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20th century music period

12.01.2021, 5:37

One of the key figures of the modernist movement was Arnold Shoenberg, who pioneered atonalism in the 1920s. The 20th century was clearly a period of widespread experimentation and many composers wanted the freedom to explore new compositional approaches without the restrictions and expectations that accompany traditional genres. In the United States, the "Eastern style" Polish urban polka remained popular until about 1965. Thanks for stopping by and if you have any questions get in touch! Composers now find at their disposal the sounds of many genres and periods, whether popular, esoteric or strangely traditional. American composer John Cage used aleatoric elements in his music, in addition to a pioneering approach to instrumentation. Composers also continued to incorporate their native folk music in their work, which was a tradition that began in the Romantic period. Minimalist music, involving a simplification of materials and intensive repetition of motives began in the late 1950s with the composers Terry Riley, Steve Reich, and Philip Glass. New ways of thinking about tonality, rhythm and form were shaping the development of music. Composers such as Ralph Vaughan Williams, Aaron Copland, Alberto Ginastera, Carlos Chávez, Silvestre Revueltas, and Heitor Villa-Lobos used folk themes collected by themselves or others in many of their major compositions. © Hello Music Theory 2020 | All rights reserved | Sitemap. Perhaps partly in response to the trauma of the First World War, the interwar years saw a return to more ordered art in general, with a focus on structure and emotional restraint. A newer development in the bluegrass world is Neo-traditional bluegrass; exemplified by bands such as The Grascals and Mountain Heart, bands from this subgenre typically have more than one lead singer. Aleatoric music is music in which some element of the composition is left to chance. Some of the composers who influenced John Cage were Erik Satie (1866–1925), Arnold Schoenberg (1874–1951) and Henry Dixon Cowell (1897–1965). Meanwhile, his 4’33” – in which the performers do nothing except be present for four minutes and 33 seconds, meaning that the piece is actually composed of the sounds and atmosphere in the environment – is one of the most famous and controversial works of the modern era. There is no distinct transition between the romantic and 20th century music periods. Richard Middleton writes: Neat divisions between "folk" and "popular", and "popular" and "art", are impossible to find... arbitrary criteria [are used] to define the complement of "popular". I’m Dan and I run this website. [28] Some bluegrass fiddle songs popular in Appalachia, such as "Leather Britches", and "Pretty Polly", have Scottish roots. This time period spawned many new terms for musical styles because of the diversity of music … [2] The development of sound recording and audio engineering technologies and the ability to edit these recordings gave rise to new subgenres of classical music, including the Musique concrète (1949) and acousmatic[3] (1955) schools of electronic composition. Stravinsky’s Pulcinella and Sergei Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony exemplify this as pieces that put a 20th Century twist on the stylings of 17th and 18th Century music. Bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe characterized the genre as: "Scottish bagpipes and ole-time fiddlin'. 33, No. The 20th century composers were looking for something new, throwing away the rule books and all preconceived notions about composition, rejecting the norms of the "Common Practice Period." Inside 20th-century music; Rhythm and tonality ... becomes to bring up the issues of rhythm and tonality in serious discussion of the music of this century. [42], The polka, which first appeared in Prague in 1837, continued to be a popular form of dance music through the 20th century, especially in Czechoslovakia, Poland, and areas of the United States with a large population of central-European descent. 1. [7] Composers such as Ravel, Milhaud, and Gershwin combined classical and jazz idioms.[8]. The musical era ranging from the 1900 to 2000 is termed as 20th century period. The fourth factor to decisively shape 20th century popular music was the "youth culture". Postmodern:1930 – present 5. This enabled a much wider range of the population to listen to performances of Classical music symphonies and operas that they would not be able to hear live, either due to not being able to afford live-concert tickets or because such music was not performed in their region. This was atona… As we mentioned earlier, the 20th century isn’t made up of one style but actually several different movements that were popular with different composers and at different points throughout the 20th century. One of the most important developments in 20 th Century classical music was the effective dissolving of tonality. Modernism, impressionism, and post-romanticism can all be traced to the decades before the turn of the century, but can be included because they evolved beyond the musical … His ballets, including The Rite of Spring, The Firebird and Petruska, especially, have cemented Stravinsky as one of the most important composers of the 20th century. Welcome to Hello Music Theory! [35], At the same time, the neoclassicism that became fashionable in the 1920s is represented by Stravinsky's opera buffa Mavra (1922) and his opera-oratorio Oedipus Rex (1927). Frank Martin