# E Ab F

12-tone Row

Compositional material:  The "Matrix"

 

 

 

Neoclassicism

 

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rhythmic energy

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traditional forms

Nationalistic period (Russian)

Neoclassicism

Serialism

 

 

"There can be no art without discipline."

----Igor Stravinsky

Igor Stravinsky

(1882 - 1971 )

Rite of Spring

 Rite of Spring

Stravinsky collaborated with an

anthropologist for the story line.

Example of Primitivism

It was a "riot."

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chance music (Aleatoric)

 

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any sound can be musical

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music can be "composed" by chance or indeterminate methods
 

 

 

John Cage

(1912 - 1992 )

American

4'33"

Complete Piano

  

 

 

 

 

 Minimalism

 

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developed in the US around 1965-70

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the music changes/grows/develops, but it doesn't "go" anywhere

 

Miniminiminiminiminim-alism
Example:  In C

53 measures, each repeated ad lib.

any combo, number of instruments
performance time:  42 minutes
  

Terry Riley

(1935 -    )

In C

 

 

 

 

 

 Phase Shifting

Reich preferred the term "process music"

phaseshifting
haseshiftingp

 

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two performers begin in unison

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one gradually pulls ahead

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this "gradual process" continues until they rejoin

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new counterpoint results

  

Steve Reich(1936 -   )

Piano Phase

Come Out

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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early work was Minimalist

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made the music more accessible to the people

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postminimalist works maintained his unique style

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musical theater, opera, and movie scores

  

Philip Glass (1937 -   )

Koyaanisqatsi

 

 

 

 

Green Violinist

Marc Chagall

ORDER & CHAOS

SURFACE CHAOS/INNER ORDER:
  Rite of Spring; serialism

SURFACE ORDER/INNER ORDER:
  minimalism (Reich,
Music for 18)

SURFACE CHAOS/INNER CHAOS:
  chance methods (John Cage)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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