Important Composers From Each Time Period

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Hildegard of Bingen

(1098-1179) abbess/writer/composer in a time when women were silent in the church, except for convents. Most extended work is Ordo virtutum (the Virtues), a sacred musical drama with 82 songs.

Leonin

(1150s-ca 1201) wrote Magnus liber organi (Great Book of Polyphony). Created Leonin organum: lowest voice (tenor) is unmeasured and the upper voice uses expansive melismas, often lingering on dissonances and cadencing at irregular intervals. Upper voice is also free of rhythm. Has the longest and most elaborate settings of chant ever created.

Perotin

Dates unknown, around the time of Leonin. Virtually all we know about Leonin and Perotin come from a treatise called "Anonymous IV" in 1275. Edited Magnus liber with discant clausula. Perotin organum: wrote 3 or 4 voice organum, many voice exchanges (from Notre Dame polyphony)

Philippe de Vitry

(1291-1361) inventor of Ars Nova. Allowed duple and tripe divisions on notes, division of semibreve, mensuration signs, and syncopation.

Guillaume de Machaut

(1300-1377) Leading composer and poet. Wrote over 140 musical works and 300 poems. Most famous work is the Messe de Nostre Dame (Mass of Our Lady), one of the earliest settings of polyphonic Mass Ordinary. First to link all the movements together as six Mass movements with recurring motives. Mostly French texts. Themes of courtly love. Repeating sycopated rhythms in the tenor and contratenor. Preferred isorhythmic motets. Also wrote many accompanied songs.

Francesco Landini

(1325-1397) Leading Italian composer. Wrote madrigals in 2 or 3 voices and caccias. Most famous for ballata: same as the French virelai. Similar to the madrigal, but less canonic.

Johannes Tinctoris

(1435-1511) Wrote Liber de arte contrapuncti (A Book on the Art of Counterpoint). Compared new and old counterpoint styles. Said nothing written before 1430 was worth hearing.

John Dunstable

(1390-1453) Leading English composer of his time with DuFay and Binchois. Wrote 60 compositions. Wrote isorhythmic motets, Mass Ordinarys, settings of chant, liturgical texts and secular songs. Most famous for his 3 voice settings of sacred pieces. Followed contenance angloise (English quality) that uses frequent 3rds and 6ths, parallel motion, few dissonances, simple melodies, regular phrasing, and homorhythmic textures.Used paraphrase technique: paraphrasing the chant associated with the text in the top part instead of as a tenor cantus firmus. First to link a pair of mass pieces with a common cantus firmus.

Gilles Binchois

(1400-1460) Burgundian style with English influences. Leading composer of his time with Dunstable and DuFay. Esteemed for his chansons (polyphonic settings of a French secular poem). Least famous of the three.

Guillaume DuFay

(1397-1474) One of the leading composers of his time with Dunstable and Binchois. Developed fauxbourdon. He excelled in every genre. Most popular and famous as a composer. Blended many different national traits. Most works in three voices, with the main melody in the cantus, supported by a tenor and contratenor.

Jean de Ockeghem

(1420-1497) Famous for his cyclic masses. Relatively small output for his renown. Most famous work Missa L'Homme arme was a mass based on secular text. Added a contratenor altus and contratenor bassus to his cantus and tenor in the Mass. All voices usually remain low in his music.

Antoine Busnoys (Busnois)

(1430-1492) Famous for his chansons. Melodies usually combine smooth, mostly scalar motion with interesting, constantly changing rhythms.

Josquin de Prez

(1450-1521) The greatest composer of his time. No other composer had as much music printed by Petrucci. Wrote 18 masses, around 70 or 80 motets. He was renowned for being the first composer to reflect the words in his music. Fused the large isorhythic motet and the small devotional song motet. Chose mostly rhyming, scanninc texts.Imitation was of great importance in his motets. Unlike other composers, had long, arching imitative duets in two voices.

William Byrd

(1540-1623) Most important English composer in the late Renaissance. Composed all forms of Anglican church music (anthems and Service). Best known for his Latin masses and motets. Wrote two books called Gradualia (1605 and 1607) that contain complete polyphonic Mass Propers.

