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MUAR 211 (182)
Jerry M.Cain (113)

March 28th

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McGill University
Music-Arts Faculty
MUAR 211
Jerry M.Cain

March 28 , 2013  remember that twentieth century composers are historically aware  Anton Webern (1883-1945) o earned PhD in musicology from university of Vienna o wrote dissertation on music of composer Heinrich Isaac (1450-1517) o studied composition privately with Schoenberg  used atonal & 12-tone music o created own individual style within new compositional idioms o active, international conductor o musical career ruined by Nazi suppression after 1933 o mistakenly shot & killed by American soldier just after end of WWII  months after only son killed by American aircraft o music is the most “abstract” of Second Viennese School composers o intentionally ‘pared down’ his music to only that which is absolutely necessary without repetition o after 1945 his music was rediscovered  party for music quality, partly for being a composer who didn’t survive the war o his music is somewhat programmatic o most music dedicated to his mother who died when he was young o many of his works are miniatures (only 2-3 minutes, sometimes far less) & often described using:  aphorism/aphoristic style: o works very delicate with sparse textures & very brief musical gestures o frequently used silence as an essential element of a piece o used many novel instrumental effects (extended techniques):  pizzicato  harmonics/string harmonics: very high & delicate pitches that are created by lightly placing (not touching) one’s fingers at specific points on string of an instrument; can cause string to sound 2 octaves normal than higher  col legno: turning bow over & playing strings with wood of bow instead of horsehair; causes very strange, rather ethereal & unstable sound quality o serial works highly organized o 12-tone wo
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