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20th Century/Non-Western Music


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Claude Debussy
His most famous works include Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun.
the musical style stressing tone color, atmosphere, and fluidity
Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun
ambiguous and flowing work in ABA' form evoking the dreams and erotic fantasies of a pagan forest creature; uses harp glissando, antique cymbals, and has a long flute solo
the musical style marked by emotional restraint, balance, and clarity inspired from 18th century; a rebellion against impressionism and romanticism; preference for absolute rather than program music; also used to organize 20th century works
Igor Stravinsky
Some of his most famous works include The Rite of Spring, Petrushka, and The Firebird.
The Rite of Spring
caused riots; harsh dissonances, percussive orchestration, rapidly changing meters, violent offbeat accents, ostinatos; a young woman dances herself to death; demonstrates primitivism
a music style stressing intense, subjective emotion with harsh dissonance; typical of German and Austrian music of the early 20th century; a reaction to impressionism
Arnold Schoenberg
His most famous works include A Survivor from Warsaw and Moonstruck Pierrot.
literally "speech-voice"; halfway between singing and speaking
12-tone system
a method of composing atonal music by organizing pitch in a composition, giving equal importance to each of the twelve chromatic scales; the 20th century alternative to tonality
tone row, set, series
the ordering or unifying idea in a twelve-tone composition
the method of composing by using an ordered group of musical elements to organize rhythm, dynamics, and tone color in addition to pitch; aka serial technique
Bela Bartok
Some of his most famous works include Concerto for Orchestra (w/Game of Pairs)
Charles Ives
Some of his most famous works include Putnam's Camp (from Three Places in New England)
George Gershwin
Some of his most famous works include An American in Paris, Porgy and Bess, and Rhapsody in Blues.
Aaron Copland
Some of his most famous works include Appalachian Spring, Billy the Kid, Rodeo, and A Lincoln Portrait.
Appalachian Spring
A theme and variation piece where each variation has a change of tempo, tone color, dynamics, register, accompaniment, and key; It uses the Shaker folk tune Simple Gifts; originally a ballet but also a suite; based on a pioneer celebration in spring around a newly built farmhouse with characters such as a groom, bride, neighbor, revivalist preacher, and followers.
later 20th century
It's characterized by being even more extreme in all aspects including 20th century techniques of atonality, polychords/rhythms, change of meter, percussive orchestration, and serialism; includes electronic, minimalist, and aleatoric music, mixed media, new notation, prepared piano, and greater exploration of noise sounds
aleatoric (chance) music
music composed by the random selection of pitches, tone colors, and rhythms
minimalist music
music characterized by a steady pulse, clear tonality, and insistent repetition of short melodic patterns
John Cage
Some of his most famous works include 4'33 and the large scale Sonatas and Interludes.
It was influenced by many musical cultures, particularly West African, American, and European.
Stravinsky, Copland, William Grant Still, and George Gershwin
Jazz influenced these composers
Music is simultaneously created and played with a theme and variations form, often a popular melody in AABA form of 32 bars.
call and response
of West African influence, a voice is answered by an instrument or instrument answered by another instrument
(1890s-1915) A style of composed piano music developed primarily by black pianists in southern and midwestern saloons and dance halls. Usually in duple meter and performed at a moderate march tempo. The pianist's right hand plays a highly syncopated melody while the left maintains the steady beat.
(1890s) It can refer to a style and form; an early source of jazz, characterized by flatted notes in the scale; vocal consists of 3-line stanzas in the form AA'B; original style performed with guitar accompaniment and not standardized in form/style.
blues form
(1910s-20s) This form influenced jazz instrumentalists and has been intertwined with jazz ever since. Characteristics include 12-bars, AA'B form, blues scale, scoops, bending of pitches, sliding of music, 12-bar harmony framework.
New Orleans style (aka Dixieland jazz)
Typically played by five to eight performers with a front line (cornet/trumpet, clarinet, and trombone) supported by a rhythm section (drums, piano/banjo/guitar and tuba/plucked bass); A collective improvisation where each instrument has a specific role and unaccompanied solo; based on a march or church melody, ragtime piece, popular song, or 12-bar blues.
Developed in the 1920s, flourished from 1935-1945, and played by "big bands"; Not improvised; 15 players in three sections: sax, brass, and rhythm; Music arranger becomes important due to this style
Bebop (aka bop)
Developed in the early 1940s with a complex style of improvising to the extreme; meant for listening- not dancing; fast beat, unpredictable rhythms, and sophisticated harmonies
Scott Joplin
Some of his most famous works include Maple Leaf Rag and The Entertainer.
Bessie Smith
Her most famous works include Lost Your Head Blues.
Duke Ellington
His most famous works include C-Jam Blues, Ko-Ko, Harlem Airshaft, In a Melotone, and Blue Serge
Miles Davis
He was known as an outstanding trumpeter and bandleader, and for creating music in all forms of jazz, especially fusion (jazz rock) and cool jazz
Charlie Parker
He was known as a towering figure among bebop, an outstanding alto saxist, an improvisatory genius, and was an important influence on instrumentalists.
Leonard Bernstein
Some of his most famous works include West Side Story.
West Side Story
It has more music in general and unconventional with a wider range of styles; vaudeville, Latin rhythms, and bebop fugue are some examples; lyrical and staccato themes layer over each other
Nonwestern musical education
Oral tradition plays a huge factor in this, from parent to child and teacher to student
drums in sub-Saharan Africa
Sacrifices are offered to them; they are given food; they are housed in special shrines
singing in nonwestern music
Indian classical music is based on this, showing the importance of it.
What 20th century events influenced the arts (especially music)?
US's strong influence, nonwestern thought/culture, anti-rationality, plurism, dehumanization, civil rights, wars, new technologies and scientific discoveries
What influenced composers of the 20th century?
jazz, the romantic era, and events of this era
style of 20th century music
No one idea since many are floating around, so different styles
music characteristics of the early 20th century
unusual rhythms, expanded tone colors especially percussive, extremes, dissonance
tone color of the 20th century music
takes a major role in 20th century music where each instrument is heard instead of blending together; creates variety, continuity, and mood; anything goes!
harmony of the 20th century music
dissonance is used so freely it's considered stable; new chord structures like polychords, 4th chords, and tone clusters
absence of tonality or key
rhythms of 20th century music
polyrhythms (two or more contrasting independent rhythms played at the same time), unpredictability, irregularity, news ways of organizing them
melody of 20th century music
contains wide leaps difficult to sing; asymmetrical; unpredictable; plurism
bitonality; polytonality
one is the use of only two different keys at once while the other is the use of two or more different keys at once

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