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Impressionism to Modernism. A synopsis of music history. Impressionism: An overview. Composers tried to create a dreamlike quaility that mimicked the art of the era Claude Monet and Vincent van Gogh were two important Impressionistic painters

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Impressionism to modernism

Impressionism to Modernism

A synopsis of music history


Impressionism an overview
Impressionism: An overview

  • Composers tried to create a dreamlike quaility that mimicked the art of the era

  • Claude Monet and Vincent van Gogh were two important Impressionistic painters

  • Art tended to appear unfocused up close, but gained focus as you moved away, so music also could appear unfocused at first listen

  • Music used musical elements to evoke a particular mood or image in the mind of the listener, much like a painting





Musical characteristics
Musical Characteristics

  • Atonal- Lacking a tonal center or key

  • Whole Tone- A musical interval of two semitones (half step)

  • Modes- Similar to the old church modes

  • Lydian-C D E F G A B C

  • Dorian-D E F G A B C D

  • Phrygian C Db Eb F G Ab Bb C


Claude debussy
Claude Debussy

  • 1862-1918, French

  • Studied at the Paris Conservatory and in Rome, but influences ranged from Wagner to Javanese music

  • Used to Phrygian mode along with other lesser known modes

  • Main works were orchestral pieces, piano sets, and songs

  • Associated his later music with visual impressions of the East, Spain, landscapes etc, in a sequence of sets of short pieces.

  • Died of cancer





Maurice ravel
Maurice Ravel

  • 1876-1937

  • Studied at the Paris Conservatory

  • Failed to win the Prix de Rome 5 times and left to work as a freelance musician

  • Fascinated with creating music that evoked a far away place or idea

  • Wrote everything from piano pieces to ballet to opera

  • His last major effort was a pair of piano concertos, one joyful and urban, one(for left hand only) more dark and solid.



Modern music
Modern Music

  • A bit more atonal than Impressionistic music

  • Development to the 12-tone music

  • 12-tone music: all 12 notes of the chromatic scale is used in a particular, reoccurring order





Anton schoenburg
Anton Schoenburg

  • 1874-1951

  • Born in Vienna, Austria but moved to L.A.

  • Played and composed from a young age, but didn’t have formal training until his teens

  • Developed the “Serial” method of 12-tone music

  • Serial Method: A mathematical formal comprised of tone rows that dictated the form in which the notes were composed

  • Also developed Sprechgesang, or singing-speech

  • Once in America, returned to more of a tonal sound

  • Taught a UCLA



Peirot lunaire
PeirotLunaire



Anton webern
Anton Webern

  • 1883-1945

  • Austrian

  • Studied composition under Schoenburg

  • Made a career as a conductor

  • Was obsessed with 12-tone music and once learned, never composed any other way again

  • Was accidentally shot by a soldier at the end of WWII

  • Left only about 3 hours worth of music




Bela bartok
Bela Bartok

  • 1881-1945

  • Hungarian, moved to New York

  • Attended Budapest Academy and studied under a former student of Franz Liszt

  • Transcribed a lot of Hungarian folk songs

  • Made a career as a pianist

  • Influenced by Debussy and Schoenburg

  • Wrote his final work, Piano Concerto no. 3 to provide his widow with income when he died





Igor stravinsky
Igor Stravinsky

  • 1882-1971

  • Russian

  • Parents wanted him to be a lawyer

  • Moved to New York, then L.A.

  • Lived near Schoenberg

  • Dabbled in 12-tone serialism

  • Wrote modern symphonies in a neo-classical manner

  • Music sometimes caused rioting, as in “Rite of Spring” and his version of “The Star Spangles Banner”





Stravinksy s star spangled banner
Stravinksy’s Star Spangled Banner


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