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song for solo voice and piano accompaniment with high artistic aspirations, most intensely cultivated in German-speaking lands
A genre of art song for voice with piano accompaniment, originating in Germany ~1800. German for "song."
Music like Schubert's featuring ever-changing melodic and harmonic material, no obvious repetitions or overt musical form from beginning to end
A musical form setting a strophic (or stanzaic text), like a hym or a carol, or most pop songs: music is repeated anew for each successive strophe. Example: Brahm's Lullaby, an art song.
A slow, dreamy, introspective type of music usually for piano, with rich harmonies and poignant dissonances intending to convey the mysteries of night. Example: Nocturne in C Minor, Opus 27, No. 1
- Extraordinary technical facility by an instrumental performer or singer.
- Example: Liszt's Transcendental Etude No 8., "Wilde Jagd"
A cycle of four interconnected music dramas by Richard Wagner, called Der Ring des Nibelungen, intended to be performed for four successive evenings. Based on German (Norse) mythology. Performed at Bayreuth Festival., in a small town with a custom-built opera house.
Wagner's notion of a "total art work" that combines all the arts--music, poetry, drama, dance, scenic designs in a harmonious ensemble
- Term used by Wagner, distinct from opera,
- describing a musical work for the stage in which all the arts such as drama, music, scenery, etc. are combined.
brief, distinctive unit of music representing characters, events, objects, emotions, or ideas, applied to the music dramas of Richard Wagner
- 19th-c. and early 20th c. operas dealing with everyday, gritty subjects, including Italian verismo--poverty, physical abuse, industrial exploitation, crime--especially afflicting the lower classes. Rarely a happy ending.
- Example: George Bizet's Carmen
A type of dance-song that developed in 19th-c. Cuba, with descending chromatic scale, static harmony, and insistent, repetitious, infectious rhythm.
- Use of sounds drawm from outside the traditional Western European musical experience, popular among composers in late 19th c. Europe
- Example: Debussy's Iberia, an orchetral piece using Spanish melodies
Late 19th-c. movement arising in France. Rejected photographic realism in painting, instead trying to recreate impression that object produces upon the senses in a single, fleeting moment
- Seen as musical analogue to Impressionism in his treatment of harmony.
- Variety of woodwinds & harps dominate his orchetras, replacing heavy low brasses of Romantic period. Separated tone color (instrumental sound) from line (traditional melody). Glissandi, uses whole tone scale, allowing him to move out of tonality, avoiding hierarchy. Presents image/mood instead of narrative. Stasis, no progression. No cadences or chods to resolve. "There is no theory. You have only to listen. Pleasure is the law."
Afternoon of a Faun
- Distinctive colors of instruments evoke vibrant moods, sensations: flute, oboe, clarinet. Solo flute in low register, then harp glissando, then dabs of color from French horn. No repeating rhythms or clear meters. Languid beauty, original & sensual.
- Certain timbre guide his form, dwelling on particular sonority. Wave-like form.
Late 19th-c movement in poetry whose aesthetic claims were in harmony with those of Impressionism. Created a poetic style in which the literal meaning of the word was less important than its sound, and the associations the sound produces.
- Movement drawing inspiration either from a real or imagined "other" cutlure which is seen as primitive (such as African cultures), the imagined ur-history of one's own culture. Huge amount of dissonance and "unnatural," disorienting sound.
- Example: Igor Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, based on a pagan ritual of sacrifice in pre-Christian Russia
- Music is lean, clean, and cool. Instrumental colors are not "homogenized" sounds, eg when winds/strings join in one line, but distinctly separate colors. Downplays the warm strings, preferring instead tones of piercing winds and brittle percussion. Large orchestras often opulent, but rarely sentimental.
- Rhythm is vital element: his beat is strong, but often metrically irregular, and builds complexity by requiring independent meters/rhythms to sound simultaneously.
