symphonic poem composed by Béla Bartók inspired by the Hungarian politician Lajos Kossuth.
The symphonic poem was composed as a tribute to Hungarian politician Lajos Kossuth, hero of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848 and musically chronicles his failed attempt to win Hungary's independence from Austria in 1848-49. Bartók has himself penned detailed commentaries on the score, etching out a programme and subjecting it to close thematic analysis. Although the work is written as a single movement, it is nonetheless complex in its orchestration, with ten interrelated movements or sections. The piece begins with Bartók sketching a portrait of his hero and ends with a funeral march, which was also arranged for piano by the composer. The symphonic poems of Liszt and Strauss heavily influence the work, as Bartók borrows ideas from them to develop harmonies, chromatic progressions and for instrumentation. He also added a number of his individual and original Hungarian features to it. Throughout the work, a mocking satire on the imperial Austrian national anthem, Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser, is used in the form of a recurring leitmotif.
one act pantomime ballet composed by Béla Bartók between 1918-1924, and based on the story by Melchior Lengyel..
After an orchestral introduction depicting the chaos of the big city, the action begins in a room belonging to three tramps. They search their pockets and drawers for money, but find none. They then force a girl to stand by the window and attract passing men into the room. The girl begins a lockspiel — a "decoy game", or saucy dance. She first attracts a shabby old rake, who makes comical romantic gestures. The girl asks, "Got any money?" He replies, "Who needs money? All that matters is love." He begins to pursue the girl, growing more and more insistent until the tramps seize him and throw him out.
The girl goes back to the window and performs a second lockspiel. This time she attracts a shy young man, who also has no money. He begins to dance with the girl. The dance grows more passionate, then the tramps jump him and throw him out too.
The girl goes to the window again and begins her dance. The tramps and girl see a bizarre figure in the street, soon heard coming up the stairs. The tramps hide, and the figure, a Mandarin (wealthy Chinese man), stands immobile in the doorway. The tramps urge the girl to lure him closer. She begins another saucy dance, the Mandarin's passions slowly rising. Suddenly, he leaps up and embraces the girl. They struggle and she escapes; he begins to chase her. The tramps leap on him, strip him of his valuables, and attempt to suffocate him under pillows and blankets. However, he continues to stare at the girl. They stab him three times with a rusty sword; he almost falls, but throws himself again at the girl. The tramps grab him again and hang him from a lamp hook. The lamp falls, plunging the room into darkness, and the Mandarin's body begins to glow with an eerie blue-green light. The tramps and girl are terrified. Suddenly, the girl knows what they must do. She tells the tramps to release the Mandarin; they do. He leaps at the girl again, and this time she does not resist and they embrace. With the Mandarin's longing fulfilled, his wounds begin to bleed and he dies.
The score begins with an orchestral depiction of the "concrete jungle." The violins have rapidly rising and falling, wave-like scales over the very unusual interval of an augmented octave. One of the central motifs of the work is set forward in bar 3—a 6/8 rhythm in minor seconds. This motif will reappear at the violent actions of the tramps. The sound of car horns is imitated by fanfares on the trumpets and trombones. As the curtain rises, the violas play a wide-leaping theme that will be associated both with the tramps and the girl. The 3 lockspiele are scored for the clarinet, each one longer and more florid than the last. The old rake is represented by trombone glissandi spanning a minor third, another very important interval. As the tramps throw him out, the minor second in 6/8 returns. The music for the shy young man is a slow dance in 5/4, also interrupted by the 6/8 minor second as the tramps throw him out. When the Mandarin is heard in the street, the trombone plays a simple pentatonic theme harmonized by 3 lines of parallel tritones in the other trombones and the tuba. When the Mandarin enters the room, the trombones and tuba play downward glissandos, again spanning a minor third. Three measures later, this interval is played fortississimo by the full brass.
The girl's dance for the Mandarin contains both a waltz and the viola theme associated with her and the tramps. When the Mandarin seizes the girl, the minor second is heard again. The chase is represented by a fugue, whose subject also has a pentatonic flavor. The concert suite ends at this point. In the complete ballet, the 6/8 minor second returns again as the tramps rob the Mandarin. The attempted suffocation and stabbing are illustrated with great force in the orchestra. As the tramps hang the Mandarin from the lamp, the texture is blurred with glissandi on trombones, timpani, piano and cellos. The glowing body of the Mandarin is represented by the entry of a chorus singing wordlessly, once again in the interval of a minor third. The climax, after the girl embraces the Mandarin, is a theme given out fortissimo by the low brass against minor-second tremolos in the woodwinds. As the Mandarin begins to bleed, the downward minor-third glissando heard at his entry is echoed in the trombone, contrabassoon and low strings. The work then stutters arhythmically to a close.
The scoring is generally heavy, and Bartók employs many colorful techniques here, including chromatic scales, trills and tremolos in the woodwinds; glissandi in the horns, trombones and tuba; cluster chords and tremolos on the piano; scales and arpeggios on the piano, harp and celeste; and scales, double stops, trills, tremolos, and glissandi in the strings. Other special effects include fluttertonguing in the flutes; muting the brasses and strings, a cymbal roll a deux (a cymbal crash followed by scraping the plates together); playing the bass drum with the wooden part of a timpani mallet; a roll on the gong; rolled timpani glissandi; string harmonics; col legno and sul ponticello playing in the strings; scordatura in the cellos; and, at one point, quarter-tones in the violins.
In 2000 a new edition edited by Peter Bartók, the composer's son, was published. Based on the composer's written manuscripts, corrections, and the concurrently written score for piano with four hands, it restored a considerable amount of previously lost music.
one-act opera by Hungarian composer Béla Bartók. The libretto was written by Béla Balázs, a poet and friend of the composer, and is written in Hungarian, based on the French literary tale "La Barbe bleue" by Charles Perrault. The opera lasts only a little over an hour and there are only two singing characters onstage: Bluebeard (Kékszakállú), and his new wife Judith (Judit ); the two have just eloped and Judith is coming home to Bluebeard's castle for the first time.
Balázs originally conceived the libretto for his roommate Zoltán Kodály in 1908, and wrote it during the following two years. It was first published serially in 1910 with a joint dedication to Kodály and Bartók, and in 1912 appeared with the prologue in the collection "Mysteries". Bartók was motivated to complete the opera in 1911 by the closing date of the Ferenc Erkel Prize competition, for which it was duly entered. A second competition, organised by the music publishers Rózsavölgyi and with a closing date in 1912, encouraged Bartók to make some modifications to the work in order to submit it to the Rózsavölgyi competition.
The Hungarian conductor István Kertész believed that we should not relate this to the fairy tale on which it was based, but that Bluebeard was Bartók himself, and that it portrays his personal suffering and his reluctance to reveal the inner secrets of his soul, which are progressively invaded by Judith. In this way he can be seen as Everyman, although the composer himself was an intensely private man. Here the blood that pervades the story is the symbol of his suffering. The Prologue (often omitted) points to the story that is portrayed as occurring in the imagination of the audience. While Kertész felt Judith is a villain in this sense, Christa Ludwig who has sung the role disagrees, stating that she only voices all that she has heard about Bluebeard. She refers repeatedly to the rumours (hír), Jaj, igaz hír; suttogó hír (Ah, truthful whispered rumours). Ludwig also believed that Judith was telling the truth every time she says to him, Szeretlek! (I love you!).
The Fibonacci Sequence is the series of numbers: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, ... The next number is found by adding up the two numbers before it. n music, arch form is a sectional structure for a piece of music based on repetition, in reverse order, of all or most musical sections such that the overall form is symmetric, most often around a central movement. The sections need not be repeated verbatim but must at least share thematic material.
It creates interest through interplay among "memory, variation, and progression". Though the form appears to be static and to deny progress, the pairs of movements create an "undirectional process" with the center, and the form "actually engenders specific expressive possibilities that would otherwise be unavailable for the work as a whole".
Béla Bartók is noted for his use of arch form, e.g., in his fourth and fifth string quartets, Concerto for Orchestra, Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, second piano concerto, and, to a lesser extent, in his second violin concerto. Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings and Shostakovich's String Quartet No. 8 in C minor also use arch form.
The most popular arch-form structure is ABCBA.
As with many musical styles, it is not possible to make a satisfying let alone indisputable definition of Night music. Bartók did not say or explain much about this style, but he approved of the term and used it himself. Most of the works in Night music style do not carry a title. From an audience point of view "'Night Music' consists of those works or passages which convey to the listener the sounds of nature at night". This is quite subjective and self-referential. Mostly, subjective and far-fetched descriptions are available: "quiet, blurred cluster-chords and imitations of the twittering of birds and croaking of nocturnal creatures", "In an atmosphere of hushed expectancy, a tapestry is woven of the tiny sounds of nocturnal animals and insects." More concrete is "Eerie dissonances providing a backdrop to sounds of nature and lonely melodies".
Instead of an attempt at defining, a list of characteristics of 'Night music' is more useful.
Sound portrayal as opposed to traditional melody and harmony. An example of Bartók's focus on sound quality are the minute directions on how the percussion instruments in the Sonata for two pianos and percussion have to be played. This sound portrayal includes:
The Hungarian Unka frog Bombina bombina, whose call is imitated in The Night's Music. After making a first noisy appearance in bar 6, he features throughout the piece disrespecting metre and tonality, ribbiting a last time in bar 70 before finally hopping off.
A cicada, Tibicen linnei, of which the sound features in night music
The direct imitations of natural sounds, mostly of nocturnal animals. Also the term nature music is sometimes used. Milan Kundera, in commenting on Bartók's expansion of art music with natural sounds, writes "sounds of nature inspire Bartók to melodic motives of a rare strangeness".
Evocations of the mood of night and spaciousness.
Melodies are portrayed in the music, rather than being a direct means of (self-)expression. For instance, a pastoral flute and its melody are portrayed in The Night's Music from Out of Doors. The effect on the listener is not primarily the esthetic effect of the melody. The melody's effect is rather indirect: the evocation of being out of doors at night in the plain and hearing the shepherd play his melody. In the words of Milan Kundera, not only the natural sounds at night, but also the lonely songs and melodies, far from being a Lied or other self-expression of the composer, find their origin in the external world. In the words of Schneider "Bartók seems to be suggesting musically the old Romantic organicist idea that peasant [and shepherds'] music is a natural phenomenon, a view he expressed in writing on several occasions". He also points out that "the G♯'s [in bar 37 which start as the mere sound of repeated notes and turn into the shepherd's melody] gradually emerge from the myriad of other natural sounds".
On a more technical musical level, a piece or movement of night music style may show any of the following characteristics.
An ostinato sound on every beat in the slow prevailing tempo, often this sound is dissonant, and/or a cluster chord. Because of the slow and repetitive nature, these sounds come to fulfil an accompanying or background role.
Curt motives at irregular time intervals within the meter. These motives may be the imitations of the natural sounds or more abstract, often primitive, motives. An example is A,A,A,C,A,A in the second movement of the Sonata for two pianos and percussion. This motive is scored as a quintuplet of sixteenths in 4/4 time on the third beat, plus a sixteenth note on the fourth beat: the last A. As the implied or latent rhythm is 3+2+1, it sounds as an accelerando which evaporates suddenly.
Wide pitch ranges in glissandi, jumps and doublings over many octaves. This contrasts heavily with cluster chords of adjacent notes and trills and may well add to the evocation of spaciousness or loneliness.
Overlap and insertions of widely different materials, e.g. a bird call in a melodic line. Different materials sound irrespective of one another leading to novel sound effects, and, more subjectively, multiple layers and perhaps the feeling of spaciousness.
The Miraculous Mandarin Op. 19. 1918-1924: The section where, in the dark, the mandarin's body glows with an eerie blue-green light.
Eight Improvisations on Hungarian Peasant Songs op.20, No.3. 1920
music for str, perc, cel
formalism is the concept that a composition's meaning is entirely determined by its form.
formalists would contend that the meaning of music lies in the perception and understanding of the musical relationships set forth in the work of art and that meaning in music is primarily intellectual, while the expressionist would argue that these same relationships are in some sense capable of exciting feelings and emotions in the listener" (Meyer 1956, p. 3). (The term "expressionism" is also used to define a musical genre typified by the early works of Schoenberg. The two terms are not necessarily related.) Meyer applied the term formalist (p. 3) to Eduard Hanslick who, in his later years, championed the music of Brahms over that of Liszt and Wagner because of the clear formal principles (drawn from Beethoven's music) that he found in Brahms's music as opposed to the attempts at emotional expression and pictorial depiction (drawn from Berlioz's music) that he found in the music of Liszt and Wagner. Meyer also applied the term to Igor Stravinsky, though Stravinsky avoided applying the term to himself in the same sense. His Poétique musicale of 1942 (translated in 1947 as Poetics of Music) explores "The phenomenon of music" (title of chapter 2) from a formalist perspective. The book is the transcript of a series of lectures Stravinsky gave at Harvard University as part of the Charles Eliot Norton Lectures in 1939-40.
Two famous allegations of formalism[clarification needed] were leveled at Dmitri Shostakovich. Shostakovich was denounced in the Russian newspaper Pravda in January 1936 in connection with a Moscow performance of his opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District. The composer withdrew his Fourth Symphony before its planned first performance, and his subsequent Fifth Symphony was perceived, by at least one journalist if not by the composer himself, as "a Soviet artist's reply to just criticism". Another allegation came as part of the Zhdanov decree in February 1948, which cited Shostakovich, together with other prominent Soviet composers: Prokofiev, Khachaturian, Shebalin, Popov, Myaskovsky "and others", as being formalists.
The proscription of formalism was not restricted to the Soviet Union. For instance, in Poland immediately after World War II the Stalinist regime insisted that composers adopt Socialist realism, and those who would not do so, including Witold Lutosławski and Andrzej Panufnik, had performances of their compositions banned in Poland for being "formalist". Other Eastern Bloc countries experienced similar restrictions (Zoltán Kodály complained to Panufnik of similar problems facing composers in Hungary).
Socialist realism is a style of realistic art that was developed in the Soviet Union and became a dominant style in various other socialist countries. Socialist realism is characterized by the glorified depiction of communist values, such as the emancipation of the proletariat, in a realistic manner. Although related, it should not be confused with social realism, a broader type of art that realistically depicts subjects of social concern.
Socialist realism is a style of realistic art that was developed in the Soviet Union and became a dominant style in various other socialist countries. Socialist realism is characterized by the glorified depiction of communist values, such as the emancipation of the proletariat, in a realistic manner. Although related, it should not be confused with social realism, a broader type of art that realistically depicts subjects of social concern.
The purpose of socialist realism was to limit popular culture to a specific, highly regulated faction of creative expression that promoted Soviet ideals. The party was of the utmost importance and was always to be favorably featured. The key concepts that developed assured loyalty to the party, "partiinost'" (party-mindedness), "ideinost" (idea- or ideological-content), "klassovost" (class content), "pravdivost" (truthfulness).
