The modern period is an age of experiment and innovation. Many composers experienced with new forms and methods. This has created a variety of trends and new techniques in 20th century music.

The modern music is characterized by:
~ a variety of styles
~ more dissonance
~ greater complexity of rhythm
~ novel use of instruments

The four main trends in the 20th century musical style are:
~ Impressionism
~ Influence of Folk Muisc
~ Atonality
~ Popular Music

 

1. Claude Debussy (1862-1918)debussy

~ French composer
~ the founder of the Impressionist School in music~ studied at the Paris Conservatory when he was 12
~ won the Rome Prize at 22
~ used new and exotic sounds in his music

 

 

Celebrated works:~ “The Sea” (Symphonic suite)
~ “Children’s Corner” (Instrumental Music)
~ “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun” (Tone poem)

 

 

 

2. Bela Bartok (1881-1945)bartok1

~ Hungarian composer
~ a famous collector and editor of folk songs and folk music in 20th century
~ studied at the Budapest Conservatory
~ collected and studied the folk music of Hungary, Slovakia and Romania with Kodaly
~ chiefly inspired by the folk art to write original music
~ in 1940, he left Hungary for America where he spent the rest of his life
~ works are noted for their tonally original style, variety of structure, vitality and complexity of the rhythm

 

 

Celebrated works:
~ Concerto for Orchestra
~ “Mikrokosmos”
~ Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celestra

 

 

 

 

3. Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951)arnold_schoenberg_la_1948

~ Austrian composer
~ the founder of the Expressionist School in music
~ the inventor of the 12-tone serial technique
~ he was almost self-taught
~ with the help of R. Strauss, he became a teacher at Berlin Conservatory
~ forced to leave Germany for America and became professor at the University of Califonrnia
~ works characterized by subjectivity, dissonance and atonality

 

Celebrated works:
~ “Transfigured Night”
~ “Suite for Piano”
~ “Variations for Orchestra”

 

 

 

4. George Gershwin (1898-1937)george_gershwin_19371

~ American composer
~ helped to make jazz more widely accepted
~ established his fame as a composer of popular songs and later of Broadway shows and film scores
~ admired popular music for its rhythmic vitality and melodic freshness

 

Celebrated works:
~ “An American in Paris” (instrumental music)
~ “Oh, Kay!” (Broadway musical)
~ “Porgy and Bess” (opera)
~ “Rhapsody in Blue” (instrumental music)

 

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