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Encyclopedia > Modernism (music)
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Modernism in musicis characterized by a desire for or belief in progressand science, surrealism, anti-romanticism, politicaladvocacy, general intellectualism, and/or a breaking with tradition or common practice. Ezra Pound's modernistslogan, "Make it new," in music. Modern music is often thought to begin with, or just after, Debussy's impressionism, rising to rhetorical, if not commercial, dominance after World War Two, and then being gradually superseded by post-modern music. Progress can refer to: The idea of a process in which societies or individuals become better or more modern (technologically and/or socially). ... // What is science? There are different theories of what science is. ... Jump to: navigation, search Surrealism is a cultural, artistic, and intellectual movement oriented toward the liberation of the mind by emphasizing the critical and imaginative faculties of the unconscious mind and the attainment of a state different from, more than, and ultimately truer than everyday reality: the sur-real, i. ... Politics is the process and method of decision-making for groups of human beings. ... Jump to: navigation, search Advocacy is an umbrella term for organized activism related to a particular set of issues. ... An intellectual is a person who uses his or her intellect to study, reflect, and speculate on a variety of different ideas. ... In music the common practice period is a long period in western musical history spanning from before the classical era proper to today, dated, on the outside, as 1600-1900. ... Ezra Pound in 1913. ... This article focuses on the cultural movement labeled modernism or the modern movement. See also: Modernism (Roman Catholicism) or Modernist Christianity; Modernismo for specific art movement(s) in Spain and Catalonia. ... Jump to: navigation, search World War II was a truly global conflict with many facets: immense human suffering, fierce indoctrinations, and the use of new, extremely devastating weapons such as the atom bomb World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a mid-20th-century conflict that... Postmodern music is both a musical style and a musical condition. ...

History of European art music
Medieval (476 CE – 1400)
Renaissance (1400 – 1600)
Baroque (1600 – 1760)
Classical (1730 – 1820)
Romantic (1815 – 1910)
20th & 21st century (1900 – present)


Jump to: navigation, search Classical music is a broad, somewhat imprecise term, referring to music produced in, or rooted in the traditions of, European art, ecclesiastical and concert music, encompassing a broad period from roughly 1000 to the present day. ... A musician plays the vielle in a 14th century medieval manuscript. ... Renaissance music is classical music written during the Renaissance, approximately 1450 to 1600. ... Jump to: navigation, search Baroque music is European classical music written during the Baroque era, approximately 1600 to 1760. ... Jump to: navigation, search The Classical period in Western music occurred in a large part of the 18th century, and into the early 19th century. ... Jump to: navigation, search The era of Romantic music is defined as the period of European classical music that runs roughly from the early 1800s to the first decade of the 20th century, as well as music written according to the norms and styles of that period. ... Jump to: navigation, search 20th century classical music, the classical music of the 20th century, was extremely diverse, beginning with the late Romantic style of Sergei Rachmaninoff and the Impressionism of Claude Debussy, and ranging to such distant sound-worlds as the complete serialism of Pierre Boulez, the simple triadic...

