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The Twentieth Century. Twentieth Century Music The Common Practice Period is now over. Composers (and listeners) must now find something other than key.

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Presentation on theme: "The Twentieth Century. Twentieth Century Music The Common Practice Period is now over. Composers (and listeners) must now find something other than key."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Twentieth Century

2 Twentieth Century Music The Common Practice Period is now over. Composers (and listeners) must now find something other than key to organize their music. The “Organization of Sound in Time”

3 Musical style of the Twentieth Century. Harmony - much more dissonant, now that we have left Common Practice Melody - angular, disjunct, harder to discern - maybe not primary importance

4 Musical style of the Twentieth Century. Duration - rhythm is the feature that has been the most changed by 20th century music Dynamics - volume changes are sometimes the only constant in the form! Timbre - many new sounds are created. Most notably: traditional instruments used in non- traditional ways

5 Musical style of the Twentieth Century. Form - very often, the forms in use during the 20th century mirror those of earlier times. However, new forms are also being created.

6 Impressionism Claude Monet Impression: Sunrise

7 Impressionism French movement Started in painting An objective, detached snapshot of an external moment. “Blurry” - no clear lines Explored light colors and textures - especially sunlight over water

8 Impressionism Musical similarities: “Blurry” - no clear lines (line is melody or meter) Explored light colors and textures - woodwind instruments and unusual combinations of timbre

9 Claude Debussy Weakening of tonality by use of parallel chords and whole-tone scales Large orchestra, but not all used at once Clair de Lune - piano. Non metric

10 Expressionism Vasily Kandinsky, Blue Mountain

11 Expressionism German movement Subjective look at an individual’s internal struggles and strife Also started in painting Explored bold colors, harsh dissonances, abstract (form without content) images

12 Expressionism Musical similarities Explored bold colors, harsh dissonances - harsher instrumental combinations, very weak sense of tonality - sometimes “atonal” (absence of tonality). Very abrupt harmonies and melodies.

13 Arnold Schoenberg Following the German tradition of weakening harmony, polyphonic texture. Weakened tonality by creating the 12- tone Serialism method of composition. He and his followers are called the “Second Viennese School”.

14 Serialism 12-tone music (dodecaphonic serialism) More rational control of the finished product All 12 pitches are used once, no repeats, no omissions. All 12-tone music is atonal, but not all atonal music is 12-tone.

15 180 Farben by Gerhard Richter

16 27 June 2001 Sotheby's London Contemporary Art - Part I, Lot 25 Estimate: £ 600, ,000 US$ 825, ,100,110 Sold: £ 1,818,500 US$2,572,864

17 4096 Farben by Gerhard Richter

18 11 May 2004 Christie's New York Post-War and Contemporary Art Estimate: US$ 3,000, ,000,000 Sold ( Premium): US$ 3,703,500

19 Igor Stravinsky ( ) Russian composer active in Paris Wrote music for Rite of Spring ballet (1913) French audience rioted at its premiere!

20 Primitivism Implies something “crude and unrefined” Bold clashing and pounding rhythms - sometimes several meters at once! Dissonant harmonies Ostinato (motives repeated over and over) Use of Russian folk tunes

21 Rite of Spring

22 Commerical vs Art Music Split that occurs for the first time in the 20th century Commercial music - music created primarily with profit as its driving force. Art music - music that is not created primarily for profit.

23 Modern vs traditional Modern - serial, atonal, musique concrete, etc. Traditional - Neoclassical. Composers follow forms from previous periods. Sonata allegro form, sonata cycle, fugue, etc.

24 Tonal vs atonal Some 20th century art music is still written with a heavy emphasis and awareness of key. Key relationships are still built and explored. NOT ALL 20th CENTURY MUSIC IS ATONAL!!

25 More control vs less control More rational control over the final composition. Serialism - the pitches are already determined before the composition is started. Less rational control - Indeterminacy. The work is different with each performance.

26 Indeterminacy Something about the work is left to chance Aleatoric music “Alea” means “roll of the dice” “In C” by Terry Riley Unanswered Question by Charles Ives

27 John Cage ( ) 4’33”


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