Like this study set? Create a free account to save it.

Sign up for an account

Already have a Quizlet account? .

Create an account

Twentieth century characteristics

-New instruments: Mostly percussion
-New vocal and instrumental sounds: Sprechstimme, rap, Prepared piano
-Expanded playing techniques; uncommon techniques become natural, heightened awareness of tone colors, harmony, less concerned with establishing a key.

How did technology influence and change music?

Sound. By 1950s, tape recording made possible longer recordings, editing, and improved sound quality. In digital technology, the electric signal is converted into digital information by sampling the waveform at an extremely high rate . Popular music is the dominant commercial force in musical life

Atonality or Atonal music

the principle of avoiding both the tonic and it's corollary; music that is not centered around a central key or scale


Late nineteenth and early twentieth-century movement in the arts that sought to convey the deep emotions that lie under the surface of-and are often obscured by-objective reality


"speech voice" vocal style between speech and
singing that approximates the pitches but sticks closely to the rhythm


late 19th and early 20th century movement in the arts that favored exploration of elements such as light, color, and sound over literal representation

Whole-tone Scale

scale that divides the octave into 6 equal segments a whole tone or whole step apart


an interest in the art and music of non-Western and
non-literate societies and in music: the use of insistent rhythms and percussive sounds, dissonance, narrow range melodies, primeval subjects

The Rite of Spring basic plot

A ballet by Stravinsky about pagan rituals which culminate in a girl dancing herself to death as a sacrifice to the god of Spring

John Philip Sousa

Famous band leader/conductor and composer of band music.Known as the "March King" / America's best known composer during his lifetime

Concert band

large performing ensemble consisting of woodwinds
including saxophones, brasses, and percussion instruments


work (for concert band) that typically includes four or five melodies or "strains" that are 16 or 32 measures in length, usually written in a duple meter and performed at a brisk walking tempo

Charles Ives

by 1940s, was considered the 1st great American composer and arguably the most original composer. He used 20th century techniques such as polytonality, atonality,polyphony, and unusual chords while quoting familiar songs.

Carlos Chavez

Mexico's most important composer and musical figure during the middle of the 20th century. One of the composers who sparked the "Aztec Renaissance" of classical music that was distinctly Mexican in theme and style.

Aaron Copland

America's best known classical composer. Created an accessible style with a distinctly American identity. He used jazz influences, folk-songs, hymns, and familiar songs with 20th century techniques such as thin textures, wide intervals, and using silence.


was a means of asserting national identity by drawing on the legends, history, and literature of the people, creating vocal music in their own language, and drawing on folk song and dance

Ragtime, Rag

Syncopated American musical style of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries that began as dance music in the bordello districts of New Orleans


Forerunner of Jazz; Characterized by 12-bar form, call and response between voice and instrument, blue notes, and phrases that start on high notes and end low. Very personal topics.

Twelve-bar Blues

A strophic form with well-established conventions for the lyrics, harmony, texture, and form

Call and response

Regular exchanges between contrasting voices

Blues progression

Series using the three basic chords of common practice harmony at its foundation, with each phrase beginning with a different chord and returning to the tonic chord halfway through the phrase

Blue note

"Bent," expressive note outside the major scale


characteristics: more syncopation and/or less insistent beat keeping, extensive improvisation, and more adventurous


the wind and brass instruments (or other melody-line instruments) in a jazz combo; from the position of the players on the bandstand, standing in a line in front of the rhythm instruments; front line or melody-line instruments, cornet/trumpet, clarinet, trombone, improvise against the rhythm section

Rhythm section

The part of a musical group that supplies the rhythmic and harmonic foundation of a performance; usually includes at least one chord instrument, a bass instrument, and a percussion instrument


creating music spontaneously rather than performing a previously learned song the same way every time


an accent that conflicts with the beat or meter instead of confirming it

Scat singing

An improvised instrumental-style vocal with no words

Bebop, Bop

a new kind of jazz, primarily for listening, which evolved during the mid-1940s and featured a rapid tempo and irregular melodic lines that at times sounded like the new style's name


Short melodic kernel in popular music that functions much like a motive in classical music but on a more modest scale

Arnold Schoenberg

one of the leading Expressionist composers, a
pioneering composer of Atonal music, and created Serialism or Twelve Tone Composition

