Music of the 20th Century

Topics: Impressionism, Impressionist music, Claude Debussy Pages: 5 (1254 words) Published: June 30, 2013
Music of the 20th century

In this history of music and arts, every period has its own characteristic style which is associated with the society from which it originated. The period of the 19th and 20th century perceived the two world wars, and had been a period of many changes: advancement in technology, a period of many inventions such as the telephone, television, electronic light, computers, cassette tapes, synthesizers, CD players, and many others. Because of this inventions, experimentations were made in the field of music and arts. Claude Debussy (1862-1918)

He studied with Guiraud and others at the Paris Conservatoire and as prizewinner went to Rome, though more important Impressions came from his visits to Bayreuth and from hearing Javaneese music in Paris. Debussy and Impressionism

The Impressionist style of painting developed in the late 19th century in France. Although the Impressionist movement did not exclusively consist of French artists, it did start in France and the French painters are among the most well-known. Several earlier artistic movements, such as Classicism and Realism, influenced the Impressionist painters. In 1855, a World Fair was held in Paris, and art was given significant attention. This contributed to Paris’ reputation as the center of the art world and the place to be for aspiring painters, such as the group that would come to be known as the Impressionists. Impressionism is a style borrowed from painting which creates an illusion of light and atmosphere by using colors side by side instead of blending them. The artist avoids realism in favor of conveying impressions. Nocturnes

Achille-Claude Debussy, 1862-1918, Nocturnes. Completed December 15, 1899 (at 3 a.m., according to an inscription on the manuscript), first performance October 27, 1901, in Paris. Scored for 3 flutes, 2 oboes, English horn, 2 clarinets, 3 bassoons, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, cymbals, snare drums, tympani, 2 harps, female chorus, and strings. 3 Shorts Composition of NOCTURNES

1. Nuages- (Clouds) Debussy pictures the sky with slow and melancholy passages of clouds. The warmth of Nuages recalls a summer love affair.

2. Fetes- (Festivals) is a restrained yet joyous celebration, the sort that generates lifelong memories without ever disturbing the neighbors.

3. Sirenes- (Sirens) builds on a simple two-note motives to seduce the listeners into Debussy’s river, just as dangerously as the mythological beauties who have lured innumerable sailors to their doom over the centuries.

The Music of Bela Bartok
Bela Bartok (1881-1945), a Hungarian, is considered a famous progressive modern musical composer, a great pianist, teacher and researcher. He was one of the leaders of Hungarian nationalism and made use of the Hungarian folk tunes in his music. Just like Stravinsky, he was one of the composers who belonged to the movement of Neo-Classicism: a return to the simplicity of Classicism and combining of modern sound with classic form.

His style is characterized by rhythms which are percussive and intricate because of the influence of the Hungarian dance patterns. He used polyrhythm, which means using two or more different rhythms played at the same time. In some of his compositions like “Six Dances in Bulgarian Rhythm, no.1”, you will notice the irregular grouping of beats.

Polytonality, which is the simultaneous combination of two or more tonalities in a composition, can also be found in Bartok’s compositions.

Antonio Molina and Impressionism

Dr. Antonio Molina (1894-1980) was one of the 20th century composers who wrote art music. He was considered the “Claude Debussy of the Philippines” because he was the first to introduce several important devices, technically characteristics of impressionism in music.

One of Molina’s popularly known, compositions is “Hatinggabi”. Another composition of Molina is “Dancing Fool”. In this composition, he made...
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