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Impressionism and the Early 20th Century

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Julie Popelka

on 10 March 2016

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Transcript of Impressionism and the Early 20th Century

Impressionism (1890-1915) and the Early 20th Century (1900-1940)
"The Scream"
Edvard Munch
What inspires art?
a French movement developed by painters who tried to capture their "first impression" of a subject through varied treatments of light and color
the Symbolist movement
The literary response to Impressionism was
, in which writings are suggestive of
rather than literally descriptive.
Second Viennese School
Arnold Schoenberg
-Alban Berg
-Anton Webern
Bach, Vivaldi, Handel
an "anti-art" movement as a reaction to the First World War, characterized by spontaneity and absurdity
Salvador Dali
"The Persistence of Memory"
Pablo Picasso
Detached, objective style
Absolute music
Expressionist music soon reached the boundaries of what was possible with the major-minor system.
Impressionism and Post-Impressionism
-characterized by modal and exotic scales

chromatic -

whole tone -

pentatonic -
Claude Debussy
-born in Paris
-entered the Paris Conservatory at age 11
-shocked his professors with bizarre harmonies that defied the rules
-he turned against sonata-allegro form, considering it outmoded
-died of cancer

-Works: orchestral music, 1 opera, 1 ballet, chamber music, piano music, choral music and cantatas
Prelude to "The Afternoon of a Faun"
Symphonic poem inspired by a poem by Symbolist writer Stephane Mallarme
Claire de lune (Moonlight)
Maurice Ravel
-born in France
-entered the Paris Conservatory at age 14

Impressionist artists had abandoned the drama-packed themes that inspired centuries of European art in favor of everyday scenes of middle-class life:

music lessons, dancing girls, boating and cafe scenes, and nature in all its beauty.
Ravel was a post-Impressionist whose need for order and clarity of organization impelled him to return to basic forms. Thus his music falls between the ideals of Impressionism and Neoclassicism.
Works: orchestral music, piano concertos, ballets, vocal works, operas, piano music and chamber music
Daphnis and Chloe
Don Quixote to Dulcinea
Song cycle
Early Modern Musical Style
-20th century music explored beyond the standard rhythmic patterns of duple, triple, and quadruple meter, now using 5, 7, 11, or 13 beats to the measure

-In 19th century music, the meter never changed for an entire movement, but now it shifts constantly. (
Changing meter

-Composers also start to use
polyrhythm - the simultaneous use of several rhythmic patterns
The New Melody
While Romantic composers tried to make their instruments "sing", early 20th century composers went a different direction.

-Melody is often not a primary element
-Use of wide leaps and dissonance
The New Harmony
In the Romantic era, most chords were made up of 3 or 4 notes.

Early 20th century composers used
polychords - highly dissonant chords with 6 or 7 notes
Atonality and the Twelve-Tone Method
The idea of abandoning tonality altogether is associated with the composer Arnold Schoenberg, thus creating
atonal music (music that lacks tonality).
music based on a particular arrangement of the twelve chromatic tones (the twelve tone method).
The Emancipation of Dissonance
The history of music has been the history of a steadily increasing tolerance on the part of listeners.

Throughout this long evolution, one factor remained constant: a clear distinction was drawn between dissonance - the element of tension - and consonance - the element of rest.
In many 20th century works, however,
tension and dissonance became the norm

What does that word even mean?
19th Century (Romanticism)

-Rich sonorities (big, full sounds)
-Big orchestra
-Strings = heart of the orchestra
-Piano as a solo instrument
20th Century (Modernism)

-Leaner sound (hard and bright)
-Smaller orchestra
-Winds = heart of the orchestra
-Dark instruments are favored, like viola, bassoon and trombone
-Emphasis on rhythm/percussion rise in importance
-Piano becomes part of the orchestral ensemble
Igor Stravinsky
"I hold that it was a mistake to consider me a revolutionary. If one only need break habit in order to be labeled a revolutionary, then every artist who has something to say and who in order to say it steps outside the bounds of established convention could be considered revolutionary."
-Igor Stravinsky
-Father was a singer

-Worked with Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov
-Famous for his ballets:
The Firebird
, and
The Rite of Spring

-Moved his family to Switzerland due to World War I, and later moved to France
-Eventually settled in California during World War II

-Know for his nationalism (Russia), Neoclassicism, and later, his movement towards twelve-tone style

Arnold Schoenberg
-born in Vienna
-lived through both world wars
-imigrated to the U.S. in 1933
-was also an artist and a writer

-his early works are Romantic and tonal, whereas his later works abadon tonality, using the twelve-tone method

-Works: orchestral music, 2 concertos, operas, choral music, chamber music, and piano music
Pierrot Lunaire
(18. The Moonfleck)
Alban Berg
He created
"Sprechstimme" (spoken voice)
- a new singing style in which the vocal melody is spoken rather than sung on exact pitches and in strict rhythm
-grew up in a wealthy family

-met Schoenberg at age 19, who became his teacher as well as his mentor and friend

-served in World War I

-his opera, Wozzeck, made him famous

-Works: 2 operas, orchestral music, chamber music and piano music

Answer the following prompts on a half sheet of paper in partners.

