Welcome to Music Through The Ages 1 M
THE 20TH CENTURY AND MODERN MUSIC
CENTURY AND MODERN MUSIC
Have you seen
? It’s the
Disney movie that interprets classical
through images of coffins
bouncing down stairs, Mickey Mouse
elephants, ostriches and crocodiles doing
ballet; centaurs, fauns, satyrs and nymphs.
The music in the part
of the film that shows the
beginnings of life and the final destruction of the dinosaurs, is
, by Igor Stravinsky. It was written in 1913 and caused a riot at
its first performance. “What were
those sounds coming from the
orchestra?” “That can’t be a bassoon! A bassoon shouldn’t or couldn’t
sound like that!!” “What’s the rhythm?” “Are they in tune? “Terrible!
Stop!!” These words described the reactions of audience at that first
performance. These words can also describe the reactions to a lot of
the music that has been composed in the past century.
(1882-1971), Bela Bartok (1881-1945), Arnold Schoenberg, (1874-1951)
are three major composers of the first half of the 20th century whose
bold musical ideas threatened the sense and
sensibilities of the musical
establishment. This was a time of rule-breaking. Our familiar scale—do
re mi fa so la ti do—was replaced by lots of unfamiliar combinations of
tones. It was alarming! It was exciting!
The past hundred years have seen many changes in all the arts.
Music has probably gone through the most dramatic changes of all.
Experiments and discoveries in the science of sound and electronics
have enabled many of today’s
composers to create symphonies
concertos, operas, and other musical compositions without ever
leaving their electronic keyboards, or
needing instrumentalists and
singers to perform their work. The same is true for the listener. In the
Middle Ages it was mainly monks in church who heard music. In the
Baroque period classical music was performed for only the wealthiest
of people. In the Romantic period everyone could go to a concert hall
to hear music.
During the twentieth century
, great performances of
could be heard at home on the radio or phonograph. Today, we can
download music from the Internet. There’s never been a better time to
learn to love “Music Through the Ages!”
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