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina

(1526-1594) Leading Italian composer of church music in the 16th Century. Wrote more masses than any other composer (104). Used modern voice leading techniques (nota cambiata, passing and neighbor tones, suspensions, leap moves down by step, etc.). Strove to accentuate the words in his music, like the Catholic Church wanted after the Catholic Church's Counter-Reformation. Wrote almost every type of mass. Purity was his obvious intent. Successions of triads were severely restricted. It was on the individual parts, that he lavished the most attention.

Orlando di Lasso

(1532-1594) Flemish, considered the Palestrina of secular works of this time. Considered more progressive than Palestrina. Also used textual expression. Extreme chromaticism was popular during this period for rapid development of text expression. Wrote over 700 motets. Principal collection of his motets is called Magnum opus musicum (Great Work of Motets).

Philippe Verdelot

(1480-1530?) Frano-Flemish. Most important early madrigalist.

John Dowland

(1563-1626) English, leading composer of lute songs.

Giovanni Gabrieli

(1555-1612) Late Renassance/Early Baroque. About 100 motets, 35 organ works, Organist and composer at St. Mark's in Venice.

Claudio Monteverdi

(1567-1643) Wrote only vocal and dramatic works, mostly madrigals. His music was always perfectly suited to the text. He was inventive in creating expressive devices and combining styles and genres to capture feelings/personalities in the music. Developed opera through expanding the madrigal. He has 3 surviving operas (most famous L'Orfeo). He also invented stile concitato. Wrote eight books of madrigals.

Jacopo Peri

(1561-1633) Wrote first opera (Dafne) that was a setting of Rinuccini's pastoral poem. Also wrote famous opera L'Euridice. He invented a recitative style-speech song. Lived in the same time period as Claudio Monteverdi.

Heinrich Schutz

(1585-1672) Known for his church music, but wrote both sacred and secular music. Wrote the first German opera. Most famous for his pieces Psalmen Davids (German polychoral songs). Monteverdi was his Italian counterpart. Wrote no dances--focused on vocal music of a serious tone.

Jean Baptiste Lully

(1632-1687) Famous for tragedie en musique opera. Famous conductor (made the orchestra play together) and died from gangrene from his staff. Pioneered the overture.

Henry Purcell

(1659-1695) Leading English composer of baroque period. Wrote Dido and Aeneas.

Alessandro Scarlatti

(1660-1725) Leading composer of cantatas and operas in Italy during the baroque.

Arcangelo Corelli

(1653-1713) Most famous for trio sonatas, solo violin sonatas, and concerto grosso. Most famous chamber works composer of the baroque.

Dietrich Buxtehude

(1637-1707) Organist and composer. Gave free public concerts of vocal music at St. Mary's that inspired J.S. Bach (Abenmusiken). Wrote 120 sacred vocal works.

Antonio Vivaldi

(1678-1741) Had the most influence on composers after him so far. Best known of the early 18th century. A violinist, composer, and teacher. Wrote around 500 concertos. Responsible for diving the strings into the standard arrangement (Vl I, II, Vla, Clo, Bass).

Jean Philippe Rameau

(1683-1764) Theorist, organist and composer. Wrote Treatise on Harmony (1722): fundamental bass was a succession on roots in a series of chords (chord asserts through inversions) and discovered triad and seventh chord were primary elements of harmony. Wrote Hippolyte et Aricie (1733) his most famous opera. Developed tonic, dominant, subdominant, and modulation terms.

Georg Philipp Telemann

(1681-1767) Wrote over 3000 works. Famous for blending many styles. WRote 30 operas, 46 passions. Helped to establish the characteristic German style.

Johann Sebastian Bach

(1685-1750) Virtuoso organist and composer. Most prolific in every genre except opera. Wrote St. Matthew Passion, St. John Passion, Mass in B Minor, Brandenburg Concertos, Well-Tempered Clavier, Art of the Fugue, Goldberg Variations. Began by copying and arranging works for other composers. Wrote in organ styles because of working at churches-tocattas, fantasias, preludes, fugues. Known as a great improvisor.

George Frideric Handel

(1685-1759) Won international renown: very popular during his lifetime. Worked for the public-not just a church or court musician. He adapted his compositions to public tastes. Invented the English Oratorio. Wrote Water Music, Royal Fireworks. Wrote first opera, Almira, at age 19.

Domenico Scarlatti

(1685-1757) Son of Allessandro. One of the most original and creative keyboard composers of the 18th century.