There was a prevailing sense of optimism, socialist realism's function was to show the ideal Soviet society. Not only was the present gloried, but the future was also supposed to be depicted in an agreeable fashion. Because the present and the future were constantly idolized, socialist realism had a sense of forced optimism. Tragedy and negativity were not permitted, unless they were shown in a different time or place. This sentiment created what would later be dubbed "revolutionary romanticism."
Revolutionary romanticism elevated the common worker, whether factory or agricultural, by presenting his life, work, and recreation as admirable. Its purpose was to show how much the standard of living had improved thanks to the revolution. Art was used as educational information. By illustrating the party's success, artists were showing their viewers that sovietism was the best political system. Art was also used to show how Soviet citizens should be acting. The ultimate aim was to create what Lenin called "an entirely new type of human being": The New Soviet Man. Art (especially posters and murals) was a way to instill party values on a massive scale. Stalin described the socialist realist artists as "engineers of souls."
Common images used in socialist realism were flowers, sunlight, the body, youth, flight, industry, and new technology. These poetic images were used to show the utopianism of communism and the Soviet state. Art became more than an aesthetic pleasure; instead it served a very specific function. Soviet ideals placed functionality and work above all else; therefore, for art to be admired, it must serve a purpose. Georgi Plekhanov, a Marxist theoretician, states that art is only useful if it serves society: "There can be no doubt that art acquired a social significance only in so far as it depicts, evokes, or conveys actions, emotions and events that are of significance to society."
The artist could not, however, portray life just as they saw it because anything that reflected poorly on Communism had to be omitted. People who could not be shown as either wholly good or wholly evil could not be used as characters. This was reflective of the Soviet idea that morality is simple: things are either right or wrong. This view on morality called for idealism over realism. Art was filled with health and happiness: paintings showed busy industrial and agricultural scenes; sculptures depicted workers, sentries, and schoolchildren.
Creativity was not an important part of socialist realism: it was actually rejected. The styles used in creating art during this period were those that would produce the most realistic results. Painters would depict happy, muscular peasants and workers in factories and collective farms. During the Stalin period, they produced numerous heroic portraits of the dictator to serve his cult of personality—all in the most realistic fashion possible. The most important thing for a socialist realist artist was not artistic integrity but adherence to party doctrine.
DSCH is a musical motif used by the composer Dmitri Shostakovich to represent himself. It is a musical cryptogram in the manner of the BACH motif, consisting of the notes D, E flat, C, B natural, or in German musical notation D, Es, C, H (pronounced as "De-Es-Ce-Ha"), thus standing for the composer's initials in German transliteration: D. Sch. (Dmitri Schostakowitsch), also pronounced as "De-Es-Ce-Ha."
Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 77
Symphony No. 10 in E minor, Op. 93
Cello Concerto No. 1 in E flat major, Op. 107
String Quartet No. 8 in C minor, Op. 110 (appears in every single movement)
Symphony No. 15 in A major, Op. 141.
Piano Sonata No. 2 in B minor, Op. 61 (questionable)[clarification needed]
Symphony No. 8 in C minor, Op. 65 (only one time, approx. five minutes before the end of the symphony)
Fugue No. 15 in D-flat major, Op. 87 (only once, in the stretto)
String Quartet No. 5 in B-flat major, Op. 92
String Quartet No. 6 in G major, Op. 101 (Played all at once by the four instruments at the end of each movement)
Before Shostakovich used the motif, it was used by Mozart in measures 16 and 18 of his String Quartet no. 19 in C major, K. 465 in the first violin part.
Many homages to Shostakovich (such as Schnittke's Prelude in memory of Dmitri Shostakovich or Tsintsadze's 9th String Quartet) make extensive use of the motif. The British composer Ronald Stevenson composed a large Passacaglia on it. Also Edison Denisov dedicated some works (1969 DSCH for clarinet, trombone, cello and piano, and his 1970 saxophone sonata) to Shostakovich, by quoting the motif several times and using it as the first 4 notes of a twelve-tone series. Denisov was Shostakovich's protégé for a long time.
Benjamin Britten's Rejoice in the Lamb (1943) contains the DSCH motif repeated several times in the accompaniment, progressively getting louder each time, finally at fortissimo over the chords accompanying "And the watchman strikes me with his staff". The vocal text given to the motive is "silly fellow, silly fellow, is against me". A further reference appears in Britten's The Rape of Lucretia (1946), where the DSCH motif acts as the main structural component of Lucretia's aria "Give him this orchid."
Initially dedicated to the life and deeds of Vladimir Lenin, Shostakovich decided instead to dedicate the symphony to the city of Leningrad on its completion in December 1941. The work remains one of Shostakovich's best-known compositions.
The piece soon became very popular in both the Soviet Union and the West as a symbol of resistance to Nazi totalitarianism and militarism. It is still regarded as the major musical testament of the estimated 25 million Soviet citizens who lost their lives in World War II. The symphony is played frequently at the Leningrad Cemetery, where half a million victims of the 900-day Siege of Leningrad are buried. As a condemnation of the German invasion of the Soviet Union, the work is particularly representative of the political responsibilities that Shostakovich felt he had for the state, regardless of the conflicts and criticisms he faced throughout his career with Soviet censors and Joseph Stalin.
The symphony is Shostakovich's longest, and one of the longest in the repertoire, with performances taking approximately one hour and fifteen minutes. The scale and scope of the work is consistent with Shostakovich's other symphonies as well as with those of composers considered to be his strongest influences, including Bruckner, Mahler, and Stravinsky.
The symphony is written in the conventional four movements.
Regardless of when Shostakovich initially conceived the symphony, the Nazi attack and consequent relaxing of Soviet censorship gave Shostakovich the hope of writing the work for a mass audience. A model on how to do this was Igor Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms. Stravinsky's compositions held considerable influence over Shostakovich and he had been deeply impressed with this particular work. Moreover, Stravinsky had initially set the Russian text of the Psalms, only later switching to Latin. As soon as Shostakovich received the score, he transcribed it for piano four-hands. He often performed this arrangement with students in his composition class at Leningrad Conservatory.
Shostakovich's plan was for a single-movement symphony, including a chorus and a requiem-like passage for a vocal soloist, with a text taken from the Psalms of David. With the help of his best friend, critic Ivan Sollertinsky, who was knowledgeable about the Bible, he selected excerpts from the Ninth Psalm. The idea of individual suffering became interwoven in Shostakovich's mind with the Lord God's vengeance for the taking of innocent blood (Verse 12, New King James Version). The theme not only conveyed his outrage over Stalin's oppression, but also may have inspired him to write the Seventh Symphony in the first place. "I began writing it having been deeply moved by the Psalms of David; the symphony deals with more than that, but the Psalms were the impetus," the composer said. "David has some marvelous words on blood, that God takes revenge for blood, He doesn't forget the cries of victims, and so on. When I think of the Psalms, I become agitated."
A public performance of a work with such a text would have been impossible before the German invasion. Now it was feasible, at least in theory, with the reference to "blood" applied at least officially to Hitler. With Stalin appealing to the Soviets' patriotic and religious sentiments, the authorities were no longer suppressing Orthodox themes or images. Yet for all the importance he placed on them, Shostakovich may have been right in writing the symphony without a text, in view of the censorship that would eventually be reimposed.
Something else Shostakovich played for his composition students were the 12 variations of what later became known as the "invasion" theme. This has been taken historically, especially in the West, as portraying the invading Wehrmacht, and was listed as such in the official program. For many years this was considered irrefutable. New information now casts some doubt. For instance, musicologist Ludmila Mikheyeva (who is also Ivan Sollertinsky's daughter in law) maintains that Shostakovich played the theme and its variations for his students before the war with Germany began.
At the first hearings of the Seventh, most listeners wept. This was true even when Shostakovich played the piece on the piano for friends. The requiem pages of the first movement made a special impression, much as the Largo of his Fifth Symphony had done. Some scholars[who?] believe that, as he had done in the Fifth, Shostakovich gave his audience a chance to express thoughts and suffering that, in the context of the Great Purges, had remained hidden and accumulated over many years. Because these previously hidden emotions were expressed with such power and passion, the Seventh became a major public event. Alexei Tolstoy, who played a pivotal role in the life of the Fifth Symphony, was the first to note the significance of the spontaneous reaction to the Seventh. After hearing an orchestral rehearsal of it, Tolstoy wrote a highly positive review of the work for Pravda.
an opera in four acts by Dmitri Shostakovich, his Op.29. The libretto was written by Alexander Preys and the composer, and is based on the novel Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District by Nikolai Leskov. The opera is often referred to as Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, or informally as Lady Macbeth when there is no confusion with Verdi's Macbeth. It was first performed on 22 January 1934 at the Leningrad Maly Operny, and on the 24 January 1934 in Moscow. Shostakovich dedicated the opera to his first wife, the physicist Nina Varzar.
The work incorporates elements of expressionism and verismo. It tells the story of a lonely woman in 19th century Russia, who falls in love with one of her husband's workers and is driven to murder.
Despite great early success, on both popular and official levels, Lady Macbeth was the vehicle for a general denunciation of Shostakovich's music by the Communist Party in early 1936. After being condemned by an anonymous article (sometimes attributed to Joseph Stalin) in Pravda, the Communist Party newspaper, it was banned in the Soviet Union for almost thirty years. Many people thus know the opera primarily for its role in the history of censorship.
One criticism of the work focused on its sexual content, particularly the way in which the action is depicted in the music. A 1935 review in the New York Sun called it "pornophony", referring to the lurid descriptive music in the sex scenes. Stravinsky described the opera as "lamentably provincial", considering the musical portrayal primitively realistic.
The thrust of the Pravda criticism was in terms of morality; it condemned the opera's sympathetic portrayal of the murderess. This criticism was revived in a different way by Richard Taruskin in a 1989 article, where he interprets the work in the context of Stalin's campaign against the kulaks in 1930, considering its portrayal of the killings of Katerina's kulak in-laws as "a justification of genocide". Daniil Zhitomirsky accuses the work of "primitive satire" in its treatment of the priest and police, but acknowledges the "incredible force" of the last scene.
At the time, the composer justified the sympathetic portrayal of Katerina in Soviet terms, saying she was a victim of the circumstances of oppressive, pre-revolutionary Russia.
Union of composers of Russian Federation — Russian public organization uniting professional composers and musicologists from 48 regions of Russia.
The Union of composers of Russian Federation is an assignee, founded in 1960, the Union of composers of Russian SFSR. At the First Constituent Congress, which has taken place in Moscow, in April, 1960, unanimously, Dmitry Shostakovich has been elected as the First Secretary of Board.
Since then, the Union of composers was headed by:
• Dmitry Shostakovich (1960 — 1968)
• Georgy Sviridov (1968 — 1973)
• Rodion Shchedrin (1973 — 1990)
• Vladislav Kazenin (1990 — 2014)
• Rashid Kalimullin (since December, 2015)
Priority activities of the organization are:
- development and strengthening of the composer organizations in regions;
- stimulation and creation of ample opportunities for composer creativity;
- advance of musical culture and compositions of the Russian composers in Russia and abroad;
- development and support of youth composer creativity;
- protection of copyright of composers;
- edition of notes and record of discs, and also distribution of pieces of music;
- creation of positive image of the organization for expansion of opportunities and strengthening of the authority on musical space of the Russian Federation.
Festivals of the Union of composers of Russia: " Panorama of music of Russia", "Composers of Russia — to children", "Music of friends", "A solar circle".
Members of the Union of composers of Russia are 1011 composers and musicologists, many of which are conferred the state awards and ranks.
A Youth office of composers (MolOt) exists at the organization, since 2009. It has 26 representations in Russia and abroad.
The first Constituent Congress has taken place in Moscow, in April, 1960. Unanimously, Dmitry Shostakovich has been elected as the first secretary of Board.
Having headed the Union of composers, Dmitry Shostakovich, has concentrated the attention on strengthening of contacts with the local composer organizations. He has accurately established the general kind of work: discipline, professionalism and the perfected skill. Thanks to Dmitry Shostakovich's efforts, the role of the new Union increased every day and, soon, it becomes the organizing center of modern musical art. Public work didn't prevent creativity of the great composer, at this time he has created grandiose symphonic works, operas and ballets, oratorios and cantatas, chamber works, songs, music for theater and cinema - all this values of the highest standart. Possessing an insight of the ingenious artist, Dmitry Shostakovich has managed to create honest, ruthlessly truthful chronicle of the era. He has skillfully created the cordial human relations in "team", trying and being good to people, however, the state of health only worsening, have forced him, in 1968, to leave the post at the Second Congress. In memory of him, the Union of composers of Russia has founded in 1981, an award of Dmitry Shostakovich.
At the Second Congress, in 1968, Georgy Sviridov has been elected by the Chairman of the board.
Stanislav Stempnevsky has been appointed as the executive Secretary.
The third Congress of the Union of composers of Russia has taken place in 1973, in the Pillar Hall of the House of the Unions. At congress the new management of the Union of composers of Russia has been chosen. Rodion Shchedrin who Russian SFSR within the next 17 years became the Chairman of the board of the Union of composers. Andrey Eshpay was elected as the first Secretary. Vladislav Kazenin became the executive Secretary, and then the Vice-Chairman of the Union of composers. Jan Frenkel became the second Vice-Chairman.
The Secretariat had included composers of various regions of the country: F. Vasilyev (Chuvash Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic), R. Gazizov (Bashkir Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic), V. Krasnoskulov (Rostov-on-Don), V. Kupriyanov (Mari Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic), A. Novikov (Novosibirsk), A. Puzey (Sverdlovsk), M. Simanovsky (Saratov), M. Tariverdiev, V. Agafonnikov, musicologist Y. Korev (Moscow), B. Tishchenko, V. Uspensky (Leningrad), M. Yarullin (Tatar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic).
Rodion Shchedrin and the Secretariat of the Union of composers of Russia, conducted huge work on preservation of the organizational and creative traditions of Dmitry Shostakovich shown in promotion of works of modern composers at musical forums of Russia.
A large number of the largest festivals in Omsk, the Tyumen region, Vilnius, Suzdal, Vladimir, Gorkiy, the cities of the North Caucasus has been carried out at that time. The festivals which have arisen during this period became traditional: " Panorama of music of Siberia" (Novosibirsk), "The Don spring", "A festival in Kuban", music holidays in Saratov, Ufa, Sverdlovsk, Gorkiy. There were new festivals, music holidays in Astrakhan, Krasnoyarsk, "Europe — Asia" — in Kazan, "The Tuva musical summer" — in Kyzyl and other cities of Tuva.
