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MUAR 211 Lecture Notes - Microtonal Music, Conservatoire De Paris, Octatonic Scale

Music-Arts Faculty
Course Code
MUAR 211
Jerry M.Cain

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MUAR 211 The Art of Listening Winter 2013
March 19th, 2013
general characteristics of art music in past century
o marked with great individuality of expression & technical approach greater diversity
which lead to expressionism, impressionism, neoclassicism, primitivism
o many composers developed individuals systems of harmony & methods of composition:
atonality atonal music
this is a harmonic comment
no tonic center, not most important pitch
microtonality microtonal music
doesn’t use our system of equal tempered octave
harmony term
serial procedures serial music (integral serialism)
aleatory aleatoric music (indeterminacy, chance, etc.)
o new emphasis on rhythm & rhythmic possibilities often resulting in complex rhythmic
o search for new sound sources manifested in 2 main areas:
creation of new instruments
exploration of new uses for traditional, “art-music” instruments extended
o creative manipulation of classical forms & genres
o avant-garde aesthetic
often questions fundamental assumptions/serves as example of particular
philosophical stance can be very challenging for performers & audiences
the point of a work of art can be to pose a questions never asked before
o contemporary works of art music demonstrate unprecedented fixation of music history,
on music of recent and/or distant part through self-conscious rejection and/or imitation
neoclassicism resulted from this fascination with & knowledge of art of previous
style periods
o 20th century = emergence of N & S American composers to internal acclaim for the first
o later 20th century saw increasing erosion of Eurocentric biases in art music culture
increasing awareness, cultivation & integration of diverse musical cultures around the
world into the classical, art-music tradition
o French movement developed by painters who tried to capture fleeting image of subject
through innovative use of light, colour & perspective
o demonstrates fascination for continuous change in appearance of places & things with
playing with changing light, presenting more or less distinct images & moods with
minimally sketched detail
o reaction against grandiose imagery, dramatic action & heroic historical themes inspired
late romantic art
o paintings characterized by:
soft, pastel hues, creatively mixed washed of colour
hazy, defuse, indistinct painting style, often resulting in sketchy surface that
lacks minute details yet capture essential elements
very pretty & pleasant subjects: natural scenes, ballerinas, water, nudes,
idealized images of Parisian city life
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