Your email address will not be published. The development of powerful, loud guitar amplifiers and sound reinforcement systems in the 1960s and 1970s permitted bands to hold large concerts where even those with the least expensive tickets could hear the show. Rubin, Rachel, and Jeffrey Paul Melnick. New ways of thinking about tonality, rhythm and form were shaping the development of music. Elsewhere , Russian composer Igor Stravinksy’s use of rhythm was highly innovative, utilising frequently shifting time signatures. Ernst Toch Period: 1890 to 1974. 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. Later in the century his last opera, The Rake's Progress (1951), also marks the end of the neoclassical phase of his compositions. A dominant trend in music composed from 1923 to 1950 was neoclassicism, a reaction against the exaggerated gestures and formlessness of late Romanticism which revived the balanced forms and clearly perceptible thematic processes of earlier styles. 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. 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. It's blues and jazz, and it has a high lonesome sound."[33]. The relationship (particularly, the relative value) of classical music and popular music is a controversial question. 2001. As early as the 1930s, composers such as Olivier Messiaen incorporated electronic instruments into live performance. 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. Many composers working in the early 21st century were prominent figures in the 20th century. [38], Country music, once known as Country and Western music, is a popular musical form developed in the southern United States, with roots in traditional folk music, spirituals, and the blues. 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. [29] The dance tune Cumberland Gap may be derived from the tune that accompanies the Scottish ballad Bonnie George Campbell. 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. 20th Century and 21st Century can be broken down into even smaller periods. Thanks for stopping by and if you have any questions get in touch! The fourth factor to decisively shape 20th century popular music was the "youth culture". One of the most particular[clarification needed] operas of the seventies was Le Grand Macabre, by György Ligeti. This was atona… 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. This rather dissonant-sounding music dispenses with traditional harmonic function and lacks a key centre. [37], Blues musicians such as Muddy Waters brought the Delta Blues, played mostly with acoustic instruments, from the Mississippi delta north to cities like Chicago, where they used more electric instruments to form the Chicago Blues. Modern:1890 – 1975 4. Postmodern:1930 – present 5. [7] Busoni, Stravinsky, Schoenberg, and Schreker were already recognized before 1914 as modernists, and Ives was retrospectively also included in this category for his challenges to the uses of tonality. The masterpieces he wrote revolutionised 20th-century music and spanned all genres, from orchestral to choral, and opera to ballet. 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". 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. 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. [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. 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. 20th-century classical music describes art music that was written nominally from 1901 to 2000, inclusive. In music this was manifested in Neoclassicism, a movement that took influence from the Classical period. Firstly going into some more detail on the major changes in 20th century… [32], There are three major subgenres of bluegrass and one unofficial subgenre. Late-Romantic and modernist nationalism was found also in British, American, and Latin-American music of the early 20th century. The internet has made music more accessible, making it easier for sub-genres to cross-pollinate and influence each other more easily. I’m Dan and I run this website. What follows is my original version. [citation needed] Steven Halpern's Spectrum Suite, released in 1975, is generally credited as the album that began the new-age music movement. The aftermath of WWII, the advances in terms of recording and information technology, and the global political and economic context all played a role in the rise of new artistic and musical movements. He also experimented with 12-tone music, which is based on a tone row made up of all 12 notes from the chromatic scale in a given order, with all 12 given more or less equal importance, and then manipulated in various structured ways. Although some composers chose to compose in older styles many sought to … 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 is, however, common opinion that musical tradition has ceased to be creative - that we have stopped creating and just embraced the works of old. Consequently, this century was without a dominant style. Lili Boulanger (1893-1918) Composers now find at their disposal the sounds of many genres and periods, whether popular, esoteric or strangely traditional. Influenced by the music of Appalachia,[23] Bluegrass has mixed roots in Irish, Scottish, Welsh, and English[24] traditional music, and was also later influenced by the music of African-Americans[25] through incorporation of jazz elements. Because of the aggressive political environment, advances in technology, and major changes in style, music changed radically in … 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). Since then he's been working to make music theory easy for over 1 million students in over 80 countries around the world. 20th Century Art, Music, and Literature 20th Century Art, Music, and Literature I've told you that one of the best ways to understand a society is to look at the art, music, and literature it produces. [28] Some bluegrass fiddle songs popular in Appalachia, such as "Leather Britches", and "Pretty Polly", have Scottish roots. Along with acoustic instruments, electronic instruments started to be a part of the music scene. Eyewitness Companions: Opera: Dorling Kindersley Limited, 2006, electronic, and digital instruments and musical devices, Opera § Contemporary, recent, and modernist trends, Learn how and when to remove this template message, Walter ‘Li’l Wally’ Wallace Jagiello, "The Classical Orchestra Description Page", "Musique concrète – Musical composition technique", "Aaron Copland, 1900–1990: His Music Taught America About Itself", "Field Recordings of Southern Black Music", Smack Dab in the Middle on Route 66: A Skinny Dip in the Easy Listening Mainstream, Vietnam imperial court music—Nhã nhạc, Music technology (electronic and digital), https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=20th_century_music&oldid=995394999, All Wikipedia articles written in American English, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with unsourced statements from May 2018, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from December 2017, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from February 2018, Articles with failed verification from January 2018, Articles with limited geographic scope from January 2012, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. 