Traditions of their own have festivals of two last decades - " Panorama of music of Russia", "Composers of Russia — to children", "Music of friends" — a festival at which works of foreign composers are executed. "Panorama of music of Russia" is one of the largest and most authoritative festivals of modern music in our country. This festival has arisen in 1973, at the initiative of Rodion Shchedrin, and since 1995, is annually held in various regions of the country. Festival programs represent a set of composer names of modern Russia, give the chance to make a complete idea of wealth and national variety of musical creativity of modern Russia.
The form and geography of festivals of the Union of composers is extraordinary wide. Festivals are held not just in one city, but in several at once. In 2008, for example, children's festivals have taken place in Smolensk, Tver, Kirov and Saratov, and the "Panorama of Music of Russia" festival — in Chelyabinsk, Ufa, Lipetsk and Voronezh. Subject of these festivals and musical meetings, musicological conferences was diverse and considerable: "Composer-performer-listener", "The Soviet composers — to toilers of the village", "A folklore role in modern creativity", "An image of the contemporary in works of composers of Russia" and many others.
From 1990 to 2014 the post of the President of the Union of composers of Russia was held by Vladislav Kazenin.
Nearly a quarter of the century, heading the Union in difficult years of collapse of the USSR and reorganization, Vladislav Kazenin has managed to keep stability of the organization and to provide its sustainable development.
Vladislav Kazenin is the famous Russian composer, the author of operettas, musicals, ballets, compositions for chorus, a symphonic orchestra, a piano, tool concerts, songs and romances, music for movies, animated films and theatrical performances.
Thanks to big organizational work of the Secretariat of the Union of composers and the personal authority of Vladimir Kazenin, new creative offices have been created which became centres of music in the cities and the republics of Russia have been created. Thanks to them, strong links with the musical public, the concert organizations, educational institutions were formed. Artist collectives of composers have appeared in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), the Republic of Tyva, Mordovia, Krasnoyarsk, Chelyabinsk, Perm, the Republic of Adygea, Smolensk, Kaliningrad, Kirov, Komi Republic, Kostroma, Yaroslavl, Vologda, Bryansk, Penza, Belgorod, Chita (The transbaikal organization), Kaluga, Abakan (Republic of Khakassia), Moscow region. The beginning of activity of all new composer organizations was always followed by holding festivals, concerts and creative meetings.
At the Eleventh Congress, in December, 2015, Rashid Kalimullin has been elected by the President of the Union of composers of Russia.
Rashid Kalimullin - one of the leading Russian composers, the large musical public figure, the talented manager and the organizer. Since 1989 he headed the Union of composers of the Republic of Tatarstan, from 1995 to 2010 - the secretary and since 2010 - the Vice-Chairman of the Union of composers of Russia. Rashid Kalimullin is the author and the head of many large Russian and International projects, among them the international festival "Days of the Japanese and Tatar Music", the international festival of new music "Europe-Asia", the international project of symphony concerts "Pearls of the Russian and Tatar music", Russian musical festival "Names of Russia". He is also a founder of the" Center of modern music of Sofia Gubaidulina". The author of a large number of compositions in different genres: an opera, a symphony, a tool concert, music for an orchestra, chamber and vocal music.
Since 1986, the Union of composers of Russia, regularly holds the "Composers of Russia — to Children" festival. Every time a festival goes over with great success, in various cities of Russia and has a big resonance among youth. Within a festival a various number of creative meetings, concerts of children's music of the Russian composers take place. An addressee of these actions are students of general education institutions and musical schools.
The experience of the international work of the Union of composers is represented by the international festival "Music of Friends"
In 2015 the International festival competition of patriotic songs "Red Carnation", originating since 1967 has been revived.
Festivals of the Union of composers are held for promotion of works of professional modern composers of Russia, promoting development of creative cooperation and uniting with composer creativity of talented youth. One of main goals of actions of the Union of composers of Russia is the wide exposition of the best works of musical art and the presentation of genre variety of music.
Systematic work is carried out towards the organization of composer competitions: "The International competition in composition of Sergey Prokofiev", in St. Petersburg, Chairman of which is Rodion Shchedrin," The competition of Andrey Petrov "CRYSTAL KAMERTON", the Chairman A. Petrov, then - V. Kazenin,
"The international competition of young composers of P. Yurgenson", the Chairman V. Tarnopolsky, the Governor's international junior competition of
V. Gavrilin in Vologda, a children's competition in composition in Nizhny Novgorod and many others.
The Union of composers of Russia pays huge attention to education of creative youth. Since 2009, at the organization there is a Youth office of composers (MolOt) which is headed by Yaroslav Sudzilovsky. There regularly take place concerts of young composers, audition of new compositions, discussions about problems of composer creativity. Now, in various regions of our country, 26 representative offices of the MolOt tunction: in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Ufa, Petrozavodsk, Kaliningrad, Saratov, Yakutia, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Belarus, France, Armenia, other cities and countries. Annually, since 2012,
"The international MolOt-Transfest" festival - a large-scale marathon of modern music where music of young authors from the different republics of the former USSR presented is held.
Union of composers of Russia is a creative association of composers and musicologists of different generations. Association which, despite the changed contours and the principles of the organization of the Russian musical life, is engaged in the major mission - moral and ethical education of the modern person.
The Khrushchev Thaw (or Khrushchev's Thaw; Russian: Хрущёвская о́ттепель, tr. Khrushchovskaya Ottepel; IPA: [xrʊˈɕːɵfskəjə ˈotʲɪpʲɪlʲ] or simply Ottepel) refers to the period from the early 1950s to the early 1960s when repression and censorship in the Soviet Union were relaxed, and millions of Soviet political prisoners were released from Gulag labor camps due to Nikita Khrushchev's policies of de-Stalinization and peaceful coexistence with other nations.
The Thaw became possible after the death of Joseph Stalin in March 1953. Khrushchev denounced Stalin in "The Secret Speech" at the 20th Congress of the Communist Party, then ousted the pro-Stalinists during his power struggle in the Kremlin. The term was coined after Ilya Ehrenburg's 1954 novel The Thaw ("Оттепель"), sensational for its time. The Khrushchev Thaw was highlighted by Khrushchev's 1954 visit to Beijing, People's Republic of China, his 1955 visit to Belgrade, Yugoslavia (with whom relations had soured since the Tito-Stalin Split in 1948), and his subsequent meeting with Dwight Eisenhower later that year, culminating in Khrushchev's 1959 visit to the United States.
The Thaw initiated irreversible transformation of the entire Soviet society by opening up for some economic reforms and international trade, educational and cultural contacts, festivals, books by foreign authors, foreign movies, art shows, popular music, dances and new fashions, and massive involvement in international sport competitions. Although the power struggle between liberals and pro-Stalinists never stopped, it eventually weakened the Soviet Communist Party.
Khrushchev's Thaw allowed some freedom of information in the media, arts, and culture; international festivals; foreign films; uncensored books; and new forms of entertainment on the emerging national TV, ranging from massive parades and celebrations to popular music and variety shows, satire and comedies, and all-star shows like Goluboy Ogonyok. Such political and cultural updates all together helped liberate the minds of millions and changed public consciousness of several generations of people in the Soviet Union.
Soviet and Russian composer. Schnittke's early music shows the strong influence of Dmitri Shostakovich. He developed a polystylistic technique in works such as the epic Symphony No. 1 (1969-1972) and his first concerto grosso (1977)
In 1948, the family moved to Moscow. Schnittke completed his graduate work in composition at the Moscow Conservatory in 1961 and taught there from 1962 to 1972. Evgeny Golubev was one of his composition teachers. Thereafter, he earned his living chiefly by composing film scores, producing nearly 70 scores in 30 years. Schnittke converted to Christianity and possessed deeply held mystic beliefs, which influenced his music.
Schnittke and his music were often viewed suspiciously by the Soviet bureaucracy. His First Symphony was effectively banned by the Composers' Union. After he abstained from a Composers' Union vote in 1980, he was banned from travelling outside of the USSR. In 1985, Schnittke suffered a stroke that left him in a coma. He was declared clinically dead on several occasions, but recovered and continued to compose.
In 1990, Schnittke left Russia and settled in Hamburg. His health remained poor, however. He suffered several more strokes before his death on August 3, 1998, in Hamburg, at the age of 63. He was buried, with state honors, at the Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow, where many other prominent Russian composers, including Dmitri Shostakovich, are interred.
strong influence of Dmitri Shostakovich, but after the visit of the Italian composer Luigi Nono to the USSR, he took up the serial technique in works such as Music for Piano and Chamber Orchestra (1964). However, Schnittke soon became dissatisfied with what he termed the "puberty rites of serial self-denial." He created a new style which has been called "polystylism", where he juxtaposed and combined music of various styles past and present. He once wrote, "The goal of my life is to unify serious music and light music, even if I break my neck in doing so." His first concert work to use the polystylistic technique was the Second Violin Sonata, Quasi una sonata (1967-1968). He experimented with techniques in his film work, as shown by much of the sonata appearing first in his score for the animation short "The Glass Harmonica". He continued to develop the polystylistic technique in works such as the epic First Symphony (1969-1972) and First Concerto Grosso (1977). Other works were more stylistically unified, such as his Piano Quintet (1972-1976), written in memory of his recently deceased mother.
In the 1980s, Schnittke's music began to become more widely known abroad, thanks in part to the work of émigré Soviet artists such as the violinists Gidon Kremer and Mark Lubotsky. Despite constant illness, he produced a large amount of music, including important works such as the Second (1980) and Third (1983) String Quartets and the String Trio (1985); the Faust Cantata (1983), which he later incorporated in his opera Historia von D. Johann Fausten; the ballet Peer Gynt (1985-1987); the Third (1981), Fourth (1984) and Fifth (1988) Symphonies (the last of which is also known as the Fourth Concerto Grosso) and the Viola (1985) and First Cello (1985-1986) concertos.
As his health deteriorated, Schnittke started to abandon much of the extroversion of his polystylism and retreated into a more withdrawn, bleak style, quite accessible to the lay listener. The Fourth Quartet (1989) and Sixth (1992), Seventh (1993) and Eighth (1994) symphonies are good examples of this. Some Schnittke scholars, such as Gerard McBurney, have argued that it is the late works that will ultimately be the most influential parts of Schnittke's output. After a stroke in 1994 left him almost completely paralysed, Schnittke largely ceased to compose. He did complete some short works in 1997 and also a Ninth Symphony; its score was almost unreadable because he had written it with great difficulty with his left hand.
The Ninth Symphony was first performed on 19 June 1998 in Moscow in a version deciphered - but also 'arranged' - by Gennady Rozhdestvensky, who conducted the premiere. After hearing a tape of the performance, Schnittke indicated he wanted it withdrawn. After he died, though, others worked to decipher the score. Nikolai Korndorf died before he could complete the task, which was continued and completed by Alexander Raskatov. In Raskatov's version, the three orchestral movements of Schnittke's symphony may be followed by a choral fourth, which is Raskatov's own Nunc Dimittis (in memoriam Alfred Schnittke). This version was premiered in Dresden, Germany, on June 16, 2007. Andrei Boreyko also has a version of the symphony.
was a Russian composer in the so-called "Underground"—"Anti-Collectivist", "alternative" or "nonconformist" division of Soviet music.
He studied mathematics before deciding to spend his life composing. This decision was enthusiastically supported by Dmitri Shostakovich, who gave him lessons in composition.
In 1951-56 Denisov studied at the Moscow Conservatory—composition with Vissarion Shebalin, orchestration with Nikolai Rakov, analysis with Viktor Zuckerman and piano with Vladimir Belov. In 1956-59 he composed the opera Ivan-Soldat (Soldier Ivan) in three acts based on Russian folk fairy tales.
He began his own study of scores that were difficult to obtain in the USSR at that time, including music ranging from Mahler and Debussy to Boulez and Stockhausen. He wrote a series of articles giving a detailed analysis of different aspects of contemporary compositional techniques and at same time actively experimented as a composer, trying to find his own way.
After graduating from the Moscow Conservatory, he taught orchestration and later composition there. Among his pupils were composers Dmitri Smirnov, Elena Firsova, Vladimir Tarnopolsky, Sergei Pavlenko, Ivan Sokolov, Yuri Kasparov, Dmitri Kapyrin and Alexander Shchetinsky. See: List of music students by teacher: C to F#Edison Denisov.
In 1979 he was blacklisted as one of the "Khrennikov's Seven" at the Sixth Congress of the Union of Soviet Composers for unapproved participation in some festivals of Soviet music in the West.
Denisov became a leader of the Association for Contemporary Music reestablished in Moscow in 1990. Later Denisov moved to France, where after an accident and long illness he died in a Paris hospital in 1996.
The cycle for soprano and chamber ensemble Le soleil des Incas (1964), setting the poems by Gabriela Mistral and dedicated to Pierre Boulez, gave him an international recognition. This happened after the series of successful performances of the work in Darmstadt and Paris (1965). Igor Stravinsky liked the piece, discovering the "remarkable talent" of its composer. However, the piece was harshly criticised by the Union of Soviet Composers for its "western influences", "erudition instead of creativity", and "total composer's arbitrary" (Tikhon Khrennikov). After that, performances of his works were often banned in the Soviet Union.
Later he wrote a flute concerto for Aurèle Nicolet, a violin concerto for Gidon Kremer, works for the oboist Heinz Holliger, clarinettist Eduard Brunner and a sonata for alto saxophone and piano for Jean-Marie Londeix, that became highly popular among saxophone players.
His sombre but striking Requiem, setting a multi-lingual text (English, French, German and Latin) based on works by Francisco Tanzer, was given its first performance in Hamburg in 1980.
Among his major works are the operas L'écume des jours after Boris Vian (1981), Quatre Filles after Pablo Picasso (1986) and ballet Confession after Alfred de Musset.
English composer. His works include operas, ballets, chamber music, secular and religious vocal pieces and orchestral compositions including nine symphonies, written over nearly fifty years. Strongly influenced by Tudor music and English folk-song, his output marked a decisive break in British music from its German-dominated style of the 19th century.
During his time at Cambridge Vaughan Williams continued his weekly lessons with Parry, and studied composition with Charles Wood and organ with Alan Gray. He graduated as Bachelor of Music in 1894 and Bachelor of Arts the following year. After leaving the university he returned to complete his training at the RCM. Parry had by then succeeded Sir George Grove as director of the college, and Vaughan Williams's new professor of composition was Charles Villiers Stanford. Relations between teacher and student were stormy. Stanford, who had been adventurous in his younger days, had grown deeply conservative; he clashed vigorously with his modern-minded pupil. Vaughan Williams had no wish to follow in the traditions of Stanford's idols, Brahms and Wagner, and he stood up to his teacher as few students dared to do. Beneath Stanford's bluster lay a recognition of Vaughan Williams's talent and a desire to help the young man correct his opaque orchestration and extreme predilection for modal music.