Defining musical modernism

Musicologist Carl Dahlhaus restricted his definition of musical modernism to progressive music in the period 1890-1910: "The year 1890...lends itself as an obvious point of historical discontinuity....The "breakthrough" of Mahler, Strauss, and Debussy implies a profound historical transformation....If we were to search for a name to convey the breakaway mood of the 1890's (a mood symbolized musically by the opening bars of Strauss's Don Juan) but without imposing a fictitious unity of style on the age, we could do worse than revert to [the] term "modernism" extending (with some latitude) from the 1890 to the beginnings of our own twentieth-century modern music in 1910....The label "late romanticism"...is a terminological blunder of the first order and ought to be abandoned forthwith. It is absurd to yoke Strauss, Mahler, and the young Schoenberg, composers who represent modernism in the minds of their turn-of-the-century contemporaries, with the self-proclaimed anti-modernist Pfitzner, calling them all "late romantics" in order to supply a veneer of internal unity to an age fraught with stylistic contradictions and conflicts." Carl Dahlhaus (June 10, 1928- May 1989), a musicologist from Berlin, has been one of the major contributors to the development of musicology as a scholarly discipline during the post-war era. ... In mathematics, a continuous function is one in which arbitrarily small changes in the input produce arbitrarily small changes in the output. ... Richard Strauss (June 11, 1864 – September 8, 1949) was a German composer of the late Romantic era, particularly noted for his tone poems and operas. ... Claude Debussy Claude Achille Debussy (August 22, 1862 – March 25, 1918), composer of impressionistic classical music. ... Jump to: navigation, search Don Juan is a legendary fictional libertine, whose story has been told many times by different authors. ... Style may refer to genre, design, format, or appearance, including: Clothing: fashion Flower part: flower Music: music genre Sundial part: Gnomon Titles or honorifics: Style (manner of address) including Chinese courtesy names Web design: Cascading Style Sheets Writing: style guide and literary genre Linguistics: Variation in language use of an... Jump to: navigation, search The era of Romantic music is defined as the period of European classical music that runs roughly from the early 1800s to the first decade of the 20th century, as well as music written according to the norms and styles of that period. ... Hans Pfitzner (May 5, 1869 - May 22, 1949) was a German composer and self-described anti-modernist. ... Jump to: navigation, search Romanticism was an artistic and intellectual movement in the history of ideas that originated in late 18th century Western Europe. ...

Thus, Daniel Albright (2004) dates musical modernism from 1894-5 (Debussy's Prélude à 'L'après-midi d'un faune and Strauss's Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche), and considers musical modernism's main features to be:

  1. Comprehensiveness and depth.
  2. Semantic specificity and density.
  3. Extensions and destructions of tonality.

However, as an alternative to this definition Albright proposes: "Modernism is a testing of the limits of aesthetic construction." Besides eliminating the progress meta-narrative of the above definition, this definition is also capable of application to more the music, artists, and movements considered modernist: Expressionism & New Objectivity, Hyperrealism & Abstractionism, Neoclassicism & Neobarbarism, Futurism & the Mythic Method. Look up depth in Wiktionary, the free dictionary In classical physics, depth is a distance measured vertically from top to bottom (height) or horizontally from outside to inside (thickness). ... In general, semantics (from the Greek semantikos, or significant meaning, derived from sema, sign) is the study of meaning, in some sense of that term. ... In binary testing, e. ... Jump to: navigation, search Density (symbol: ρ - Greek: rho) is a measure of mass per unit of volume. ... Tonality is the character of music written with hierarchical relationships of pitches, rhythms, and chords to a center or tonic. ... Atonality describes music that departs from the system of tonal hierarchies, which characterizes the sound of classical European music between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. ... Jump to: navigation, search Tonality is a system of writing music according to certain hierarchical pitch relationships around a center or tonic. ... Aesthetics (or esthetics) (from the Greek word αισθητική) is a branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of beauty. ... In critical theory, and particularly postmodernism, a metanarrative is a grand overarching account, or all-encompassing story, which is thought to give order to the historical record. ... Jump to: navigation, search On White II by Wassily Kandinsky, 1923. ... The New Objectivity, or neue Sachlichkeit (new matter-of-factness), was an art movement which arose in Germany during the 1920s as an outgrowth of, and in opposition to, expressionism. ... Hyperreality (not to be confused with surrealism) is a concept in semiotics and postmodern philosophy. ... // An abstraction is an idea, concept, or word which defines the phenomena which make up the concrete events or things which the abstraction refers to, the referents. ... Neoclassicism (sometimes rendered as Neo-Classicism or Neo-classicism) is the name given to quite distinct movements in the visual arts, literature, theatre, music, and architecture. ... A barbarism is a word or expression that is not standard in a language. ... Futurism has several meanings. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Mythology. ...

The modern music would, in turn, give rise to postmodernism. Albright cites John Cage's 1951 composition of Music of Changes as the beginning of post-modern music. Postmodern music is both a musical style and a musical condition. ... John Cage John Milton Cage (September 5, 1912 – August 12, 1992) was an American experimental music composer and writer. ...

Examples of modernism in music

See: List of modernistic pieces. Jump to: navigation, search George Antheil Ballet mécanique Bela Bartok Bluebeards Castle (1911) Cantata Profana Piano Concerto No. ...

