Music in the Twentieth Century - Raleigh Charter High School
Music in the Twentieth Century and Beyond Age of Diversity Age of Eclecticism Cultural Background Age of Diversity The twentieth century is one of the most complex times of all the historical periods. Changes have
been fast and dramatic in all areas of culture: social, political, scientific, technology, economics. Impact of Global Conflict World War I (1914-1918) World War II (1939-1945) Cold War (1945-1990)
Founding of the United Nations (end of WWII) Korean War (1950-1954) Vietnam War (1956-1974) Persian Gulf War (1990-1992)
War on Terror (2001-present) Afghanistan Conflict (2001-present) Iraq Conflict (2004-present) Challenges to basic assumptions In the 20th century, philosophers and scientists formulated theories that disturbed
the basic assumptions upon which people based their way of looking at the world. Charles Darwin (1809-1882) Natural selection Theory of evolution Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
Theory of relativity Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) Nature of man People are a product of their subconscious minds, whose actions are caused by their upbringing or their environment. Changing Attitudes
Civil Rights movement beginning around 1954 attempt to end discrimination against blacks in the United States Womens movement 1960s and 1970s challenged traditional ideas about womens roles in society Advancements in Technology and
Communications Radio 1920s Television 1950s Computers Inventions and Discoveries Impact on the arts
Three types of artist Sensationalist The sensationalist tends to break down
convention and overthrow accepted methods and values. His/her art tends to lack expressive qualities since its main purpose is to shock the listener/observer. Experimentalist The experimentalist seeks new methods and combinations of materials to express themselves. His/her art often lacks unity and coherence. The price that is paid for experimentalists is that they seldom perfect what they invent. Synthesist The synthesist combines what is good of the sensationalist and the experimentalist with what is
valid from the past. His/her art usually is less brilliant; yet is more resilient to the test of time Common Principles Among 20th-century Artists
break with tradition (rejection of Romantic) rejection of subjective emotion as the primary basis for art. This is a clear influence from scientific research. rejection of concept that art must be realistic or literal rejection of unnecessary ornaments and attempts to dress up art. The motto is form follows function (architecture). There is a demand for simplicity, terseness and brutality of expression.
There is little attempt to please or entertain; only for a desire to reflect the age directly and unashamedly. Visual Arts from 1900-1950 Impressionism Modernism Expressionism Cubism Dadaism Abstract Art
Surrealism Impressionists Provided transition to the 20th century Claude Monet (1840-1926) Impression Sunrise, 1872 Rouen Cathedral, 1894
Edouard Manet (1832-1883) Dejeuner sur lherbe, 1863 Edgar Degas (1834-1917) The Rehearsal, 1874 Pierre Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)
Le Moulin de la Galette, 1897 Post-Impressionists Georges Seurat (1859-1891) Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, 1886 Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) Starry Night, 1889
Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) Day of the Gods, 1894 Modernism Flourished from the end of the 19th century until the end of WWII. A reaction to all the rules of the 19th century, which had been called into question by the
events of the 20th century. Doubt was cast upon conventional morality and traditional authorities. These new ways of looking at the world were very powerful and evoked a strong response, even if the general public found them hard to understand. Piet Mondrian (1872-1944)
Composition with Red, Blue and Yellow Georges Braque (1882-1963) Woman with Guitar Expressionism (1910-1939) Centered in Austria and Germany Influenced by Sigmund Freud and his psychoanalytic theories
Expressionists were concerned mainly with expressing their subjects emotions often extreme, anguish, hysteria, nightmare and insanity Edvard Munch (1863-1944) The Scream Cubism (1908-1914)
Concerned with reducing their subjects to the basic elements of form sphere, cone and cylinder. First to produce non-representational art. Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) Three Musicians Marc Chagall
(1887-1985) The Green Violinist Dadaism World War I Group of painters and poets who tried to break down the established rules of art. Dada means hobbyhorse in French connotes childishness.
Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) L.H.O.O.Q. Abstract Art 1920s in Germany, Russia and the Netherlands
Use of primary colors and painted twodimensional works of geometric abstraction. Piet Mondrian (1872-1944) Broadway Boogie-Woogie Surrealism Salvador Dali (1904-1989)
The Persistence of Memory Joan Mir (1893-1983) Ballerina II Musical Style from 19001950
Musical Centers France, Germany, United States Elements of Music Rhythm
witnesses a revitalization becomes one of the most striking elements of music represents the physical nature of life hectic urban life, surge and clatter of a highly industrial and technical society increasingly became an outlet for innovation: complex rhythms, irregular meters and accents,
rapidly changing meters, polyrhythms (simultaneous use of several rhythmic patterns) Melody less reliance on melody irregular unbalanced melodies angular, more instrumental in conception Harmony a single accepted harmonic language became a thing
of the past. Before 1900, harmony was based on consonant and dissonant chords, and triadic or tertian harmony. These distinctions became blurred in 20th century harmonic practices. New harmonic practices were brought into existence to suit compositional needs: polychord, quartal harmony, tone clusters, new scales, polytonality, resurgence of modality, atonality 12-tone
Texture Homophonic music is predominant but there is a resurgence in emphasis on polyphonic textures Dynamics gradual, less extreme Tone color became more important than ever; especially
evident in the use of percussion Orchestration trend toward smaller orchestra with a leaner sound (economics) string sections loses its traditional leader role less emphasis on a blended sound Form divergent, form follows function
Jazz popular style from late 19th century which directly influences a number of 20th century composers Eclectic Musical Styles
Impressionism French movement of the late 19th century to early 20th century that began in the visual arts but later extended into literature and music Paralleled impressionistic paintings: vague motives that only suggested a melody; varied timbre; short, flexible forms; use of modes, pentatonic and whole tone scales; shifting meters and rhythms which blur rhythmic effects;
use of parallel chords and ninth chords (easily went from major to minor and vice versa). Claude Debussy (1862-1918)
French composer of orchestral music, opera, ballet, piano, chamber music and chansons Disenchanted with Germanic traditions (strict form, traditional orchestration, tonal/chromatic harmonies, metric rhythms) Found influence from eastern music gamelon (Javanese) and bronze percussion instruments of Indonesia
Influenced by symbolist poets (Mallarme) Debussys music virtually defines the transition from late Romantic music to twentieth century modernist music Prlude laprs-midi dun faune (1894) The composition was inspired by the poem LAprs-midi dun faune by Stphane Mallarm
It is one of Debussy's most famous works and is considered a turning point in the history of music It is a work that barely grasps onto tonality and harmonic function Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) Bolero (1928) Fascination with tone
color, Spanish music, obsessive rhythmic repetition Originally a ballet Ravel said of this piece (It is) an experiment consisting of one long, very gradual crescendo Nationalism
Reflection of a country by utilizing folk song, stories and dances. This style encouraged authenticity (scientific method applied to music). This style reflected the cultures of the rural and urban areas. Bla Bartk, Aaron Copland, Charles Ives, George Gershwin Charles Ives
(1874-1954) Putnams Camp, Redding, Connecticut (1912) From Three Places in New England (Orchestral Set No. 1) The piece is famous for its use of musical quotation and paraphrasing. The piece showcases Ives signature style traits of his style: layered textures
multiple, simultaneous melodies, many of which are recognizable hymn and marching tunes masses of sound, and tone clusters sudden, sharp textural contrasts Aaron Copland (1900-1990) Appalachian Spring, 1943-1944
Originally a ballet Created at the request of the choreagrapher, Martha Graham Rearranged as an orchestral suite Neoclassicism A revival of the techniques, forms and style features characteristic of the
Renaissance, Baroque and Classical periods Originated in Germany Igor Stravinsky, Bla Bartk, Aaron Copland Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971) Rite of Spring, 1913 Ballet choreographed
by Vaslav Najinsky Regarded as one of the most influential 20th century scores Innovative use of complex rhythmic structures, timbres, and dissonance http://www.youtube.com/watch ?v=bjX3oAwv_Fs
Serialism Serialistic or 12-tone atonal music Originated in Germany Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg, Anton Webern Uses a row (a fixed sequence of the 12 tones of the chromatic scale) as the unifying basis for a composition's melody, harmony, structural progressions, and
variations Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) Moondrunk from Pierrot Lunaire, 1912 A melodrama Use of Sprechstimme
Atonal Expressionism A style that, like Impressionism, began first in the visual arts and then moved into literature and music. As opposed to Impressionism which looked outward Expressionism looked inward and sought to express inward emotions Originated in Germany
Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg, Anton Webern Alban Berg (1885-1935) Wozzeck (19171922) Opera about the inevitability of hardship and the exploitation for the poor
