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Higher 20th Century Music

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Gillespies Music

on 19 August 2014

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Transcript of Higher 20th Century Music

20th Century Music

Have knowledge and understanding of different eras of music

Be able to analyse music both from a score and from a listening extract.

Have knowledge and understanding of music literacy.
Weekly homework
Listen to piece of music on classic fm, or the equivalent and be prepared to talk to the class about what you heard.

You should refer to:
For example
Hallelujah chorus by Handel

The hallelujah chorus is from a famous oratorio called the Messiah. It is scored for orchestra, SATB choir and SATB soloists. It is a sacred work composed in the Baroque Era.

Handel is a german composer from the Baroque Era and is most famous for his oratorios.

The hallelujah chorus is syllabic and has a homophonic texture. The choir sings in four parts creating harmony. Some words are accented to emphasis the importance of the words. It is performed at a Forte dynamic level as the text is glorifying God. This is an example of word-painting.
Lets do one together
Comment on:







Listening: 20TH Century Music - Serialist
A style of musical composition invented by the composer Arnold Schoenberg, in which all
twelve notes of the chromatic scale are organised into a series or tone row.

This row can then be used in
retrograde (i.e. in reverse), inversion (i.e. upside down) and retrograde inversion (i.e. in reverse and upside down).

Each version of the row can also be transposed. All the melodic ideas and chords would be derived from the tone row. The overall effect can be very
dissonant and atonal.

Possible tones
Go to a keyboard, and chose a tone row to make up your own mini serialist piece.

choose 9 tones.
choose an appropriate rhythm.
“Speech-song”. A technique used in vocal music in which the singer is required to use the voice in an expressive manner, half way between singing and speaking. The music, therefore, is recited rather than sung.

Composers such as
used this technique, so the texts are often in

Characteristics of Sprechgesang
Eerie sung speech
Wide leaps
Generally atonal
Accompaniment is often dissonant
Clashing harmonies
Complex and irregular rhythms
Listen to an excerpt from
from Pierrot Lunaire by
. This is an
work sometimes performed with the reciter dressed as a clown. The central character is the tragi-comic white-faced clown of the old French pantomime.

Musique Concrète
Recorded natural sounds that are modified using simple editing techniques such as cutting and re-assembling, playing backwards, slowing down and speeding up etc.

The sounds used could be anything from a clock ticking or a door slamming, to birds singing or water running. These could also be combined with electronic sounds.

Minimalist Music
Minimalist music is a style of music that evolved during the second half of the 20th Century.

Minimalist composers, such as
Philip Glass
John Adams
, deliberately attempted to make their music less complicated by basing their compositions on simple melodic and
rhythmic figures
that are constantly
with only very slight changes each time. Complete pieces are often based entirely on
short repeated motifs.

Dance II - Phillip Glass

Neo-classical Music
Composers wanted to return to the structures and styles of earlier periods. Made it more modern by combining dissonant, tonal and atonal harmonies. Composers started to write for smaller orchestras. Stravinsky and Prokofiev are two composers of this style.

Lets listen to Stravinsky’s Danses Concertantes,
Listen out for the dissonance in the march section…the orchestra is smaller, with a lighter sound than that of the Romantic Era.

A theme occurring throughout a work which represents a person, an event or an idea, etc. The first composer to use leitmotiv extensively was Wagner in his operas

The music uses unresolved and parallel chords, whole tone and pentatonic scales and uses texture and timbre to create music which could sound dreamy and atmospheric.

Whole Tone Scale:

Used in Impressionism.
No semi-tones in the scale.
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