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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
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”
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