Period: 1891 to 1964. In the early years of the century, Wagnerian chromatic harmony was extended by opera composers such as Richard Strauss (Salome, 1905; Elektra, 1906–1908; Der Rosenkavalier, 1910; Ariadne auf Naxos, 1912; Die Frau ohne Schatten, 1917), Claude Debussy (Pelléas et Mélisande, 1902), Giacomo Puccini (Madama Butterfly, 1904; La fanciulla del West, 1910; Il trittico, 1918), Ferruccio Busoni (Doktor Faust, 1916, posthumously completed by his student Philipp Jarnach), Béla Bartók (Bluebeard's Castle, 1911–17), Leos Janáček (Jenůfa, 1904; Osud, 1907; Kát´a Kabanová, 1919-1921) and Hans Pfitzner (Palestrina, 1917). Further extension of the chromatic language finally broke with tonality and moved into the style of atonal music in the early operas of Arnold Schoenberg (Erwartung, 1909; Die glückliche Hand, 1912) and his student Alban Berg (Wozzeck, 1925), both of whom adopted twelve-tone technique for their later operas: Schoenberg's Moses und Aron, and Berg's Lulu. Explore key works of early 20th-century classical music and discover the social, political and cultural contexts in which they were written. [29] The dance tune Cumberland Gap may be derived from the tune that accompanies the Scottish ballad Bonnie George Campbell. [citation needed], In the sixties, the Bernd Alois Zimmermann opera, Die Soldaten (1965), had a great impact. Musical texture of Classical music is mostly homophonic but flexible. Some younger composers such as Oliver Knussen, Wolfgang Rihm, Georg Friedrich Haas, Judith Weir, George Benson, Richard Barrett, Simon Bainbridge, John Luther Adams, Toshio Hosokawa, Bright Sheng, Kaija Saariaho, Tan Dun, Magnus Lindberg, Philippe Manoury, Olga Neuwirth, Rebecca Saunders, David Lang, Hanspeter Kyburz, James MacMillan, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Thomas Adès, Marc-André Dalbavie, Unsuk Chin, Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf, and Michael Daugherty did not rise to prominence until late in the 20th century. 2001. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. Music of the 20th Century JOHN CAGE (1912–1992) John Cage was known as one of the 20th century composers with the widest array of sounds in his works. Form in 20th Century Music James Tenney, 1969-70 An edited version of this text was published in the Dictionary of Contemp orary Music in 1973. Orchestral works by the French composers Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy’s used timbre, ambiguous tonality and unusual scales to suggest colour. For more examples see List of 20th-century classical composers. They were both musical movements that broke away from many of the previous traditional ideals. Working in Stalinist Russia, Dmitri Shostakovich was forced to scale back his modernism in favour of a more populist, Romantic-inspired style in his symphonic works that was acceptable to the authorities, yet which remained highly creative, while his chamber works display more overtly modernist characteristics. In the second half of the century, prominent composers employing microtonality included Easley Blackwood, Jr., Wendy Carlos, Adriaan Fokker, Terry Riley, Ezra Sims, Karlheinz Stockhausen, La Monte Young, and Iannis Xenakis. It was also intended to be charming and sensuous, in contrast to the heavy, deeply serious music made in the late Romantic period by German composers like Richard Wagner. Faster modes of transportation allowed musicians and fans to travel more … Settlers from the United Kingdom and Ireland arrived in Appalachia during the 18th century, and brought with them the musical traditions of their homelands. The USA was now a force to be reckoned with in the world of classical composition for the first time, and a number of American composers looked towards the artform for inspiration, including Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland and George Gerswhin. Neoclassical: A term applied to the music of early 20th century composers like Stravinsky which reflects the 18th-century music. However, modernism in music became increasingly prominent and important; among the most important modernists were Alexander Scriabin, Claude Debussy, and post-Wagnerian composers such as Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss, who experimented with form, tonality and orchestration. Impressionism was a movement in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries in both art and music, which focused on mood and atmosphere. Breakdowns are often characterized by rapid tempos and unusual instrumental dexterity and sometimes by complex chord changes. The entire system of keys that had dominated the musical landscape since the late Renaissance was by many composers, ultimately dismissed in favor of what would become known as ‘serialism’. Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem and Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima by Krzysztof Eugeniusz Penderecki are examples of pieces that reflect upon the horrors of the Second World War. "Bluegrass gospel" has emerged as a third subgenre, which uses Christian lyrics, soulful three- or four-part harmony singing, and sometimes the playing of instrumentals. We are not used to hearing them, so they sound dissonant and out of tune to our ears, but they actually require instruments to be tuned incredibly precisely. These traditions consisted primarily of English and Scottish ballads—which were essentially unaccompanied narrative—and dance music, such as Irish reels, which were accompanied by a fiddle. Modern:1890 – 1975 4. Eventually he developed what he called twelve tone music. . Even when longstanding genres were used, composers felt very comfortable abandoning the traditional structures of those genres. [39], Disco is an up-tempo style of dance music that originated in the early 1970s, mainly from funk, salsa, and soul music, popular originally with homosexual and African-American audiences in large U.S. cities, and derives its name from the French word discothèque.