Expansion and destruction of tonality

Modernist movements include expansion to common practice tonality, such as Debussy, Strauss, Mahler, the young Schoenberg, and the polytonality of Darius Milhaud, Paul Hindemith, and Ives. Alternatives to common practice include the twelve tone technique of the older Arnold Schoenberg and pupils, the serialism of Milton Babbitt and Pierre Boulez, as well as the high dissonance of Carl Ruggles, Ruth Crawford-Seeger, and Charles Seeger's dissonant counterpoint and Henry Cowell's tone clusters. Darius Milhaud (September 4, 1892 - June 22, 1974) was a French-Jewish composer and teacher. ... Jump to: navigation, search Paul Hindemith (November 16, 1895 – December 28, 1963) was a German composer, violist, teacher, theorist and conductor. ... Twelve-tone technique is a system of musical composition devised by Arnold Schoenberg. ... Jump to: navigation, search Arnold Schoenberg, Los Angeles, 1948 For the American music critic and journalist, see Harold Charles Schonberg. ... In the music theory of European classical music serialism is a set of methods for composing and analyzing works of music based on structuring those works around the parameterization of parts of music: that is, ordering pitch, dynamics, instrumentation, rhythm, and on occasion other elements into a row or series... Milton Byron Babbitt (born May 10, 1916) is an American composer. ... Pierre Boulez (IPA: /pjɛʁ.buˈlɛz/) (born March 26, 1925) is a conductor and composer of classical music. ... American composer Charles Sprague Ruggles (March 11, 1876 _ October 24, 1971), better known as Carl, wrote finely-crafted pieces using dissonant counterpoint, a term coined by Charles Seeger to describe Ruggles music. ... Ruth Crawford-Seeger (July 3, 1901 in East Liverpool, Ohio - November 18, 1953 in Chevy Chase, Maryland), born Ruth Porter Crawford, was a modernist composer. ... Charles Seeger (Mexico City, Mexico, 1886 - 1979) was musicologist, composer, and teacher. ... Counterpoint is a very general feature of music (especially prominent in much Western music) whereby two or more melodic strands occur simultaneously - in separate voices, either literally or metaphorically (if the music is instrumental). ... Henry Cowell (March 11, 1897 - December 10, 1965) was an American composer and teacher. ... A tone cluster, in music and in Western tuning, is a chord or simultaneity comprised of consecutive tones separated chromatically. ...

Comprehensiveness and depth

Gustav Mahler attempted extreme comprehensiveness and depth, to write the music of the whole world. Jump to: navigation, search Gustav Mahler Gustav Mahler (July 7, 1860–May 18, 1911) was a Bohemian-Austrian composer and conductor. ...

Science and sci-fi

Futurists such as Ferruccio Busoni and Luigi Russolo looked to a future of music liberated to the point of being able to use any sound, even "noises" such as factory and mechanical sounds, while Edgard Varese gave his pieces scientific names such as Hyperprism and Intégrales, comparing the musical structures to crystals, before creating electronic tape pieces such as Poème Électronique, premiered in the Le Corbusier designed Philips Pavilion at the 1958 Brussels World's Fair with 400 speakers, designed with assistance by Iannis Xenakis. Xenakis himself applied mathematical concepts to the composition of music. Futurism has several meanings. ... Ferruccio Busoni Dante Michaelangelo Benvenuto Ferruccio Busoni (April 1, 1866 – July 27, 1924) was an Italian composer, pianist, music teacher and conductor. ... Luigi Russolo ca. ... A schematic representation of hearing. ... Jump to: navigation, search NOiSE is a one volume manga created by Tsutomu Nihei as a prequel to his much-acclaimed ten-volume work, Blame! It offers some rather sketchy information concerning the Megastructures origins and initial size, as well as the beginnings of silicon life ... Edgar (or Edgard) Var se (December 22, 1883 – November 6, 1965) was a French-born composer, who moved to the United States in 1915, and took American citizenship in 1926. ... Notre Dame du Haut Le Corbusier (October 6, 1887–August 27, 1965) was a Swiss architect famous for what is now called the International Style, along with Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Walter Gropius, and Theo van Doesburg. ... Iannis Xenakis (Ιάννης Ξενάκης) (May 29, 1922 Romania - February 4, 2001) was a Greek composer and architect who spent much of his life in Paris. ...

