Presentation on theme: "Anton Webern Click to continue Webern Anton. Please Note You can also move forwards and backwards through the slides by using the arrow keys on your keyboard."— Presentation transcript:
Anton Webern Click to continue Webern Anton
Please Note You can also move forwards and backwards through the slides by using the arrow keys on your keyboard. MUSICWORKS
Anton Webern is an Austrian composer and conductor. He was a member of a group of composers that became known as the Second Viennese School. This group developed a brand new style of composition and created music that was completely different from anything that had been heard previously. Rather than use formal scales and harmonies, Webern and his contemporaries wrote music that was atonal. Anton Webern 1883 – 1945
Atonal - music that is not in any particular key.
Webern was an incredibly strict composer, organising every element of his music with absolute precision. He often used sparse textures so that every note can be clearly heard. Most of Weberns compositions are incredibly short; however, they were written with the most obsessive attention to detail. If you played a piece of Mozart without any dynamics or articulations it wouldnt sound great – but itd still be music. If you did the same to a piece of Webern it would sound like you were playing a random selection of notes – all the musical meaning would be lost. Webern
Variations for Piano Weberns Variations for Piano were written in 1936 (round about the same time as Rachmaninovs Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini). Listen to a few seconds of each composer. You will instantly hear how radical Weberns approach was.
Sergei Rachmaninov You can hear music by Rachmaninov on Track 5 of the MUSICWORKS CD.
Anton Webern You can hear music by Webern on Track 6 of the MUSICWORKS CD.
Variations for Piano This presentation will explore the 2nd movement. It is entitled Sehr schnell – which is German for very fast. The music lasts less than 40 seconds!
This is the main theme.
You can hear this excerpt in the first 5 seconds of Track 6 of the MUSICWORKS CD.
Notice the notes are grouped in pairs,
each with its own dynamic.
Dynamics - instructions for how loud or soft to play. An indication of volume.
Weberns style of composition is called Serialism – which is a very specific way of ordering musical elements. For instance, in this piece Webern strictly organises the pitches of the music. He does this by taking the 12 different notes within an octave (all the white and black notes) and intricately arranging them into a special order. Serialism
Here are the 12 different tones (within an octave) marked on a keyboard.
Webern reordered the pitches. This new order is called a Tone row.
Tone row - a system of organising all 12 pitches within an octave. Tone row used in the 2nd movement of Variations for Piano
Look at the main Theme again.
The Theme was created by using the notes of the Tone row. Tone row Theme
Notice how the notes in the theme relate to the order set by the row. Tone row Theme
Symmetry On the next slide you will see how Webern also used symmetry to construct this piece. If you placed a mirror along the pitch of A on the score, you will see how the note from the tone row (marked red) has a symmetrical opposite (marked in blue). Click to see this in action.
Line of Symmetry Row note Reflection
Because of the incredible speed and complexity of this music, it can be challenging to get into Weberns soundworld. However, the closer you examine the music, the more amazing it becomes. Igor Stravinsky described Weberns music as being built of dazzling diamonds. Anton Webern 1883 – 1945