Post-Romanticism (1890-1930)

  • Period: to

    Gustav Mahler

    Mahler was apart of the Maximalist movement. Mahler was considered the heir to Mosart and Beethoven. He of used elements of music from non-Western cultures. He also made significant expansions to symphonies and Lieder
  • Period: to

    Claude Debussy

    Debussy was technically apart of the impressionist movement, however he did not personally agree with this. He considered himself a symbolist. He was credited with composing the first modern orchestral work, Prélude a “L’apres-midi d’un faune”.
  • Period: to

    Richard Strauss

    Strauss was apart of Maximalism. Unlike most composers, Strauss suported Wagner's use of chromaticism. Strauss is famously known for his tine poems and operas such as Salome (1905)
  • Period: to

    Erik Satie

    Satie created a group called Les Nouveaux Jeunes. This was later renamed to Les Six after Henrie Collet published in the French journal Commedia with this new name.
  • Period: to

    Arnold Schönberg

    Schönberg was an Expressionalist composer. He created the 12-tone scale. He also created "tone rows" which are melodies in atonality.
  • Period: to

    Maurice Ravel

    Ravel was an impressionist composer. He wrote the first Impressionist piano piece.
  • Period: to

    Igor Stravinsky

    Stravinsky was a neo-classicist composer. He also had an odd obsession with the number 13. His style of music changed quite often, however, his music was always harsh, rhythmically complex, and tonal, but with sharp dissonance.
  • Period: to

    Louis Durey

    Durey was apart of Les Six. He left the group right after the first album was released, as he caused most of the problems in the group. He also wrote protest music against the Vietnam war.
  • Period: to


    The term "maximalism" is not an official term for this time period. This is because in other areas of art like visual art, the elements of this era were introduced much later. Unlike impressionism, maximalism had lots of chromaticism. Performances during this movement were meant to have large amounts of performers. Themes and motives were also used often. All of these elements made very thick textures.
  • Period: to


    Impressionism brought lots of new ideas to all areas of art. The painting style emphasized color and light. Impressionist music was filled with unresolved dissonences, parallel chords, free rhythm, and multiple kinds of scales. The chord progression rules used in previous music was ignored, but the music was still tonal. It was seen as a general sense of vagueness. The main influence was the Javanese Gamelan which is a percussive ensemble filled with drums, gongs, xylophones, and more.
  • Period: to

    Arthur Honegger

    Honegger is apart of Les Six. He was the only member who wasn't french. He attended the Conservatoire de Paris with Auric, Milhaud, and Tailleferre. He enjoyed how music was constructed.
  • Period: to

    Darius Milhaud

    Milhaud was a member of Les Six. He attended the Conservatoire de Paris with Auric, Honegger, and Tailleferre. Milhaud immediately rejected the ideas in Impressionism. His works were influenced by American Jazz.
  • Period: to

    Germaine Tailleferre

    Tailleferre is apart of Les Six. She was the only female member in Les Six. She attended the Conservatoire de Paris with Auric, Honegger, and Milhaud. Tailleferre had stage fright when it came to singing alone, however, she excelled as a accompanist.
  • Prélude a “L’apres-midi d’un faune”

    This is an Orchestral work by Debussy. Based off of Stéphane Mallarmé's poem, this piece has a free ternary from (ABA'). It was still a goal during the impressionism movement to stay far away from the Germanic type of music during this time.
  • Period: to

    Georges Auric

    Auric was a member of Les Six. He studied with Honegger, Milhaud, and Tailleferre at the Conservatoire de Paris. He was a Neo-classicist composer and ran SACEM.
  • Period: to

    Francis Poulenc

    Poulenc was a member of Les Six. Because his music was a bit more accessible, he is much more well known compared to the other members of Les Six. Poulenc's significant other, Pierre Bernac premiered many oof his works.
  • Salome

    Salome is an opera written by Strauss. It has many elements of the Maximalism, including a huge orchestration, and lots of harmonic chromaticism.
  • Period: to


    Expressionism focused on getting rid of any restaints on tonality. Because of this, there were no chord progression rules, leading to atonality. The 12-tone method was also invented during this time.
  • Period: to


    During the Neo-Classicism movement, composers went back to having more clarity in music. Tonality was brought back, along with an emphasis in rhythm
  • Pierrot Lunaire

    This song cycle written by Schönberg is derived from Albert Giraud's 21 poems. It was written for a solo voice and five instumentalists.
  • The Rite of Spring

    The Rite of Spring is ballet that Stravinsky composed the music for. The music was very rhythmically forceful. The percussive orchestra was seen as "heavy metal". There were irregular accents throughout the piece. It was generally very chaotic. The reviews were mixed.
  • Period: to


  • World War I Ends

    The ending of World War I caused lots of hardships economically, which greatly impacted the need for music during this time.
  • Les Six

    Les Six is a group that was created by Erik Satie and Jean Cocteau. The name was coined by Henri Collet in the French journal Commedia in 1920
  • 12-Tone Method

    The 12-tone method was devised by Arnold Schoenberg. The idea is that once one of the twelve notes is used, it's not to be used again until all other eleven notes are used.