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. This article will investigate the different strands of the classical music of the 20th Century, the composers who contributed to them and some of their key pieces. Bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe characterized the genre as: "Scottish bagpipes and ole-time fiddlin'. Similar sympathies in the second half of the century are generally subsumed under the heading "postmodernism".[9]. These are notes that are smaller than the semitones we generally use. "Experimental Music Semiotics". Arnold Schoenberg and Igor Stravinskywere two of the most important composers at that time, and they had very different ideas about how to compose music. As well, composers and musicians used new electric, electronic, and digital instruments and musical devices. So that concludes our look at the classical music of the 20th Century. [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). 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. [44] See also rock musical and rock opera. 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. 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. 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). . 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. Orchestral works by the French composers Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy’s used timbre, ambiguous tonality and unusual scales to suggest colour. Béla Bartók The Musical Quarterly Vol. Download my free eBook with all my favourite music theory resources. Often this means that the performer gets to determine how part of the piece should be played, perhaps with a freely improvised section. Musical texture of Classical music is mostly homophonic but flexible. Starting in the 1960s, the minimalist school focused on using minimal musical material and making use of repetitive patterns, loops and electronic techniques, reflecting technological advances of the day. 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. This is in contrast to old-time music, in which all instruments play the melody together or one instrument carries the lead throughout while the others provide accompaniment. It is not easy to pinpoint the exact decade in which the American youth became a major factor. 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. Bluegrass music has attracted a diverse following worldwide. 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. It is the last of the six periods of classical music eras and comes after the romantic era that ended around 1910AD. 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 20th century was a mere hundred years, but this time period saw the hugest jump in human progress yet—and a fair share of tragedies, triumphs, surprises, and scandals along the way. Period of mass proliferation of genres and styles, The examples and perspective in this section. Schaeffer, P. (1966), Traité des objets musicaux, Le Seuil, Paris. 20th-century classical music describes art music that was written nominally from 1901 to 2000, inclusive. While sound recording technology is often associated with the key role it played in enabling the creation and mass marketing of popular music, new electric and electronic sound recording technology was used to produce art music, as well. Welcome to Hello Music Theory! [20], In addition, folk music was also borrowed by composers in other genres. Stravinsky was discovered by Sergei Diaghilev, the producer of the Ballet Rouse. 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. For more examples see List of 20th-century classical composers. 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’. It deals with the subject of mortality through irony and collage. But how did get here? We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about and listening to some of this radical and hugely varied music. As the 20th Century continued, people came up with various inventive ways of challenging the very meaning of composition. Instrumentation - Instrumentation - Post-Romanticism in the 20th century and beyond: Claude Debussy in France was probably the most important composer of the period from 1880 until the turn of the 20th century. Schoenberg’s music became very atonal (not in any key). In Music. Eastern, Middle-Eastern, Latin, and Western sounds began to mix in some forms. Below, we’ll take a look at some of these movements and the composers that lead the way in developing them. The 20th Century heralded a new world, one with more defined nations, laws and statutes. [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]. A compositional tradition arose in the mid-20th century—particularly in North America—called "experimental music". 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. Béla Bartók collected Hungarian folk tunes, which provided inspiration for his own work, while Ralph Vaughan Williams wrote an English Folk Song Suite. 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. It is likely that young people were already among the main consumers of the dance crazes of the 1920s, although they were officially limited to expensive clubs that did not admit teenagers anyway. 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. He made use of a prepared piano, which has objects placed on or between the strings to alter its sound, often making it more percussive. [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. [26] Many older bluegrass songs come directly from the British Isles. 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." 20th Century music evolved both stylistically and characteristically, some of the overarching changes were outlined in the first blog post - this post aims to explore some of the style specific features - such as the characteristics of impressionism, expressionism, and neoclassicism. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. 1919–20), people mainly listened to music at live Classical music concerts or musical theatre shows, which were too expensive for many working class people; on early phonograph players (a technology invented in 1877 which was not mass-marketed until the mid-1890s); or by individuals performing music or singing songs on an amateur basis at home, using sheet music, which required the ability to sing, play, and read music. 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