Claude Monet and followers, late 19th/early 20th century. Colorfully depict joys of life and beauty of nature. Paintings seem as formless collections of tiny colored patches when viewed closely, but recognizable form when viewed from a distance. Many painters preferred to work outdoors.
Sounds of a word more important than meaning. Literary response to Impressionism. Writings suggestive of images and ideas rather than literary descriptions. Stephane Mallarme.
Impressionism in music
Exotic scales (chromatic, whole tone, pentatonic). Unresolved dissonances, parallel chords, rich orchestral color. Non-pulse rhythms. Generally in small-scale programmatic forms.
Important piano composer. Distinct new style of writing and composed works that are an essential part of modern repertory. Orchestral works: "Pelleas et Melisande", "Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun", 3 nocturnes ("Clouds", "Festivals", "Sirens"), and "La Mer" ("The Sea").
French style of composition designed to create a descriptive impression by evoking moods through use of rich and varied timbre.
Debussy's "Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun"
Inspired by poem by Mallarme. Poem suggests dreams and erotic fantasies of a pagan forest creature. Woodwind solos, muted horns, harp glissandos, subdued dynamics, non-pulse rhythms.
"Bolero"-a Spanish dance. Experiment in dynamics and orchestration.
Simultaneous use of several rhythmic patterns.
Metrical flow shifts constantly, sometimes with each measure.
Highly dissonant chords of six or seven notes.
Presenting two keys simultaneously.
Absence of key.
twelve tone method
Aka "serialism". Compositional procedure based on use of all twelve chromatic tones (in a "tone row") without a central tone ("tonic"), according to prescribed rules. Abolished distinction between consonance and dissonance and did away with home key.
Aka, the "twelve tone method" and "dodecaphony".
Neoclassical composer, used lots of symphony. Most influential composer of the 20th century. Russian, evenutally settled in US and taught at USC in California. Studied with Rimsky-Korsakov.
Legendary impresario of Paris-based Russian Ballet, commissioned Stravinsky to write three ballets, securing Stravinsky's fame: "The Firebird", "Petrushka", "Rite of Spring".
Stravinsky's "The Firebird"
Based on Russian legend about a czar named Ivan, a fairy (The Firebird), and a green-tailed monster. Firebird grants Ivan a wish and gives him one of her plumes.
Takes place during St. Petersburg carnival. Main characters are three life-sized puppets brought to life by a magician. Captures atmosphere of street fair using Russian folk songs.
Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" (subtitled "Scenes of Pagan Russia")
Uses primitivism. Dancers jerkily stamped and jumped across stage, scantily clad, primitive scenery. At first performance (Paris), riot broke out in the audience. Ballet in two parts: 1. "Adoration of Earth", represents awakening of nature. 2. "The Sacrifice", contains dance of a young girl who dances herself to death. Often performed as a concert piece for orchestra, orchestra size monumental.
Harsh dissonances, percussive orchestration, pounding/repetitive/insistent rhythms.
German answer to Impressionism. Music stressed intense, subjective emotion. Painters, writers, and composers used deliberate distortions to shock and assault their audience. Rejected conventional prettiness. Works had a preoccupation with madness and death. Concerned with social protest, many opposed WWI and used art to depict horror of bloodshed.
He and students Alban Berg and Anton Webern constitue second Viennese School. Influenced by German Expressionism and was himself and Expressionist painter and playwright.
Particular arrangement of twelve chromatic tones on which serialism is based. Once established, this is the basis from which the composer builds the piece.
Schoenberg's "Pierrot Lunaire"
Song cycle. Atonal. Expressionist. Joins text and music through vocal technique. Sprechstimme.
"Speech voice". Vocal melody spoken rather than sung on exact pitches.
The study of folk music. Associated with nationalism.
Hungarian pianist. Toured remote villages, collected over 2000 folk songs and dances. Influences: ancient modes, unfamiliar scales, nonsymmetrical rhythms. Dissonant counterpoint, polytonality. Adherence to Classical forms. Rhythmic innovation, syncopation, changing meters, ostinatos, pounding rhythms.
Bartok's "Concerto For Orchestra"
Different sections featured. Commissioned by Boston Symphony. 5 movements (instead of regular concerto 3). 4th movement: "Interrupted Intermezzo". Allegretto, rondolike form. Polytonal and atonal harmonies. Sections of 4th movement: 1. Flute and oboe, folklike pentatonic. 2. String, broad and lyrical, shifting meter. 3. Descending clarinet line--Nazi theme.