Avant-garde This style sought to overcome years of neglect in the elements of timbre and rhythm. Often this style was not embraced by the public but promoted by artists. This style included aleatory music (chance music that exploits randomness), electronic and multimedia. Originated in France
Edgard Varse, Milton Babbitt, John Cage Edgard Varse Pome lectronique (1958) Composed for the Phillips Pavillon at the 1958 Brussels Worlds Fair The first, electronic-spatial environment to combine architecture, film, light and
music to a total experience made to functions in time and space Utilized machine noises, transported piano chords, filtered choir and solo voices, and synthetic tone colorings Radical Experimentation and Postmodernism:
The Arts since 1950 Cultural Influences Politically: establishment of nations, continual struggle for control, third world vs. major powers Economically: international trade, global commercialization Socially: mobility of society, human rights, social concerns, drugs, HIV/AIDS
Technologically: world communication, internet, electronics, computer, Palm Pilots Other Influences Radical Experimentation A general sense of restlessness pervaded culture after WWII. Artists began experimenting with new techniques, new materials, new ideas (avant-garde). Postmodernism
A new movement that followed Modernism. One aspects of Postmodernism is the attempt to discover the meaning of art. A second aspect is the concept of cultural relativity no one culture or idea is better or more worthy than any other, it all depends on the context. Resulted in blending of Eastern culture, rediscovery of past styles (tonality). Visual Art Since 1950
Assemblage Abstract Expressionism Pop Art Op Art (Optical Art) Assemblage The technique of putting together constructions from different media, often pieces of junk. Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008)
Odalisk Abstract Expressionism American movement that grew out of Surrealisms interest in the sub-conscious and what the mind can do without any conscious suggestion. Abstract Expressionists produced huge pictures full of color, energy and
spontaneity. Jackson Pollock Autumn Rhythm, Number 30 Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) Autumn Rhythm, Number 30 Pop Art
Draws inspiration from popular culture and the mass production processes Andy Warhol (1928-1987) Green Coca-Cola Bottles Op Art (Optical Art) Refers to artworks that depend on the viewers eyes
responding to the lines and patterns in a certain way (optical illusions) Bridget Riley (b. 1931) Current Music Since 1950: General Characteristics
Total Serialism Aleatoric Music Minimalism Music Quotation Tonal Music New Sounds Electronic Sounds Liberation of Sound Mixed Media
Increased use of 12-tone system during the 1950s and 1960s. Proponent: Aaron Copland Total Serialism: use of the techniques of 12-tone to organize rhythm, dynamics
and tone color during the 1940s and 1950s. Proponents: Milton Babbitt, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Pierre Boulez Aleatoric Music or Chance music: composer chooses pitches, tone colors and rhythms by random methods, or
allows the performer to choose much of the music material. Proponent: John Cage Minimalism: characterized by a steady pulse, clear tonality and insistent repetition of short melodic patterns. Proponents: Terry Riley, Steve Reich, Philip
Glass, John Adams Music Quotation: works containing deliberate quotations from earlier music. Proponents: Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, George Crumb, George Rochberg
Tonal Music and a return to tonality: New Romantics Proponents: David Del Tredici, George Rochberg Electronic Sounds: The development of tape studios, synthesizers and computers in the 1950s and 1960s
resulted in potentially unlimited resources for the production and control of sound. Composers are no longer limited by human performers. Liberation of sound: greater exploitation of noise-like sounds. Increased use of microtones.
Proponent: Milton Babbitt Proponent: Krzysztof Penderecki Mixed Media: Music (often electronic) is presented together with visual counterparts (slides, films, gestures, theatrical action
Music Since 1950: Representational Pieces Milton Babbitt (1916 - 1992) Semi-Simple Variations (1956) George Crumb (b. 1929)
Ancient Voices of Children (1970) From Where Do You Come, My Love, My Child? Philip Glass (b. 1937) Einstein on the Beach (1976) Glass first and longest opera (five hours) A trilogy of operas: Einstein on the Beach, Satyagraha,
Akhnaten These three operas serve as "portrait" operas that portray men whose personal vision transformed the thinking of their time through the power of ideas and not arms. Ellen Taaffe Zwilich (b. 1939)
Concerto Grosso (1985) Commissioned to commemorate the 300th birthday of George Frideric Handel Utilizes themes from a Handel Violin Sonata Clear example of quotation music John Adams (b. 1947) Short Ride in a Fast Machine (1986)
Example of minimalism Four important influences on 20th/21st century music Womens movement (1960s): performers to composers to conductors Economics of composing
rift between composer and audience government foundations now waning Computer/Midi Popular and Classical fusion
Summary It is difficult to judge our present musical styles since history gives us perspective.
Listeners who worry that the music of our time is no good may be interested to know that similar concerns were expressed about music in Wagners time and even in Beethovens time. 20th/21st century music, like music of every age, effectively mirrors the prevailing patterns of the time.
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