IB Music/Music History/Modern Period

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Characteristics (1900-1945)[edit]

Tone color[edit]

  1. Has major role in keeping unity
  2. noiselike and percussive sounds used
  3. Glissando, flutter tonguing, and pizzicato common
  4. Percussion standard, numerous
  5. Piano used percussively
  6. Transparency: individual lines clear
  7. Less emphasis on blended sound

Harmony[edit]

  1. Consonance and dissonance
    • Composers began using dissonant chords more
    • no longer general principle of stability
  2. new chord structures
    • Polychord: one traditional chord on another
    • Fourth chords used, instead of thirds
    • Tone cluster: chord of notes only half step apart

Alternatives to the traditional tonal system[edit]

  1. Church modes revived
  2. Polytonality
  3. Bitonality

Rhythm[edit]

Melodys[edit]

Contextual[edit]

Degenerate Music[edit]

Socialist Realism[edit]

Impressionism and symbolism[edit]

Impressionism emerged from France in the late 19th century. There were two main composers, Claude Debussy, and Maurice Ravel.

In reaction to the Romantic period, it used more expression in the atmosphere of the piece rather than the music itself.

Whole tone scales were prominently used, and the songs were usually instrumental. Woodwinds were dominant in the pieces, while strings blended colors instead of making block sounds.

It had indefinite rhythms, and it was more fluid filled with downbeats.

Simplicity and abstraction was explored, and was greatly influenced by non-Western arts and Dadaism. Artists sought fresh concepts in foreign music, such as Africa, Asia, and eastern Europe.

Light, lacy chords develop the shimmery and hazy atmosphere of Impressionistic music. Dissonance was usually left unresolved, creating irregular phrases and concealed cadences.

Rather than using triads and four-note chords as used previously, five-note combinations known as ninth chords (1-3-5-7-9) were brought up. This formed dissonant polychords of 6 and 7 notes.

It was the transition from the Romantic period to the Modern era. Though its duration was fleeting, Debussy and Ravel are considered some of the greatest composers.

Expressionism[edit]

Expressionism was the German response to French Impressionism. The Germans dug down to the depths of the soul, whereas the French explored the impressions of the outer world. Some composers influenced by this style was Arnold Schoenberg. The musical characteristics of Expressionism include wide leaps in the melody and the use of instruments in extreme registers.

Avant Garde[edit]

  1. Harsh, experimental music
  2. Represents the fury of the world, a defiance
  3. It set out to express the unsayable
  4. Controversial
  5. Starts after World War 2

→Composers came back with shell shock →They were absolutely terrified and wanted to convey the horrors of war

12-Tone System & Serialism[edit]

Minimalism[edit]

Jazz[edit]

Claude Debussy[edit]

Maurice Ravel[edit]

Neoclassicism[edit]

Igor Stravinsky[edit]

Characteristics[edit]

  1. Russian
  2. Most popular modernist of all
  3. Neoclassical and nationalist for the first half of his career

→Influenced by Russian folk music →He would take fragments of melodies and change them into something new

  1. Wanted to surprises his audiences through rhythm
  2. In the latter part of his career he began using the 12-tone system (after 1944)

Famous Pieces[edit]

  1. The Rite of Spring

Expressionism[edit]

Expressionism was the German response to French Impressionism. The Germans dug down to the depths of the soul, whereas the French explored the impressions of the outer world. Some composers influenced by this style was Arnold Schoenberg. The musical characteristics of Expressionism include wide leaps in the melody and the use of instruments in extreme registers.

Anton Webern[edit]

Bela Bartok[edit]

Dmitri Shostakovich[edit]

Characteristics[edit]

  1. Russian
  2. Social Realist

→ The communist version of a modernist → Bound by the policies of Stalinism and the USSR → He tried to push the envelope with these policies and was sometimes criticized

  1. USSR's star composer

→ I know it doesn't make any sense that he tried to push it and was still the best but he was

  1. Had to be patriotic to Russia and serve the masses
  2. New music to reflect the new society (of the Soviet government)
  3. Always on the fence with Stalin's government, constantly risking prosecution because of the nature of Stalinism

Famous Pieces[edit]

  1. Lady Macbeth (Opera)

→ It was sexual, about betrayal and murder → Stalin didn't like it

  1. 5th Symphony

→ Was to be released while Stalin was on one of his purges → One note out of place would have meant his end → A triumph

Charles Ives[edit]

George Gershwin[edit]

William Grant Still[edit]

Aaron Copland[edit]