Rite of Spring
- New percussive approach to orchestra: percussion section enlarged with triangle, tambourine, guiro, cymbals, bass drums, tam-tam. Even strings haev to play percussively. Almost brutal sounds instead of warm ones.
- Irregular accents: places his harsh, metallic sounds in unexpected places: on unaccented beats, thereby creating explosive syncopations.
- Polymeter: superimposes two or more different meters, oboe in 6/8 time, clarinet in 7/8, etc
- Polyrhythm: Sometimes two or more independent rhythms simultaneously. Six different rhythms can be heard.
- Ostinato: Most instruments play same motive over and over at same pitch level.
- Dissonant Polychords: simultaneous sounding of one triad or seventh chord with another. When only a whole or a half step apart, this is especially dissonant.
Example: Stravinsky's Rite of Spring
- Use of two or more rhythms sounding simultaneously (one chord super-imposed on another).
- Example: Stravinsky's Rite of Spring
Music without tonality (a central key), most often associated with 20th-c. avant-garde of Arnold Schoenberg, who claimed it was "evolutionary"
Early 20th-c. movemment in the arts, initially German-Austrian. Its aim was not to depict objects as they are but to express the strong emotion that the object generates in the artist.
- German for speech-voice, am expressionist vocal technique in which singer declaims, rather than sings, a text at only approximate pitch levels, sliding upward or downard, while executing rhythm exactly.
- Example: Arnold Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire
- Expressionist, distorted, grotesque. Allows viewer hidden insight into the artist. His style was Wagner-like until 1908. But very heavy chromaticism. Harmonic language and orchestration very similar. Prolonging tension by denying resolution. Extended High Romantic styles of Brahms + Wagner. Until 1907. Became very chromatic, dissonant.
- 1908 - "emancipation of dissonance" - announced atonality. Requires cerebral, intellectual approach.
- Went out of his way to avoid any diatonic notes: constantly unfamiliar, disorienting. Intentional randomness.
- 1923 - Invents twelve-tone method. Needs a form. Ultra-regimented form of composition.
Pierrot Lunaire (1912)
- Song-cycle of 21 songs, words by Symbolist poet Albert Giraud.
- Strange, grotesque, distorted images of Christian icons.
- Affective correlation between texts + music. Creeping, slow, quiet then climactic, terrifying. Parodies Baroque chamber music.
- Uses sprechstimme - intoning pitch for a second, then sliding off
- Compositional method devised by Arnold Schoenberg that has each of the twelve notes of the chromatic scale sound in a fixed, regularly recurring order ("row") avoiding any one key. Played 1) Intact, 2) Reversed) 3) Inverted, or )Inverted reversed.
- Example: Schoenberg's Op. 23, Movement 5
- Independently devised atonality, polymeter, polyrhythm, and tone clusters.
- Quarter-tone music - smallest interval half of a half step
- Polytonality - jarring simultaneous sounding of two or more keys.
- Quotation of military marches. Forms a collage of American sentimental music in dream-like assemblage.
- Tone clustes- dissonant clusters of notes. Sometimes 8-10 notes in a chord.
- Titanic hymns -atonality, jazz harmonies, eery quality. Expansiveness - musical mixture of unfamiliar material. Sadness, pathos, mourning for lost past. Nostalgia for loss of tonality of Europe.
- Two sides: 1) Reproducing Am. pop music and 2) Radical atonal music
- Open, slowly-changing harmonies seen as archetypally American, evoking vast landscape & pioneer spirit. Optimisim, expansiveness, large open intervals. Very tiny dissonance, perpetuates expectancy.
- Growth, potential. Cuturally associated with cowboy music. Shaker hymn tune turned to variation, adjustment of tempo. Imagining, idealizing a vision of America. More evocative, denying scientific approach to composition. Used in conjunction with modern dance - ubiquitious in 1940's cinema, idealized image of American frontier.