Extended techniques and sounds

John Cage and Lou Harrison wrote works for percussion orchestras, Harrison eventually writing for and building gamelans, while Cage popularized extended techniques on the piano in his prepared piano pieces. Harry Partch built his own ensemble of instruments, mostly percussion and string instruments, to allow the performance of his theatrical ("corporeal") justly tuned microtonal music. Alois Haba specialized in alternative equal temperaments rather than the standard twelve-tone equal temperament and Ives wrote quarter tone pieces for piano. John Cage John Milton Cage (September 5, 1912 – August 12, 1992) was an American experimental music composer and writer. ... Lou Silver Harrison (May 14, 1917 - February 2, 2003) was an American composer. ... Percussion instruments are music instruments played by being struck, shaken, rubbed or scraped, hence the percussive name. ... Jump to: navigation, search A gamelan is a musical ensemble of Indonesian origin typically featuring metallophones, xylophone(s), drums, and gongs. ... Extended technique is a term used in music to describe unconventional, unorthodox or improper techniques of singing, or of playing musical instruments. ... Jump to: navigation, search A prepared piano is a piano that has had its sound altered by placing objects (preparations) between or on the strings or on the hammers or dampers. ... Harry Partch (June 24, 1901 – September 3, 1974) was an American composer. ... Just intonation is any musical tuning in which the frequencies of notes are related by whole number ratios. ... Microtonal music is music using microtones -- intervals of less than a semitone, or as Charles Ives put it, the notes between the cracks of the piano. ... Equal temperament is a scheme of musical tuning in which the octave is divided into a series of equal steps (equal frequency ratios). ... A quarter tone is an interval half as wide (aurally, or logarithmically) as a semitone, which is half a whole tone. ...

Speech and singing

One of the aesthetical boundaries tested was that between speech and singing, with composers such as Leos Janacek, Schoenberg, Alban Berg, and Harry Partch suggesting greater attention to and use of speech in music. Berg wrote Wozzeck using Schoenberg's Spreichsteime, Janacek based his melodies and motifs upon rhythms and inflections of Hungarian speech, and Partch devised his first just intonation instruments partly so as to play the fine pitch inflections of speech. The title given to this article is incorrect due to technical limitations. ...

Artists who were non-professional composers also wrote music with an emphasis on speech. Ezra Pound wrote a monophonically chanted opera, T.S. Eliot wrote "The Music of Poetry" (1942), while dada artist Kurt Schwitters wrote "speech-music" that proved highly influential on later sound poets such as Ursonate: Rondo (1921-32), based on a single word, fmsbwtözäu, from a Raoul Hausmann poem. Kurt Schwitters (June 20, 1887 - January 8, 1948) was a German painter who was born in Hannover, Germany. ... Raoul Hausmann (July 12, 1886–February 1, 1971) was a German painter, sculptor and writer. ...

Visual art and music

Schoenberg was a painter, while dada and futurist visual artists such as Jean Cocteau and Luigi Russolo wrote music. Theodor Adorno accused Igor Stravinsky's music of being a "pseudomorphism of painting." Xenakis created the Philips Pavilion at the 1958 Brussels World Fair after his earlier piece Metastasis. The ballet became more respected during the modernist period, see Emile Jaques-Dalcroze, and the development of the film industry created a market and outlet for film composers such as communist Hanns Eisler who borrowed Brecht and Weill's ideas of alienation from the theater. Emile Jaques-Dalcroze (July 6, 1865 - July 1, 1950), was a Swiss musician and educator who developed Eurhythmics, a method of learning and experiencing music through movement. ... Hanns Eisler (July 6, 1898 - September 6, 1962) was a German and Austrian composer. ...


