Western Music History/Contemporary Music

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The Contemporary Music period is the period following the Modern Music period. It is generally considered to have lasted from 1945 A.D. to the present.

Contemporary music is (in general) based on originality. Then Contemporary artists use dissonances and tried to disobey "the laws" that music had followed for many years.

Contemporary music is divided into a lot of sub-categories like "minimalism", a style that has been explored by many artists including Steve Reich, John Adams, and Philip Glass. The Contemporary Era was formed during the last quarter of the nineteenth century through a painting movement called Impressionism. Around 1870 a group of French painters rejected the Romantic Era. Twentieth Century music reflects the influences of art and literature mechanistic atomic age. The pleasant sounding Impressionistic music led to experiments with twelve tone music. Some other experiments are with electronic music,jazz, and more.Also different people from the romantic era made variations of there songs so they could add Impressionism.Some these composers include Bartok,Stravinsky,Prokofiev, Copland,Shostakovich,Barber,and Gorecki. The music also contains non-western melodies and leaves out romanticism.The Contemporary also introduces new scales (whole-tone,modes) and chord uses. The painting movement also is called the others.


Some general characteristics are (Do not apply for all compositions,only commonly found.)

  1. Fewer lyrical melodies than other periods.
  2. Dissonant Harmonies
  3. Complex rhythms
  4. Percussiveness
  5. Greater use of percussion,brass,and woodwind.
  6. Uses synthetic and electronic sounds