Post-Romanticism (1890-1930)

  • Mahler (1860-1911)

    Mahler (1860-1911)
    Austrian composer, who was a conductor in Europe and the USA. He made some orchestral works that were a representation of maximalism. Mahler's compositions included 5 orchestra song cycles, Lieder, symphonies, and chamber music.
  • Debussy (1862-1918)

    Debussy (1862-1918)
    The most important french composer of the 20th century, who was an impressionist. Debussy's compositions includes many piano works, chamber pieces, and tone poems. Some of his most famous compositions include "La Mer", and "Clair de Lune"
  • Strauss (1864-1949)

    Strauss (1864-1949)
    A German composer, who supported Wagner's use of chromaticism, and expanded on this trait. Strauss's music had maximalist traits. He was famous for his tone poems and operas. Famous works include 'Salome', 'Elektra', and 'Don Juan'.
  • Satie (1866-1925)

    Satie (1866-1925)
    A french composer, and a leader in new French aesthetics on which impressionism was built but he was not an impressionist. He was an incredible innovator who created dramatic works, songs, piano works and writings.
  • Reger (1873-1916)

    Reger (1873-1916)
    A German composer, who was a master of counterpoint. Post-Wagnerian harmony and extreme chromaticism. His compositions consists of chamber music, symphonic poems, piano works, and choral music.
  • Schoenberg (1874-1951)

    Schoenberg (1874-1951)
    The father of 12-tone music, and was an important innovator. He was the teacher of Webern and Berg. His works included: operas, symphonies, chamber music, piano works, and canons.
  • Ives (1874-1954)

    Ives (1874-1954)
    An American composer, who was one of the most creative, and innovate in the 20th century. He worked virtually in isolation, and made a living in insurance. Some of his works include orchestra sets, chamber music, symphonies, band music, etc.
  • Ravel (1876-1937)

    Ravel (1876-1937)
    A french impressionist composer, who wrote the first impressionist piano piece. He was extremely versatile; expert orchestrator. Ravel composed operas, ballets, orchestral and piano works.
  • The Victor Orthophonic Victrola

    The Victor Orthophonic Victrola
    The first consumer phonograph designed to play electrically recorded phonograph records.
  • Stravinsky (1882-1971)

    Stravinsky (1882-1971)
    He was a Russian composer, who was known for his versatility. His overall musical style was rhythmically complex, and essentially tonal with dissonance. His works include ballets, operas, symphonies, chamber music, choral music, and piano works.
  • Webern (1883-1945)

    Webern (1883-1945)
    Webern was a student of Schoenberg. He was known for his musical brevity and clarity of texture; use of pointillism. His works included: symphonies, other orchestral and chamber works, writings, but no operas.
  • Griffes (1884-1920)

    Griffes (1884-1920)
    American composer and pianist, who was interested in ethnic music.
  • Berg (1885-1935)

    Berg (1885-1935)
    An Austrian composer and student of Schoenberg. His works were expressive, and often atonal.
  • N.Boulanger (1887-1979)

    N.Boulanger (1887-1979)
    Nadia was a conductor and a teacher to the most prominent American composers of the first half of the 20th century. Her younger sister is Lili Boulanger, who was a french composer.
  • Instrumentation

    During this period composers like Debussy used orchestral instruments to create light and shadows. However, composer like Stravinsky shifted gears. For example, The Rite of Springs highlights the role of brass, and woodwinds versus the strings who were no longer as involved in playing the melodies. Percussion also took a prominent role.
    Rite of Spring:
  • Harmony

    New conceptions of harmony: polychords, polytonality, and atonality. There was a lot of dissonance sounds, and the harmonies were non-functional.
  • Rhythm

    During this period the rhythm was complex and free. Polyrhythm and Ostinato were used during this time. Stravinsky's music highlighted these elements.
  • Genre

    Common genres during this period were operas, symphonies, and ballets. As well as piano music, since there became a high demand for pianos.
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    French; one of the first anti-Romantic styles. It was characterized by free rhythm, the use of pentatonic, whole scales and other exotic tones. Influenced by Javanese Garden, and initiated by French composer Debussy.
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    One of the first modern styles in the 1890s. Extreme use of themes and motives, thick textures, and extreme chromaticism. Composers like, Strauss, and Mahler composed works that reflected this Maximalist style.
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    This is a musical style that originated in African American communities. The characteristics included syncopated or "ragged rhythm". The sales of pianos were boosted due to the popular demand of ragtime.
  • Air Conditioner Invention

    Air Conditioner Invention
    The first modern air conditioner was invented in 1902 by Willis Carrier, who was a skilled engineer.
  • Invention of Headphones

    Invention of Headphones
    The first pair of headphones were invented by an engineer named Nathaniel Baldwin.
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    Germany and Austria circa 1910. Focused on completely freeing music tonality. Composers of Expressionism included: Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern
  • Rite of Spring

    Rite of Spring
    A ballet composed and orchestral work composed by the Russian composer Igor Stravinsky. The Rite of Spring was inspired by Russian culture, and showcased scenes of pagan Russian rituals. Th e music contained barbaric rhythms, and dissonance, which exemplified Modernism.
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    World War I

    The Great War broke out after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was murdered. This was was between the Central Powers ( Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire), and the Allied Powers (Italy, Great Britain, Russia, France, Japan, and the U.S).
  • Dadism

    This was a reaction against romanticism. It was triggered by anti-wars sentiments of artists and writers who opposed war in Europe. The art that was created projected anti-art ideas.
  • 19th amendment

    19th amendment
    Many activists and reformers fought for about 100 years through the women's suffrage movement, and in 1920 the Amendment to the Constitution was ratified. Women were finally granted the right to vote.