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Lecture

MU1710 Nov 19

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Department
Music
Course
Music 1710F/G
Professor
Cameron Johnston
Semester
Fall

Description
November 19 Readings/Class Notes – History Modern ism What is a “modernist” sensibility (or aesthetics) in music? Timeline: 1900-1960s – Like Romanticism and other artistic trends, it is the dominant trend. – Many of these trends exist in some other form throughout history Early Twentieth Century (1900-1945) Music in the 20 century “... formalism, or structuralism, was established as the predominant aesthetic of the twentieth century, though it, too, had its detractors” (22). Stravinsky on Music, 1936: “music is, by its very nature, essentially powerless to express anything at all, whether a feeling an attitude of mind, a psychological mood, a phenomenon of nature, etc.,” – Music early in his life eg. Firebird, Rite of Spring: chromaticism, full rhythms – However, he is referring to music in the 1920s: considered, modern music. Stravinsky, Octet for Wind Instruments (1923) – marked a turning point in his musical style Modernity in Music Romanticism: Content = form, style etc. vs. Modernism: Content = form, style etc. – music is preoccupied with elements of style all on its own – Reaction against Romanticism – Romanticism: content dictates form, style etc. Eg. Queen Mab - rondo-like character, like a scherzo, yet it is meant to express a particular image. – Modernism: form = style and content. Nothing outside music is meant to be expressed. How does the work itself work together? What is interesting is the way it comes together “Not the work of art itself, but the way it says it.” How does Harry Somers’s North Country seem to exemplify a particularly mid-century Canadian i nterpretation of modernism? – Canadian art: focussed on landscape – Modernist aesthetic: objects of the art are the interest.
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