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Setting the Stage for the 21st Century. Total Serialism, New Sounds, Freedom, Chance, Postmodernism, Fusion. After WW II. The Audience Technology The struggle between popularization and classical The end of the war marked a turning point A period of conflicting tendencies: Extreme control

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Setting the Stage for the 21st Century

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Setting the Stage for the 21st Century

Total Serialism, New Sounds, Freedom, Chance, Postmodernism, Fusion

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After WW II

  • The Audience

    • Technology

    • The struggle between popularization and classical

  • The end of the war marked a turning point

    • A period of conflicting tendencies:

      • Extreme control

      • Complete freedom

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Total Serialism

  • Composers felt Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern had not gone far enough

  • Serialism means the notes are arranged in a series

  • The first composition based on total serialism was Structures I by Pierre Boulez

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Structures I

  • Boulez was trained in math and music

  • Structures I was written for two pianos

  • Boulez made series for four different musical elements

    • Pitch

    • Duration

    • Attack (the way a pianist strikes the note)

    • dynamics

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Structures I

  • Demands skilled performers and a lot of effort by the listeners

  • sounds like a random, disjointed piano piece but is actually a carefully constructed work

  • You hear the shifting textures and contrasting panels of sound

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Other Composers of this Style

  • Karlheinz Stockhausen 1928 -

  • Luciano Berio 1925 -

  • Milton Babbitt 1916 -

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A Late Development

  • Electronic Music Technology

    • Development of the synthesizer in the 1950s

    • All aspects of music could be controlled

    • The performance no longer needed a human

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New Sounds, Freedom, and Chance

  • Popular composers began to overwhelm the music of serious composers

  • The most interesting experiments were happening in serious music

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New Sounds

  • Many experiments revolved around new technology provided by

    • Synthesizer

    • Tape recorder

    • Computer

    • New techniques on traditional instruments

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New Sounds

  • Two composers working with sound textures

    • Gyorgy Ligeti 1923 -

    • Krzysztof Penderecki 1933 -

  • Ligeti worked with large blocks of sound

    • The blocks can expand or contract

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Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima

  • Penderecki’s most famous composition

  • 1960

  • For string orchestra

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Freedom and Chance

  • Total serialism and block sounds require very careful control

  • Freedom and Chance are a move away from control

  • The idea was John Cage’s

  • Cage studied with Schoenberg who told him he had no ear for music!

  • Cage said “Everything we do is music”

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John Cage 1912 - 1992

  • Prepared piano

  • The toss of dice

  • Works include

    • Imaginary Landscape No. 4 1951

      • 12 radios

    • 4’33”

      • Performer does nothing

  • “If my work is accepted, I must move on to the point where it isn’t”

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  • The meaning of art was no longer certain

    • Is paint dropped on the floor “art”?

    • Is subway graffiti “art”?

  • Concert organizations are presenting the music of the past

  • Are orchestras simply museums?

  • The economy forced cuts in support for the arts

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  • A deliberate return to the past

  • A return to tonality

    • Neo-tonality

    • Neo-Romanticism

  • Quoting earlier styles and cross-fertilization

  • The rapid spread of recorded music

    • Do all moments in history exist with equal weight?

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  • The dividing line between opera and musicals is narrowing

  • Performing groups deliberately mix genres

  • String quartets play Jimi Hendrix

  • Chamber groups use amplified instruments

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Postmodern Music

  • It began by quoting earlier music

    • Nach Bach - George Rochberg

      • fragments of Bach’s harpsichord music

    • Renaissance Concerto - Lukas Foss, 1986

      • Based on the music of Orfeo’s lament from Monteverdo’s Orfeo

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Renaissance Concerto

  • Recitative - after Monteverdi

    • Many repeated pitches

    • The opening phrase is a direct quote

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Other Features of Postmodern Music

  • Return to tonality

    • David del Tredici 1937-

  • Multimedia Postmodern

    • Laurie Anderson 1947-1999

  • Incorporation of musical elements from other cultures

    • Alan Hovhaness 1911-

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Other Features ofPostmodernism

  • Merging of popular and “Serious” music

    • Minimalism

      • Philip Glass 1937-

      • John Adams 1947-

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  • The most important aspect of Postmodern Music is the narrowing of gaps between all types of music

  • A mix of jazz and rock is called fusion

    • Miles Davis

    • Keith Jarrett

    • William Bolcom

    • Bobby McFerrin

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  • The theater

    • Les Miserables

    • Phantom of the Opera

      • Both works contain the style of the Broadway Musical and the continuous musical settings of the opera

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  • Women and minorities are taking their place in American music making

    • Sound Patterns by Pauline Oliveros 1932-

    • Sometimes by Olly Wilson 1937-

    • Wings by Joan Tower 1938-

    • Symphony No. 1 by Ellen Taaffe Zwilich 1939-

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The Performers

  • The traditional barriers between classical and popular music are disappearing

    • The Kronos Quartet

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