Twentieth Century (1930-2000)

Timeline created by pjc027
In Music
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    John Phillip Sousa

    Bandmaster, specifically known for his marches. Cultivated wind band tradition in US and Europe, an extension of British Military Bands.
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    Scott Joplin

    Composed the Maple Leaf Rag (1899), which went on to be used by Charlie Chaplin.
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    Arnold Schonberg

    At the forefront of the expressionist movement, and utilized serialism to characterize his atonality. Part of The Second Viennese School
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    Charles Ives

    One of the great American composers of the first half of the twentieth century. Most of his works were not known until the 50s. His style was characterized by polytonality, polyrhythms and polymeters, quotations on American tunes and hymns, as well as some atonality.. Made his living in insurance. He is famous for bringing to light that an American composer had to be popular in Europe to be Popular back home.
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    R. Nathaniel Dett

    Studied with Natalie Boulanger, and at Harvard and Columbia universities. Helped to found the National Association of Negro Musicians (1919).
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    Anton Webern

    Part of The Second Viennese School
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    Alban Berg

    Part of The Second Viennese School
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    Florence Price

    A real prodigy in everything. First black female composer to have her work performed by a major American orchestra (symphony No. 1 in E minor). Graduated at 14 as a valedictorian. Moved to Chicago to avoid racial unrest in the south and that is where her career took off.
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    Nadia Boulanger

    Taught practically all 20th century American composers except Gershwin. Composer, but more of a teacher of composers.
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    Precursor to jazz, used highly syncopated rhythms and sectional forms. Developed from AA piano style. Scott Joplin -"the king of ragtime"- the first AA composer to win international fame.
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    Sergei Prokofiev

    Russian composer who worked in orchestral pieces, piano works, and film music. Created Peter and the Wolf.
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    William Grant Still

    First Black American composer to have a symphony and opera composed by a major ensemble, and the first to have conduct a major symphony orchestra. Worked in NYC in the 20s arranging music for Jazz and dance orchestras, Then moved to LA to compose music for film, stage, and the concert hall. Blended African American styles into traditional European genres.
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    Henry Cowell

    The teacher of John Cage, and innovator who was drawn to non western music. Invented chance music and new techniques for playing the piano. Coined the term "tone cluster" which he used often after 1912. Ives used them before but did not name them.
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    George Gershwin

    Wrote classical literature that was infused with elements from jazz and pop music. He was also a virtuoso pianist. Famous works include An American in Paris, Rhapsody in Blue and others.
  • Verklarte Nacht (Transfigured Night)

    Composed by Schonberg and part of his earlier works that were more tonal and used the romantic style.
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    Duke Ellington

    Major band leader in the swing era (1930s) and then again in the big band era (1940s). Composed hundreds of tunes, ranging from film scoring to theater. House bandleader in the Cotton Club. He is most famous for his Jazz Tunes. His classical concertos never gained popularity.
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    Aaron Copland

    Composer, teacher, critic, and conductor. Taught at Harvard and gave lectures, and conducted festivals in many American Schools. Composed in a slew of genres, but not a huge amount of works. Style is mostly tonal. Studied with Nadia Boulanger. Inspired by songs of the Old West and Mexican dance music after visiting in the 1930s. Vigorous, rhythmic, clean and transparent music. Filled with folk songs and idioms.
  • The Unanswered Question

    No specific Genre, not published until 1940. Both parts are performed separately. Very symbolic in its strange use of strings trumpet and woodwind quartet. Poses a question with different answers. Thinly scored
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    Elliot Carter

    Composer, influential as a teacher for 50 years.
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    Samuel Barber

    The most important American composer who kept romanticism alive during the 20th century.
  • Pierrot lunaire, No. 18 "Der Mondfleck"

    Tone poem part of a larger body of work that was made to use the expressionism to its fullest extent, using the ridiculous character of a pierrot to best use the style.
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    Spurred on by Arnold Schonberg. Utilized the twelve tone method (serialism) and created melodies in Atonality called tone rows.
    Exemplified in the Pierrot lunaire series.
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    Billie Holiday

    One of the leading female jazz singers, broke down barriers by performing with white bands. Known for her renditions of blues songs.
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    Dates given signify it's rise, not total popularity. Has roots in West African music, and 19th century AA ceremonial and work songs. Frequently employed the use of scat singing. Also frequently employed Louis Armstrong as he is one of the great early jazz performers. New Orleans style characterized by a small ensemble of players improvising simultaneously, also called Dixieland Jazz.
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    Leonard Bernstein

    Conductor composer, most famous for his musicals. Wrote unusually complex music for his musicals.
  • Harlem Renaissance.

    Continued up until the depression, but continued as a cultural movement into the 1940s. William Grant Still and Langston Hughes (poet). Became a capital of AA arts, like literature, painting, and music.
  • Porgy and Bess

    American Folk Opera. First opera with an all Black cast. Todd Duncan was cats as the lead but said that he would never perform for a segregated audience.
  • Peter and the Wolf, Opus 67

    Used classicism, individual harmonic language, rhythmic drive, expression, and comedic elements to cultivate musical interest in children. Uses a narrator.
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    Philip Glass

    A pioneer in minimalism. One of the most famous composers alive.
    Worked with Nadia Boulanger in Paris, and studied Indian music with Ravi Shankar. Came back to the US in the 1960s and thought modern music needed to connect more with audiences.
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    John Corigliano

    Became famous following his film score, The Red Violin (1997). He has done much in other realms as well.
  • Appalachian Spring (1944)

    Ballet for Martha Graham. The ballet portrays a pioneer celebration in spring. Copland composed an orchestral suite drawn from the ballet in 1945
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    The new "cool" Jazz. Characterized by fast tempos and dissonant solos.
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    John Adams

    Composer who combined elements of New romanticism and minimalism.
  • "A Black Pierrot" from Songs of Separation

    Echoes Schonberg's "Pierrot Lunaire." Written by Hughes, with a chromatic harmony, blues influence, and through-composed. Published in 1949
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    Rock 'n' Roll

    A blended style of jump blues and honky-tonk, with a more edgy attitude. Aimed at a younger audience and created an environment in which both races could come together. Really got into full swing (ha) in the 50s and 60s.
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    Jennifer Higdon

    American Composer, who has multiple awarded pieces.
  • blue cathedral

    Orchestral tone poem that was created as a tribute to the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. Also a memoir for her brother who died from skin cancer.