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach

(1714-1788) Son of J.S. Bach. Wrote essay, The True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments (1753-62). Most prominent/influential. Established a 3 movement pattern for sonatas (fast-slow-fast in related keys).

Johann Stamitz

(1717-1757) First to use the 4 movement structure with minuet and trio as the 3rd movement and last movement as a very fast finale (presto).

Johann Christian Bach

(1735-1782) First to compose piano concertos. Trained by his father (J.S.) and his older brother (C.P.E.). Wrote in mostly galant style-was a big influence to a young Mozart.

Joseph Haydn

(1732-1809) Most celebrated composer of his day. Wrote 104 symphonies, 20 concertos, 68 string quartets, the Creation. Mostly wrote in galant style. He had double appeal-easy to listen to, but complicated form for knowledgable audience. Called the Father of the Symphony and of the String Quartet. Father of the Symphony, not because he invented it, but because his set the pattern for later composer. The Father of the String Quartet because he was among the earliest and great master of the genre. Developed the sonata rondo. Foreshadowed Romantic harmonies in his late string quartets.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

(1756-1791) Mostly a freelance musician. Child prodigy on piano and violin. Taught by his father, Leopold. Influenced by Haydn, JS Bach, and Handel. Mozart had more songlike themes than Haydn. His concertos almost always had the standard 3 movement form (1st is a concerto ritornello form, 2nd is a lyrical aria, 3rd is usually a rondo in a virtuoso style). Wrote 55 symphonies, 21 operas, 23 piano concertos, 26 string quartets. Final movements balnce the serious opening movements. Experimented with all styles: La finta semplice was his first opera buffa. Bastien und Bastienne was his first German Singspiel. He also wrote 3 Italian comic operas: Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Cosi fan Tutti. His two final operas were in the last year of his life: La clemenza di Tito and The Magic Flute.

Ludwig van Beethoven

(1770-1827) First musician to make a living solely as a composer.
First Period (1770-1802) First 6 string quartets, early piano works, symphony no. 1
Middle Period (1803-1814) Eroica (longest symphony ever), Fidelio (struggled with opera, only one), 5 string quartets, vionlin concerto, 5th and 6th symphonies (premiered together), now seen as the greatest composer over Haydn, hearing loss starting
Late Period (1815-1827) Made to be studied, not read and played for pleasure, introspective, Missa solemnis, symphony no. 9, last string quartets

Franz Schubert

(1797-1828) master of Romantic Lied. Over 600 songs, 9 symphonies, 17 operas/singspiels. Famous for songs and melodies that perfectly capture a poem's character or mood

Robert (and Clara) Schumann

(1810-1856) Thought voice and piano should be equal partners. Mainly composed after injury to his right hand, over 300 piano works, 4 symphonies, married Clara Wieck (famous classical pianist)

Steven Foster

(1826-1864) leading American composer of parlor songs of the 19th century. First American to survive only as a composer. Had no formal training.

Felix Mendelssohn

(1809-1847) child prodigy. Wrote 5 symphonies, violin concerto, 2 piano concertos, 4 overtures, 6 string quartets, Songs Without Words (exemplified Romantic thought)

Fryderyk Chopin

(1810-1849) Composed almost entirely for piano. Wrote 26 etudes (concert etudes) developed it to be performed. Wrote waltzes (dances in triple meter), mazurkas (triple meter, accents on 2nd and 3rd beats) and polonaises (triple meter, 8th and 2 16ths on 1st beat). Also wrote nocturnes (short mood pieces with embellishments). The first to use a ballade for an instrumental piece.

Franz Liszt

(1811-1886) Most astounding piano virtuoso of his era. 1st pianist to give solo concerts in large halls (recitals). Inspired by Hungarian/Gypsy melodies. Invented the masterclass. Inspired by Paganini and sought to raise the piano to the same solo level. Most technical innovations of his time for the piano.

Hector Berlioz

(1803-1869) One of the 1st to make a career as a conductor. Wrote 3 operas, 4 symphonies, Romeo et Julliette. Used idee fixe (fixed idea): melody used in each movement to represent the obsessive image he was trying to portray. Used programmatic romanticism-serves the narrative and autobiographical purposes, but also expresses the emotional drama in music. Leader of Romantic movements radical wing. Instrumental color now rivaled harmony and melody. Wrote a famous Treatise on Instrumentation and Orchestration (1843).

