History of Music in the Twentieth Century in Russia and in England: Similarities and Differences

Topics: Europe, Russia, Counterpoint Pages: 2 (751 words) Published: May 19, 2012
The twentieth century was full of events and changes, which affected all aspects people’s life. Of course, these changes were connected with the art too. The twentieth century had become a time of bright creative inspiration; many aspects of culture were in heyday. In this essay the history of music in the twentieth century will be discussed by comparing two countries: Russia and England. Both countries experienced a time of great music development; however, this time was different for them in some ways.

Firstly it is necessary to say about the beginning of these paths. And here an important similarity could be seen. Both Russia and England are European countries, and like other countries of Eastern and Northern Europe, they were under long cultural influence of Central European musical language, including classical tonality system. Anyway, during the nineteenth century Russian musical thought has found its own way which was different from Central European classical music thought (Salzman, 1974: 27). Likewise, England also had finally established “a measure of musical independence and national idiom through the folk style” (Salzman, 1974: 79). Secondly, while in the beginning of the century Russia was in the vanguard of European art and Russian musicians were famous and foremost among the European countries, in England the situation was strongly different (Salzman, 1974: 27). In the nineteenth century England in the eyes of Central Europeans looked as the “Land without music”. Obviously the reason for that was the absence of any significant musical development during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, so the level of musical culture has become very low. Nevertheless, owing to that fact, the revival of English music in twentieth century became so significant (Schwartz and Godfrey, 1993: 441).

Regarding the musical language and style, there were two major composers’ schools in Russia, one of which was more traditional and folk-oriented, and the other...
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