Music Analysis – Asher Harris
Contemporary Classical Music, a modern from of art music that began in the 1920s to the present day. This style will be able to show the audience for the annual Young composers’ symposium the characteristics, tone and style of Contemporary Classical Music. A Brief history
At the turn of the century, music was characteristically late Romantic in style. Composers such as Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss and Jean Sibelius were pushing the bounds of Post-Romantic Symphonic writing. At the same time, the Impressionist movement, led by Claude Debussy, was being developed in France. The term was actually disliked by Debussy: "I am trying to do 'something different—in a way realities—what the imbeciles call 'impressionism' is a term which is as poorly used as possible, particularly by art critics" —and Maurice Ravel's music, also often labelled with this term. Many composers reacted to the Post-Romantic and Impressionist styles and moved in quite different directions. The single most important moment in defining the course of music throughout the century was the widespread break with traditional tonality, effected in diverse ways by different composers in the first decade of the century. From this sprang an unprecedented "linguistic plurality" of styles, techniques, and expression. In Vienna, Arnold Schoenberg developed atonality, out of the expressionism that arose in the early part of the 20th century. He later developed the twelve-tone technique which was developed further by his disciples Alban Berg and Anton Webern; later composers (including Pierre Boulez) developed it further still. Stravinsky (in his last works) explored twelve-tone technique, too, as did many other composers; indeed, even Scott Bradley used the technique in his scores for the Tom and Jerry cartoons. After the First World War, many composers started returning to the past for inspiration and wrote works that draw elements (form, harmony, melody, structure) from it....
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