Many modernists are ardent individualists, such as Varese, transcendentalist Charles Ives, Conlon Nancarrow, who became an expatriot in Mexico after fighting in the Spanish Civil War, and Elliott Carter. Carter composes atonal music with complex rhythms and often highly individualized parts, but refuses to be confined by writing twelve tone or serial music. For judgements of value about collectivism and individualism, see individualism and collectivism. ... Transcendental in philosophical contexts In philosophy, transcendental experiences are experiences of an exclusively human nature that are other-worldly or beyond the human realm of understanding. ... Jump to: navigation, search This photo from around 1913 shows Ives in his day job: he was the director of a successful insurance agency. ... Conlon Nancarrow (October 27, 1912 - August 10, 1997) was an American composer who took Mexican citizenship in 1955. ... Jump to: navigation, search Elliott Cook Carter, Jr. ... Atonality in a general sense describes music that departs from the system of tonal hierarchies that are said to characterized the sound of classical European music from the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries. ... Rhythm (Greek ρυθμός = tempo) is the variation of the duration of sounds or other events over time. ...

Ethnomusicology and political advocacy

Bela Bartok devoted much of his time to the study and preservation in recording of Hungarian folk music, which influenced his music, while Ruth Crawford-Seeger abandoned modernist composition for years while working as an ethnomusicologist studying, transcribing, and setting folk music. B la Bart k (March 25, 1881 – September 26, 1945) was a composer, pianist and collector of East European folk music. ... Franz Liszt, prominent Hungarian composer Hungary has made many contributions to the fields of folk, popular and classical music . ... A musicologist is someone who studies musicology. ... Jump to: navigation, search Folk music, in the original sense of the term, is music by and of the people. ...

The Seegers were communists, while Ives was, politically, blatantly populist, if androcentric, and considered that some insurance should be affordable for everyone. He petitioned William Howard Taft in 1920 to transform the presidential election into a national referendum. Schoenberg wrote a Zionist play about the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Africa. Filippo Tommaso Marinetti was one of the first fascists in Italy. Filippo Tommaso Emilio Marinetti (Born December 22, 1876 in Alexandria, Egypt. ... Fascism (in Italian, fascismo), capitalized, was the authoritarian political movement which ruled Italy from 1922 to 1943 under the leadership of Benito Mussolini. ...


Igor Stravinsky abandoned the "Dyonysian" modernism of his early work The Rite of Spring for a more "Apollonian" neo-classicism. Aaron Copland shifted from a highly dissonant modernist style to the populism of many of his works. Igor Fyodorovitch Stravinsky (Russian: ) (June 17, 1882 – April 6, 1971) was a Russian-American composer of modern classical music. ... Jump to: navigation, search Le Sacre du printemps (English: The Rite of Spring; Russian: Весна священная) is a ballet with music by the Russian composer Igor Stravinsky. ... Jump to: navigation, search Aaron Copland Aaron Copland (November 14, 1900–December 2, 1990) was an American composer of concert and film music. ...

George Perle sees a "common practice" in the, "shared premise of the harmonic equivalence of inversionally symmetrical pitch-class relations," among modernist composers such as Varese, Alban Berg, Bartok, Schoenberg, Alexander Scriabin, Stravinsky, and Anton Webern. George Perle (born May 6, 1915 in Bayonne, New Jersey) is a composer and musicologist who has studied with Ernst Krenek. ... Alban Maria Johannes Berg (February 9, 1885 – December 24, 1935) was an Austrian composer. ... Alexander Nikolayevich Scriabin (Алекса́ндр Никола́евич Скря́бинь; sometimes transliterated as Skryabin or Skrjabin) (January 6, 1872 – April 27, 1915) was a Russian composer and pianist. ... Anton Webern (December 3, 1883 – September 15, 1945) was a composer of classical music and a member of the so called Second Viennese School. ...

History of modernism in music

Late 19th century origins

As with many other arts, the consciousness of modernity appeared before music which is now labelled "modernist". Mahler and Puccini both thought of themselves as modern composers and were concerned with their place in modern music. The end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century saw a host of harmonic, melodic and instrumental innovations in music, but in an effort to preserve and build upon the past, rather than radically alter it. Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999 in the...

