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20 th Century Music Week 20 th Century music refers to the time from 1900. The 20 th century became a period of ‘isms’ and ‘alities’. Nationalism Impressionism.

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Presentation on theme: "20 th Century Music Week 20 th Century music refers to the time from 1900. The 20 th century became a period of ‘isms’ and ‘alities’. Nationalism Impressionism."— Presentation transcript:

1 20 th Century Music Week 20 th Century music refers to the time from The 20 th century became a period of ‘isms’ and ‘alities’. Nationalism Impressionism Serialism Neo-classicism Minimalism Polytonality Atonality Microtonality https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BryIQ9QpXwI

2 Technology Developments in technology opened many doors for composers to experiment with new sounds in the 20 th century. Advances in recording equipment allowed composers to stretch the realms of traditional music.

3 Atonality Atonal music has no feeling of key, major or minor. It is very dissonant, and it will lack a 'nice' melody and accompaniment. Listen to Arnold Schoenbergs "Pierrot lunaire” which is an atonal drama. "Pierrot Lunaire" consists of three groups of seven poems. In the first group, Pierrot sings of love, sex and religion; in the second, of violence, crime, and blasphemy; and in the third of his return home to Bergamo, with his past haunting him. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-zW10__i4M Listen to Arnold Schoenbergs "Pierrot lunaire” which is an atonal drama. "Pierrot Lunaire" consists of three groups of seven poems. In the first group, Pierrot sings of love, sex and religion; in the second, of violence, crime, and blasphemy; and in the third of his return home to Bergamo, with his past haunting him. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-zW10__i4M

4 A Cluster is a group of notes, which clash, played together.

5 Minimalism Minimalism is a style of music which originated in the west coast of America in the 1960’s by composers such as Steve Reich, Terry Reilly and Philip Glass. This group of American composers distilled music down and experimented with simple pitches and increasingly complex rhythms, creating beautifully hypnotic music.

6 Main Features of Minimalist music Layers of ostinati Constantly repeated patterns that are subjected to gradual changes Layered textures Interlocking repeated phrases and rhythms Layers of ostinati Constantly repeated patterns that are subjected to gradual changes Layered textures Interlocking repeated phrases and rhythms Ostinati are rhythmic, melodic or harmonic patterns which are repeated many times. Minimalist music is often very long works

7 Steve Reich Composers like Schoenberg and Boulez stripped away the idea of harmony and wrote music according to mathematical principles. Reich went back to basics and re-adopted the age-old formula: rhythm + pitch = music. Listen to Reich’s “ Music for 18 Musician” Listen to how long it takes to for the harmony to change and new ostinato to be introduced. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXJWO2FQ16c&list=RDZXJWO2FQ16c #t=28 Now listen to Reich “Different Trains” a work for String Quartet and Tape. The speech is taken from interviews recorded in Europe and America during and after WW2. The speech is a source for the melodies which appear in the string parts. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYEwsIW-zsQ&index=1&list=PL86344FF0F7ACFC84

8 Musique Concrete Recorded natural sounds which are transformed using simple editing techniques such as cutting and re- assembling, playing backwards, slowing down and speeding up. The technique was developed about 1948 by the French composer Pierre Schaeffer. Listen to Poème électronique (1958) by Edgard Varese. It was written for the Philips Pavilion at the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair. Try to write down as many recorded sounds as you can as you listen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmrchX7qYpU

9 Impressionism “Sunrise” by Claude Monet This style borrowed its name from the artists such as Degas and Monet from the end of the nineteenth century. Like the artists of this movement composers tried to create ‘impressions’ in their music.

10 Features of Impressionism Vague and hazy outlines of melody Colourful and rich orchestration (e.g sometimes pp by the whole orchestra) Exploitation of timbral effects - glissando, con sordino, pizzicato, harmonics, tremolando. Rhythmic flexibility and fluidity resulting in music which obscures the pulse. The use of rubato Vague and hazy outlines of melody Colourful and rich orchestration (e.g sometimes pp by the whole orchestra) Exploitation of timbral effects - glissando, con sordino, pizzicato, harmonics, tremolando. Rhythmic flexibility and fluidity resulting in music which obscures the pulse. The use of rubato

11 Prelude a l’apres midi d’un faune Work by Claude Debussy ( ) It is based on a poem by the Symbolist poet Stephane Mallarme. Like the poem the music describes a faun in the forest playing his pan-pipes. He is disturbed by passing nymphs and he pursues them. He is unsuccessful in the chase and falls asleep resulting in vivid dreams. Debussy has often been described as an ‘Impressionist’ composer due to the similarities which his music had (blurred/hazy lines, no clear centre or focus) with the Impressionist artists and movement. The work is in Sonata Form; Exposition Development Recapitulation

12 Opening Flute Theme In addition to the Atonal feel the rhythmic pattern adds to the overall ambiguity of the work through incorporating long notes, semiquavers, a semiquaver triplet and dotted quaver all within the opening bar. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYyK922PsUw

13 Whole Tone scale Another harmonic feature used widely by Debussy and other impressionist music is the whole tone scale. Here is an example from the clarinet. A Whole tone scales is a scale which is built up by tones. Stepwise The whole tone scale is then played by the flute, what is this an example of? Whole Tone Scale Example: 3’26


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