Gioachino Rossini

(1792-1868) Operas most famous and most popular ever written. Wrote first opera in 1810 at the age of 18. Wrote 39 operas total. Helped establish bel canto style-elegant style characterized by lyrical lines, seemingly effortless technique and florid delivery. Sparse orchestration helped singers. Famous opera Barber of Seville. Her comic operas overshadowed his serious ones.

Vincenzo Bellini

(1801-1835) Younger contemporary or Rossini. Passionate dramatic operas, gripping action. Wrote 10 serious operas. Long, sweeping, highly embellished, intensely emotional melodies.

Gaetano Donizetti

(1797-1848) Prolific Italian composer. Wrote oratorios, cantatas and 70ish operas. Wrote comic and serious operas. Famous at capturing characters. Lucia di Lammermoor most famous opera. Reminiscence motive-hearkening back to an earlier theme or motive.

Carl Maria von Weber

(1786-1826) Established German Romantic opera with Der Freischutz. Had unusual orchestration and harmonies. Put ordinary folk center stage singing about their individual concerns, loves, fears, etc.

Giuseppe Verdi

(1813-1901) Wrote 26 operas (Rigoletto, Aida, traviata, trovatore). Epitome of Romantic drama and passion

Giacomo Puccini

(1858-1924) Most successful after Verdi. Continuous flow of arias, choruses and ensembles instead of individual numbers. Melody was centered, simple, colorful and emotionally direct.

Richard Wagner

(1813-1883) Most influential figure in 19th century culture. Used letimotifs as organizing principle. Used chromatic harmonies. Wrote 13 operas (Tannhauser, Der Ring, Siegfried, Triastan und Isolde, Meistersinger) Music existed to serve dramtic expression. Believed in the oneness of drama and music (total art-Gesamtkunstwerk).

Mikhail Glinka

(1804-1857) First Russian composer recognized as an equal to Western Contemporaries. Used whole tone scale, chromaticism, dissonance and variation technique and applied them to folk songs.

Piotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky

(1840-1893) Leading Russian composer of 19th century. Wrote to reconcile the nationalist and internationalist tendencies in Russian music. Two most famous operas were Eugene Onegin (1879) and The Queen of Spade (1890) with poetry from Pushkin. Famous ballets Swan Lake (1876), Sleeping Beauty (1889), Nutcracker (1892). Created musical fairy tale atmospheres.

Modest Mussorgsky

(1839-1881) Part of the Mighty Five. Most famous opera was Boris Godunov. Juxtaposes distantly related or coloristic harmonies, usually joined by a common tone.

Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov

(1844-1908) Used whole tone and octatonic scales. Created a sense of floating or otherworldliness. Wrote about supernatural beings and magical occurences. Part of the Mighty Five.

Mily Balakirev

(1837-1910) Leader and teacher of the Mighty Five.

Aleksander Borodin

(1833-1887) Part of the Mighty Five. Leader composer in Chamber Works. Famous opera, Prince Igor, was not completed.

Cesar Cui

(1835-1918) Part of the Mighty Five.

Bedrich Smetana

(1824-1884) Bohemian composer. Wrote 8 operas that form the core of the Czech opera repertoire. Bartered Bride is his famous comic opera.

Johannes Brahms

(1833-1897) Leading German composer in every field except opera. Wrote 4 symphonies, a violin concerto, German Requiem, 200 Lieder. Wrote with a rich web of allusion. Blended old and new traditions. Didn't write his first symphony until 1876 after revising it for nearly 20 years.

Anton Bruckner

(1824-1896) Wrote 9 symphonies, 2 early unnumbered symphonies. Composed blocks of sound, like his organ background. Famous for religious music.

Hugo Wolf

(1860-1903) Best known for adapting Wagner's methods to the German Lied. Wrote 250 Lieder. Used chromatic saturation (appearance of all 12 pitches)

Richard Strauss

(1864-1949) Remembered for his symphonic poems (Don Juan, Don Quixote, Also sprach Zarathustra) Don Juan was his first complete mature work. Salome (1905) was his first opera success after the failure of Guntram (1893). Had leitmotives and associations with certain characters like Wagner. Had fiercly dissonant music-inspired later composers to abandon tonality all together. Der Rosenkavalier (1909-10) was his most famous opera.

