- 20th century classical music
At the turn of the 20th century classical music was characteristically late Romantic in style, while at the same time the Impressionist movement, spearheaded by
Claude Debussywas taking form. America began forming its own vernacular style of classical music, notably in the works of Charles Ives, John Alden Carpenter, and (later) George Gershwin, while in Vienna, Arnold Schoenbergconceived atonality, and later developed the twelve-tone technique. Classical music in the 20th century varied greatly, from the expressionism of early Schoenberg, Neoclassical music of Igor Stravinsky, the futurism ("bruitisme" and "machine music") of Luigi Russolo, Alexander Mossolov, early Prokofiev and Antheil, to the microtonal musicof Julián Carrillo, Alois Hába, Harry Partch, and Ben Johnston, to the socialist realismof late Prokofiev and Glière, Kabalevsky, and other Russian composers, as well as the simple harmonies and rhythms of minimalist composers such as Steve Reich, and Philip Glass, to the musique concrèteof Pierre Schaefferand the intuitive musicof Karlheinz Stockhausen; from the total serialismof Pierre Boulezand the political commitment of Luigi Nonoto the aleatoric musicof John Cage.
Perhaps the most salient feature during this time period of
classical musicwas the increased use of dissonance. Because of this, the twentieth century is sometimes called the "Dissonant Period" of classical music, following the common practice period, which emphasized consonance(Schwartz and Godfrey 1993, 9–43). The watershed transitional moment was the international Paris Exposition celebrating the centennial of the French Revolution, in 1889 (Fauser 2005). While some writers hold that Debussy's "Prélude à l'après-midi- d'un faune" and Schoenberg's " Verklärte Nacht" are dramatic departures from Romanticism and have strong modernist traits (Ibid.), others hold that the Schoenberg work is squarely within the late-Romantic tradition of Wagner and Brahms (Neighbour 2001, 582) and, more generally, that "the composer who most directly and completely connects late Wagner and the twentieth century is Arnold Schoenberg" (Salzman 1988, 10).
An important feature of twentieth-century concert music is the splitting of the audience into traditional and
avant-garde, with many figures prominent in one world considered minor or unacceptable in the other.Fact|date=September 2008 Composers such as Anton Webern, Elliott Carter, Edgard Varèse, Milton Babbitt, Luigi Nonoand Luciano Beriohave devoted followings within the avant-garde, but are often attacked outside of it. As time has passed, however, it is increasingly accepted, though by no means universally so, that the boundaries are more porous than the many polemics would lead one to believe: many of the techniques pioneered by the above composers show up in popular music by The Beatles, Deep Purple, Yes, Genesis, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, ELP, Mike Oldfield, Enigma, Vangelis, Jean Michel Jarreand in film scores (plus video game music, to an extent) that draw mass audiences.
It should be kept in mind that this article presents an overview of twentieth-century classical music and many of the composers listed under the following trends and movements may not identify exclusively as such and may be considered as participating in different movements. For instance, at different times during his career, Igor Stravinsky may be considered a romantic, modernist, neoclassicist, and a serialist.
Particularly in the early part of the century, many composers wrote music which was an extension of nineteenth-century
Romantic music, and traditional instrumental groupings such as the orchestraand string quartetremained the most usual. Traditional forms such as the symphonyand concertoremained in use. (See Romantic Music)
Many prominent composers — among them
Sergei Prokofiev, Dmitri Shostakovich, Maurice Ravel, and Benjamin Britten— made significant advances in style and technique while still employing a melodic, harmonic, rhythmic, structural, and textural language which was related to that of the nineteenth century.
Music along these lines was written throughout the twentieth century, and continues to be written today.
Second Viennese School, atonality, twelve-tone technique, and serialism
Arnold Schoenbergis one of the most significant figures in 20th century music. In 1921, he developed the twelve-tone techniqueof composition, which he first described privately to his associates in 1923 (Schoenberg 1975, 213).
In Europe, the "punctual", "pointist", or "pointillist" style of Messiaen's "Mode de valeurs et d'intensités"—in which individual tones' characteristics, or "parameters" are each determined independently—was very influential in the years immediately following
1951among composers such as Pierre Boulez, Karel Goeyvaerts, Luigi Nonoand Karlheinz Stockhausen.Fact|date=June 2007
Free dissonance and experimentalism
In the early part of the 20th century
Charles Ivesintegrated American and European traditions as well as vernacular and church styles, while innovating in rhythm, harmony, and form (Burkholder 2001). Edgard Varèsewrote highly dissonant pieces that utilized unusual sonorities and futuristic, scientific sounding names.
Birth of post-modernism
Post-modernism can be said to be a response to modernism, but it can also be viewed as a response to a deep-seated shift in societal attitude. According to this view, postmodernism began when historic (as opposed to personal) optimism turned to pessimism, at the latest by 1930 (Meyer 1994, 331).
John Cageis a prominent figure in 20th century music whose influence steadily grew during his lifetime. Michael Nymanargues that minimalism was a reaction to and made possible by both serialism and indeterminism (Nyman 1999, 139). (See also experimental music)
Many composersweasel-inline|date=September 2008 in the later twentieth century began to explore what is now called
minimalism. Early examples include Terry Riley's " In C" and Steve Reich's "Drumming".
