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American Nationalism, Avant Garde, Popular Music 1950-1956.

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Presentation on theme: "American Nationalism, Avant Garde, Popular Music 1950-1956."— Presentation transcript:

1 American Nationalism, Avant Garde, Popular Music

2 American Nationalism Aaron Copland developed a distinct American music style Broad melodies featuring strong intervals Syncopated rhythms Colorful orchestration Modern but conservative harmony system – Usually used for films in small towns or the old West Of Mice and Men (1939): little underscoring except for the ending where it builds and you know what’s going to happen Of Mice and Men (1939):

3 American Nationalism Leonard Bernstein – Could seamlessly blend jazz and concert music – “On the Waterfront” “On the Waterfront” – American sound represented one man standing up to the mob American sound represented one man standing up to the mob

4 Teenagers – Developed in the depression when there weren’t enough jobs so kids stayed in school longer – Teens had free time, little responsibility, raging hormones, often became rebellious

5 Rebel Without a Cause Starred James Dean – In love with Judy, who’s struggling with her own sexual energies East of Eden Rebel Without A Cause Dealt with teenage issues Starred James Dean Composed by Leonard Rosenman Love Theme: Pure love interest, brings sense of redemption to main character Jazz Theme: represents love interest’s struggle with her sexual energies using a saxophone: represents love Expressionism used for Cal (anti-hero) Expressionistic theme for the Rebel (James Dean)

6 Avant-Garde Avant-Garde: new, unique styles (weird) The Day the Earth Stood Still – Extensive use of electronic music (Theremin)Theremin) – Strange orchestration (no strings & woodwinds) Forbidden Planet – All electronic score  puts it in the future and contributes to disturbing atmosphere

7 Popular Music Some Like it Hot (1959): – America’s Greatest Comedy – 2 men dress up as women to escape the mob – Uses serious music to underscore the villain and popular music for the rest – Marilyn Monroe sings several songs Anatomy of a Murder (1959) – Used Duke Ellington to compose a jazz score for big bandjazz score – Dealt with issues that were considered too risque Dealt with issues that were considered too risque

8 Modern Styles Big Country (1958) – Jerome Meross created the new Western sound in this film – Uses Aaron Copland’s style – Syncopates the bass line to convey a sense of cocky energy


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