Cesar Franck

(1822-1890) Founder of modern French chamber music. Wrote in cyclic form. Blended traditional counterpoint and classical forms with Liszt's tematic transformation. Famous Symphony in D Minor (1888).

Gabriel Faure

(1845-1924) Focused on order and restraint. Had subtle patterns of tones, rhythms and colors. Wrote a Requiem and 2 operas. Famous composer of songs. Melodic lines are fragmented and harmony becomes much less directional.

Antonin Dvorak

(1841-1904) Wrote 9 symphonies, 4 concertos. New World Symphony (needed to used folk songs. Took American Indians and African American musical ideas 1893).

Edvard Grieg

(1843-1907) Norwegian composer. Wrote with Norwegian folk songs and dances. Wrote mostly in modal keys.

Edward Elgar

(1857-1934) First English composer in 2 decades to enjoy wide international recognition. Wrote 2 symphonies and Enigma Variations.

Amy Marcy Beach

(1867-1944) Internationally recognized as one of America's leading composers. Ethnic flavor on German classics. Wrote with chromatic harmony, unusual inversion, augmented triads, and colorful nonchord tones. Was not allowed to teach at leading universities because she was a woman.

Scott Joplin

(1867-1917) Leading ragtime composer.

Gustav Mahler

(1860-1911) Laeding Austro-German composer of symphonies after Brahms and Bruckner. Master of voice and orchestra and made a living solely as a conductor. Used oices in 4 of his symphonies. Believed that the symphony was a bold personal statement. Had enormous orchestation and enjoyed irony.

Claude Debussy

(1862-1918) Works of striking individuality. Evokes a mood or atmosphere instead of telling a deeply emotional story. Used exotic scales (whole-tone, octantonic, pentatonic). Dissonances no longer have to resolve and motives do not have to develop. Pelleas et Melisande (opera), Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, Nocturnes, La Mer, Images, etc.

Maurice Ravel

(1875-1937) Music encompasses a variety of influences while carrying his distinctive stamp. Known for his craftsmanship, traditional forms, diatonic melodies, complex harmonies and tonal language. Settings closely resemble the natural accents of French.

Manuel de Falla

(1876-1946) Principal Spanish composer of the time. Three Cornered Hat (1916-19). Used authentic native materials to appeal to his own people.

Vaughan Williams

(1872-1958) Collected English folk songs (national style). Wrote 9 symphonies: art music and practical music.

Leos Janacek

(1854-1928) Leading Czech composer. National style (folk songs of Moravia). Most famous opera is Jenufa and Cunning Little Vixen (1924).

Jean Sibelius

(1865-1957) Finland's leading composer of 1890s. Famous for symphonic poems (Finalandia). Two symphonies and violin concerto won him international fame. Developed 'rotational form'-repeatedly cycling through a series of thematic elements that are varied each time and 'telological genesis'- goal-directed process of generating a theme from motive fragments, sometimes over an entire movement or symphony. Seen as conservative by 1910 because he continued to use diatonic melodies and tonal harmonies.

Sergei Rachmaninoff

(1873-1943) Primarily a pianist. Three symphonies, symphonic poem of Isle of the Dead and the choral symphony The Bells. Mostly wrote piano works. Renowned for his passionate, melodious idiom.

Alexander Scriabin

(1872-1915) Began writing nocturnes, preludes, and etudes but added chromaticism of Liszt and Wagner and octatonic scales. Famous works Prometheus and Poem of Ecstacy. Also had synaesthesia.

Erik Satie

(1866-1925) Three Gymnopedies. Modal and unresolved chords. Satrized titles and directions for performers. Influenced Poulenc and Milhaud.

Arnold Schoenberg

(1874-1951) Developed the twelve-tone method: a systematic ordering of chromatic style and atonality, music that avoids establishing a tonal center. Wrote a total of 4 operas and began writing in the late Romantic style. First chromatic composition was a tone poem for string sextet Verklarte Nacht. Turned to writing chamber music. Felt that all great coposers of the past had contributed something new-wanted immortality. DIdn't like the term atonality: preferred 'emancipation of dissonance'.

Alban Berg

(1885-1935) Studied with Schoenberg starting at age 19. Many found his music more approachable. Wozzeck (1925) was very popular. It was atonal, but not twelve-tone. Began writing twelev-tone after Wozzeck, but chose tonal-sounding rows that produced chord progressions.

