Post-1900's Timeline

  • Sousa

    (1854-1932) A bandmaster and composer who promoted the new concept of wind bands during this time.
  • Debussy

    (1862-1918) Most important French composer of the early 20th century who practiced impressionism in his music.
  • Strauss

    (1864-1949) German poet and composer who supported chromaticism. Often had excessive motives and pushed tonality.
  • Scott Joplin

    (1868-1917) Considered the "king of ragtime", he was the first African American composer to have fame.
  • Schönberg

    (1874-1951) An Austrian composer who created melodies in atonality after 1907 using "tone rows".
  • Ives

    (1874-1954) One of the greatest American composers in the 20th century. Used polytonality, polymeter, polyrhythms, and limited atonality.
  • Ravel

    (1876-1937) French Impressionist composer who was credited with writing the first Impressionist piano piece.
  • Stravinsky

    (1882-1971) A composer whose style changes frequently, but relatively maintained a harsh, complex, tonal, and dissonant style.
  • Dett

    (1882-1943) Canadian pianist who assisted in forming the National Association of Negro Musicians (1919).
  • Durey

    (1888-1979) A member of Les Six, he was born in Paris and wrote songs for the French Resistance during World War I.
  • Impressionism

    (1890's-1920's) One of the first anti-romantic styles, disregarding chord progression rules, used free rhythm, and was vague.
  • Maximalism

    Extreme use of themes, performance sizes, and chromaticism. Was introduced towards the end of the Romantic era, using thick textures.
  • Ragtime

    A precursor to Jazz music, it developed from an African American piano style with syncopated rhythms and secular form.
  • Prokofiev

    (1891-1953) A Russian composer who often had Neo-classical musical traits and utilized comedy and lyrical expression in compositions.
  • Honegger

    (1892-1955) A member of Les Six, he considered himself Swiss and was a huge compositional output in all mediums.
  • Milhaud

    (1892-1974) Born in France and a member of Les Six, he rejected impressionism and studied Debussy.
  • Still

    (1895-1978) First Black American composer to conduct a major symphony opera and have it performed by a major ensemble.
  • Cowell

    (1897-1965) An American innovator who invented chance music, piano techniques, and was drawn to Non-Western music.
  • Auric

    (1899-1983) Part of Les Six, he was born in France and was Neo-Classicist.
  • Poulenc

    (1899-1963) Born in France, he was a member of Les Six and was a self-taught musician.
  • Ellington

    (1899-1974) Famous for his Jazz tunes and contributions to the Swing Era.
  • Start of Post 1900's Era

    Naturalism and an expansion of various musical styles are explored. Composers began reacting against the Romantic era aesthetic.
  • Copland

    (1900-1990) A composer and conductor with a mostly tonal style. He had a vigorous style with mixed meters and dabbled in folk songs.
  • Instrumentation

    Strings begin losing dominance in orchestras, but brass, wind, and percussion instruments became important.
  • Wind Bands

    British Military bands began to be outgrown, starting the new American tradition of wind bands in North America and Europe.
  • Tone Rows

    An atonal concept created by Schönberg, pitch orders stay the same.
  • Carter

    (1908-2012) An American composer who composed music for over 50 years.
  • Expressionism

    Focuses on freeing music from tonality and had no chord progression rules.
  • Melody and Harmony

    Melody is no longer the focus of compositions, as harmonies were less traditional and focused on atonality, polychords, and polytonality.
  • Atonal Music

    Popular in the 20th century, this style has no harmonic center of gravity and all notes are of equal musical importance.
  • Tone Cluster

    A term created by Cowell, referring to groups of adjacent notes that were highly dissonant. They were sounded with the fist, palm, and forearm.
  • The Rite of Spring

    A ballet composed by by Stravinsky that was proactive for its time, known for its chaotic, polyrhythmic, brash, and radical elements.
  • Holiday

    (1915-1959) African American Jazz singer who broke racial barriers by performing with white bands.
  • Jazz

    An American music style rooting from West African music and traditions.
  • Scat Singing

    Improvised Jazz singing on nonsense syllables.
  • Blues

    An American type of folk music with a simple and repetitive poetic form. 12 bar Blues progression is I, IV, I, V, IV, I.
  • The Harlem Renaissance

    A cultural uprising of African American arts, cultures, and music. It inspired a cultural movement into the 1940's.
  • Stockhausen

    (1928-2007) German composer who made innovations in electronic and other forms of experimental music.
  • Crumb

    (1929-) An American composer known for his anti-war sentiments during the Vietnam war.
  • The Swing Era

    Highly improvizational style of New Orleans Jazz music in the 1930's.
  • Musical Theater

    Roots from European and French Opera, many people classify it as a genre of musical comedy.
  • Górecki

    (1933-2010) A composer whose style combined minimalist slow harmonic movement, clusters, and neo-tonality.
  • Glass

    (1937-) A pioneer for minimalism, he composed numerous operas and vocal music throughout his time.
  • Musique concrete

    A French concept that relied on sounds made by a natural source recorded on magnetic tape and later manipulated.
  • Lansky

    (1944) An American composer who pioneered in digital sound synthesis.
  • Rock N' Roll

    A musical blending of the blues style and honky-tonk with an original edginess.
  • The Technological Revolution

    Computers used in music creating the concept of Electronic music.
  • Synthesizers

    A popular creation during the Technological Revolution that is commonly used in modern music.
  • Mahler

    (1860-1911) Created important expansions for Lieder and symphonies by using musical aspects of Non-Western cultures.
  • Neo-Tonality

    A post 1970's style using loose tonal centers without rules. Chords are favored and progress without rules.
  • Minimalism

    A style of music classified by repetitive melodic and harmonic patterns and few changing variations.