[40]. Contemporary:1945 – present However, these sub-genres are normally lumped into one large category since there are so many diverse and opposing styles. [10] According to Cage, "an experimental action is one the outcome of which is not foreseen",[11] and he was specifically interested in completed works that performed an unpredictable action. Composers during the beginning of the 20th century rejected what they considered the harmonic excess of the late 19th century romanticism. Eastern, Middle-Eastern, Latin, and Western sounds began to mix in some forms. In the middle of the century composers such as Harry Partch and Ben Johnston explored just intonation. In the early twentieth century, electronic devices were invented that were capable of generating sound electronically, without an initial mechanical source of vibration. Its most famous and influential exponent was John Cage (1912–1992). In the early 20th century, many composers, including Rachmaninoff, Richard Strauss, Giacomo Puccini, and Edward Elgar, continued to work in forms and in a musical language that derived from the 19th century. The 20th century was a time of experimentation in classical music. 2001. But many pieces commonly thought of as "art" (Handel's Hallelujah Chorus, many Schubert songs, many Verdi arias) have qualities of simplicity; conversely, it is by no means obvious that the Sex Pistols' records were "accessible", Frank Zappa's work "simple", or Billie Holiday's "facile". Béla Bartók The Musical Quarterly Vol. Late-Romantic and modernist nationalism was found also in British, American, and Latin-American music of the early 20th century. Many European composers at the beginning of the 20th century felt that the system of tonality (music in major and minor keys) had been used for so long that it was time to do create a new approach and try something different. 2003. In Beethoven's and Felix Mendelssohn's time in the 19th century, the orchestra was composed of a fairly standard core of instruments which was very rarely modified. During the Romantic period, some forms used during the Classical period were continued but was made more subjective. 1900's Music ... it was also witnessed the popularity of Country and Western music in a variety of forms. It is not easy to pinpoint the exact decade in which the American youth became a major factor. 240–257, the version performed by Tim Eriksen, Riley Baugus and Tim O'Brien for the Cold Mountain Soundtrack was based on this song and is lyrically identical to it, Riding, Alan. It deals with the subject of mortality through irony and collage. We have learned about impressionism, modernism, minimalism and aleatory, and about how war, politics and technology influenced music, as composers tore up the rules that were established in previous centuries. [18], Folk music, in the original sense of the term as coined in the 18th century by Johann Gottfried Herder, is music produced by communal composition and possessing dignity, though by the late 19th century the concept of ‘folk’ had become a synonym for ‘nation’, usually identified as peasants and rural artisans, as in the Merrie England movement and the Irish and Scottish Gaelic Revivals of the 1880s. As a result, there is no regonisable unified sound to the music of this period, and it is, in general, much more stylistically divergent than the preceding eras of Western art music. Busoni, Stra… Saxophones were used in some 20th-century orchestra scores such as Vaughan Williams' Symphonies No.6 and 9 and William Walton's Belshazzar's Feast, and many other works as a member of the orchestral ensemble. [44] See also rock musical and rock opera. For centuries, instrumental music had either been created by singing, or using mechanical music technologies, such as drawing a bow across a string that is strung on a hollow instrument or plucking taut gut or metal strings (string instruments), constricting vibrating air (woodwinds and brass) or hitting something to make rhythmic sounds (percussion instruments). The second half of the 20th century was void of a dominant style in music composition. Schaeffer, P. (1966), Traité des objets musicaux, Le Seuil, Paris. For simplicity A later, rock-influenced form is called "dyno" polka.[43]. Other operas of this period by composers identified as neoclassicists include Paul Hindemith's Mathis der Maler (1938), Sergei Prokofiev's Voina y Mir (War and Peace, 1941–1943), Bohuslav Martinu's Julietta aneb snár (1937) and Francis Poulenc's Les mamelles de Tirésias (1945). The internet has made music more accessible, making it easier for sub-genres to cross-pollinate and influence each other more easily. Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 10 years helping thousands of students unlock the joy of music. Neither of these operas were completed in their composers’ lifetimes, however, so that the first completed opera using the twelve-tone technique was Karl V (1938) by Ernst Krenek. [21], An important work on registering traditional tunes of the Balkanic region was that of Béla Bartók since it is probably the first composer who was interested in recording audios as well as analysing them from an ethnological point of view.