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Setting the Stage for the 21st Century Total Serialism, New Sounds, Freedom, Chance, Postmodernism, Fusion.

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Presentation on theme: "Setting the Stage for the 21st Century Total Serialism, New Sounds, Freedom, Chance, Postmodernism, Fusion."— Presentation transcript:

1 Setting the Stage for the 21st Century Total Serialism, New Sounds, Freedom, Chance, Postmodernism, Fusion

2 After WW II The Audience –Technology –The struggle between popularization and classical The end of the war marked a turning point –A period of conflicting tendencies: Extreme control Complete freedom

3 Total Serialism Composers felt Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern had not gone far enough Serialism means the notes are arranged in a series The first composition based on total serialism was Structures I by Pierre Boulez

4 Structures I Boulez was trained in math and music Structures I was written for two pianos Boulez made series for four different musical elements –Pitch –Duration –Attack (the way a pianist strikes the note) –dynamics

5 Structures I Demands skilled performers and a lot of effort by the listeners sounds like a random, disjointed piano piece but is actually a carefully constructed work You hear the shifting textures and contrasting panels of sound

6 Other Composers of this Style Karlheinz Stockhausen Luciano Berio Milton Babbitt

7 A Late Development Electronic Music Technology –Development of the synthesizer in the 1950s –All aspects of music could be controlled –The performance no longer needed a human

8 New Sounds, Freedom, and Chance Popular composers began to overwhelm the music of serious composers The most interesting experiments were happening in serious music

9 New Sounds Many experiments revolved around new technology provided by –Synthesizer –Tape recorder –Computer –New techniques on traditional instruments

10 New Sounds Two composers working with sound textures –Gyorgy Ligeti –Krzysztof Penderecki Ligeti worked with large blocks of sound –The blocks can expand or contract

11 Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima Penderecki’s most famous composition 1960 For string orchestra

12 Freedom and Chance Total serialism and block sounds require very careful control Freedom and Chance are a move away from control The idea was John Cage’s Cage studied with Schoenberg who told him he had no ear for music! Cage said “Everything we do is music”

13 John Cage Prepared piano The toss of dice Works include –Imaginary Landscape No radios –4’33” Performer does nothing “If my work is accepted, I must move on to the point where it isn’t”

14 Postmodernism The meaning of art was no longer certain –Is paint dropped on the floor “art”? –Is subway graffiti “art”? Concert organizations are presenting the music of the past Are orchestras simply museums? The economy forced cuts in support for the arts

15 Postmodernism A deliberate return to the past A return to tonality –Neo-tonality –Neo-Romanticism Quoting earlier styles and cross- fertilization The rapid spread of recorded music –Do all moments in history exist with equal weight?

16 Postmodernism The dividing line between opera and musicals is narrowing Performing groups deliberately mix genres String quartets play Jimi Hendrix Chamber groups use amplified instruments

17 Postmodern Music It began by quoting earlier music –Nach Bach - George Rochberg fragments of Bach’s harpsichord music –Renaissance Concerto - Lukas Foss, 1986 Based on the music of Orfeo’s lament from Monteverdo’s Orfeo

18 Renaissance Concerto Recitative - after Monteverdi –Many repeated pitches –The opening phrase is a direct quote

19 Other Features of Postmodern Music Return to tonality –David del Tredici Multimedia Postmodern –Laurie Anderson Incorporation of musical elements from other cultures –Alan Hovhaness 1911-

20 Other Features of Postmodernism Merging of popular and “Serious” music –Minimalism Philip Glass John Adams 1947-

21 Fusion The most important aspect of Postmodern Music is the narrowing of gaps between all types of music A mix of jazz and rock is called fusion –Miles Davis –Keith Jarrett –William Bolcom –Bobby McFerrin

22 Fusion The theater –Les Miserables –Phantom of the Opera Both works contain the style of the Broadway Musical and the continuous musical settings of the opera

23 Inclusion Women and minorities are taking their place in American music making –Sound Patterns by Pauline Oliveros –Sometimes by Olly Wilson –Wings by Joan Tower –Symphony No. 1 by Ellen Taaffe Zwilich 1939-

24 The Performers The traditional barriers between classical and popular music are disappearing –The Kronos Quartet


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