Elements of 20th Century Musical Style Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Elements of 20th Century Musical Style Deck (11):


- late romantic characteristics extended into the 20th century
- expansive melodies, chromatic harmonies, lush orchestrations, affinity for programmatic elements


electronic music

- any type of music created whole or in part by electronic means
- may utilize recording devices (tape recorder), synthesizers, and more recently, computers



- a uniquely American musical style developed initially by African Americans in New Orleans, Chicago, and New York
- emphasized syncopation
- inflected melodies (including "blue" notes Flat3, Flat5, and Flat7) and improvisation
- ex. "West End Blues", Louis Armstrong



- a compositional approach developed in the 20th century by the Second Viennese School
- any number of musical parameters (such as pitch, rhythm, dynamics, tone colour) are organized using a specific ordering (set) that undergoes manipulation
- sometimes used as a synonym for dodecaphonic (or twelve-tone) music


Expressionism in music

- early 20th century German style
- marked by extreme dissonance, angular melodies, irregular rhythmic groupings
- explored deeply psychological themes
- ex. "Erwartung" op. 17, Arnold Schoenberg


Indeterminacy, aka aleatoric music

- a style that evolved in the mid-20th century
- relied on randomness and chance to determine some of the aspects of the music and its performance


Impressionism in music

- late 19th and early 20th century French style associated most closely with the music of Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel
- often programmatic
- use of non-traditional scales: modes, whole tone, pentatonic
- 9th chords, parallel harmonies
- blurring of the metrical pulse



- a post WWI style marked by a return to absolute music and traditional formal structures
- cultivated a less emotional (more detached) sensibility
- ex. Symphony No. 1, op. 25 "Classical" first movement, Sergei Prokofiev


minimalism in music

- a style o music that evolved in the latter half of the 20th century
- generally characterized by he seemingly endless repetition of short melodic patterns, complex cross-rhythms, and a return to tonal/modal principles
- its adherents include Steve Reich, Philip Glass, John Adams, and Michael Nyman
- ex. "Six Pianos", Steve Reich



- generally, a late 20th century style
- a return to tonal principles, lush orchestration, and expansive melodies
- characterized by heightened emotionalism


Second Viennese School

- the trio of early 20th century composers formed by Schoenberg and his disciples Alban Berg and Anton Webern
- works demonstrate Expressionism
- developed twelve-tone method
- music marked by atonality and contrapuntal textures
- ex. Violin Concerto, first movement, Alban Berg