Post-Romanticism 1890-1930

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    G. Mahler

    An Austrian composer and conductor. He is most notable for his strong maximalist works like his 10 programmatic symphonies, and expanding the genres of symphonies and lieder. He also wrote 5 orchestral song cycles and chamber music.
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    C. Debussy

    French composer and pianist who is credited with the invention of musical impressionism, and with the composition of the first modern orchestral work. Commonly wrote piano works, chamber music, tone poems, stage works, and songs.
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    R. Strauss

    German composer and conductor famous for his tone poems and operas. R. Strauss expanded on Wagner's use of chromaticism and had a strong use of maximalism especially in his orchestration, use of motives, and tonality. Some of his most famous compositions are Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks (1894-95), Don Juan (1888-89), Salome (1905), and Elektra (1909). He wrote symphonic poems, 15 operas, 150 Lieder, other stage works, orchestral works, chamber music, and piano works.
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    E. Satie

    French composer who formed a group called Les Nouveauz Jeunes circa 1913-14. He wrote dramatic works, songs, and piano works.
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    A. Schoenberg

    Father of 12 tone music and the teacher of Webern and Berg. Schoenberg went atonal around 1907-09. He commonly wrote operas, symphonies, choral and chamber music, songs, canons, and piano works.
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    M. Ravel

    French Composer who is credited with writing the first impressionist piano piece. He is considered an innovator in pianistic style. Commonly wrote operas, ballets, orchestral, vocal, and piano works.
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    I. Stravinsky

    Composer whos musical style changed often:
    Russian period- up to circa 1920
    French period- around 1920
    Neoclassical period-circa 1920-54
    Serialist (US) period- circa 1954-68
    He wrote The Rite of Spring in 1913 it is a ballet and considered rhythmically forceful. The music and story were radical for its time.
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    A. Webern

    A student of Schoenberg who is known for his musical brevity and clarity of texture. He used pointillism, He wrote symphonies, orchestral chamber, songs, and choral music, but did not write opera. He wrote Symphony Op.21 from 1929.
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    A. Berg

    Student of Schoenberg. Commonly wrote opera, orchestral works, songs, concertos, chamber music, and is often atonal.
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    L. Durey

    A Member of Les Six, instigated the first Les Six album. He wrote songs for the French Resistance during WW2 and wrote with Vietnamese themes in 1960's to protest the war. He also wrote stage works, orchestral works, chamber music, piano works, and film scores. He turned communist in 1936
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    J. Cocteau

    Associated with Les Six, French poet and artist
  • Blues

    Originated in the rural south by Black Americans, often slow and mournful songs. Later it became accomponied by guitar and banjo. The Blues scale, and 12 bar blues pattern emerged later on.
  • Ragtime

    The style was syncopated, "uneven" march-like music. Popular ragtime composers and performers were, Scott Joplin, James Scott, Joseph Lamb and many many others.
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    German speaking areas. R. Strauss and G. Mahler were maximalists. Typically used extreme chromaticism, extreme size of performance groups, extreme use of themes and motives, and thick textures.
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    French, anti-germanic and Debussy leads in impressionism. Characterized by its sense of vagueness. It disregarded chord progression rules, all cords are equal, its essentially tonal and creates a sense of tonality. There is no heroic or thematic goal.
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    A. Honegger

    A member of Les Six. He considered himself Swiss and remained neutral, writing for both the French and Germans. He had large compositional output in multiple mediums, He admired Bach. He wrote choral music, chamber music and 5 symphonies.
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    D. Milhaud

    A member of Les Six. Milhaud rejected Debussy's impressionism. He used polytonality and was one of the first to use jazz in concert music. He also wrote operas, films, children's music, choral music and organ works.
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    G. Tailleferre

    A member of Les Six. A very modest French composer and pianist. She wrote 12 operas, 4 ballets, film and television scores, orchestral works, choral and chamber music, songs, and piano works.
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    G. Auric

    A French composer who by the age of 15 had written over 200 works. He wrote film music and ran SACEM. He was a Neo-classicist and srudied composition with Satie's teachers.
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    F. Poulenc

    French composer who rejected Schoenberg, Webern and Berg's style. His partner Pierre Bernac premiered many of his songs. He wrote piano works, chporal music, concertos and chamber music.
  • Expressionism

    Circa 1910s. German speaking areas and Schoenberg leads. It is focused on completely freeing music from tonality. A. Schoenberg, A. Berg, and A. Webern were common expressionist composers. Included the 12 tone method.
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    Went back to clarity and objectivity of the 18th century. Combined the past textures, topics, and forms with modern harmony, timbres, and tonality.
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    World War 1

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    A movement of anti-art thinking. Favored irrationality, nonsense, and intuition. Lead the way for more modernist thinking.
  • Expansion of the Radio

    Although the radio had been around for many years its popularity rose in late 1920s and became common to have in the household.
  • Invention of the 12 tone method

    Serialism, created by Arnold Schoenberg, all notes are equal, no tonic to return to.