The defining break with the Victorian and Romantic tradition was the alliance of music with the depiction of new subjects, removing old unities, and with an intent to push the audience forward. The rise of musical modernism can be tied to the rise of expressionism, primitivism and cubism in the arts, Freudian theory in philosophy and the range of other artistic and scientific ideas which flowered forth from 1890 through the beginning of the First World War. There was a conscious sense of seeing an analog between changes in music and changes in the other arts among the first wave of musical modernists. Jump to: navigation, search The era of Romantic music is defined as the period of European classical music that runs roughly from the early 1800s to the first decade of the 20th century, as well as music written according to the norms and styles of that period. ...

The transitional moment came with the introduction by Debussy and Ravel of an expanded chord vocabulary now labelled "impressionism", this movement in painting and music is generally regarded as transitional, because while the intent was aesthetic appeal, its means were a departure from the formal, some might say academic, norms which held in the arts. While initially controversial, Impressionism became widely acceptable very quickly in all but the most conservative of artistic circles. However, the precedent for a radical break with previous technique had been set.

Another transitional force was the synthesis by Richard Strauss and Gustav Mahler of the music of Wagner. By detaching Wagner's musical innovations from the setting of the musical drama, Strauss and Mahler excited a generation of composers eager to use the broader range of chromatic possibilities which their techniques offered. Richard Strauss (June 11, 1864 – September 8, 1949) was a German composer of the late Romantic era, particularly noted for his tone poems and operas. ... Jump to: navigation, search Gustav Mahler Gustav Mahler (July 7, 1860–May 18, 1911) was a Bohemian-Austrian composer and conductor. ...

A third, and less carefully examined, road into musical modernism was the progressively more percussive use of the orchestra found in both Italian opera and in Russian concert music. While Rimsky-Korsakov is not generally thought of as a percursor to Modernism, some of his innovations were influential on the young Igor Stravinsky as well as other young Russians of the early 20th century. These included a use of exotic scales rarely seen in western music, as well as a brighter, colorful style of orchestration increasingly reliant on percussion for its effect.

Alternative categorizations

Despite Albright's definitions he points out examples of his three traits of modernism long before 1894. Orlando Gibbons' The Cries of Love, Haydn's The Creation, and many romantic works attempt maximal comprehensiveness and depth, such as Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Semantic specificity has always existed, such as in Clement Janequin's Le chant des oyseaulx (birds), Alessandro Poglietti's Rossignolo (nightingale), Vivaldi's Four Seasons (barking dog), Beethoven's Sixth (birds), or Haydn's The Seasons (frog croaks). Composers have long used semantic density to indicate disorder, while Nicolas Gombert has used four voices singing four simultaneous different antiphons to the Virgin Mary, as would be heard by the omniscient Mary. Chromaticism has existed since the Greeks in some conception or another, such as Carlo Gesualdo's Tristis est anima mea. Nicola Vicentino built an archicembalo, a microtonal keyboard. Orlando Gibbons Orlando Gibbons (baptised December 25, 1583 – June 5, 1625) was an English composer and organist of the late Tudor and early Jacobean periods. ... (Franz) Joseph Haydn (in German, Josef; he never used the Franz) (March 31, 1732 – May 31, 1809) was a leading composer of the classical period. ... The Creation (German: Die Schöpfung) is an oratorio written 1796-1798 by Joseph Haydn, and considered by many to be his masterpiece. ... Ludwig van Beethoven Ludwig van Beethoven (baptized December 17, 1770 – March 26, 1827) was a German composer of Classical music, the predominant musical figure in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras. ... Clément Janequin (c. ... Antonio Vivaldi Antonio Vivaldi (March 4, 1678, Venice – July 28, 1741, Vienna), nicknamed Il Prete Rosso, meaning The Red Priest, was an Italian priest and baroque music composer. ... The Seasons (German: Die Jahreszeiten) is an oratorio by Joseph Haydn. ... Nicolas Gombert (c. ... This article is about the musical term. ... Carlo Gesualdo, Prince of Venosa Carlo Gesualdo (?March 8, ?1566 – September 8, 1613), Prince of Venosa and Count of Conza, was an Italian composer, lutenist, nobleman, and notorious murderer of the late Renaissance. ... Nicola Vicentino (1511 – 1575 or 1576) was an Italian music theorist and composer of the Renaissance. ...