In his second spell at the RCM (1895-96) Vaughan Williams got to know a fellow student, Gustav Holst, who became a lifelong friend. Stanford emphasised the need for his students to be self-critical, but Vaughan Williams and Holst became, and remained, one another's most valued critic; each would play his latest composition to the other while still working on it. Vaughan Williams later observed, "What one really learns from an Academy or College is not so much from one's official teachers as from one's fellow-students ... [we discussed] every subject under the sun from the lowest note of the double bassoon to the philosophy of Jude the Obscure". In 1949 he wrote of their relationship, "Holst declared that his music was influenced by that of his friend: the converse is certainly true.
Michael Kennedy characterises Vaughan Williams's music as a strongly individual blending of the modal harmonies familiar from folk‐song with the French influence of Ravel and Debussy. The basis of his work is melody, his rhythms, in Kennedy's view, being unsubtle at times. Vaughan Williams's music is often described as visionary;[n 11] Kennedy cites the masque Job and the Fifth and Ninth Symphonies. Vaughan Williams's output was prolific and wide ranging. For the voice he composed songs, operas, and choral works ranging from simpler pieces suitable for amateurs to demanding works for professional choruses. His comparatively few chamber works are not among his better known compositions. Some of his finest works elude conventional categorisation, such as the Serenade to Music (1938) for twelve solo singers and orchestra; Flos Campi (1925) for solo viola, small orchestra, and small chorus; and his most important chamber work, in Howes's view—not purely instrumental but a song cycle—On Wenlock Edge (1909) with accompaniment for string quartet and piano.
In 1955 the authors of The Record Guide, Edward Sackville-West and Desmond Shawe-Taylor, wrote that Vaughan Williams's music showed an exceptionally strong individual voice: Vaughan Williams's style is "not remarkable for grace or politeness or inventive colour", but expresses "a consistent vision in which thought and feeling and their equivalent images in music never fall below a certain high level of natural distinction". They commented that the composer's vision is expressed in two main contrasting moods: "the one contemplative and trance-like, the other pugnacious and sinister". The first mood, generally predominant in the composer's output, was more popular, as audiences, preferred "the stained-glass beauty of the Tallis Fantasia, the direct melodic appeal of the Serenade to Music, the pastoral poetry of The Lark Ascending, and the grave serenity of the Fifth Symphony". By contrast, as in the ferocity of the Fourth and Sixth Symphonies and the Concerto for Two Pianos: "in his grimmer moods Vaughan Williams can be as frightening as Sibelius and Bartók"
George Meredith died in 1909. Vaughan Williams worked on his "pastoral romance for orchestra" The Lark Ascending prior to the outbreak of the Great War, and inscribed selected lines (not a consecutive passage) from Meredith's poem on the flyleaf of the published work. They are the opening and closing lines (so the entire poem is invoked), and between them the six lines in which the lark is made to embody the wine. In choosing these lines Vaughan Williams may have been drawing out a eucharistic resonance in Meredith's image.
He rises and begins to round,
He drops the silver chain of sound,
Of many links without a break,
In chirrup, whistle, slur and shake.
For singing till his heaven fills,
'Tis love of earth that he instils,
And ever winging up and up,
Our valley is his golden cup
And he the wine which overflows
to lift us with him as he goes.
Till lost on his aerial rings
In light, and then the fancy sings.
There is no reliable evidence to support the claim that he was working on it while watching British troops embarking for France. This was presented in a 2007 documentary about the composer, O Thou Transcendent, and the subsequent related BBC programme on this work. The original source for this story is RVW, the biography by his wife Ursula. She did not meet Vaughan Williams until 1938, 24 years after he'd composed the work. George Butterworth, who was killed in World War I, who knew Vaughan Williams at the time of these events, recorded the fact that the composer was preparing for a lecture on Purcell when he wrote the piece.
subtitle Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Purcell. It was based on the second movement, "Rondeau", of the Abdelazer suite. It was originally commissioned for an educational documentary film called Instruments of the Orchestra.
The work is based on the Rondeau from Henry Purcell's incidental music to Aphra Behn's Abdelazer, and is structured, in accordance with the plan of the original documentary film, as a way of showing off the tone colours and capacities of the various sections of the orchestra.
In the introduction, the theme is initially played by the entire orchestra, then by each major family of instruments of the orchestra: first the woodwinds, then the brass, then the strings, and finally by the percussion. Each variation then features a particular instrument in depth, in the same family order, and generally moving through each family from high to low. So, for example, the first variation features the piccolo and flutes; each member of the woodwind family then gets a variation, ending with the bassoon; and so on, through the strings, brass, and finally the percussion.
After the whole orchestra has been effectively taken to pieces in this way, it is reassembled using an original fugue which starts with the piccolo, followed by all the woodwinds, strings, brass and percussion in turn. Once everyone has entered, the brass are re-introduced (with a strike on the tamtam) with Purcell's original melody.
The narration for the documentary film was written by Eric Crozier, the producer of the first production of Britten's opera Peter Grimes, and is sometimes spoken by the conductor or a separate speaker during performance of the piece. The composer also arranged a version without narration. The one without narration is more often recorded. The commentary often alters between recordings.
Façade is a series of poems by Edith Sitwell, best known as part of Façade - An Entertainment in which the poems are recited over an instrumental accompaniment by William Walton. After Sitwell's death, Walton published supplementary versions of Façade for speaker and small ensemble using numbers dropped between the premiere and the publication of the full score in 1951. sometimes said that the Façade verses are nonsense poetry, in the tradition of Edward Lear. But despite the experiments with sound and rhythm, there is meaning in Sitwell's poems. The literary scholar Jack Lindsay wrote, "The associations are often glancing and rapid in the extreme, but the total effect comes from a highly organized basis of sense.
Walton set three selections from Façade as art-songs for soprano and piano, to be sung at full voice rather than spoken rhythmically. These are:
Through Gilded Trellises
Old Sir Faulk
The first of Walton's two Façade suites for full orchestra was published in 1926. Walton conducted the first performance. The suite consists of:
Swiss Jodelling Song
The second suite was premiered in 1938, with John Barbirolli conducting the New York Philharmonic. It consists of:
Old Sir Faulk - Foxtrot
The orchestra for both comprises 2 flutes, piccolo, 2 oboes, cor anglais, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, trombone, tuba, timpani, 3 percussionists (side drum, cymbals, xylophone, tambourine, bass drum, triangle, glockenspiel, castanets, rattle), and strings.
a German term, essentially meaning "utility music," for music that exists not only for its own sake, but which was composed for some specific, identifiable purpose. This purpose can be a particular historical event, like a political rally or a military ceremony, or it can be more general, as with music written to accompany dance, or music written for amateurs or students to perform.
While composer Paul Hindemith is probably the figure most identified with this expression, it seems to have been coined within the realm of musicology rather than composition. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the modern academic discipline of musicology was formulated by a mainly German group of scholars who were interested not only in formal development and biographical data, but also to an extent in the sociopolitical position of music throughout history, and the relationship of music and musicians to society at large.
a term used to characterize the attitude of public life in Weimar Germany as well as the art, literature, music, and architecture created to adapt to it. Rather than some goal of philosophical objectivity, it was meant to imply a turn towards practical engagement with the world—an all-business attitude, understood by Germans as intrinsically American: "The Neue Sachlichkeit is Americanism, cult of the objective, the hard fact, the predilection for functional work, professional conscientiousness, and usefulness."
The term was originally the title of an art exhibition staged by Gustav Friedrich Hartlaub, the director of the Kunsthalle in Mannheim, to showcase artists who were working in a post-expressionist spirit, but it took a life of its own, going beyond Hartlaub's intentions. As these artists rejected the self-involvement and romantic longings of the expressionists, Weimar intellectuals in general made a call to arms for public collaboration, engagement, and rejection of romantic idealism.
The movement essentially ended in 1933 with the fall of the Weimar Republic and the rise of the Nazis to power.
a short-lived genre of opera associated with Weimar Germany. It is not known when or by whom the term was coined, but by 1928 Kurt Weill ("Zeitoper" in Melos) was able to complain that it was more a slogan than a description. Like opera buffa it used contemporary settings and characters, comic or at least satiric plots (Max Brand's Maschinist Hopkins is a sole tragic example) and aimed at musical accessibility. Two distinguishing characteristics are a tendency to incorporate modern technology (Jonny spielt auf: trains, Der Lindberghflug: airplanes, Von Heute auf Morgen: telephones, and even elevators) and frequent allusions to popular music, especially jazz. This last, more than any social satire, earned the suspicion of the political right and ensured that it would not survive into the Nazi era.
Ernst Krenek's Jonny spielt auf (1927) is held up as the epitome of the genre. Other composers are Paul Hindemith (Hin und zurück, 1927, Neues vom Tage, 1929), Wilhelm Grosz (Achtung! Aufname! to a libretto by Bela Balazs), plus Weill's Der Zar lässt sich photographieren 1928, and Die Bürgschaft (1932).
At the possible instigation of Krenek, the American George Antheil also wrote a Zeitoper for Frankfurt, Transatlantic (1930, originally titled Glare). In Von Heute auf Morgen (1930) Arnold Schönberg attempted to have the last word on the fashion: at the end a child enters and asks the reconciled parents "What are modern people?" who respond with "That changes from one day to the next."
a label applied in the 1930s by the Nazi government in Germany to certain forms of music that it considered to be harmful or decadent. The Nazi government's concern for degenerate music was a part of its larger and more well-known campaign against degenerate art ('Entartete Kunst'). In both cases, the government attempted to isolate, discredit, discourage, or ban the works. Their ideas drew on decades of anti-Semitic writing on music and on a debate on the relationship between music and mental illness. The Nazi regime promoted the works of German composers, especially those of Richard Wagner who was also much admired by Adolf Hitler as well as many others. Special favourites were Rienzi and the Ring cycle with all its links to German mythology. Military marches were highly approved,[clarification needed] and widely used as in the films of Leni Riefenstahl such as Triumph of the Will. Jewish composers such as Felix Mendelssohn and Gustav Mahler were disparaged and condemned by the Nazis. In Leipzig, a bronze statue of Mendelssohn was removed. The regime commissioned music to replace his incidental music to A Midsummer Night's Dream (Petit and Giner 2015,[page needed]). In addition, many other black performers and Jazz musicians were discredited and had their reputations destroyed, often Jazz musicians were called "Schwarzer" or "Gaëtano", the first meaning black and the second meaning gypsy.
From the Nazi seizure of power onward, these composers found it increasingly difficult, and often impossible, to get work or have their music performed. Many went into exile (e.g., Arnold Schoenberg, Kurt Weill, Paul Hindemith, Berthold Goldschmidt); or retreated into 'internal exile' (e.g., Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Boris Blacher); or ended up in the concentration camps (e.g., Viktor Ullmann, or Erwin Schulhoff).
Like degenerate art, examples of degenerate music were displayed in public exhibits in Germany beginning in 1938. One of the first of these was organized in Düsseldorf by Hans Severus Ziegler, at the time superintendent of the Weimar National Theatre, who explained in an opening speech that the decay of music was "due to the influence of Judaism and capitalism". Ziegler's exhibit was organized into seven sections, devoted to (1) the influence of Judaism, (2) Schoenberg, (3) Kurt Weill and Ernst Krenek, (4) "Minor Bolsheviks" (Schreker, Alban Berg, Ernst Toch, etc.), (5) Leo Kestenberg, director of musical education before 1933, (6) Hindemith's operas and oratorios, and (7) Igor Stravinsky (Anon. 1938, 629).
From the mid-1990s the Decca Record Company released a series of recordings under the title 'Entartete Musik: Music Suppressed by the Third Reich', covering lesser-known works by several of the above-named composers.
a musical with music by Kurt Weill, lyrics by Ira Gershwin and book and direction by Moss Hart. It was produced by Sam Harris. The protagonist, Liza Elliott, is the unhappy female editor of a fashion magazine, Allure, who is undergoing psychoanalysis.
based on Hart's own experiences with psychoanalyst Gregory Zilboorg. Except for the final song, all the music in the play is heard in three extended dream sequences: the Glamour Dream, the Wedding Dream, and the Circus Dream which, to some extent, become three small operettas integrated into a straight play. The final song, "My Ship", functions as a leitmotif for Liza's insecurity: as each dream commences, a snippet of the tune is heard, as it is a haunting melody which Liza recognizes but cannot name, or sing with words, until her anxiety is resolved.
large-scale piece of orchestral music by Olivier Messiaen (1908-92). It was written from 1946 to 1948 on a commission by Serge Koussevitzky for the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
at the time of writing the symphony the composer was fascinated by the myth of Tristan and Isolde, and the Turangalîla Symphony forms the central work in his trilogy of compositions concerned with the themes of romantic love and death.
a 20th-century masterpiece and a typical performance runs around 80 minutes in length. When asked about the meaning of the work's duration in its ten movements and the reason for the use of the ondes Martenot, Messiaen simply replied, "It's a love song."
Although the concept of a rhythmic scale corresponding to the chromatic scale of pitches occurs in Messiaen's work as early as 1944, in the Vingt regards sur l'enfant-Jésus, the arrangement of such durations into a fixed series occurs for the first time in the opening episode of the movement "Turangalîla 2" in this work, and is an important historical step toward the concept of integral serialism.
In writing about the work, Messiaen identified four "cyclic" themes that reappear throughout; there are other themes specific to each movement. In the score the themes are numbered, but in later writings he gave them names to make them easier to identify, without intending the names to have any other, literary meaning.
an opera in three acts and eight scenes by French composer and librettist Olivier Messiaen, written from 1975 to 1983. It concerns Saint Francis of Assisi, the title character, and displays the composer's devout Catholicism.
For maximum artistic freedom, Messiaen penned both libretto and score. For nearly eight years, the composer consulted Franciscan sources, reading biographies by Thomas of Celano and St. Bonaventure, as well as Francis' own prayers (including Canticle of the Sun). He also cited passages from the Fioretti, Considerations on the Stigmata and the Bible.
In order to focus on the progress of grace in Francis's soul after his conversion, Messiaen omitted certain episodes in his hero's life, including the often-romanticized relationship between Francis and St. Clare, and the fable of his taming of a wild wolf at Gubbio. He also ignored the documented struggle between Francis and his father, Pietro, thus avoiding Oedipal themes.
Critics later chastised Messiaen for beginning the action after Francis's conversion. The composer defended his choice in an interview with Claude Samuel: "Some people have told me, 'There's no sin in your work.' But I myself feel sin isn't interesting, dirt isn't interesting. I prefer flowers. I left out sin."
suite of 20 pieces for solo piano by the French composer Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992). The work is a meditation on the infancy of Jesus.
Messiaen uses Thèmes or leitmotifs, recurring elements that represent certain ideas. They include:
Thème de Dieu ("Theme of God")
Thème de l'amour mystique ("Theme of Mystical Love")
Thème de l'étoile et de la croix ("Theme of the Star and of the Cross")
Thème d'accords ("Theme of Chords")
For example, Messiaen has written that "The 'Theme of Chords' is heard throughout, fragmented, concentrated, surrounded with resonances, combined with itself, modified in both rhythm and register, transformed, transmuted in all sorts of ways: it is a complex of sounds intended for perpetual variation, pre-existing in the abstract like a series, but quite concrete and quite easily recognizable through its colors
a kind of musical scale. They were used by the French composer Olivier Messiaen.