Black notes only.
German. Continued music activity in Nazi Germany. "Schulwerk" program for kids. Vigorous rhythmic style, folklike nature, dissonant but tonal. Output: stage works, trilogy of cantatas, lieder, orchestral.
Orff's "Carmina Burana"
Secular cantata in 5 scenes. Chorus, soloists, large orchestra. Racy medieval lyrics. Moralizing and satirical themes. Based on turning wheels of fortune. Opening chorus cliche for actions scenes in movie trailers.
"O Fortuna" from "Carmina Burana"
3 large strophes, highly repetitive. Evokes Fortuna, goddess of luck. Slow fortissimo, dramatic choral opening. Tonal, evoking archaic music. Strong, primeval archaic drive. In Latin.
American musical traditions
Many nationalists based their works on traditional and popular music: Parlor and minstrel songs of Stephen Foster ("O Susannah", "Camptown Races"), devotional music, "white spirituals", shape note system.
shape note music
New easy system designed for people lacking music literacy. Melodies set in simple, 4-part harmonizations. "The Sacred Harp"--one of the most well-known books on the system.
John Philip Sousa
America's greatest bandmaster, known as "March King". Composed over 130 marches. Fostered American wind band tradition, which was an outgrowth of the British military band. Early bands thrived in US, especially during wartime. US Marine Band (now "The President's Own") formed in 1798. Sousa conducted from 1880-1892, then formed Sousa Band, which toured North America and Europe, performing his marches and ragtime.
"Stars and Stripes Forever"
Our national march.
Tuba with bell turned out.
Herbert L. Clarke
Sousa's first cornettist.
American composer and insurance businessman. Drew on music of New England (hymns, patriotic songs, brass band, dance music). Music not well-received, printed and distributed privately. Innovative use of familiar tunes, polytonality, polyharmony, polyrhythm, ideas derived from marching bands. Orchestral music, over 100 songs, chamber and piano music.
Ives's "Country Band March"
Large wind ensemble. Forceful march. Realism of amateur band: out-of-time, bad entrances, wrong notes. Nostalgic American tunes quoted. Quarter tones.
Brooklyn-born. Studied in Paris with Nadia Boulanger. Victim of McCarthyism in the 1950s. Simplified music, appeal to large public. Style: jazz idiom, Neoclassicist, 12-tone technique in the 60s. Film scores won Academy Awards.
Uses jazz rhythms, hymn tunes, cowboy and folk songs. Simple yet highly professional music. Slow-moving harmonies suggest openness of American landscape. 20th century techniques: polychords, polyrhythms, changing meters, percussive orchestration (like Stravinsky), and intervals of open 5ths and 4ths. Patriotic works: "A Lincoln Portrait" and "Fanfare for the Common Man".
Copland's first period
Work in 1925: "Music for the Theater": contained jazz, blues, and ragtimes.
Copland's second period
Late 20s, neoclassical, "Piano Variations". Dissonant composition, treats piano as a percussion instrument.
Copland's third period
1930s. Simplified music to reach a large audience.
Billy the Kid, Rodeo, Appalachian Spring
Copland's "Appalachian Spring"
Commissioned by Martha Graham's modern dance company. Originally scored for only 13 instruments, but later scored as a suite for full orchestra.
Drew from African traditions and those from the West. Began in New Orleans. Roots were West African (call and response) and 19th century African-American ceremonial and work songs.
1890s-1915. Precursor to jazz, developed from African-American piano style characterized by highly syncopated rhythms and sectional forms. African American pianists traveled to midwest playing in honky-tonks and piano bars. Were hired in place of a 6 or 7 piece Dixieland band. Genre in duple meter and played at moderate tempo. Pianist's right hand plays lively, syncopated melody while left plays bass notes and steady oom-pah. Eventually, merged with Dixieland and became less popular around WWI.
"King of Ragtime". One of the first black Americans to gain importance as a composer. First gained public notice when he and his small orchestra performed at the 1893 World's Fair. Wrote "Maple Leaf Rag" and "The Entertainer". In 1910, recorded piano rags and preserved on punched, paper rolls for Steinway player piano.