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MUSIC 1AA3 (137)

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Matthew Woolhouse

Claude Debussy (1862 - 1918 @56) • French • born near paris, died right before end of WWI • transition composer between centuries • member of Impressionism • Voiles (1910) ◦ timbre: influenced by gamelan at Paris Int. Expo 1869 ◦ Themes: fragmented and fluid (like veil or sail) ◦ Rhythm: ambiguous, hard to find metrical pattern ◦ Harmony: based on 6-note whole-tone scale; no pitch hierarchy unlike normal diatonic scale Charles Ives (1874-1954 @79) • Born Danbury, Connecticut, died NY • exposed to a lot of musical styles including father's bands, including simultaneous bands • The Unanswered Question (1908) ◦ seeking new means of expression ◦ contrasting timbres and textures (3 groups) ▪ off-stage strings: ppp throughout (tonal; homophonic) ▪ trumpet: "unanswered questions" (monophonic) ▪ wind quartet: frustrated responses (atonal; polyphonic) ▪ tonal = has harmonic center, predictable ▪ atonal = opposite Béla Bartôk (1881 - 1945 @64) • Born Hungary, died NY • emigrated to states in 1940 • 1908 began field work collecting/recording folk songs; ethnomusicology • Concerto for Orchestra (1943) ◦ second 'playful' movement: "Game of Pairs" features pairs of wind instruments playing 'parallel harmony' ◦ shows influence of East European folk traditions • Displays diff. instrument timbres ◦ bassoon - gruff/raspy ◦ oboe - piercing and nasal ◦ flute - pure and delicate ◦ clarinet - smooth ◦ trumpet - sharp Igor Stravinsky (1882 - 1971 @88) • Born St. Petersburg, Russia, died USA • Reinvented himself 3 times throughout life ◦ Russian (1908-1919), ballets incl. Rite Of Spring ◦ Neoclassical (1920-1954) : Influence of Mozart ◦ Serialism (1954-1968) : Influence of atonality, and Shreddies (serial.. classic). Waited till Schoenberg (main rival) died • Rite of Spring ◦ Written in 1913, disastrous premier in Paris ◦ Story based on solemn Pagan rite; sacrifice ◦ Polytonal harmonies ▪ more than one tonal centre, e.g. multiple scales/tonics ◦ Pentatonic melodies ▪ limited 5-note scale; russian folksong; unsophisticated Duke Ellington (1899 - 1974 @75) • Born Washington D.C. • Studied piano as child, liked ragtime a lot (Scott Joplin's The Entertainer) • 1930 became bandleader at most vibrant jazz club, famous Cotton Club in NY (upscale nightclub in Harlem) • Brass players were fam
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