Messiaen was fascinated by scales that only had a few (usually two or three) transpositions.
The whole-tone scale was used by many composers including Glinka, Liszt and, especially, Debussy. Messiaen called it the first mode of transposition.
Messiaen's second mode, also called the "octatonic scale", rises by alternating semitone, tone, semitone, tone etc. Messiaen used this scale a great deal, not just in his tunes but in the chords that he used (i.e. melodically and harmonically.
The third mode rises by a pattern of tone, semitone, semitone. It has four transpositions.
The other four modes each have a total of six transpositions.
Messiaen liked these modes because there is no note which sounds like the starting note. All the notes sound equal. He described them as having "the charm of impossibilities."
A mode with limited transpositions is a scale which is divided in segments of the same size and containing the same exact arrangement of steps and halfsteps. Whithin an octave (12 semitones), there are a number of such divisions possible:
12 : 2 = 6 (the repeating segment is a tritone -6 semitones- long)
12 : 3 = 4 (the repeating segment is a major third -4 semitones- long)
12 : 4 = 3 (the repeating segment is a minor third -3 semitones- long)
12 : 6 = 2 (the repeating segment is a major second -2 semitones- long)
12 : 12 = 1 (the repeating segment is a minor second -1 semitone- long)
The last case produces the chromatic scale - not a very interesting result. The mode whose repeating segment is a major second long is the wholetone scale and there are only 2 such scales possible. Dividing the octaves by 4 leads to scales build around the pillars represented by a fully diminished chord and there are 4 possible transpositions for each of them. When the octave is divided by 3, the mode is built around an augmented triad and there are 3 possible transpositions of that scale. For modes built around the interval of a tritone there are 6 possible transpositions.
C, D, E flat, F, F#, G#, A, B: repeating 2 + 1 = 3 semitones (fully diminished chord)
C, C#, D#, E, F, G, G#, A, B: repeating 1 + 2 + 1 = 4 semitones (augmented triad)
Messiaen combines modes with limited transpositions with nonretrogradable rhythms in order to create a sense of "failure of the rational thinking", an impasse created by a logical proceedure. Compare this with certain images (optical illusions) created by the artist Escher. added notes
"resonance" chords and "natural harmony"
chord progressions litanie
understand human existence rather than the world as such. Adopting and adapting the methods of phenomenology, Sartre sets out to develop an ontological account of what it is to be human. The main features of this ontology are the groundlessness and radical freedom which characterize the human condition. These are contrasted with the unproblematic being of the world of things. Sartre's substantial literary output adds dramatic expression to the always unstable co-existence of facts and freedom in an indifferent world.
Sartre's ontology is explained in his philosophical masterpiece, Being and Nothingness, where he defines two types of reality which lie beyond our conscious experience: the being of the object of consciousness and that of consciousness itself. The object of consciousness exists as "in-itself," that is, in an independent and non-relational way. However, consciousness is always consciousness "of something," so it is defined in relation to something else, and it is not possible to grasp it within a conscious experience: it exists as "for-itself." An essential feature of consciousness is its negative power, by which we can experience "nothingness." This power is also at work within the self, where it creates an intrinsic lack of self-identity. So the unity of the self is understood as a task for the for-itself rather than as a given.
In order to ground itself, the self needs projects, which can be viewed as aspects of an individual's fundamental project and motivated by a desire for "being" lying within the individual's consciousness. The source of this project is a spontaneous original choice that depends on the individual's freedom. However, self's choice may lead to a project of self-deception such as bad faith, where one's own real nature as for-itself is discarded to adopt that of the in-itself. Our only way to escape self-deception is authenticity, that is, choosing in a way which reveals the existence of the for-itself as both factual and transcendent. For Sartre, my proper exercise of freedom creates values that any other human being placed in my situation could experience, therefore each authentic project expresses a universal dimension in the singularity of a human life.
After a brief summary of Sartre's life, this article looks at the main themes characterizing Sartre's early philosophical works. The ontology developed in Sartre's main existential work, Being and Nothingness, will then be analysed. Finally, an overview is provided of the further development of existentialist themes in his later works.
a Polish, later naturalized French, composer, conductor, music theorist and teacher born in Warsaw, Poland. He was historically significant in promoting serialism and the New Music in Paris, France after WWII.
During the early 1930s, Leibowitz studied composition and orchestration with Maurice Ravel in Paris, where he was introduced to Arnold Schoenberg's twelve-note technique by the German pianist and composer Erich Itor Kahn. He subsequently studied with Schoenberg's pupil Anton Webern. Many of the works of the Second Viennese School were first heard in France at the International Festival of Chamber Music established by Leibowitz in Paris in 1947. Leibowitz was highly influential in establishing the reputation of the School, both through teaching in Paris after WWII and through his book Schoenberg et son école, published in 1947 and translated by Dika Newlin as Schoenberg and his School (US and UK editions 1949). The book was among the earliest theoretical treatises on Schoenberg's 12-tone method of composition, wherein Leibowitz (and Humphrey Searle) were among the first theorists to coin the term "serialism". Leibowitz's advocacy of the Schoenberg school was taken further by two of his pupils, Pierre Boulez and Jacques-Louis Monod, each taking different paths in promoting the music of Schoenberg, Webern and the development of serialism. His American students included the composers Will Ogdon and Janet Maguire, the conductor David Montgomery, and the avant-garde film director-animator John Whitney.
As a conductor, Leibowitz, who studied in Paris with Pierre Monteux, completed many recordings. One of the most widely circulated is a set of Beethoven's symphonies made for Reader's Digest; it was apparently the first recording to follow Beethoven's metronome markings. In choosing this approach, Leibowitz was influenced by his friend and colleague Rudolf Kolisch. Leibowitz also completed many recordings as part of Reader's Digest's compilation albums.
He also wrote for Les Temps modernes, applying existentialist ideas to musicology.
Coined by Luigi Nono in his 1958 lecture "Die Entwicklung der Reihentechnik" (Nono 1975, 30; Fox 1999, 111-12), Darmstadt School describes the uncompromisingly serial music written by composers such as Pierre Boulez, Bruno Maderna, Karlheinz Stockhausen (the three composers Nono specifically names in his lecture, along with himself), Luciano Berio, Earle Brown, John Cage, Aldo Clementi, Franco Donatoni, Niccolò Castiglioni, Franco Evangelisti, Karel Goeyvaerts, Mauricio Kagel, Gottfried Michael Koenig, Giacomo Manzoni, and Henri Pousseur from 1951 to 1961.
Klavierstück XI is famous for its mobile, or polyvalent structure. The mobile structure and graphic layout of the piece resembles that of Morton Feldman's Intermission 6 for 1 or 2 pianos of 1953, in which 15 fragments are distributed on a single page of music with the instruction: "Composition begins with any sound and proceeds to the any other" (Emons 2006, 87). In the same year, Earle Brown had composed Twenty-five Pages for 1-25 pianists, in which the pages are to be arranged in a sequence chosen by the performer(s), and each page may be performed either side up and events within each two-line system may be read as either treble or bass clef.
consists of 19 fragments spread over a single, large page. The performer may begin with any fragment, and continue to any other, proceeding through the labyrinth until a fragment has been reached for the third time, when the performance ends. Markings for tempo, dynamics, etc. at the end of each fragment are to be applied to the next fragment. Though composed with a complex serial plan, the pitches have nothing to do with twelve-tone technique but instead are derived from the proportions of the previously composed rhythms.
The durations are founded on a set of matrices all of which have six rows, but with numbers of columns varying from two to seven. These matrices "amount to sets of two-dimensional 'scales'" (Truelove 1998, 190). The first row of each of these rhythm matrices consists of a sequence of simple arithmetic duration values: two columns of eighth note + quarter note , three columns of eighth note + quarter note + dotted quarter note. , four columns of eighth note + quarter note + dotted quarter note. + half note , etc., up to seven columns; each successive row after the first consists of increasingly finer, irregular subdivisions of that value (Truelove 1998, 192-97). These "two-dimensional scales" are then permuted systematically (Truelove 1998, 190, 202-204), and the six resulting, increasingly larger matrices were combined together to form the columns of a new, complex Final Rhythm Matrix of six columns and six rows (Truelove 1998, 190, 198-201). Stockhausen then selected nineteen out of the thirty-six available rhythmic structures to compose out into the fragments of Klavierstück XI
The limits of Italian literature at the end of the "Ottocento" (19th century), its lack of strong contents, its quiet and passive laissez faire, are fought by futurists (see art. 1, 2, 3), and their reaction includes the use of excesses intended to prove the existence of a dynamic surviving Italian intellectual class.
In this period, in which industry is of growing importance in all Europe, futurists need to confirm that Italy is present, has an industry, has the power to take part in the new experience, and will find the superior essence of progress in its major symbols: the car and its speed (see art. 4). (Nationalism is never openly declared, but is evident).
Futurists insist that literature will not be overtaken by progress; rather, it will absorb progress in its evolution, and will demonstrate that such progress must manifest in this manner because Man will use this progress to sincerely let his instinctive nature explode. Man is reacting against the potentially overwhelming strength of progress, and shouts out his centrality. Man will use speed, not the opposite (see art. 5 and 6).
Poetry will help Man to consent his soul be part of all that (see art. 6 and 7), indicating a new concept of beauty that will refer to the human instinct of aggression.
The sense of history cannot be neglected: this is a special moment, many things are going to change into new forms and new contents, but Man will be able to pass through these variations, (see art. 8) bringing with himself what comes from the beginning of civilization.
In article 9, war is defined as a necessity for the health of human spirit, a purification that allows and benefits idealism. Their explicit glorification of war and its "hygienic" properties influenced the ideology of fascism. The Futurist Party, for example, became part of the Combatto Fascisti before the latter's assuming power. F. T. Marinetti was very active in Fascist politics until he withdrew in protest of the "Roman Grandeur" which had come to dominate Fascist aesthetics.
Article 10 states: "We want to demolish museums and libraries, fight morality, feminism and all opportunist and utilitarian cowardice."
an electronic musical instrument that generates electric signals that are converted to sound through instrument amplifiers and loudspeakers or headphones. Synthesizers may either imitate instruments like piano, Hammond organ, flute, vocals; natural sounds like ocean waves, etc.; or generate new electronic timbres. They are often played with a musical keyboard, but they can be controlled via a variety of other input devices, including music sequencers, instrument controllers, fingerboards, guitar synthesizers, wind controllers, and electronic drums. Synthesizers without built-in controllers are often called sound modules, and are controlled via MIDI or CV/Gate using a controller device, often a MIDI keyboard or other controller. German music theorist, musicologist, journalist, music critic, editor, radio producer, and composer. From 1927 until 1933 he was employed at the Cologne Radio and wrote for music magazines such as Melos and the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik. In 1930 he became a music critic for the Kölner Stadtanzeiger, and from 1935 until 1945 worked as an editor at the Kölnische Zeitung.
After the war, he became in 1945 the first salaried staff member of the Cologne Radio (NWDR), administered by the British occupation forces. In 1947 he took over the NWDR Department of Cultural Reporting, and in 1948 initiated the Musikalische Nachtprogramme (late-night music programs), which he directed until 1965 (Wilson 2001). In 1951, Eimert and Werner Meyer-Eppler persuaded the director of NWDR, Hanns Hartmann, to create a Studio for Electronic Music, which Eimert directed until 1962. This became the most influential studio in the world during the 1950s and 1960s, with composers such as Michael von Biel, Konrad Boehmer, Herbert Brün, Jean-Claude Éloy, Péter Eötvös, Franco Evangelisti, Luc Ferrari, Johannes Fritsch, Rolf Gehlhaar, Karel Goeyvaerts, Hermann Heiss, York Höller, Maki Ishii, David C. Johnson, Mauricio Kagel, Gottfried Michael Koenig, Petr Kotik, Włodzimierz Kotoński, Ernst Krenek, Ladislav Kupkovič, György Ligeti, Mesías Maiguashca, Bo Nilsson, Henri Pousseur, Roger Smalley, Karlheinz Stockhausen (who succeeded Eimert as director), Dimitri Terzakis, Iannis Xenakis, and Bernd Alois Zimmermann working there (Morawska-Büngeler 1988, 103-108, et passim). Cornelius Cardew also worked there in 195.
n 1950 he published the Lehrbuch zur Zwölftonmusik, which became one of the best-known introductory texts on Schoenbergian twelve-tone technique, and was translated into Italian, Spanish, and Hungarian. From 1955 until 1962 he edited in conjunction with Karlheinz Stockhausen the influential journal Die Reihe.
a German-American composer and conductor, and an early pioneer of tape music and electronic music. Luening's 'Tape Music', including A Poem in Cycles & Bells, Gargoyles for Violin & Synthesized Sound, and Sounds of New Music demonstrated the early potential of synthesizers and special editing techniques for electronic music. An October 28, 1952 concert with Vladimir Ussachevsky at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City introduced Fantasy in Space, flute recordings manipulated on magnetic tape, and led to an appearance on The Today Show with Dave Garroway. Luening was co-founder, along with Ussachevsky, of the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center in 1958. He also co-founded Composers Recordings, Inc. in 1954, with Douglas Moore and Oliver Daniel. composer, particularly known for his work in electronic music. Ussachevsky's early, neo-Romantic works were composed for traditional instruments, but in 1951 he began composing electronic music. He served as president of the American Composers Alliance from 1968 to 1970 and was an advisory member of the CRI record label, which released recordings of a number of his compositions. he joined the faculty of Columbia University, teaching there until his retirement in 1980. Together with Otto Luening, Ussachevsky founded, in 1959, the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center in New York City. While acting as head of the Electronic Music Center Ussachevsky specified the ADSR envelope in 1965, a basic component of modern synthesizers, samplers and electronic instruments. Ussachevsky also taught and was composer-in-residence at the University of Utah. the result of compositional techniques, in which, "the importance of individual pitches," is minimized, "in preference for texture, timbre, and dynamics as primary shapers of gesture and impact," obscuring, "the boundary between sound and noise". include extended techniques such as muted brass or strings, flutter tonguing, wide vibrato, extreme ranges, and glissandos as the continuum for "sound mass" moves from simultaneously sounding notes - clusters etc., towards stochastic cloud textures, and 'mass structure' compositional textures which evolve over time (Edwards 2001, pp. 326-27). In a sound mass, "the traditional concept of 'chord' or vertical 'event' [is] replaced by a shifting, iridescent fabric of sound" (Kostka and Payne 1995, 546).
The use of "chords approaching timbres" begins with Debussy and Edgard Varèse often carefully scored individual instrumental parts so that they would fuse into one ensemble timbre or sound mass.