Describe two ways the use of rhythm has changed in Modernism.

Describe two ways orchestration has evolved during Modernism.
Anton Webern
-born in Vienna
-met Schoenberg and Berg when he was 21
-conducted and composed around Germany, but continued to live in Vienna through World War I

-During WWII, the Nazis forbade his performances and burned his writings. He was only permitted to have a few students.
-To escape Allied bombings of Vienna, he and his wife sought refuge in Salzburg
-Was shot to death by an American soldier

Works: orchestral music, chamber music, piano music, choral music
Opus 21
Second Movement

European National Schools
-Phonograph was invented in 1877

- those who study music in its cultural and global context

3 important composers:
-Béla Bartók (Hungarian)
-Sergei Prokofiev (Russian)
-Carl Orff (German)
Béla Bartók
-studied in Budapest, Hungary

-collected more than 2,000 traditional songs and dances throughout Eastern Europe, including his homeland (Hungary)

-moved to America during WWII

-Famous piece:
Concerto for Orchestra

The work, set in five movements, is called a concerto because he treated "the single orchestral instruments in a soloistic manner."
(It also goes between a meter in 2 and 5, changing often)
Youtube video: 4th movement
Sergei Prokofiev
-Known for his distinctive personal style

-His works established the young composer as the "naughty boy" of
Russian music
, a role he thoroughly enjoyed

-Famous work:
Peter and the Wolf
A narrated orchestral work for children that uses different instruments to represent each character in the story

-Famous work:
Lieutenant Kijé
An orchestral suite of 5 movements
Youtube video: Lieutenant Kijé, Fourth movement "Troika"
Carl Orff
-one of the few composers who remained active during the Nazi regime in
and won success around the world

-Supported the Nazi party

-Known for his minimalism and primitivism

-Famous work: Carmina Burana
Cantata with Latin lyrics
Youtube video: O fortuna, from Carmina Burana
American Modernism in Music
John Philip Sousa, known as "The March King", wrote over 130 marches for band.
Charles Ives (1874-1954)
-born in Connecticut, son of a U.S. Army band leader in the Civil War

-studied music at Yale

-grew to be a successful business man after he graduated and composed music for fun in his free time
Country Band March
The Cage
Variations on "America"
Ruth Crawford (1901-1953)
-born in Ohio, lived in Florida, studied in Chicago

-studied in Europe and met Bartok and Berg

-composed in a serialistic style
On a separate sheet of paper:
If you like the piece:

-Which instrument is your favorite and what about it do you like? (tone color, range, style, etc.)

-What do you like about the style of the piece? (speed, tonal or atonal, happy/sad, orchestration, etc.)

-What do you think the piece is about?
If you don't like the piece:

-Talk about an instrument you don't like and describe what you don't like about it. (tone color, range, style, etc.)

-What do you not like about the style of the piece? (speed, tonal or atonal, happy/sad, orchestration, etc.)

-What do you think the piece is about?
"A nation creates music - the composer only arranges it."
(Mikhail Glinka)
Nationalism in the Americas
William Grant Still
-born in Mississippi, grew up in Arkansas
-studied violin from early on and grew up to be a professional musician
-arranged music for radio and musical theater, but continued his classical studies as well

-His first symphony, the
, premiered in 1931, was the first symphony by an African-American composer to be performed by a major American orchestra
He broke several racial barriers by becoming one of the representatives of the
Harlem Renaissance movement
, incorporating black music idioms in his works as a means to promote the position of African-Americans in the United States.
Suite for Violin and Piano
Third movement
Aaron Copland: American Nationalist
-born in Brooklyn, studied in Paris

-one of America's greatest contemporary composers

-wrote jazz, neoclassical music, twelve tone, film scores, and more
Appalachian Spring (ballet)
"Simple Gifts"
Fanfare for the Common Man
"Ho-down" from Rodeo
Art Music Traditions in Mexico
The modern musical traditions of Mexico are rich and varied, drawing from the indigenous Amerindian cultures as well as from the country's Hispanic culture.

Mestizo - a person of mixed Spanish and Amerindian ancestry
Silvestre Revueltas
-Mexican nationalist composer

-considered a representative of "mestizo realism", a movement that drew on elements of the traditional culture of contemporary Mexico

-Spanish Civil War (late 1930's)

-child prodigy on the violin
-studied composition in Mexico City
-studied in the U.S. as well

-his love for Mexican provincial music is obvious through lyrical melodies that are driven by complex polyrhythms and dissonance/chromaticism
Mariachi ensemble -
consists of trumpets, violins and guitars (including a five-stringed vihuela and guitarron)
guitarron - "bass guitar"
Charros - Mexican cowboys with wide-brimmed sombreros
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