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Modern Music, 1900-1950 By Michelle Miller Chapter 8.

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Presentation on theme: "Modern Music, 1900-1950 By Michelle Miller Chapter 8."— Presentation transcript:

1 Modern Music, By Michelle Miller Chapter 8

2 Modern Music The twentieth century is sometimes referred to as the era of isms. Music of this time included dissonance, complex new rhythmic elements, the use of polytonality, electronic instruments, and the introduction of random chance elements. Most recent developments include Abstract Expressionism, Post Modernism, Minimalism, Post- Minimalism, Neo-Romanticism, and Eclecticism. Most composers wrote their own style of music not caring what the audience thought about it.

3 Igor Stravinsky ( ) Lived in Paris In 1913 he unleashed a ballet La Sacre du Printempts (The Rite of Spring). In this piece he added a new sense of primitive rhythmic intensity, which, when added to the erotic intensity of the dance, caused a controversy at the premiere.

4 Igor Stravinsky ( ) cont The plot line follows the abduction of a young girl who is eventually forced to literally dance herself to death. The ballet is presented in two large sections titled The Adoration of the Earth and The Sacrifice. (CD 3 Track 7) Stravinsky asks various parts of the orchestra to play music in two or more different key centers at the same time, a technique called polytonality. Almost every wind instrument has complex solo moments at some point.

5 Igor Stravinsky ( ) cont Neo-Classical refers to the reduced size and/or instrumental make-up of a chosen ensemble, a return to the use of simpler formal structures, consciously altered melodic and/or harmonic concepts, or any combination of the above elements. Stravinsky was never content to keep writing works in exactly the same style, and thus Neo-Classical applies to varying degrees, depending on the composition.

6 Arch Form can be thought of as a five- or seven-part rondo where the thematic order has been altered to form an arch, for example A-B-C-B-A or A-B-C-D-C-B-A. This was used by Bela Bartok ( ). Nationalism also became a prominent technique of the twentieth century music.

7 Aaron Copland ( ) One of his most famous ballets is Rodeo, which tells the story of a cowgirl trying to capture the fancy of the head wrangler. None of the cowboys notice her until she shows up at the end wearing girl clothes instead of the other western outfits. Copland adapted the ballet into a four movement symphonic suite: Buckaroo Holiday, Corral Nocturne, Saturday Night Waltz, and Hoe Down. In the piece Copland uses western folk tunes for melodic themes as well as new material to capture the western feel.

8 Aaron Copland ( ) Hoe Down: (CD 4 Track 6) Simple A-B-A formal structure Has a theme based on an old square dance tune Bonapartes Retreat (A) Copland plays the melody, writes a variation of that melody, then returns to the original melody. The trumpets introduce the B theme.

9 Arnold Schoenberg ( ) As Schoenberg incorporated more Expressionism into his music, his compositions became increasingly dissonant, with thinner textures and a harsher overall sound. He wrote the chamber work Pierrot Lunaire (Moonstruck Parrot). In this composition he said The colors meant everything, the notes nothing at all. Every detail was meant to convey inner thoughts, emotions, and experiences.

10 Arnold Schoenberg ( ) cont In other works he used the 12-tone method, which is a completely different system of musical organization also known as serialism. It is based on mathematical formulas, with complete disregard for the old ideas of consonance and dissonance.

11 Arnold Schoenberg ( ) cont Pierrot Lunaire (Moonstruck Parrot): (CD 4 Track 7) Written in 1912 Contains 21 movements Avoids any strong sense of a tonal center or harmonic focal point. Schoenberg uses a new half-speaking, half-singing technique called Sprechstimme. This movement is about a clown, Pierrot, who tries to rub a white spot off his black clothing, but its actually moonlight shining on his clothing. From the mid-point of the movement to the end is an exact mirror; the instrumental parts form a palindrome, meaning they are the same forwards and backwards.

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