Explored by Charles Ives and Henry Cowell in the early part of the twentieth century, this technique also developed from the modernist tone clusters and spread to orchestral writing by the mid 1950s and 1960s
a variety of Anglo-American vernacular choral music. It first flourished in the mid-18th century and continues to be composed today.
sacred music, specifically, Protestant hymns. They are written for a four-part chorus singing a cappella. In the fuging tune all the parts start together and proceed in rhythmic and harmonic unity usually for the space of four measures or one musical sentence. The end of this sentence marks a cessation, a complete melodic close. During the next four measures the four parts set in, one at a time and one measure apart. First the basses take the lead for a phrase a measure long, and as they retire on the second measure to their own proper bass part, the [tenors] take the lead with a sequence that is imitative of, if not identical with, that sung by the basses. The tenors in turn give way to the altos, and they to the trebles, all four parts doing the same passage (though at different pitches) in imitation of the [part in the] preceding measure. ... Following this fuguing passage comes a four-measure phrase, with all the parts rhythmically neck and neck, and this closes the piece; though the last eight measures are often repeated.
in a fugue, the voices take turns coming in at the very beginning of the piece, whereas in a fuguing tune that moment comes about a third of the way through. Moreover, in a fugue the musical material used at each entrance (the so-called "subject") is repeated many times throughout the piece, whereas in a fuguing tune it normally appears just in the one location of sequenced entries, and the rest of the work is somewhat more homophonic in texture.
The fuguing tune arose in England in the middle of the 18th century. The first fuguing tunes were the work of itinerant singing masters, described by Irving Lowens as follows:
[The singing masters were] often ill-trained by orthodox standards ... [They] wandered from village to village and eked out an existence by teaching the intricacies of psalm-singing and the rudiments of music to all who cared to learn. To supplement his generally meager income, [the singing master] frequently sold self-compiled tune-books in which psalm tunes of his own composition ... were featured as examples of his skill and artistry.
According to Lowens, the fuguing tunes created by these singing masters at first involved a separate fuguing section appended to the end of a complete psalm tune. Later, the fuguing became more integrated and eventually evolved to be the longer part of the song.
There is good evidence that by 1760, English tune books including fuguing tunes were circulating in the American colonies; the first English fuguing tune printed in America appeared in the hymnbook Urania, or A Choice Collection of Psalm-Tunes, Anthems, and Hymns by James Lyon. Soon, fuguing tunes were being written in great profusion by American—especially New England—composers. Karl Kroeger (see reference below) has documented the publication of almost 1300 fuguing tunes during the period 1750-1820. Among the principal composers of New England fuguing tunes Irving Lowens lists the following: William Billings
first "full-time" American composer, and the most prominent before the American Civil War. He did not start composing until he was 36, after losing his business fortune in the Napoleonic Wars. For most of his career he was known as "Father Heinrich," an emeritus figure of America's small classical music community.
A formative experience for him was a 700-mile journey, on foot and by boat, into the wilderness of Pennsylvania and then along the Ohio River into Kentucky. The sights and sounds of the new American frontier inspired some of the most original, if not strange, program music of the nineteenth century. Settling in a log cabin near Bardstown, Kentucky (1818), he began to produce a body of work unlike anything being written in Europe at the time. Some of his works include: The Dawning of Music in Kentucky, or the Pleasures of Harmony in the Solitudes of Nature (Philadelphia, 1820); The Columbiad, or Migration of American Wild Passenger Pigeons (1858); The Ornithological Combat of Kings, or the Condor of the Andes (1847); The Minstrelsy of Nature in the Wilds of North America; The Wild Wood Spirits' Chant (ca. 1842); The Treaty of William Penn with the Indians (1834; a rare 19th century concerto grosso).
Shortly after his arrival in Kentucky in 1817, he conducted a performance of Beethoven's First Symphony—only the second time a Beethoven symphony had been performed in the United States. He was identified as the "Beethoven of America" by one critic (1822).
Stylistically Heinrich's music has more in common with other early American music than with the models of his European contemporaries. He shunned development, preferring episodic forms, especially the theme with variations, which he used to impressive expressive effect. He occasionally wrote passages of startling, even jarring, chromaticism, usually in an attempt to express an extra-musical idea. Often his music has an improvisatory quality (much of his music may be notated improvisation, considering its copious quantity). His generous allowances for performer interpretation are arguably the beginning of indeterminacy in American music.
an American composer and pianist, best known as a virtuoso performer of his own romantic piano works. He spent most of his working career outside of the United States.
series of trips to Central and South America. Gottschalk also traveled to Puerto Rico after his Havana debut and at the start of his West Indian period. He was quite taken with the music he heard on the island, so much so that he composed a work, probably in 1857, entitled Souvenir de Porto Rico; Marche des gibaros, Op. 31 (RO250). "Gibaros" refers to the jíbaros, or Puerto Rican peasantry, and is an antiquated way of writing this name. The theme of the composition is a march tune which may be based on a Puerto Rican folk song form. At the conclusion of that tour, he rested in New Jersey then returned to New York City. There he continued to rest and took on a very young Venezuelan student by the name of Teresa Carreño. Gottschalk rarely took on students and was skeptical of prodigies but Carreño was an exception and he was determined that she succeed. With his busy schedule, Gottschalk was only able to give her a handful of lessons yet she would remember him fondly and performed his music for the rest of her days. A year after meeting Gottschalk, she performed for Abraham Lincoln and would go on to become a renowned concert pianist earning the nickname, "Valkyrie of the Piano". By the 1860s, Gottschalk had established himself as the best known pianist in the New World. Although born and reared in New Orleans, he was a supporter of the Union cause during the American Civil War. He returned to his native city only occasionally for concerts, but he always introduced himself as a New Orleans native.
Gottschalk's music was very popular during his lifetime and his earliest compositions created a sensation in Europe. Early pieces like Bamboula, La Savane, Le Bananier and Le Mancenillier were based on Gottschalk's memories of the music he heard during his youth in Louisiana. In this context, some of Gottschalk's work, such as the 13-minute opera Escenas campestres, retains a wonderfully innocent sweetness and charm. Gottschalk also utilized the Bamboula theme as a melody in his Symphony No. 1: A Night in the Tropics.
Many of his compositions were destroyed after his death, or are lost.
an American songwriter primarily known for his parlor and minstrel music. Foster wrote over 200 songs; among his best-known are "Oh! Susanna", "Camptown Races", "Old Folks at Home", "My Old Kentucky Home", "Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair", "Old Black Joe", and "Beautiful Dreamer"
Foster was able to teach himself to play the clarinet, violin, guitar, flute and piano. He did not have formal instruction in composition but he was helped by Henry Kleber (1816-97), a German-born music dealer in Pittsburgh. Kleber was a songwriter, impresario, accompanist, and conductor.
Then he returned to Pennsylvania and signed a contract with the Christy Minstrels.Many of Foster's songs were of the blackface minstrel show tradition popular at the time. Foster sought, in his own words, to "build up taste ... among refined people by making words suitable to their taste, instead of the trashy and really offensive words which belong to some songs of that order". Many of his songs had Southern themes, yet Foster never lived in the South and visited it only once in 1852, by riverboat voyage on his honeymoon on his brother Dunning's steamboat the Millinger, which took him down the Mississippi to New Orleans. This form of public entertainment lampooned African Americans as buffoonish, superstitious, without-a-care, musical, lazy, and dim-witted. In the early 1830s, these minstrel shows gained popularity. The shows evolved and by 1848, blackface minstrel shows were a separate musical art form accessible to the general public (contrasted with opera which was more upper-class at the time.)
first American-born composer to achieve fame for large-scale orchestral music. The senior member of a group of other composers collectively known as the Boston Six, Paine was one of those responsible for the first significant body of concert music by composers from the United States. The other five were Amy Beach, Arthur Foote, Edward MacDowell, George Chadwick, and Horatio Parker.
On arrival in Europe Paine studied organ with Carl August Haupt and orchestration with Friedrich Wilhelm Wieprecht in Berlin. He also toured Europe giving organ recitals for three years, establishing a reputation as an organist that would precede his return to the United States. After returning to the US and settling in Boston in 1861, he was appointed Harvard's first University organist and choirmaster. While acting in this role Paine offered free courses in music appreciation and music theory that would become the core curriculum for Harvard's newly formed academic music department (the first such department in the United States) and his appointment as America's first music professor.
His pioneering courses in music appreciation and music theory made the curriculum of Department of Music at Harvard a model for American Departments of Music. His service as a director of The New England Conservatory of Music (and the lectures he gave there) establish his place at the root of an instruction chain that leads (through Eugene Thayer) from George Chadwick to Horatio Parker to Charles Ives. He was the first guest conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the final concerts of its first season, and his works were audience favorites. Paine is noted for beginning American's symphonic tradition. He is also known for writing America's first oratorio (St. Peter), the Centennial Hymn that (with orchestra) opened the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, was a founder of American Guild of Organists, and co-edited of "Famous Composers and their Works".
In 1889, Paine made one of the first musical recordings on wax cylinder with Theo Wangemann, who was experimenting with sound recording on the newly invented phonograph
The symphony has received praise from modern critics, such as Andrew Achenbach of Gramophone, who in 2003 lauded the work for its "big heart, irresistible charm and confident progress." In 2016, Jonathan Blumhofer of The Arts Fuse wrote:
"To my ears, it is by far the finest symphony by an American composer before Ives and, by a wide margin, better than a lot that came after him. It surely is the most exciting symphony penned by an American before World War I. [...] Her command of instrumentation throughout the Symphony was consistently excellent and colorful. The manner in which she balanced content and form succeeds where her contemporaries like George Whitefield Chadwick, John Knowles Paine, and Horatio Parker so often came up short: somehow Beach's Symphony is never daunted by the long shadows Brahms and Beethoven cast across the Atlantic. It's a fresh, invigorating, and personal statement in a genre that has offered plenty of examples of pieces that demonstrate none of those qualities."
Four of the symphony's themes are traditional Irish-Gaelic melodies, hence the designation, "Gaelic." In choosing Irish music, Beach tapped into a rich heritage that had been part of the American musical mainstream for at least a century, and by the 1890s, was assimilated into the new genre called popular music.
an American blues composer and musician. He was widely known as the "Father of the Blues".
Handy remains among the most influential of American songwriters. Though he was one of many musicians who played the distinctively American form of music known as the blues, he is credited with giving it its contemporary form. While Handy was not the first to publish music in the blues form, he took the blues from a regional music style (Delta blues) with a limited audience to one of the dominant national forces in American music.
Handy was an educated musician who used folk material in his compositions. He was scrupulous in documenting the sources of his works, which frequently combined stylistic influences from several performers.
a popular American song composed by W. C. Handy in the blues style and published in September 1914. It remains a fundamental part of jazz musicians' repertoire. It was also one of the first blues songs to succeed as a pop song. It has been performed by numerous musicians of all styles from Louis Armstrong and Bessie Smith to Count Basie, Glenn Miller, Guy Lombardo, and the Boston Pops Orchestra. It has been called "the jazzman's Hamlet".
The 1925 version with Bessie Smith and Louis Armstrong on cornet was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1993. The 1929 version by Louis Armstrong & His Orchestra (with Henry "Red" Allen) was inducted in 2008.
The form is unusual in that the verses are the now familiar standard twelve-bar blues in common time with three lines of lyrics, the first two lines repeated, but it also has a 16-bar bridge written in the habanera rhythm, popularly called the "Spanish Tinge", and identified by Handy as tango Handy's tango-like rhythm is notated as a dotted quarter note, followed by an eighth, and two quarter notes, with no slurs or ties, and is seen in the introduction as well as the sixteen-measure bridge. While blues became often simple and repetitive in form, "Saint Louis Blues" has multiple complementary and contrasting strains, similar to classic ragtime compositions. Handy said his objective in writing "Saint Louis Blues" was "to combine ragtime syncopation with a real melody in the spiritual tradition."
an African-American composer and pianist. Joplin achieved fame for his ragtime compositions and was dubbed the "King of Ragtime Writers". During his brief career, he wrote 44 original ragtime pieces, one ragtime ballet, and two operas. One of his first pieces, the "Maple Leaf Rag", became ragtime's first and most influential hit, and has been recognized as the archetypal rag.
Its cardinal trait is its syncopated, or "ragged", rhythm. The genre has its origins in African-American communities like St. Louis.
influenced classical composers including Erik Satie, Claude Debussy and Igor Stravinsky.
It was usually written in 2/4 or 4/4 time with a predominant left-hand pattern of bass notes on strong beats (beats 1 and 3) and chords on weak beats (beat 2 and 4) accompanying a syncopated melody in the right hand. According to some sources the name "ragtime" may come from the "ragged or syncopated rhythm" of the right hand. A rag written in 3/4 time is a "ragtime waltz."
Ragtime is not a "time" (meter) in the same sense that march time is 2/4 meter and waltz time is 3/4 meter; it is rather a musical genre that uses an effect that can be applied to any meter. The defining characteristic of ragtime music is a specific type of syncopation in which melodic accents occur between metrical beats. This results in a melody that seems to be avoiding some metrical beats of the accompaniment by emphasizing notes that either anticipate or follow the beat ("a rhythmic base of metric affirmation, and a melody of metric denial"). The ultimate (and intended) effect on the listener is actually to accentuate the beat, thereby inducing the listener to move to the music. Scott Joplin, the composer/pianist known as the "King of Ragtime", called the effect "weird and intoxicating." He also used the term "swing" in describing how to play ragtime music: "Play slowly until you catch the swing...". The name swing later came to be applied to an early genre of jazz that developed from ragtime. Converting a non-ragtime piece of music into ragtime by changing the time values of melody notes is known as "ragging" the piece. Original ragtime pieces usually contain several distinct themes, four being the most common number. These themes were typically 16 bars, each theme divided into periods of four four-bar phrases and arranged in patterns of repeats and reprises. Typical patterns were AABBACCC′, AABBACCDD and AABBCCA, with the first two strains in the tonic key and the following strains in the subdominant. Sometimes rags would include introductions of four bars or bridges, between themes, of anywhere between four and 24 bars.
originated from African American communities of New Orleans in the United States during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It emerged in the form of independent traditional and popular musical styles, all linked by the common bonds of African American and European American musical parentage with a performance orientation. Jazz spans a period of over a hundred years, encompassing a very wide range of music, making it difficult to define. Jazz makes heavy use of improvisation, polyrhythms, syncopation and the swing note, as well as aspects of European harmony, American popular music, the brass band tradition, and African musical elements such as blue notes and African-American styles such as ragtime. Although the foundation of jazz is deeply rooted within the black experience of the United States, different cultures have contributed their own experience and styles to the art form as well. Intellectuals around the world have hailed jazz as "one of America's original art forms".
