Post-1900s Era (1930-2000)

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In Music
  • Neo-Tonality

    an inclusive term referring to musical compositions of the twentieth century in which the tonality of the common-practice period (i.e. functional harmony and tonic-dominant relationships) is replaced by one or several nontraditional tonal conceptions, such as tonal assertion or contrapuntal motion around a central chord.
  • Post-Minimalism

    Refers to works influenced by minimal music, and it is generally categorized within the meta-genre art music
  • Expressionism

    A modernist movement, initially in poetry and painting, originating in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century. Its typical trait is to present the world solely from a subjective perspective, distorting it radically for emotional effect in order to evoke moods or ideas.
  • Textural

    In music, texture is how the melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic materials are combined in a composition, thus determining the overall quality of the sound in a piece.
  • John Williams

    Williams is an American composer, conductor, pianist and trombonist. Regarded by many as the greatest film composer of all time, he has composed some of the most popular, recognizable, and critically acclaimed film scores in cinematic history in a career spanning over six decades.
  • Krzysztof Penderecki

    Outstanding Polish composer; wrote textural music using sound blocks; his atonal music has public appeal; Poland's greatest living composer.
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    Henryk Górecki

    Polish composer in the Western classical tradition whose sombre Symphony No. 3 (1976) enjoyed extraordinary international popularity in the late 20th century.
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    Holocaust Period

    Systematic state-sponsored killing of six million Jewish men, women, and children and millions of others by Nazi Germany and its collaborators during World War II
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    Fisher Tull

    American composer, teacher, and cunductor
  • Arvo Pärt

    A devout Orthodox Christian, he developed a style based on the slow modulation of sounds such as those produced by bells and pure voice tones, a technique reminiscent of the medieval Notre-Dame school and the sacred music of Eastern Orthodoxy.
  • Prokofiev's Peter and The Wolf

    The narrator tells a children's story, while the orchestra illustrates it. It is Prokofiev's most frequently performed work, and one of the most frequently performed works in the entire classical repertoire.
  • Philip Glass

    American- Jewish composer and performer; on of the innovators of minimalism; he is one of the most influential composers in the 20th century.
  • John Corigliano

    American composer who drew from eclectic influences to create music that was generally tonal, accessible, and often highly expressive.
  • William Bolcom

    American composer and pianist who desired to erase boundaries between popular music and art music; won a Pulitzer Prize in 1988 for his 12 New Etudes for Piano
  • Ellen Taafe Zwilich

    American composer and violinist; very popular, busy and noteworthy composer. She is the first female composer to win the Pulitzer Prise for Music with her Symphony No.1 from 1982.
  • Bepop

    The first kind of modern jazz, which split jazz into two opposing camps in the last half of the 1940s
  • Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring Ballet for Martha

    A composition by Aaron Copland that premiered in 1944 and has achieved widespread and enduring popularity as an orchestral suite. The ballet, scored for a thirteen-member chamber orchestra, was created upon commission of choreographer and dancer Martha Graham with funds from the Coolidge Foundation.
  • John Adams

    American Composer and conductor; expanded the new language of minimalism and neo-romantic; one of our leading composers of post-minimalist music
  • Libby Larson

    One of America’s most performed living composers. Grammy award-winning and widely recorded, including over 50 CDs of her work, she is constantly sought after for commissions and premieres by major artists, ensembles, and orchestras around the world, and has established a permanent place for her works in the concert repertory.
  • Andrew Lloyd Weber

    British composer of extraordinary contemporary fame and success. He has created some of the most recognizable Broadway music of all time, from productions of Cats to Evita to The Phantom of the Opera
  • Rock and Roll

    A genre of popular music that originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s from musical styles such as gospel, jump blues, jazz, boogie woogie, and rhythm and blues, along with country musi
  • Civil Rights Movement Begins

    This movement was a struggle for social justice that took place mainly during the 1950s and 1960s for blacks to gain equal rights under the law in the United States.
  • Tod Machover

    A composer and an innovator in the application of technology in music.
  • Hippy Movement

    A countercultural movement that rejected the mores of mainstream American life.
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    Berlin Wall

    A wall was built between East and West Berlin. The official purpose was to keep Western “fascists” from entering East Germany and undermining the socialist state, but it primarily served the objective of stemming mass defections from East to West.
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    Vietnam War

    Officially fought between North Vietnam and the government of South Vietnam. The North Vietnamese army was supported by the Soviet Union, China, and other communist allies; the South Vietnamese army was supported by the United States, South Korea, Australia, Thailand and other anti-communist allies.
  • Jennifer Higdon

    Taught herself to play flute at the age of 15 and began formal musical studies at 18, with an even later start in composition at the age of 21. Despite these obstacles, Jennifer has become a major figure in contemporary Classical music. Her works represent a wide range of genres, from orchestral to chamber, to wind ensemble, as well as vocal, choral and opera.
  • Invention of the Cassette Tape

    An analog magnetic tape recording format for audio recording and playback.
  • Neo-Romanticism

    A return (at any of several points in the nineteenth or twentieth centuries) to the emotional expression associated with nineteenth-century Romanticism.
  • Eric Whitacre

    American composer, conductor and lecturer; specially known for his virtual Chior project and large, online musical performances ; writes in neo-tonal style.
  • Invention of the Phonograph

    Invented by Thomas Eddison. A phonograph is a record player, is a device for the mechanical recording and reproduction of sound. The sound vibration waveforms are recorded as corresponding physical deviations of a spiral groove engraved, etched, incised, or impressed into the surface of a rotating cylinder or disc, called a "record".
  • New Complexity

    A term dating from the 1980s, principally applied to composers seeking a "complex, multi-layered interplay of evolutionary processes occurring simultaneously within every dimension of the musical material"
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    A style of art music that arose in the 1980s and 1990s as a response to minimalism. It paralleled post-minimalism but involved a younger generation of creators, born in the 1950s.
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    A late-20th-century style and concept in the arts, architecture, and criticism that represents a departure from modernism and has at its heart a general distrust of grand theories and ideologies as well as a problematical relationship with any notion of “art.”.
  • Michael Jackson's "Thriller"

    Jackson moved in a new musical direction, incorporating pop, post-disco, rock and funk.
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    The Cold War

    The USSR, despite facing massive economic difficulties, was involved in a costly arms race with the United States under President Ronald Reagan. The USSR began to crumble as liberal reforms proved difficult to handle and capitalist changes to the centralized economy were badly transitioned and caused major problems.