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Terms in this set (10)
How did the generation of young composers who came of age during and after WWII feel about their cultural heritage? What did they think of neo-classicism, and what were they suspicious of?
They felt that their cultural heritage was linked to the social and political failures of the past. Rejected Neo-classic as a misguided attempted to reconcile they new technical innovations of the 20th cent- music with aesthetic assumption of an earlier age.
What kind of music did they want to create, and who did they look to as models for their new music?
Wanted to create music that was uncompromising, art that did not appeal to the masses. 12-tone music, free of the associations with the past and the taint of any political or ideological associations. Seen as pure music.
What is the significance of Darmnstadt to the history of music in the post-WWII era?
Summer courses— new music and new composers.
What was the main argument in Boulez's famous article entitled "Schoenberg is Dead"?
Praised Schoenberg for inventing thee 12-tone system, but castigated him for not realizing its potential. Complained that he treated the row as a "theme" which he inherited from the past.
How would you define "total serialism"?
Serialization of all parameters of music.
How was the idea of total serialism realized in Boulez's Structures I? What was the ironic result of such strict organization?
Used pitches, durations, and attack types that Messiaen hard done (total of 12)
Devised tables based on transpositions of original pitch series and transpositions of its inversion.
The more strictly controlled the music, the less "organized" it sounded.
What American composer was also working to apply serial procedures to durations at this time?
Milton Babbitt (1916-2011)
What were some of the characteristics of Milton Babbitt's music? How did his approach differ from that of many of his European contemporaries?
Brought a sense of scientific rigor to music composition. Set theory, combinatoriality, pitch class.
Loaded his compositions with logical and numerical relationships that were too complex for anyone to hear. Believed this was absolute truth.
His serial procedures were a direct outgrowth and extension of his study of classic 12-tone music. Pitch was his primary structural element in his music.
How was Boulez's Le Marteau sans maître constructed? What is unusual about the instrumentation?
9 movements, scored for small ensemble: contralto, alto flute, xylorimba, vibraphone, percussion, guitar and viola. Selected because of their interlocking characteristics. The instruments that are used vary from movement to movement.
Settings of surrealistic poems by René Char (1934). 3 cycles based on 3 poems, not separate cycle but interlocked. Get away from 1 dimensional music.
What is the reason for the constant tempo changes in the work?
Practical considerations: impossible for performers to execute 27 vs. 28. Easier to obtain complex relationships by writing simpler ratios and introducing changes of speed. Goal is to do away with pulsation (sense of speed).
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