Post-Romanticism (1890-1930) - Timeline 5

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    Gustav Mahler

    Viennese, considered the heir to Mozart and Beethoven. Made important expansions upon symphonies and Lieder, as well as utilized aspects of the music of non-Western cultures.
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    Claude Debussy

    Most important French composer of the early 20th century, credited with composing the first modern orchestral work.
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    Richard Strauss

    German descent, supported and expanded upon Wagner's use of chromaticism. Famous for tone poems and operas. Music included excessive amounts of motives, huge orchestration, and extreme harmonic chromaticism. Pushed the limits of tonality more than any other romantic German composer.
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    Arnold Shoenberg

    Austrian composer, theorist, and painter. Head of the second Viennese school. Completely went atonal around 1907-09. Created atonal melodies called "tone rows." (Not all atonal music is 12-tone).
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    Maurice Ravel

    French impressionist composer, credited with writing the first impressionist piano piece.
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    Igor Stravinsky

    One of the most versatile and interesting composers of the 20th century, rhythmically and harmonically interesting variety of works. Musical style changed often ("Russian period," "French period," "Neoclassical period," and "Serialist period"). Overall style is harsh/brash, included ostinati, rhythmic complexity, and tonal with sharp dissonance.
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    Anton Webern

    Student of Schoenberg and member of the second Viennese school. Known for musical brevity and clarity of texture and use of pointillism.
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    Alban Berg

    Student of Schoenberg and member of the second Viennese school. Known for his atonal works and continuing Schoenberg's rules.
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    Louis Durey

    Born in Paris to a non-musical family, instigated the first Les Six album, consistently anti-war (French Resistance and Vietnamese themes).
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    One of the first anti-Romantic styles, disregarded chord progression rules while being essentially tonal. Characterized by the use of pentatonic, whole-tone, and exotic scales, unresolved dissonances, parallel, chords, free rhythm, and a general sense of vagueness. Pushback against German style (i.e. Wagner). Notable composers: Debussy, Delius, Repighi, and sometimes Ravel.
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    The end of romanticism when the 19th century style met its EXTREMES, just before it broke into the more modern style of expressionism. Characterized by its extreme chromaticism, sheer size of performance groups, use of themes/motives, and thick textures. Notable composers: Strauss and Mahler.
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    Arthur Honegger

    Part of Les Six but not French - Swiss (and highly proud of it). Huge compositional output in all mediums, appreciated the architecture of music. Composed mostly based on commission.
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    Darius Milhaud

    Born in Southern France, studied Debussy and immediately rejected Impressionism. Close friends with Tailleferre, influenced by Brazilian and American music styles.
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    Germaine Tailleferre

    The most important female French composer, as well as the only female in Les Six. Stylish, grand social circles, and amazing accompanist.
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    Georges Auric

    Born in southern France, studied composition in Paris with Satie's teachers. Neo-classicist, film music, ran SACEM, music journalist. Part of Les Six.
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    Francis Poulenc

    Born in Paris to rich parents, self-taught but had musical tutors. Rejected Shoenberg/Berg/Webern's expressionist styles.
  • 12-tone technique

    Created by Schoenberg and primarily used by the second Viennese school.
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    Focus on completely freeing music from tonality (atonality), has no chord progression rules. Originated in Germany and Austria. Includes 12-tone method. 12-tone is not the same as Serialism. Notable composers: Shoenberg (teacher), Berg & Webern (students).
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    Returning to the ideal of clarity and objectivity from the 18th century. This was a time in which baroque and classical periods were not clearly defined or labeled.
  • Pierrot Lunaire

    Song cycle by Schoenberg that utilizes 12-tone technique.
  • Rite of Spring

    Ballet premiered with music by Stravinsky, choreography by Nijinsky, and production by Diaghilev. Disturbing elements: radical, modern choreography, percussive orchestra, irregular accents, polyrhythmic, and chaotic.
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    World War I

    At the time, Paris was known to be the center of the musical world. Countries involved included France, Germany, Austria, Britain, and Italy - all countries that have rich musical history.
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    Anti-art movement in which artists and poets reacted against the war in the mid 1910s. Those associated with the movement forged the way into modern thinking, allowing questioning of traditional artistic expectations.
  • Les Six

    Largely influenced by Erik Satie and Jean Cocteau. Satie was known for his French group, Les nouveaux Jeunes. Cocteau was a novelist and organizer, was essentially Les Six's manager. Group was put together in response to Russia's mighty five. The members consisted of top French musicians. Members: Georges Auric, Louis Durey, Arthur Honegger, Darius Milhaud, Francis Poulenc, and Germaine Tailleferre.
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    Non-tonal style

    A style of composition that focused on musical elements other than pitch. Percussion ensembles primarily benefitted from this, giving them a new status in concert music.