Contemporary Music Literature Final

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    Richard Wagner

    • German dramatic composer
    • Infamously known as Hitler’s famous composer (though they did not live in the same time
    • His works became synonymous with the Nazi party due to his outspoken antisemitic views and dramatic, emotion-evoking works
    • Notable works are  The Ring of the Nibelung (1869–76) and Lohengrin (1850)
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    Modest Mussorgsky

    • One of The Five (or “Mighty Five/Handful”) Russian composers who developed Russia’s nationalistic style of classical music; strove to achieve a uniquely Russian musical identity against the established conventions of Western Music
    • Composed works inspired by Russian history, folklore, and national themes
    • Notable works include opera Boris Godunov, Night on Bald Mountain, and the piano suite Pictures at an Exhibition
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    Antonin Dvorak

    • Chapter 4
    • Czech composer inspired by America
    • New world symphony (1893)- inspired by African American spirituals
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    Nikolai Rimsky Korsakov

    • One of The Five (or “Mighty Five/Handful”) Russian composers who developed Russia’s nationalistic style of classical music
    • Used Russian folk song and lore along with exotic harmonic, melodic and rhythmic elements
    • Wrote Principles of Orchestration, which discusses the technique of writing for an orchestra and also the emotional and psychological effect of instrumentation
    • Notable works include Scheherazade, Capriccio Espagnol, and the Russian Easter Overture
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    Leoš Janáček

    • Czech composer, musical theorist, folkorist
    • was inspired by Moravian and other Slavic music, including Eastern European folk music
    • famous works include his opera Jenůfa, piano sonata “On an Overgrown Path”
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    Gustav Mahler

    • Last composer of the Austro-German tradition
    • primarily a conductor during his life
    • Know for very large orchestration
    • Symphony No.8 “Symphony of a thousand”
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    Claude Debussy

    • French Impressionist composer
    • One of the first Europeans to use pentatonic and whole tone scales
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    Richard Strauss

    • end of romantic composers
    • Salome: scale made of Cm and GM stacked started opera, -seen as a major break though that allowed other composers to experiment with traditional tonality
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    Jean Sibelius

    • Chapter 5
    • Finnish composer
    • Finlandia (1899)
    • Extreme alcoholic
    • Popular in England and Americas but dismissed in Austria-German music centers
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    Carl Nielson

    • Denmark’s most notable/famous composer
    • Inspired by Brahms and Grieg
    • Notable works include Helios Ouverture and Maskarade (which became known as the “Danish National Opera”
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    Erik Satie

    • French impressionist composer
    • Drove French composer’s away from the Wagnerian style
    • Influenced Ravel and Poulenc
    • Composed the Gymnopédies
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    Scott Joplin

    • Dubbed “the king of ragtime”
    • Composed “Maple Leaf Rag” and “The Entertainer”
    • Spent his last years in life trying to compose his opera “Treemonisha” but died of syphilis in 1917
    • Chapter 4
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    Will Marion Cook

    • Violinist, composer, conductor, and teacher
    • Wrote “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” opera and musical revue called Clorindy
    • His composition Dahomey echos the opening of the Largo of Dvoraks New World Symphony
    • Chapter 4
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    Arnold Schoenberg

    - Father of 12 tone - primary members of the Second Viennese School of music - Pierrot lunaire, pioneered the use of Sprechstimme in music
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    Charles Ives

    • The celestial country started his career, but his more experimental works “From the Steeples and the Mountains” and “The unanswered Question” are his most known works.
    • Composer, organist, insurance agent
    • Chapter 4
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    Maurice Ravel

    • One of the major pioneers of French Impressionist music, pianist and conductor
    • Experimented with textures, musical form (Bolero), orchestration (Pictures at an Exhibition), and styles (jazzy chords in Piano Concerto)
    • Notable works include Boléro, Daphnis et Chloé 
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    Bruno Walter

    • Considered one of the best conductors of the 20th century
    • Escaped Nazi German and went to California
    • Worked closely with Mahler and bared a similar musical resemblance
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    Manuel De Falla

    • Spanish composer and pianist
    • Considered the most distinguished Spanish composer of the 20th century for composing works inspired by native Spanish church music, folk music, and native opera (“zarzuela”)
    • Notable works include The Three-Cornered Hat and Nights in the Gardens of Spain
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    Béla Bartók

    • Hungarian composer, pianist, and ethnomusicologist
    • Collected and analyzed study of folk music and was one of the founders of comparative musicology, which later became ethnomusicology
    • notable works include his Concerto for Orchestra, Mikorkosmos (for piano), his opera Bluebeard’s Castle, and his Viola Concerto
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    Igor Stravinsky

    • Composed in very different styles throughout his life
    • Made innovations in rhythm and harmony
    • Composed The Firebird and Rite of Spring
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    Percy Grainger

    • Australian composer, arranger, and pianist
    • played a prominent role in the revival of interest in British folk music
    • his most famous work is a piano arrangement of folk song Country Gardens
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    Anton Webern

    • Part of Second Viennese school lead by Schoenberg
    • Many works considered inaccessible my most performers
    • Composed the Six Bagatelles for string quartet
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    Edgard Varèse

    • First major American work was Ameriques
    • Came to New York from Paris after being released from the French army on medical grounds in 1915
    • Chapter 4
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    Alban Berg

    • Second Viennese School
    • combined Romantic lyricism with the twelve-tone technique
    • Studied with Schoenberg
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    Sergey Prokofiev