Anton Webern

(1883-1945) Believed music should be highly expressive and romantic, but great art should do only is necessary. Most of his compositions are very sparse and very short. Textures are stripped to their bare essentials. Described as pointillistic: often features only one to 3 or 4 notes at once or in the same instrument in succession.

Igor Stravinsky

(1882-1971) Russian Period: Firebird (1910), Petrushka (1910-11), and Rite of Spring (1911-13) all commissioned for the Russian Ballet. Writes by layering successive independent strands of music on top of each other. Preference for dry resonant timbres. Pulicinella (1919) was his first neo-classical piece: composers revived, imitated, or evoked styles and forms of pre-Romantic music). Symphony of Pslams (1930) was a mix of neo-classical and Stravinsky style. Neo-tonal: composer finds new ways to establish a single pitch as tonal center.

Bela Bartok

(1881-1945) Created an individual modernist idiom by synthesizing elements of Hungarian, Romanian, Slovak and Bulgarian peasant music with elements of German and French classical tradition. Collaborated with colleague Zoltan Kodaly (1882-1967). Used new recording technology to preserve unique and unfamliar charateristics of folk singers from his travels. Bluebeard's Castle (1908) acheived personal style with one-act opera.. Treated piano as more of a percussino instrument. Wrote more accessible pieces later in life like the Concerto for Orchestra (1943). Drew rhythmic complexity and irregular meters from folk music, but retained contrapuntal and formal procedures (fugue and sonata) from classical style.

Charles Ives

(1874-1954) Born in the United States (Connecticut). Organist/composer/insurance salesman. First to create a distinctly American body of art music. Holidays Symphony, the Unanswered Question. Was the first exponent of experimental music-focused on exploration of new musical sounds, techniques, and resources. Wrote polytonal music-melody in one key and accompaniment in another. Wrote many small unpublished pieces to try out new techniques. Cumulative form: form used by Charles Ives and others in which the principal theme appears in its entirety only at the end of the work preceded by its development.

George Gershwin

(1898-1937) Rhapsody in Blue (1924) incorporated jazz into art music. Famous works also include Piano Concerto (1925) and Porgy and Bess (1935) a self-labeled folk opera.

Duke Ellington

(1899-1974) Most important composer of jazz. Brokde down barriers between jazz and art music.

Kurt Weill

(1900-1950) Opera composer in Berlin, also an exponent of New Objectivity. Sought to entertain everyday people rather than intellectual elites. Famous opera: The Threepenny Opera (1928).

Paul Hindemith

(1895-1963) Played many instruments. Began composing in late Romantic style, then expressionist, then New Objectivity, then finally Gebrauchmusik (music for use): music created for young or amateur performers that was high in quality, modern in style, and challenging yet rewarding to perform. Music banned by the Nazis. Mathis der Maler (1933-34) was his most famous work written in neo-Romantic style.

Carl Orff

(1895-1982) Won international reputation under Nazi regime. Most famous work was Carmina burana (1936).

Sergey Prokofiev

(1891-1953) Began career in the United States (Love for Three Oranges 1921). Returned to Soviet Union with promises for commissions and performances (Lieutenant Kije 1934, Romeo and Juliet 1935-36, Peter and the Wolf 1936). After WWII, governmental control relaxed and he wrote absolute music such as his 5th Symphony. In 1948, authorities cracked down and condemned Prokofiev and many composers works as 'formalist.'

Dmitri Shostakovich

(1906-1975) Premeired 1st symphony (1926) when he was 19. Lady Macbeth (1934) criticized as 'chaos instead of music.' Fifth symphony (1937) written as 'a Soviet artist's reply to just criticism.' All of his works were created in a politicized context. Also denounced in 1948 with Prokofiev: had to write patriotic film scores to make money.

Heitor Villa-Lobos

(1887-1959) Most important Brazilian composer. Criticized for his collaborations with Brazil's nationalist dictatorship.

Edgard Varese

(1883-1965) Fragmentary melodies, loose structure. Most famous pieces Offrandes (1921), Hyperprism (1922-23), Octandre (1923), Integrales (1924-25), Ionisation (for percussion only 1929-31) and Ecuatorial (1932-34).

