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Starting from Scratch Music in the Aftermath of World War II.

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Presentation on theme: "Starting from Scratch Music in the Aftermath of World War II."— Presentation transcript:

1 Starting from Scratch Music in the Aftermath of World War II

2 Zero Hour: The Impact on the Arts Cold War Crisis in the arts Divide between “high” and “low” art became greater Stunde Null (Zero Hour): time without a past Serialism Pierre Boulez (b. 1925), “Schoenberg est mort” (Schoenberg Is Dead, 1952)

3 Total Serialism: Messiaen’s Mode de Valeurs et d’Intensites Mode de Valeurs et d’Intensites (1949) [Anthology 3-49] – “hypostatization” Influence on “total serialism” Boulez, Structures for two pianos (1951) [Anthology 3-50]

4 Darmstadt Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik (International Summer Courses for New Music) – influence of Anton Webern Pierre Boulez (b. 1925) Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928–2007) Bruno Maderna (1920–1973)

5 Indeterminacy: John Cage and the “New York School” American counterpart to the European avant- garde John Cage (1912–1992) – “The Future of Music: Credo” (1940)

6 Music for Prepared Piano Bacchanale (1940) [Anthology 3-51] Sonatas and Interludes (1946–48) – Influence of Zen Buddhism Daisetz Suzuki (1869–1966)

7 Influence of I Ching “Book of Changes” Music of Changes (1951) Boulez, Aléa (from the Latin for dice) aleatoric, chance operations or spontaneous decisions

8 Silence 4’33” (1952) – “Tacet for any instrument or combination of instruments”

9 “Permission”: Cage’s Influence Robert Rauschenberg: Cage “gave me license to do anything.” Morton Feldman: Cage gave everybody “permission.” Earle Brown (1926–2002) – “graphic notation” “Happenings” Fluxus

10 Preserving the Sacrosanct: Morton Feldman Morton Feldman (1926–1987) “Free rhythm notation” Rothko Chapel (1971) [Anthology 3-52]

11 Conversions Aaron Copland – “popular” and “difficult” styles – Piano Quartet (1950) – Piano Fantasy (1957) – Connotations (1962) Igor Stravinsky – assistance of Robert Craft (b. 1923) – Requiem Canticles (1966) [Anthology 3-53]

12 Academicism, American Style Milton Babbitt (1916–2011) – Princeton University – trained in mathematic, logic, and music – “set theory” – “pitch class,” “aggregate,” “combinatorial” – Composition for Four Instruments (1948) [Anthology 3-54]

13 Electronics: An Old Dream Comes True Edgard Varèse Cage, “The Future of Music: Credo” Italian Futurists Theremin – 1920, Lev Sergeyvich Termen (1896–1993) Ondes martenot – Maurice Martenot (1898–1980)

14 Musique Concrète versus Elektronische Music Musique Concrète – using real-world sounds – Pierre Schaeffer (1910–1995) Concert de bruits (Concert of Noises, 1948) Étude aux chemis de fer (Railroad Study) Étude aux casseroles (Saucepan Study) – Pierre Henry (b. 1927) Orphée 53 – Luciano Berio Thema “Omaggio a Joyce” (1958)

15 Musique Concrète versus Elektronische Music Elektronische Music – music based exclusively on synthesized sounds – Herbert Eimert (1897–1972) – Stockhausen Studien (1953,54)

16 Musique Concrète versus Elektronische Music Use of both – Stockhausen Gesang der Jünglinge (1956) Hymnen (1967)

17 The New Technology Spreads “Computer music” – Columbia and Princeton Universities – “transducer” converts audio signals to digital RCA Mark II music synthesizer Varèse – Déserts (1949–54) – Poème électronique (1958)

18 Electronics and Live Music Mario Davidovsky (b. 1934) – Synchronisms for electronic sounds with a live, virtuosic performer on a variety of instruments or voices György Ligeti – Atmosphères originally for electronics, rewritten for “large orchestra without percussion” Krzysztof Penderecki (b. 1933) – Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima (1960) “sonority piece”

19 Music in History: Elliot Carter (b. 1908) “Philosophic conceptions” in “Music and the Time Screen” (1971) “Metrical modulation” First String Quartet (1950–51) [Anthology 3- 55] – fixed vs. fluid tempi

20 Carter’s Later Career Variations for Orchestra (1953–55) Second String Quartet (1959) – Pulitzer Prize winner Third Quartet (1971) – Pulitzer Prize winner Double Concerto for Harpsichord and Piano with Two Chamber Orchestras (1961) What’s Next? (1999) – one-act comic opera

21 “Who Cares If You Listen?” Milton Babbit, 1957 article in High Fidelity – “The Composer as Specialist” – “Should the layman be other than bored and puzzled by what he is unable to understand, music or anything else?”

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