    • Russian Neoclassical Composer
    • Studied under Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov
    • Lived in Stalinist Russia, his works were denounced by the Russian government which was a massive blow to his career
    • Notable works include Romeo and Juliet (1936) and Peter and the Wolf (1936)
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    Darius Milhaud

    • French composer, conductor, teacher, and a member of the Les Six
    • Compositions are influenced by jazz and Brazilian music and make extensive use of polytonality
    • Considered one of the key modernist composers who taught many significant composers including Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Iannis Xenakis
    • Notable works include La création du monde
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    Paul Hindemith

    • German composer, music theorist, violist
    • Advocate for Neue Sachlichkeit (new objectivity) in the 1920s
    • Completed a series of six sonatas for strings that have influences from Debussy and Ravel.
    • Used forms from the Renaissance and Baroque Era and modernized them
    • Chapter 6
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    Erich Korngold

    • Born in the modern day Czech Republic, Korngold was a child prodigy
    • Performed from an early age and eventually made his way into composing, mostly for operas, shows, and movies. Dubbed “father of the film score”
    • Notable works include scores for the films The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) and Another Dawn (1936-1937)
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    George Gershwin

    • Grew up in Manhattan, inspired by Jazz
    • First vaudeville opera was Blue Monday Blues
    • Rhapsody in Blue 1924
    • Chapter 4
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    Francis Poulenc

    • French composer and pianist
    • One of the composers in Les Six, who reacted strongly against German Romanticism and French Impressionism
    • Notable works include his opera Dialogues des Carmélites and Concerto for Organ, Strings, and Timpani
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    Duke Ellington

    • Jazz pianist, composer, conductor
    • Black, Brown, and Beige Suite
    • Also referred to as The Duke
    • Chapter 4
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    Kurt Weill

    • Threepenny opera and “Mack the Knife”
    • German composer that fled Nazi germany in 1933
    • Held the ideal of writing music that served a socially useful purpose
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    Aaron Copland

    • American composer that incorporated aspects of jazz and folk music into his works
    • Active member of the composer community as member of the American Composer alliance, advocate for young composers
    • Won Pulitzer Prize for composition “Appalachian Spring” (1944)
    • Other notable work is “A Lincoln Portrait” (1942) which presents sung quotes from Lincoln over orchestra
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    Harry Partch

    -Invented a 43 note scale and made his own instruments
    -American composer in California
    -Inspired by Lou Harrison
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    Dmitri Shostakovich

    • Experimented with avant-garde techniques and strayed from Western music in early career
    • Was subject to the pressures of Stalinist Russia, brought back to more traditional Western style
    • Influences include Tchaikovsky and Hindemith
    • Notable works include Festive Overture and Symphony No. 5
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    Olivier Messiaen

    • French contemporary composer
    • Heavily inspired by bird song and Roman Catholic theology
    • Experimented with non-western scales and modes
    • Famous works include 1941; Quartet for the End of Time and 1953; The Awakening of the Birds
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    John Cage

    • American avant-garde composer, very experimental
    • Utilized many unorthodox instruments and instrumentation
    • Used the principle of “indeterminism” or randomness in his works, huge departure from western music. Advanced the conversation of the question “what is music”
    • Most notable work is “4’33””
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    Benjamin Britten

    -Composed “Peters Grimes” and “Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra”
    -Defining English composer of the 20th century
    -Influenced by Bach, Brahms, and Beethoven
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    Lou Harrison

    -Composed the Opera “Rapunzel”
    -American composer and music critic
    -Inspired by Henry Cowell and Indonesian gamelon
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    György Ligeti

    -Composed the music for “2001: A Space Odyssey”
    -Hungarian-Austrian avant-grade classical composer
    -Influenced by his relationship with Stockhausen
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    Pierre Boulez

    • French avant-garde composer and conductor
    • Influences include Messian, Leibowitz, and Schoenberg, used techniques of 12-tone and serialism
    • Notable works are Piano Sonata No 2 (1948) and Pli selon pli (1957-1962)
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    Morton Feldman

    • experimented with non-traditional notation, improvisation, and timbre
    • Worked with John Cage
    • Used stillness and silence in his music
    • Notable works include Piano Piece 1952 and For Bunita Marcus
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    Karlheinz Stockhausen

    -Composed series of nineteen Klavierstücke (Piano Pieces)
    -German Composer known for controversial electronic music and serial compositions
    -Influenced by Stravinsky
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    Tōru Takemitsu

    • Largely self-taught
    • Scored more than 90 films
    • Inspired by Debussy, Messiaen, Schoenberg, and Cage
    • Combined Eastern and Western music and philosophy
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    Bernard Herrmann

    • American composer, often referred to as a “music-dramatist” as he wrote mainly for opera and film
    • Was a passionate advocate for music being widely accessible, was heavily involved with both radio and television broadcasting of musical programs
    • Championed composer Charles Ives through his programs
    • Wrote the score for the American Horror film “Psycho”
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    Steve Reich

    -Composed “It’s Gonna Rain” and “Music for 18 Musicians”
    -American composer who pioneered minimalism
    -Influenced by Terry Riley’s “In C”
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    Philip Glass

    -Composed “Music in 12 Parts”
    -Minimalist composer known for bridging the gap between classical and everyday music
    -Influenced by everything from Classical Music to relevant minimalist composers to David Bowie
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    John Adams

    -Composed “Nixon in China (1977)”
    -Composer rooted in Minimalism and Contemporary Classical Music
    -Graduated from Harvard and found influence from John Cage