20th century

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					                                         20th century

▪ Disintegration of traditional melody

▪ Emancipation of dissonance – freedom to use unresolved dissonance

▪ Tonality and Atonality

▪ Debussy (1862-1918)

       Melody, new scales:

               whole tone scale with chromatic passing tones
               pentatonic scale
               octatonic scale

▪ Harmony: “one must drown the sense of tonality” Debussy uses new techniques to
establish tonality. 1. Pedal tones, 2. ostinato, 3. parallelism

▪ Stravinsky (1882-1971)

▪ Rite of Spring – Diaghilev hired Stravinsky to write the music for the ballet “the rite of
spring” It is a series of pre-Christian Russian fertility rites that culminate in a human

       1st style period 1906-1920 “Russian Period”

       Play Intro to rite of spring. Sounds like Debussy, although more dissonant.

       Manipulation of rhythm was Stravinsky’s enduring contribution to 20th century

        [Dance of the Adolescents] What element is most important?

       [The game of Abduction] irregular accents.

       Melody and Harmony - How does he use these elements?

       brief motives, pedal tones, ostinatos.

       Texture: layered

       Conclusions: Started out as a romantic Russian nationalist composer.
       Asymmetrical, irregular rhythms, influenced by Debussy.

▪ Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951)

       12 tone system
       12 tone row (series) – ordered sequence of 12 pitches

       can manipulate:
             retrograde - backwards
             inverted – invert intervals (upside down)
             transpose – all notes lowered or raised same interval
             retrograde inversion – backwards and upsidedown

       Sprechstimme – speech song – in between singing and speaking

       Atonal – no tonal center, absence of tonality

▪ Berg (1885-1935)

       “Wozzeck” – Wagnerian opera. Leitmotivs, orchestra important, no arias.

       Story: Wozzeck is an inarticulate impoverished soldier, tormented by his captain
       and doctor. Serves as a human guinea pig in bizarre experiments, murders his
       mistress and drowns himself.

       [Wozzeck scene iii], after murder scene, Wozzeck talking with Marie’s friend.
       Distorted ragtime (shows American influence).

       [ Scene iv] Wozzeck returns to where he murdered Marie and drowns himself.

▪ Charles Ives (1874-1954) – first important American composer, very innovative. Play
two different pieces at the same time. Quarter tones, tools to use on the piano. He was a
part time composer, he was an insurance salesman.

▪ Bartok (1881-1945) – Hungarian, most known for integrating folk music into classical
music. 150,000 folksongs collected in Hungary. Wrote several books on
ethnomusicology – the scientific study of folk music and music from non-western

▪ Copeland (1900-1990) – Americas leading composer after Ives. Used American themes
in his compositions, jazz, cowboy songs, shaker melodies

▪ Appalachian Spring - Celebration of springtime in the Pennsylvania hills.

▪ Gyorgy Ligeti (b. 1923) – new notation.

▪ Lux Aeterna – 16 solos singers and chorus. Used in 2001 a space odyssey. Sound
complex. Words taken from the Requiem mass:

         Let eternal light shine on them lord
         With your saints in eternity
         For you are kind
         Give them eternal rest lord
         And let perpetual light shine on them

▪ Edgard Varese (1883-1965)

▪ Poem electronique (1958). composed for the worlds fair of 1958 in Brussels. All
electronic but uses some music concrete – recordings of actual sounds from life.

▪ John Cage - aleatoric (chance) music. 4’33’’

▪ George Crumb (b. 1929) – devised new ways of playing standard and non standard

▪ Black angels (1970) electric string quartet about Viet Nam.

         Night of the electric insects
         Sounds of bones and flutes
         Lost bells
         Devil music
         Danse macabre (requiem mass high in violin, same as berlioz symph. Fantastique

▪ Webern piece for orchestra six measures long. Very short but high intensity.

▪ Minimalism:

▪ Steve Riech

▪ Jazz

▪ Early 20th century a riff formed between popular and classical styles.

▪ Cultivated – music that has been consciously developed
▪ Vernacular – refers to native language, we sing and hear as naturally as our native

▪ 17th and 18th century American music history:

the puritans disapproved of music, except as a supporting role in religion. There just was
not much music here. After independence all that changed. By mid 1800’s we had much
music here.

▪ Early American vernacular composers:

       Foster (1826-1864)
       Sousa (1854-1932)

▪ Spiritual – religious folk song

A strict vernacular type of music evolved, perhaps America’s most distinctive if not
greatest contribution to the arts worldwide. Jazz.

▪ The precursor to jazz was ragtime.

▪ Scot Joplin - Maple leaf rag.

▪ To “Rag” – play in a syncopated style.

▪ Jazz is a performance style that started among black musicians around 1910. Key
features of jazz – improvisation, not so much the song itself, often it is simple (popular,
blues, etc.) but it is how you perform this song.
Rhythm and syncopation are very important.

▪ Blues – originally a black folk song. Started around 1900, and greatly influenced jazz.

▪ Sippie Wallace [if you’ve ever been down] with Louis Armstrong and Artie Starks.
Louis was the link between blues and jazz.

▪ Around 1930, thanks to Armstrong’s recordings, jazz started to gain popularity. Big
bands emerged (also called swing) but jazz lost some of its spontaneity with the big band.

▪ Duke Ellington (1899-1974) – [conga brava] (1940)

▪ After WWII big bands collapsed because they were too expensive and a new movement
emerged called “bepop”

▪ Bepop – small groups with virtuosic improvisation.

▪ Charlie Parker – [Out of nowhere]

▪ Gershwin – bridged the gap between vernacular and cultivated styles

       [Rhapsody in Blue] (1924) piano and orchestra

       [American in Paris] – symphonic poem

       [Summertime] from “Porgy and Bess” a jazz opera

       Piano concerto in F]

▪ Bernstein (1918-1990) – mainly known as a conductor.

▪ Musical - [West Side Story] – gangs in the west side of NYC. It is a transplanted
Romeo and Juliet.