Henry Cowell

(1897-1965) Developed idea of tone clusters: chords of diatonic or chromatic seconds produced by pressing the keys of the piano with the first or forearm.

Aaron Copland

(1900-1990) Combined modernism and national American idioms. Jewish, homosexual, and leftist political ideals. Had jazz elements in early works- Music fot eh the Theatre (1925). Wrote music in the language of the broad masses of people: El Salon Mexico (1932-36), Billy the Kid (1938), Rodeo (1942), Our Town (1940). Appalachian Spring (1943-44) was Copland's first Americanist idiom.

Leonard Bernstein

(1910-1990) Major prescence on Broadway and classical music. Began conducting career in 1944 by being a last minute replacement for New York Philharmonic. West Side Story (1957) most famous musical.

Olivier Messiaen

(1908-1992) Most important French composer bornin 20th century. Quartet for the End f Time (1941) and Turagalila symphonie (1946-48) most famous pieces. Stance of ecstatic contemplation-experience of concentrated meditation on a few materials. Alsoways used birdsongs as the representative of nature. Developed 'modes of limited transposition': collections of notes that do not change when transposed by certain intervals.

Benjamin Britten

(1913-1976) English cmoposer of mostly choral music. Life partner and tenor Peter Pears. Several of Britten's operas have themes that relate to homosexuality (Billy Budd 1950-51 and Death in Venice 1971-74). Peter Grimes (1944-45) established Britten's reputation.

Samuel Barber

(1910-1981) Known for his tonal romanticism. Adagio for Strings his most famous work (1936 from his string quartet). Renowned for his vocal music (Dover Beach, Knoxville, Summer of 1915).

Alberto Ginastera

(1916-1983) Most prominent Latin American composer after Villa-Lobos. Drew on nationalism and international sources.

Milton Babbitt

(1916-) Most famous tontal serialist composer.

Luciano Berio

(1925-2003) Nonserial composer. Wrote Sequenzas: each for unaccompanied solo instrument composed for a specific performer.

Elliott Carter

(1908-2012) Nonserial style composer. Developed metric modulation: transition is made through an intermediary stage that shares aspects of both, resulting in a precise proportional change in the value of a durational unit.

John Cage

(1912-1992) Leading composer of avant-garde style. Composed using chance music: music performed without imposing the composer's intentions. Challenged core concepts of music itself. Invented prepared piano-various objects inserted between the strings, resulting in delicate, complex percussive sounds when piano is played from the keyboard. Best known work Songs and Interludes (1946-48).

Karlheinz Stockhausen

(1928-2007) Combined recorded sounds with electronic ones.

Krzysztof Penderecki

(1933-) Most famous work Threnody: To the Victims of Hiroshima (1960). Meaures times by seconds, not duration. Used newly invented notations.

Gyorgy Ligeti

(1923-) Became famous after works were used in Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey (Atomospheres, Requiem, Lux aeterna). Constant motion, yet static both harmonically and melodically.

Arvo Part

(1935-) Estonian composer. Turned to the stuy of Gregorian Chant. Developed the tintinnabuli method: creating bell-like sonorities. Wrote using counterpoint between pitch-centered, mostly stepwise diatonic melody and one or more other voices that sound only notes of the tonic triad.

John Corigliano

(1938-) Juxtaposes styles to convey meanings, drawing on a stylistic continuum from Baroque and Classical to avant-garde.

Jacob Obrecht

(1450-1505) Generation slightly behind Ockeghem. Famous for his masses. Flourished with the cantus firmus mass and chanson mass. Cut up the cantus firmus into segments, which he then arranged according to some predetermined scheme.

Nicolas Gombert

(1500-1556) His music turned in on itself to discover the riches of contrapuntal intricacy. The center of gravity in his sacred production were his motets. Wrote in almost continued four voice texture, chords tended to change every note. His motet texts, drawn largely from Scripture, tended toward somber subjects.

Jacob Clement

(1510-1566) Represented the 'perfect art' for the mid-century. The motifs used for imitation, carefully shaped in Gombert before him, now acquired the capacity of underlining the meaning of the words they carried. Expression of text was clearly evident, but not obtrusive.

Girolamo Frescobaldi

(1583-1643) A famous virtuoso and composer of his time. His compositions best illustrate the various forms and styles for keyboard.

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