Serialism or Twelve-tone Composition

System of pitch organization in which all twelve pitches within the octave are organized into a series rather than organized hierarchically

Tone Row

In serial composition, the arrangement of all twelve pitches within the octave in a particular sequence


the original tone row


Reversal of the original sequence of twelve pitches in a serial composition(backward) one of the 4 basic ways to treat a
tone row

Retrograde Inversion

one of the 4 basic ways to treat a tone row


In serial composition, reversing the direction of the intervals between pitches of the tone row one of the 4 basic ways to treat a tone row

Anton Webern

Student and friend of Schoenberg who wrote brief, clean, delicate pieces. Composed using serialism, total serialism, and Klangfrabenmelodie

Total serialism

expands the concept of 12 tone technique to include the organization of any musical element such as rhythm, texture, dynamics, and timbre

Klangfarbenmelodie or Tone color melody

is a succession of tone colors treated as a structural equivalent to a melody


For wind players, playing more than one pitch simultaneously on an instrument designed to play one note at a time

Tone cluster

Effect produced by striking the piano keys with a fist or other objects


Instrument capable of generating sound electronically


Transfer of a recorded sound from its source into another recording

Musique concrete

Music created by recording sounds not produced by musical instruments, extracting sound snippets, and subjecting them to various modification

Electronic composition

is sounds produced on or in electronic equipment such as synthesizers and computers

Steve Reich

Is a pioneer in Minimalism
Music for 18 musicians, Section IIIA
For 4 vocalist, violin, cello, clarinets, pitched percussion, piano


A diverse body of music with little activity or little change in activity; a comprehensive rejection of serialism and the European tradition from which it came

John Cage

American composer, inventor of the prepared piano, and
most famous and influential creator of chance music

Prepared piano

John Cage's technique of changing the piano's timbre by inserting objects among its strings

Chance music

20th century avant-Garde music that introduced the element of chance into composition and performance, such as determining the order of performance through the toss of a coin

Musical comedy

Lighthearted stage entertainment born in the early twentieth century, featuring a great deal of singing, dancing, and comedy

Verse-chorus form

The most widely used popular song form through the late 1950s; featured a storytelling verse followed by a tuneful chorus, or refrain


In verse-chorus songs, that part of a song in which both melody and lyrics are repeated; also called refrain

Leonard Bernstein

one of America¹s most multi-talented musicians of the 20th century, conductor, composer, pianist, lecturer/commentator, and author, and combined classical and popular music styles in his works

West Side Story basic plot

a retelling of the Romeo (Tony) and Juliet (Maria) story set in contemporary New York City among rival gangs, the Jets and the Sharks

Rock Musical

Theater work that shows the influence of rock in spirit and style

Boogie woogie

Blues piano style characterized by repetitive accompaniment patterns in a low register


Process of recording additional sounds on an existing recording


Post-World War II country style popularized by such artists as Hank Williams

Bob Dylan

originally well-known for Folk music, significant for his poetry/lyrics, first went electric on his album Bringing It All Back Home, not typical Rock music, his singing isn¹t conventional, but rather closer speech and ideal for the commentary of the lyrics

The Beatles

early works were inspired by early American rock and roll groups, among the first to write melody-oriented songs that were in step with the changes in popular music, and created music that supportedtheir lyrics

Concept album

Album unified by a particular creative theme


Remake of an existing song

John Williams

composer, arranger, conductor, pianist, popular
film composer for nearly 80 films, has also composed numerous concertos, and has a Neo-Romantic style


Process during composing film that involves viewing the film and determining those scenes where music will enhance the on-screen events

Please allow access to your computer’s microphone to use Voice Recording.

Having trouble? Click here for help.

We can’t access your microphone!

Click the icon above to update your browser permissions and try again


Reload the page to try again!


Press Cmd-0 to reset your zoom

Press Ctrl-0 to reset your zoom

It looks like your browser might be zoomed in or out. Your browser needs to be zoomed to a normal size to record audio.

Please upgrade Flash or install Chrome
to use Voice Recording.

For more help, see our troubleshooting page.

Your microphone is muted

For help fixing this issue, see this FAQ.

Star this term

You can study starred terms together

Voice Recording