New Orleans jazz began in the early 1910s, combining earlier brass-band marches, French quadrilles, biguine, ragtime and blues with collective polyphonic improvisation. In the 1930s, heavily arranged dance-oriented swing big bands, Kansas City jazz, a hard-swinging, bluesy, improvisational style and Gypsy jazz (a style that emphasized musette waltzes) were the prominent styles. Bebop emerged in the 1940s, shifting jazz from danceable popular music toward a more challenging "musician's music" which was played at faster tempos and used more chord-based improvisation. Cool jazz developed in the end of the 1940s, introducing calmer, smoother sounds and long, linear melodic lines.
The 1950s saw the emergence of free jazz, which explored playing without regular meter, beat and formal structures, and in the mid-1950s, hard bop emerged, which introduced influences from rhythm and blues, gospel, and blues, especially in the saxophone and piano playing. Modal jazz developed in the late 1950s, using the mode, or musical scale, as the basis of musical structure and improvisation. Jazz-rock fusion appeared in the late 1960s and early 1970s, combining jazz improvisation with rock music's rhythms, electric instruments and the highly amplified stage sound. In the early 1980s, a commercial form of jazz fusion called smooth jazz became successful, garnering significant radio airplay. Other styles and genres abound in the 2000s, such as Latin and Afro-Cuban jazz.
developed in New Orleans at the start of the 20th century, and was spread to Chicago and New York City by New Orleans bands in the 1910s. Well-known jazz standard songs from the Dixieland era, such as "Basin Street Blues" and "When the Saints Go Marching In", are known even to non-jazz fans. With its beginnings in riverboat jazz, Dixieland progressed to Chicago-style jazz or hot jazz as developed by Louis Armstrong and others. The latter was also a transition and combination of 2-beat to 4-beat, introducing swing in its earliest form. "Chicago style" musicians used the string bass instead of the tuba and the guitar instead of the banjo to play a faster-paced, swinging style that emphasized solos.
Dixieland combined earlier brass band marches, French quadrilles, biguine, ragtime, and blues with collective, polyphonic improvisation. The "standard" band consists of a "front line" of trumpet (or cornet), trombone, and clarinet, with a "rhythm section" of at least two of the following instruments: guitar or banjo, string bass or tuba, piano, and drums. The Dixieland sound is created when one instrument (usually the trumpet) plays the melody or a variation on it, and the other instruments improvise around that melody. This creates a more polyphonic sound
Swing music, or simply swing, is a form of American music that developed in the early 1930s and became a distinctive style by 1940. Swing uses a strong rhythm section of double bass and drums as the anchor for a lead section of brass instruments such as trumpets and trombones, woodwinds including saxophones and clarinets, and sometimes stringed instruments such as violin and guitar, medium to fast tempos, and a "lilting" swing time rhythm. The name swing came from the phrase 'swing feel' where the emphasis is on the off-beat or weaker pulse in the music. Swing bands usually featured soloists who would improvise on the melody over the arrangement. The danceable swing style of big bands and bandleaders such as Benny Goodman was the dominant form of American popular music from 1935 to 1946, a period known as the Swing Era. The verb "to swing" is also used as a term of praise for playing that has a strong rhythmic "groove" or drive.
Swing has roots in the late 1920s use of larger ensembles using written arrangements. A typical song played in swing style would feature a strong, anchoring rhythm section in support of more loosely tied wind, brass. The most common style consisted of having a soloist take center stage, and improvise a solo within the framework of his bandmates playing support. Swing music began to decline in popularity during World War II because of several factors. Most importantly it became difficult to staff a "big band" because many musicians were overseas fighting in the war. By the late 1940s, swing had morphed into traditional pop music, or evolved into new jazz styles such as jump blues and bebop. Swing music saw a revival in the late 1950s and 1960s with pop vocalists such as Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, and Nat King Cole, as well as jazz-oriented vocalists like Ella Fitzgerald.
an American jazz pianist, organist, bandleader, and composer. went to Harlem, where his performing career expanded; he toured with groups to the major jazz cities of Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City. In 1929 he joined Bennie Moten's band in Kansas City, and played with them until Moten's death in 1935.
In 1935, Basie formed his own jazz orchestra, the Count Basie Orchestra, and in 1936 took them to Chicago for a long engagement and their first recording. He led the group for almost 50 years, creating innovations like the use of two "split" tenor saxophones, emphasizing the rhythm section, riffing with a big band, using arrangers to broaden their sound, and others.
an American composer, pianist, and bandleader of a jazz orchestra, which he led from 1923 until his death in a career spanning over fifty years.
Though widely considered to have been a pivotal figure in the history of jazz, Ellington embraced the phrase "beyond category" as a liberating principle, and referred to his music as part of the more general category of American Music, rather than to a musical genre such as jazz.
Some of the musicians who were members of Ellington's orchestra, such as saxophonist Johnny Hodges, are considered to be among the best players in jazz. Ellington melded them into the best-known orchestral unit in the history of jazz. Some members stayed with the orchestra for several decades. A master at writing miniatures for the three-minute 78 rpm recording format, Ellington often composed specifically to feature the style and skills of his individual musicians.
Often collaborating with others, Ellington wrote more than one thousand compositions; his extensive body of work is the largest recorded personal jazz legacy, with many of his works having become standards. Ellington also recorded songs written by his bandsmen, for example Juan Tizol's "Caravan", and "Perdido", which brought a Spanish tinge to big band jazz. After 1941, Ellington collaborated with composer-arranger-pianist Billy Strayhorn, whom he called his writing and arranging companion. With Strayhorn, he composed many extended compositions, or suites, as well as additional short pieces. Following an appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival, in July 1956, Ellington and his orchestra enjoyed a major career revival and embarked on world tours. Ellington recorded for most American record companies of his era, performed in several films, scoring several, and composed stage musicals.
Due to his inventive use of the orchestra, or big band, and thanks to his eloquence and charisma, Ellington is generally considered to have elevated the perception of jazz to an art form on a par with other more traditional musical genres. His reputation continued to rise after he died, and he was awarded a special Pulitzer Prize for music in 1999
style of jazz developed in the early to mid-1940s in the United States, which features songs characterized by a fast tempo, complex chord progressions with rapid chord changes and numerous changes of key, instrumental virtuosity, and improvisation based on a combination of harmonic structure, the use of scales and occasional references to the melody. This style of jazz ultimately became synonymous with modern jazz, when both categories reached a certain final maturity in the 1960s.
As bebop was no longer a dance music, it enabled the musicians to play at faster tempos. Bebop musicians explored advanced harmonies, complex syncopation, altered chords, extended chords, chord substitutions, asymmetrical phrasing, and intricate melodies. Bebop groups used rhythm sections in a way that expanded their role.
Bebop musicians typically played the melody of a song (called the "head"), with the accompaniment of the rhythm section, then had a section in which all of the performers improvised solos, then returned to the melody at the end of the song.
The Bad Boy of Music
▪ Antheil's biography
◦ Ballet mécanique: a Dadaist post-Cubist art film conceived, written, and co-directed by the artist Fernand Léger in collaboration with the filmmaker Dudley Murphy (with cinematographic input from Man Ray). It has a musical score by the American composer George Antheil. However, the film premiered in a silent version on 24 September 1924 at the Internationale Ausstellung neuer Theatertechnik (International Exposition for New Theater Technique) in Vienna presented by Frederick Kiesler. It is considered one of the masterpieces of early experimental filmmaking.
In concert performance, the Ballet Mécanique is not a show of human dancers but of mechanical instruments. Among these, player pianos, airplane propellers, and electric bells stand prominently onstage, moving as machines do, and providing the visual side of the ballet. As the bizarre instrumentation may suggest, this was no ordinary piece of music. It was loud and percussive -- a medley of noises, much as the Italian Futurists envisioned new music of the 20th century.
Ballet mécanique: a Dadaist post-Cubist art film conceived, written, and co-directed by the artist Fernand Léger in collaboration with the filmmaker Dudley Murphy (with cinematographic input from Man Ray). It has a musical score by the American composer George Antheil. However, the film premiered in a silent version on 24 September 1924 at the Internationale Ausstellung neuer Theatertechnik (International Exposition for New Theater Technique) in Vienna presented by Frederick Kiesler. It is considered one of the masterpieces of early experimental filmmaking.
In concert performance, the Ballet Mécanique is not a show of human dancers but of mechanical instruments. Among these, player pianos, airplane propellers, and electric bells stand prominently onstage, moving as machines do, and providing the visual side of the ballet. As the bizarre instrumentation may suggest, this was no ordinary piece of music. It was loud and percussive -- a medley of noises, much as the Italian Futurists envisioned new music of the 20th century.
Cowell's interest in harmonic rhythm, as discussed in New Musical Resources, led him in 1930 to commission Léon Theremin to invent the Rhythmicon, or Polyrhythmophone, a transposable keyboard instrument capable of playing notes in periodic rhythms proportional to the overtone series of a chosen fundamental pitch. The world's first electronic rhythm machine, with a photoreceptor-based sound production system proposed by Cowell (not a theremin-like system, as some sources incorrectly state), it could produce up to sixteen different rhythmic patterns simultaneously, complete with optional syncopation. Cowell wrote several original compositions for the instrument, including an orchestrated concerto, and Theremin built two more models. Soon, however, the Rhythmicon would be virtually forgotten, remaining so until the 1960s, when progressive pop music producer Joe Meek experimented with its rhythmic concept. American composer, composition teacher, writer, and later in his career a conductor of his own and other American music. Instrumental in forging a distinctly American style of composition, in his later years he was often referred to as "the Dean of American Composers" and is best known to the public for the works he wrote in the 1930s and 1940s in a deliberately accessible style often referred to as "populist" and which the composer labeled his "vernacular" style.
Works in this vein include the ballets Appalachian Spring, Billy the Kid and Rodeo, his Fanfare for the Common Man and Third Symphony. The open, slowly changing harmonies of many of his works are typical of what many people consider to be the sound of American music, evoking the vast American landscape and pioneer spirit. In addition to his ballets and orchestral works, he produced music in many other genres including chamber music, vocal works, opera and film scores.
aaron copland - Although the lectures began in 1937 and the book was published in 1939, Copland's definitions, directions and advice are still as pertinent today as they were back then. While many would say that music has changed dramatically since the book's most recent revision in 1957, Copland's overall observations about the direction of music, particularly contemporary music, are dead on.
Although Copland was an expert in his field, "What to Listen for in Music" is not an academic treatise by any means. In fact, the author makes it perfectly clear in the first part of the book that one does not need to be an expert or even highly skilled in music in order to listen and appreciate what one hears. Copland's tone is that of a fellow music lover who has had more experience in this area and is eager to share his knowledge and advice. Copland's approach is utterly refreshing and friendly, encouraging the reader to continue on and soak up as much information as possible. There are some parts that are a bit laborious and technical. This is often necessary so that the reader can understand the meaning of certain aspects of music, such as harmony, physical texture, and specific musical forms such as fugue and basso ostinato.
The author does not assert or expect that after the completion of the book the blossoming music listener will suddenly recognize every form or function of music. Copland makes it very clear that the only way to truly learned to appreciate music, beyond basic knowledge, is to listen. Listening repeatedly to any form of music will increase one's awareness, and even if it doesn't come at first, the listener will begin to identify composer's specific style.
Another very crucial point Copland makes is that people tend to approach different kinds of music with the same year. This is a mistake. One cannot compare the works of the great masters such as Bach to more contemporary composers such as Roy Clark or Bono.
Overall, "What to Listen for in Music" is a must read for anyone, regardless of experience, who wishes to appreciate music in its entirety.
was a French composer, conductor, and teacher. Among her students were many of the leading composers and musicians of the 20th century as well as celebrated living composers and musicians. She also performed as a pianist and organist.
Aaron Copland, Roy Harris, Quincy Jones, John Eliot Gardiner, Elliott Carter, Dinu Lipatti, Igor Markevitch, Virgil Thomson, David Diamond, İdil Biret, Daniel Barenboim, Philip Glass and Astor Piazzolla.
Boulanger taught in the US and England, working with music academies including the Juilliard School, the Yehudi Menuhin School, the Longy School, the Royal College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music, but her principal base for most of her life was her family's flat in Paris, where she taught for most of the seven decades from the start of her career until her death at the age of 92.
Boulanger was the first woman to conduct many major orchestras in America and Europe, including the BBC Symphony, Boston Symphony, Hallé, New York Philharmonic and Philadelphia orchestras. She conducted several world premieres, including works by Copland and Stravinsky.
a composition for orchestra by the Mexican composer Silvestre Revueltas, which is based on the poem of the same title by the Cuban poet Nicolás Guillén.
based on Afro-Cuban religious cults, preserved in the cabildos, self-organized social clubs for the African slaves. African religions were transmitted from generation to generation. These religions, which had a similar but not identical structure, were known as Lucumi or Regla de Ocha if they derived from the Yoruba, Palo from Central Africa, Vodú from Haiti, and so on. In this poem we meet an adept known as the mayombero. He is knowledgeable in the area of herbal medicine, as well as being the leader of rituals. In Sensemayá, the mayombero leads a ritual which offers the sacrifice of a snake to a god, perhaps Babalu Aye. This god, popularized as Babalu in the United States by Desi Arnaz, is the Afro-Cuban spirit who has the power to heal, or spread pestilence. One of the main motives in Sensemayá is based on this word mayombero. This chant "mayombe, bombe mayombé", is an example of Guillén's use of repetition, derived from an actual ceremony.
a single movement, its sections nevertheless follow the traditional pattern for a three-movement symphony. The title signifies the fact that the thematic material consists of three melodies originating from native-American tribes of northern Mexico. The symphony is Chávez's most popular composition.
based on three Indian melodies (hence the title), which supply the ideas for what are in effect three movements, though they are played without a break (Slonimsky 1945, 234). The composer regarded this as a condensation of the traditional three-movement variety of the symphony, in which a third theme takes on the function of a slow movement (Orbón 1987b, 84). This slow theme (starting at rehearsal-number 43 in the score) is supported by an austere succession of chords built from fourths (Orbón 1987b, 86). The three main themes are melodies from the Huicholes of Nayarit, the Yaquis of Sonora, and the Seris of Tiburón Island in Baja California, supplemented by secondary themes, some of which are also quoted from folklore (García Morillo 1960, 92-93).
an article written by the American composer Milton Babbitt (May 10, 1916 - January 29, 2011) and published in the February, 1958 issue of High Fidelity. In addition to being the single most well-known work by Babbitt, it epitomized the distance that had grown between many composers and their listeners. In the words of Anthony Tommasini in the New York Times, "To this day, it is seized as evidence that he and his ilk are contemptuous of audiences" (Tommasini 1996).
Babbitt was a practitioner of integral serialism, which in his hands could be a highly technical mode of musical composition. The article, which begins "This article might have been entitled 'The Composer as Specialist'", does not refer to serialism at all, but rather takes the position that "serious", "advanced" music, like advanced mathematics, philosophy, and physics, is too complex for a "normally well-educated man without special preparation" to "understand".