Electronic art music
Technological advances in the 20th century enabled composers to use electronic means of producing sound. The first electronic musical instrument was invented in
The United Statesin 1897by Thaddeus Cahill, and was called the telharmonium.Fact|date=September 2008 Some composers simply incorporated electronic instruments into relatively conventional pieces.Fact|date=September 2008
Other composers abandoned conventional instruments and used
magnetic tapeto create music, recording sounds and then manipulating them in some way. Sometimes such electronic music was combined with more conventional instruments, Stockhausen's " Hymnen", Edgard Varèse's "Déserts", and Mario Davidovsky's "Synchronisms" offer three examples.
Jazz-influenced classical composition
list of jazz influenced classical composions
A number of composers combined elements of the
jazzidiom with classical compositional styles, notably George Gershwinand Leonard Bernstein.
"See also:" History of the World Music Market
The 20th century saw a change in the way in which classical music was heard. Advances in recording technologies, beginning with the rise in popularity of the
phonographin the early part of the century, and later with the inventions of the cassetteand the compact disk, has led to sheet musiclosing its place as the principal means by which music is distributedFact|date=July 2008. In addition, broadcastingtechnologies, such as radioand televisionhave meant that the concert hallis no longer the only means by which a performance can reach its audience.
Prominent spectral composers include
Tristan Murailand Gérard Grisey, and the 'post-spectral' composers Kaija Saariahoand Magnus Lindberg.
Notable 20th century composers
Peter Maxwell Davies
Manuel de Falla
Ralph Vaughan Williams
List of 20th century classical composers
Electronic art music
* Burkholder, J. Peter. 2001. "Ives, Charles (Edward)." "The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians", ed. S. Sadie and J. Tyrrell. London: Macmillan.
* Fauser, Annegret. 2005. "Musical Encounters at the 1889 Paris World's Fair". Eastman Studies in Music 32. Rochester: University of Rochester Press. ISBN 978-1580461856
* Meyer, Leonard B. 1994. "Music, the Arts, and Ideas". 2d ed., with a new postlude. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0226521435
* Neighbour, O. W. 2001. "Schoenberg, Arnold". "The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians", ed. S. Sadie and J. Tyrrell, xxii, 577–604. London: Macmillan.
* Nyman, Michael. 1999. "Experimental Music: Cage and Beyond". Music in the Twentieth Century. Second edition. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521653835
* Salzman, Eric. 1988. "Twentieth-Century Music: An Introduction", 4th edition. Prentice-Hall History of Music Series. Englewood Cliffs, N.J: Prentice-Hall. ISBN 0-13-935057-8
* Schoenberg, Arnold. 1975. "Style and Idea", edited by Leonard Stein with translations by Leo Black. Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-05294-3.
* Schwartz, Elliott, and Daniel Godfrey. 1993. "Music Since 1945: Issues, Materials and Literature". New York: Schirmer Books; Toronto: Maxwell Macmillan Canada; New York: Maxwell Macmillan International. ISBN 0028730402
* [http://www.schirmer.com/ G. Schirmer, Inc.]
* [http://www.boosey.com/ Boosey&Hawkes Music Publishers]
* [http://www.schott-music.com Schott Music International]
* [http://www.verlag433.de 4´33" Vierdreiunddreißig München Musikverlag]
* [http://www.atoposmusic.com Atopos Foundation for Contemporary Classical Music]
* [http://www.orchestronics.com Orchestronics]
* Teachout, Terry. 1999. "Masterpieces of the Century: A Finale—20th Century Classical Music". "Commentary" 107, no. 6 (June): 55.
* Lee, Douglas. 2002. "Masterworks of 20th-Century Music: The Modern Repertory of the Symphony Orchestra". New York: Routledge. ISBN 0415938473, ISBN 978-0415938471
* Roberts, Paul. 2008. "Claude Debussy". 20th-Century Composers. London and New York: Phaidon Press. ISBN 0714835129, ISBN 978-0714835129
* [http://www.avantgardeproject.org/index.htm The Avant Garde Project] , free downloads of out of print avant garde music
* [http://www.ircam.fr/ Ircam Paris]
* [http://www.udayton.edu/~music/faculty/magnuson/microcosms/index.html MICROCOSMS: A Simplified Approach to Musical Styles of the Twentieth Century by Phillip Magnuson]
* [http://www.dolmetsch.com/musictheory40.htm Dolmetsch.com: music history online: music of the 20th century by Dr. Brian Blood]
* [http://artofthestates.org Art of the States]
* [http://www.ronsheim.org/CEClasses.html Recordings of classes on 20th Century Music given by a Dallapiccola pupil]
* [http://www.cuentayrazon.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=Publications&file=index&p_op=showcontent&pnid=1168605462 Música y filosofía contemporánea; Registros polifónicos de John Cage a Peter Sloterdijk | Dr. Adolfo Vasquez Rocca]
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