[22]. Firstly going into some more detail on the major changes in 20th century… Twentieth-century orchestras generally include a string section, woodwinds, brass instruments, percussion, piano, celeste, harp(s),[4] with other instruments called for occasionally, such as electric guitar[5] and electric bass.[6]. Henry Cowell’s Mosaic Quartet allows the players to play fragments of the music in various different sequences, meaning that the piece can sound different each time it is performed. Sound recording was also a major influence on the development of popular music genres, because it enabled recordings of songs and bands to be inexpensively and widely distributed nationwide or even, for some artists, worldwide. Download my free eBook with all my favourite music theory resources. Elsewhere , Russian composer Igor Stravinksy’s use of rhythm was highly innovative, utilising frequently shifting time signatures. Černušák, Gracian, Andrew Lamb, and John Tyrrell. Medieval era (500-1400AD) Renaissance era (1400-1600AD) Grant, Morag Josephine. Cole Porter Period: 1891 to 1953. It is the last of the six periods of classical music eras and comes after the romantic era that ended around 1910AD. Traditional bluegrass has musicians playing folk songs, tunes with simple traditional chord progressions, and using only acoustic instruments, with an example being Bill Monroe. Film music has become incredibly popular as an artform, and composers like John Williams and Hans Zimmer have helped bring classical-influenced music to a wider audience. Major rock groups that were early adopters of synthesizers include The Moody Blues, The Beatles,[16] The Monkees,[17] and The Doors. As the 20th Century continued, people came up with various inventive ways of challenging the very meaning of composition. [13] However, the term may also be employed in a broader sense to refer to all post-1945 musical forms.[14]. His students Alban Berg and Anton Webern developed this approach, which is sometimes referred to as serialism, and the three Austrian composers are collectively known as the Second Viennese School (with Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven being the First Viennese School). Bluegrass music is a form of American roots music, and a related genre of country music. For more examples see List of 21st-century classical composers. A compositional tradition arose in the mid-20th century—particularly in North America—called "experimental music". 1997. This list sets out – non-exhaustively, and with plenty of omissions – ten of the most influential pieces of the 20th century, whose sounds ring out clearly in today’s contemporary music. As well, composers and musicians used new electric, electronic, and digital instruments and musical devices. This music was generally more consonant-sounding and less overtly challenging than the modernist school, and composers like Phillip Glass and Steve Reich became incredibly popular: Musique concrete also utilised electronics. An essay or paper on The 20th Century Style Music. Your email address will not be published. The invention of electronic instruments and the synthesizer in the mid-twentieth century revolutionized popular music and accelerated the development of new forms of music. Ernst Toch Period: 1890 to 1974. We’ll also see that new and exciting classical music continues to be created in the 21st Century. Since then he's been working to make music theory easy for over 1 million students in over 80 countries around the world. Minimalism was practiced heavily throughout the latter half of the century and has carried over into the 21st century, as well as composers like Arvo Pärt, Henryk Górecki and John Tavener working in the holy minimalism variant. Contemporary classical music can be understood as belonging to the period that started in the mid-1970s to early 1990s, which includes modernist, postmodern, neoromantic, and pluralist music. Jazz has evolved into many sometimes contrasting subgenres including smooth jazz, Bebop, Swing, Fusion, Dixieland and free jazz. By taking recorded sounds – of instruments, the human voice or the natural environment, for example – composers like Pierre Boulez and Karlheinz Stockhausen would manipulate these raw materials and turn them into sort of musical collages. In the 1950s the film industry also began to make extensive use of electronic soundtracks. This is particularly evident in his revolutionary ballet The Rite of Spring, which caused quite a stir when it was first performed in 1913: With two World Wars, the 20th Century was a time of major social and political change, and it was inevitable that this would have an impact upon the arts. [20], In addition, folk music was also borrowed by composers in other genres. easy way to define 20th century music is that it does not fit into the Romantic era's requirements. [citation needed] Steven Halpern's Spectrum Suite, released in 1975, is generally credited as the album that began the new-age music movement. This rather dissonant-sounding music dispenses with traditional harmonic function and lacks a key centre. [19] Folk music was normally shared and performed by the entire community (not by a special class of expert or professional performers, possibly excluding the idea of amateurs), and was transmitted by word of mouth (oral tradition). In music this was manifested in Neoclassicism, a movement that took influence from the Classical period. There were three distinct "schools" of neoclassicism, associated with Igor Stravinsky, Paul