- Appalachain Spring: Movements less natural, more agile. Strength of pioneering life. American dream, potential
- A precursor to jazz emerging in the 1890's and characterized by a steady bass and syncopated, jazzy treble.
- Originially vocal: a rhythmically energized, bouncy, jaunty style of singing, until Scott Joplin published piano rags.
- Example: Maple Leaf Rag
New Orleans jazz
- Jazz style originating there ~1900, with syncopated, improvisatory style and free treatment of melody. Build on tunes of blues/rags/marches, played with off-beat accents and a spontaneous sliding into and around the pitches.
- Example: Louis Armstrong was the originator
Basic formal unit in New Orleans jazz: each presentation of the tune, whether played by soloist or entire ensemble; jazz musicians often improvised around it
Classic New Orleans-style trumpeteer (old-school speakeasy music!) "Willie the Weeper" based on two chord progressions--first in major, second in minor. Spontaneous improvisation--each band member takes lead at some point. Gravelly voice. Scat singing.
3 noted players?
- Radically experimental, complex, virtuosic, hard-driving style of jazz that emerged shortly after WWII, played without musical notation by a small, spare ensemble
- Fast music, virtuosity, a lot of borrowing (contrafact), more challenging, angular, hard. Jazz elevated to connoisseurship, expertness
- Charlie Parker, Thelonius Monk, Dizzy Gillespie
- Saxophonist with astonishing technique, breakneck speed. Icon of bebop. Frenetic pace, complex melodic lines, and a focus on improvisation.
- Used all twelve tones of the chromatic scale.
- High-pitched alto saxophone
- Appropriation of popular music, turning a popular tune into a chorus used in improvisation.
- Example: Bebop, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie
- Saxophone player, mature bebop. 1950's. Melody with few notes, texture not as busy. Rhythmically very complex - harmony changes on every single note. Chords complex, not contrafact.
- Coltrane's style most distinctive, virtuosic, uses highest notes of instrument
- Late bebop was the mannered version of how bebop began, taking improvisation to extremes.
Associated with Miles Davis, a style of jazz emerging in the 1950's that is softer, more relaxed, and less frenzied than bebop
- More mellow voice than bebop, rejected its aggressive style. Emphasizes lyricism, lower instrumental registeres, moderate tempos, quieter dynamic levels.
- Limited improvisations--modal jazz, decided not to base jazz on a scale, but on a mode.
- Low trumper-player, softer tones, fewer notes and more space, giving music more relaxed, airy feel. Relaxed, restrained, understated, graceful, simple.
- Makes use of "silence" in a new way (10-sec break, etc).
- Later become involved in jazz-rock "fusion."
Movement of 1960's associated with Ornette Coleman. Did away with harmonic progressions, set lengths for solos. Couldn't get any freer. Two ensembles simultaneously! Jazz as conceptual, avant-garde art.
- Sounds produced and manipulated by magnetic tape machines, synthesizers, and/or computers
- Example: Edgar Varese, Poeme electronique
- Esoteric, avant-garde academic Continental music.
- Expanded orchestras and instruments: included police sirens, tam-tams, percussion instruments.
- In 1950's, experimented with electronic instruments: synthesizers, pre-recorded tapes (turned into larger movement: music concrete).
- music in which the composer works directly with sounds recorded on magnetic tape, not with musical notation and performers.
- Distortion, raising & lowering pitch. Hear timbre of each different instrument.
- Mixing synthesizers. Distorted tapes themselves. Sirens, train-engines.
- Pierre Schaeffer, 1950's and 60's
(Played with visuals)
- =Music of John Cage. NY Traffic in 1950's + 60's.
- Involves element of chance, the outcome not determined by the composer. Extends question of noise/music further.
- Indeterminate scores: graphic notation, not using notes/clafts
- Style of modern music that takes a very small amount of musical material and repeats it over and over to form a composition
- Ultra-simplistic, harmonically static, slightly regressive
- Very slight rhythmic variation.
- Example: Philip Glass (also John Adams)