Babbitt describes "serious", "advanced music" as "a commodity which has little, no, or negative commodity value", and the composer of such music as, "in essence, a 'vanity' composer". It is music of which the general public is largely unaware, and in which it takes no interest. "After all, the public does have its own music, its ubiquitous music: music to eat by, to read by, to dance by..." Performers, too, are seldom interested in "advanced" music, so that it is rarely performed at all and the exceptional occasions are mainly "poorly attended concerts before an audience consisting in the main of fellow 'professionals'. At best, the music would appear to be for, of, and by specialists". Babbitt goes on to maintain, however, that music cannot "evolve" if it only attempts to appeal to "the public". "And so, I dare suggest that the composer would do himself and his music an immediate and eventual service by total, resolute, and voluntary withdrawal from this public world to one of private performance and electronic media, with its very real possibility of complete elimination of the public and social aspects of musical composition." He recognizes the practical problems for the composer of "advanced" music not patronized by the concert-going public: "But how, it may be asked, will this serve to secure the means of survival for the composer and his music? One answer is that after all such a private life is what the university provides the scholar and the scientist." He concludes: "if this [advanced] music is not supported, the whistling repertory of the man in the street will be little affected... But music will cease to evolve, and, in that important sense, will cease to live."
"an instant, analogous to a geometrical point in space". Because it has no duration, it literally cannot be heard, but it may be used to represent "the point of initiation of a single pitch, the repetition of a pitch, or a pitch simultaneity", therefore the beginning of a sound, rather than its duration. It may also designate the release of a note or the point within a note at which something changes (such as dynamic level). Other terms often used in music theory and analysis are attack point and starting point. Milton Babbitt calls the distance from one time point, attack, or starting point to the next a time-point interval, independent of the durations of the sounding notes which may be either shorter than the time-point interval (resulting in a silence before the next time point), or longer (resulting in overlapping notes). Charles Wuorinen shortens this expression to just time interval. Other writers use the terms attack interval, or (translating the German "Einsatzabstand"), interval of entry, interval of entrance, or starting interval. After an early neoclassical phase, his style shifted to an emphasis on atonality and rhythmic complexity. His compositions are known and performed throughout the world; they include orchestral, chamber music, solo instrumental, and vocal works.
Carter's earlier works are influenced by Stravinsky, Harris, Copland, and Hindemith, and are mainly neoclassical in aesthetic. He had a strict training in counterpoint, from medieval polyphony to Stravinsky, and this shows in his earliest music, such as the ballet Pocahontas (1938-39). Some of his music during the Second World War is fairly diatonic, and includes a melodic lyricism reminiscent of Samuel Barber.
His music after 1950 is typically atonal and rhythmically complex, indicated by the invention of the term metric modulation to describe the frequent, precise tempo changes found in his work. While Carter's chromaticism and tonal vocabulary parallels serial composers of the period, Carter did not employ serial techniques in his music. On this subject, Carter said: 'I certainly have never used a twelve-tone row as the basis of a composition, in the way described in Schoenberg's Style and Idea, nor are my compositions a constant rotation of various permutations of twelve-tone rows'. Rather he independently developed and catalogued all possible collections of pitches (i.e., all possible three-note chords, five-note chords, etc.).
Carter's use of rhythm can best be understood within the concept of stratification. Each instrumental voice is typically assigned its own set of tempos. A structural polyrhythm, where a very slow polyrhythm is used as a formal device, is present in many of Carter's works. Night Fantasies, for example, uses a 216:175 tempo relation that coincides at only two points in the entire 20+ minute composition. This use of rhythm was part of his goal to expand the notion of counterpoint to encompass simultaneous different characters, even entire movements, rather than just individual lines.
The earliest significant use of music indeterminacy features is found in many of the compositions of American composer Charles Ives in the early 20th century. Henry Cowell adopted Ives's ideas during the 1930s, in such works as the Mosaic Quartet (String Quartet No. 3, 1934), which allows the players to arrange the fragments of music in a number of different possible sequences. Cowell also used specially devised notations to introduce variability into the performance of a work, sometimes instructing the performers to improvise a short passage or play ad libitum. John Cage is regarded as a pioneer of indeterminacy in music. Beginning in the early 1950s, came to refer to the (mostly American) movement which grew up around Cage.
"My intention is to let things be themselves". Cage initially defined indeterminacy as "the ability of a piece to be performed in substantially different ways"
"Any part of a musical work is indeterminate if it is chosen by chance, or if its performance is not precisely specified. The former case is called 'indeterminacy of composition'; the latter is called 'indeterminacy of performance'"
(1) the use of random procedures to produce a determinate, fixed score, process of composition, so that every parameter is fixed before their performance.
(2) mobile form - second type of indeterminate music (the only type of indeterminate music according to Cage's definition), chance elements involve the performance. Notated events are provided by the composer, but their arrangement is left to the determination of the performer.
(3) indeterminate notation, including graphic notation and texts. interpretive freedom
He composed using scales of unequal intervals in just intonation, and was one of the first 20th-century composers in the West to work systematically with microtonal scales. He built custom-made instruments in these tunings on which to play his compositions, and described his theory and practice in his book Genesis of a Music.
He tuned his instruments using the overtone series, and extended it past the twelfth partial. This allowed for a larger number of smaller, unequal intervals than found in the Western classical music tradition's twelve-tone equal temperament. Partch's tuning is often classed as microtonality, as it allowed for intervals smaller than 100 cents, though Partch did not conceive his tuning in such a context. Instead, he saw it as a return to pre-Classical Western musical roots, in particular to the music of the ancient Greeks. By taking the principles he found in Helmholtz's book, he expanded his tuning system until it allowed for a division of the octave into 43 tones based on ratios of small integers.
Partch uses the terms Otonality and Utonality to describe chords whose pitch classes are the harmonics or subharmonics of a given fixed tone. These six-tone chords function in Partch's music much the same that the three-tone major and minor chords (or triads) do in classical music. The Otonalities are derived from the overtone series, and the Utonalities from the undertone series. Partch uses Otonality and Utonality to generate a tonality diamond based on the 11-limit.
form of art music that employs limited or minimal musical materials. In the Western art music tradition the American composers La Monte Young, Terry Riley, Steve Reich, and Philip Glass are credited with being among the first to develop compositional techniques that exploit a minimal approach. It originated in the New York Downtown scene of the 1960s and was initially viewed as a form of experimental music called the New York Hypnotic School. As an aesthetic, it is marked by a non-narrative, non-teleological, and non-representational conception of a work in progress, and represents a new approach to the activity of listening to music by focusing on the internal processes of the music, which lack goals or motion toward those goals. Prominent features of the technique include consonant harmony, steady pulse (if not immobile drones), stasis or gradual transformation, and often reiteration of musical phrases or smaller units such as figures, motifs, and cells. It may include features such as additive process and phase shifting which leads to what has been termed phase music. Minimal compositions that rely heavily on process techniques that follow strict rules are usually described using the term process music.
The movement originally involved dozens of composers, although only five (Young, Riley, Reich, Glass, and later John Adams) emerged to become publicly associated with American minimal music. In Europe, the music of Louis Andriessen, Karel Goeyvaerts, Michael Nyman, Howard Skempton, Gavin Bryars, Steve Martland, Henryk Górecki, Arvo Pärt and John Tavener exhibits minimalist traits.
an American avant-garde composer, musician, and artist generally recognized as the first minimalist composer. His works are cited as notable examples of post-war experimental and contemporary music, and were tied to early Fluxus and performance art aesthetics. Young is best known for his exploration of drone music, pioneered in the 1960s with his New York-based experimental music collective, the Theater of Eternal Music.
A number of Young's early works use the twelve-tone technique, which he studied under Leonard Stein at Los Angeles City College. (Stein had served as an assistant to Arnold Schoenberg when Schoenberg, the inventor of the twelve-tone method, taught at UCLA.)  Young also studied composition with Robert Stevenson at UCLA and with Seymore Shifrin at UC Berkeley. In 1958, he developed the Trio for Strings, originally scored for violin, viola, and cello, which would presage his work in proceeding years. The Trio for Strings has been described as an "origin point for minimalism." When Young visited Darmstadt in 1959, he encountered the music and writings of John Cage. There he also met Cage's collaborator, pianist David Tudor, who subsequently gave premières of some of Young's works. At Tudor's suggestion, Young engaged in a correspondence with Cage. Within a few months Young was presenting some of Cage's music on the West Coast. In turn, Cage and Tudor included some of Young's works in performances throughout the U.S. and Europe. By this time Young had taken a turn toward the conceptual, using principles of indeterminacy in his compositions and incorporating non-traditional sounds, noises, and actions.
an American composer and performing musician associated with the minimalist school of Western classical music, of which he was a pioneer. His work is deeply influenced by both jazz and Indian classical music.
Riley's music is usually based on improvising through a series of modal figures of different lengths, such as in In C (1964) and the Keyboard Studies. The first performance of In C was given by Steve Reich, Jon Gibson, Pauline Oliveros, and Morton Subotnick. Its form was an innovation: The piece consists of 53 separate modules of roughly one measure apiece, each containing a different musical pattern but each, as the title implies, in the key of C. One performer beats a steady pulse of Cs on the piano to keep tempo. The others, in any number and on any instrument, perform these musical modules following a few loose guidelines, with the different musical modules interlocking in various ways as time goes on.
In the 1950s he was already working with tape loops, a technology then in its infancy, and he has continued manipulating tapes to musical effect, both in the studio and in live performance, throughout his career. An early tape loop piece titled The Gift (1963) featured the trumpet playing of Chet Baker. Riley has composed using just intonation as well as microtones
a return (at any of several points in the nineteenth or twentieth centuries) to the emotional expression associated with nineteenth-century Romanticism. Since the mid-1970s the term has come to be identified with neoconservative postmodernism, especially in Germany, Austria, and the United States, with composers such as Wolfgang Rihm and George Rochberg.
originated in literary theory in the early 19th century to distinguish later kinds of romanticism from earlier manifestations. In music, it was first used by Richard Wagner in his polemical 1851 article "Oper und Drama", as a disparaging term for the French romanticism of Hector Berlioz and Giacomo Meyerbeer from 1830 onwards, which he regarded as a degenerated form of true romanticism. Ironically, the word came to be used by historians of ideas to refer to music from 1850 onwards, and to the work of Wagner in particular. The designation "neo" was used to acknowledge the fact that music of the second half of the 19th century remained in a romantic mode in an unromantic age, dominated by positivism, when literature and painting had moved on to realism and impressionism. composers such as John Adams
The compositions are distinguished by a minimalist compositional aesthetic and a distinctly religious or mystical subject focus.
With the growing popularity of minimalist music in the 1960s and 1970s, which often broke sharply with prevailing musical aesthetics of serialism and aleatoric music, many composers, building on the work of such minimalists as Terry Riley, Philip Glass and Steve Reich, began to work with more traditional notions of simple melody and harmony in a radically simplified framework. This transition was seen variously as an aspect of musical post-modernism or as neo-romanticism, that is a return to the lyricism of the nineteenth century.
In the 1970s and continuing in the 1980s and 1990s, several composers, many of whom had previously worked in serial or experimental milieux, began working with similar aesthetic ideals - radically simplified compositional materials, a strong foundation in tonality or modality, and the use of simple, repetitive melodies - but included with them an explicitly religious orientation. Many of these composers looked to Renaissance or medieval music for inspiration, or to the liturgical music of the Orthodox Churches of the East, some of which employ only a cappella in their services. Examples include Arvo Pärt (an Estonian Orthodox), John Tavener (a British composer who converted to Greek Orthodoxy), Henryk Górecki (a Polish Catholic), Alan Hovhaness (the earliest mystic minimalist), Sofia Gubaidulina, Giya Kancheli, Hans Otte, Pēteris Vasks and Vladimír Godár.
Despite being grouped together, the composers tend to dislike the term, and are by no means a "school" of close-knit associates. Their widely differing nationalities, religious backgrounds, and compositional inspirations make the term problematic, but it is nonetheless in widespread use, sometimes critically, among musicologists and music critics, primarily because of the lack of a better term. "Neo-Contemplative Music" is one example of a suitable alternative.
a symphony in three movements composed by Henryk Górecki in Katowice, Poland, between October and December 1976. The work is indicative of the transition between Górecki's dissonant earlier manner and his more tonal later style.
A solo soprano sings a different Polish text  in each of the three movements. The first is a 15th-century Polish lament of Mary, mother of Jesus, the second a message written on the wall of a Gestapo cell during World War II, and the third a Silesian folk song of a mother searching for her son killed by the Germans in the Silesian uprisings. The first and third movements are written from the perspective of a parent who has lost a child, and the second movement from that of a child separated from a parent. The dominant themes of the symphony are motherhood and separation through war.
Despite a political climate that was unfavorable to modern art (often denounced as "formalist" by the communist authorities), post-war Polish composers enjoyed an unprecedented degree of compositional freedom following the establishment of the Warsaw Autumn festival in 1956. Górecki had won recognition among avant-garde composers for the experimental, dissonant and serialist works of his early career; he became visible on the international scene through such modernist works as Scontri, which was a success at the 1960 Warsaw Autumn, and his First Symphony, which was awarded a prize at the 1961 Paris Youth Bienniale. Throughout the 1960s, he continued to form acquaintanceships with other experimental and serialist composers such as Pierre Boulez and Karlheinz Stockhausen.
During the 1970s, Górecki began to distance himself from the serialism and extreme dissonance of his earlier work, and his Third Symphony, like the preceding choral pieces Euntes ibant et flebant (Op. 32, 1972) and Amen (Op. 35, 1975), starkly rejects such techniques. The lack of harmonic variation in Górecki's Third Symphony, and its reliance on repetition, marked a stage in Górecki's progression towards the harmonic minimalism and the simplified textures of his more recent work. Because of the religious nature of many of his works during this period, critics and musicologists often align him with other modernist composers who began to explore radically simplified musical textures, tonality, and melody, and who also infused many of their works with religious significance. Like-minded composers, such as Arvo Pärt and John Tavener, are frequently grouped with Górecki under the term "holy minimalism," although none of the composers classified as such has admitted to common influences.
The symphony is constructed around simple harmonies, set in a neo-modal style which makes use of the medieval musical modes, but does not adhere strictly to medieval rules of composition. A performance typically lasts about 54 minutes. Ronald Blum describes the piece as "mournful, like Mahler, but without the bombast of percussion, horns and choir, just the sorrow of strings and the lone soprano". The work consists of three elegiac movements, each marked Lento to indicate their slow tempi. Strings dominate the musical textures and the music is rarely loud—the dynamics reach fortissimo in only a few bars.
the symphony lacks dissonance outside of modal inflections (that is, occasional use of pitches that fall outside the mode), and that it does not require nonstandard techniques or virtuosic playing.