Albright also points out that there are few traits of postmodernism not present in modernism. Erik Satie and the neoclassicism of Stravinsky is sometimes near indistinguishable with bricolage and polystylism. Surrealist Marcel Duchamp wrote chance music while Cage was still into percussion. Eric Alfred Leslie Satie (Honfleur, 17 May 1866 – Paris, 1 July 1925) was a French composer and pianist. ... Bricolage – from the French-language verb bricoler, meaning to tinker or to fiddle – is that languages equivalent of the English phrase do-it-yourself. Bricolage is also often contrasted to engineering: building by trial and error rather than based on theory. ... Polystylism is the use of multiple styles or techniques and is seen as a postmodern characteristic. ... Marcel Duchamp (July 28, 1887 – October 2, 1968) was an influential French/American artist. ... Aleatoric (or aleatory) music or composition, is music where some element of the composition is left to chance. ...

Musical modernism's reception and controversy

Many people have criticized musical modernism, including George Rochberg and Fred Lerdahl. Stanley Cavell (1976, p.187) describes the "burden of modernism" as caused by a situation wherein the "procedures and problems it now seems necessary to composers to employ and confront to make a work of art at all themselves insure that their work will not be comprehensible to an audience." George Rochberg, (July 5, 1918, Paterson, New Jersey – May 29, 2005, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania) was an American composer. ... Fred Lerdahl, Fritz Reiner Professor of Musical Composition at Columbia University, is a composer and music theorist, best known for his work on pitch space and cognitive constraints on compositional systems or musical grammars. ...

Brian Ferneyhough coined the neologism "too-muchness" to describe the excess of information contained in music exhibiting the New Complexity. Arved Ashby compares the information conveyed when "Modernism Goes to the Movies" (2004) with the failure to communicate attributed to modernist music by Lerdahl and others and concludes that "the tendency to fault modernist music [for being non-syntactical] would seem, then, to stem from interrelated desires to limit the powers of music in general and to prevent it from keeping pace with the sociogenetic, media-related tendencies of recent decades." Brian John Peter Ferneyhough (born 16 January 1943 in Coventry) is a British composer. ... Jump to: navigation, search New Complexity is a British school of avant garde classical music dating from the 1980s. ...


  • Albright, Daniel (2004). Modernism and Music: An Anthology of Sources. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0226012670.
  • Ashby, Arved (2004). "Modernism Goes to the Movies", The Pleasure of Modernist Music, p.345-386. ISBN 1580461433.
  • Dahlhaus, Carl, ed. with commentary (). Nineteenth-Century Music, p.334. Translated by J. Bradford Robinson. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Cavell, (1976). "Music Discomposed", Must We Mean What We Say?. Cited in The Pleasure of Modernist Music, p.146n13. ISBN 1580461433.
20th century - Modernity - Existentialism
Modernism (music): 20th century classical music - Atonality - Jazz
Modernist literature - Modernist poetry
Modern art - Symbolism (arts) - Impressionism - Expressionism - Cubism - Surrealism
Modern dance - Expressionist dance
Modern architecture
...Preceded by Romanticism Followed by Post-modernism...

  Results from FactBites:
Modern music (317 words)
If modern music may be said to have a definite beginning, then it started [!] with this flute melody, the opening of the Prélude à "L'après-midi d'un faune" (1894) by Claude Debussy (1862-1918).
For the purposes of this site, modern music is popular music and art music since the age of the phonograph.
Terms such as "modern" and "Modernism" seem to possess a certain security, even prestige, but they were long regarded with suspicion.
modern music, composition, experimental music, mathematics musical composition, modernism, the future of modern music, ... (309 words)
modern music, composition, experimental music, mathematics musical composition, modernism, the future of modern music, james mchard
Through a skilled analysis of prominent composers from 1890 to the present, along with their musical styles, philosophies, and incentives, McHard reveals modern music as the "fully enriched and enriching listening experience" that it is.
He has lectured on modernism and it's future in music at UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico) for Dr. Julio Estrada’s class in experimental music composition and at CCMIX (formerly Les Ateliers UPIC) in Paris.
  More results at FactBites »



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