Hindemith, and Arnold Schoenberg. He was born in Los Angeles, California, USA on September 5, 1912 and became one of the most original composers in the history of western music. Electronic music was embraced by composers such as Wendy Carlos, Edgard Varèse, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Milton Babbitt, Pierre Boulez, Bruno Maderna, Henri Pousseur, Karel Goeyvaerts, Ernst Krenek, Luigi Nono, Luciano Berio, Herbert Brün, and Iannis Xenakis. The musique concrète (French: “concrete music”), developed about 1948 by Pierre Schaeffer and his associates, was an experimental technique using recorded sounds as raw material. "From Experimental Music to Musical Experiment". [31], In bluegrass, as in some forms of jazz, one or more instruments each takes its turn playing the melody and improvising around it, while the others perform accompaniment; this is especially typified in tunes called breakdowns. Composers tended to stick to these and lots of the music composed during that time had a similar ‘sound‘. Here are some such events, and some of the more random and quirky happenings that you might have missed in history class. It is the last of the six periods of classical music eras and comes after the romantic era that ended around 1910AD. These were skills that tended to be limited to middle-class and upper-class individuals. Prepared piano A piano whose sound is altered by placing objects such as bolts, screws, rubber bands, or pieces of felt between the strings of some of the keys. Jazz originated in the early 20th century out of a combination of the Blues, Ragtime, Brass Band Music, Hymns and Spirituals, Minstrel music and work songs. As early as the 1930s, composers such as Olivier Messiaen incorporated electronic instruments into live performance. Period: 1887 to 1953. The 20th century saw dramatic innovations in musical forms and styles. The masterpieces he wrote revolutionised 20th-century music and spanned all genres, from orchestral to choral, and opera to ballet. Many composers working in the early 21st century were prominent figures in the 20th century. The differences between melodies of the Romantic period and those of the 20th century is quite remarkable. Twentieth century music brought new freedom and wide experimentation with new musical styles and forms that challenged the accepted rules of music of earlier periods. In a sort of parallel to this, Debussy and Ravel rejected the tension and release of traditional cadence-based harmony in favour of tonality that was often more static, remaining within a mode like the whole tone scale, for example, for extended periods. Along with acoustic instruments, electronic instruments started to be a part of the music scene. Examples include Cadillac Sky and Bearfoot. Musical style diverged during the 20th century as it never had previously. The Common Practice era (which used a tonal system based on key centres and standard chord progressions, as well as structures like sonata form) had been in place since the Baroque period, and by the 20th Century there was a feeling that late Romantic composers like Wagner and Richard Strauss had done everything that could be done within this framework. Polka music rose in popularity in Chicago in the late 1940s after Walter ‘Li’l Wally’ Wallace Jagiello created "honky" polka by combining the Polish-American rural polka with elements of Polish folksong and krakowiak. Rubin, Rachel, and Jeffrey Paul Melnick. It's blues and jazz, and it has a high lonesome sound."[33]. Important classical music continues to be made in the present day in a range of styles. It saw the invention of many great things, which have made life significantly easier for most of us. These are notes that are smaller than the semitones we generally use. By the end of the Romantic period, classical music had reached something of a turning point, with many conventions and structures having essentially remained in place since the Baroque era of the 17th and 18th Centuries. The 20th Century heralded a new world, one with more defined nations, laws and statutes. Transition between the romantic era 's requirements Cage ( 1912–1992 ), Paul Hindemith, and Arnold.. Large category since there are so many diverse and opposing styles choral, it. Traitã© des objets musicaux, Le Seuil, 20th century music period movements and the of. ] composers such as the 20th century composers like Stravinsky which reflects 18th-century... Hello music theory easy for over 1 million students in over 80 countries the. Own expression and orchestral technique it does not fit into the romantic and. On mood and atmosphere so that concludes our look at the classical period were continued but was made more.... Was atona… the 20th century era attempted to describe scenes and evoke moods by the use of.., some composers were quick to adopt developing electronic technology the composers lead. The effective dissolving of tonality War II, some composers were quick to developing! The six periods of classical music was the effective dissolving of tonality schoenberg!, music changed radically in … in music these sub-genres are normally lumped into one large category since there three! Be broken down into even smaller periods well, composers felt very comfortable the. Is quite remarkable generally use composers tended to be created in the century—particularly!, perhaps with a freely improvised section and musical devices and evoke by. Eventually he developed what he called twelve tone music Fusion, Dixieland and free.... 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