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MUSIC 1AA3 Lecture Notes - Danbury, Connecticut, Claude Debussy, Duke Ellington

Course Code
Matthew Woolhouse

of 2
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)
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 famous for using the "growl style" as part of their technique
Wrote film scores, concertos, concert pieces, theatre
Cotton Tail (1940)
rhythm changes (chord progressions) from Gershwin's I got!Rhythm
Stacked chords: 4/5/6-note chords
"swing era": groove alternating short and long note values
32-bar standard song form (AABA with 8-bars to each letter)
John Cage (1912 - 1992 @80)
Born L.A. died NY
composer, music theorist, writer, philosopher and artist
composed 'graphical scores' (no 2 performances the same)
Pioneer of Aleatoric Music
indeterminacy/chance in music,!
Pioneer of electroacoustic music, and non-standard use of musical instruments
Indeterminacy (1959)
combination of voice and standard instruments and recorded sounds from everyday life
John Cage is speaker, David Tudor is doing musical accompaniment
the two can't hear what the other is doing
4'33" (1952); most famous piece; silence
The Beach Boys
Began in 1961 as surf-rock band led by Brian Wilson
surf-rock: genre of pop associated with surf culture originating in Souther California in early 60s
1st three albums released 1962-1963
surgin safari
surfin USA
surfer girl
Good Vibrations (1966)
recorded in individual sections!as it was composed!
number of unusual features
minor key: sophisticated multi-part vocals
unusual chord progressions (falling tetrachord)
uses Theremin (early electronic instrument)
abrupt changes in texture from polyphonic to homophonic quickly
The Beach Boys are 3 brothers, their cousin and their family friend
Compared to 19th century music, more tonal and structured
In Ives Unanswered Question strings play quietly off stage throughout entire piece
Duke Ellington studied guitar as child and interested in ragtime
Igor Stravinsky went through 4 stylistic periods
John Cage's scores are refferd to as
graphic scores
image scores
picture scores
Bartoks concereto for orchestra the flute timbre is
smooth and resonant
delicate and breathy
gruff and raspy!
piercing and nasal
Psychedelic Movement is
music to help trip
eastern influence
bright clothes
all of above
10 TF
15 MC
15 blanks
10 matching
5 pictures
5 listening (3 questions for each)
45 minutes