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MU1710 Nov 21

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Western University
Music 1710F/G
Cameron Johnston

November 21 Readings/Class Notes – History “Contemporary” Music What might be some features of “contemporary” music and what might be its aesthetic aims? 1980s-today - “Contemporary”? Periodization Later Twentieth Century (post 1945) “... there has been a general tendency to listen to music with less interest in the works themselves than in the trends they represent.” (Dahlhaus, 23) When musical style does Beckwith identify as the only commercially succssful classical music at the moment – a style he, following Richard Taruskin, suggests be the “death rattle” of Western Art Music? – Musical style he refers to is “meditative and minimalist music” (12) Beckwith on features of the “meditative/minimalist” style: “slow, steady, sustained; uniform in tone-colour; built in repetitive simple patterns; ‘spiritual’ and/or melancholic in mood; low in intervallic profile; dynamically curving in a long steady crescendo which either ends high or sequences into a long decrescendo” eg. Arvo Pärt (b. 1935) Passio (1982) Discussed on Monday: Somers' music synthesized modernist musical values with uniquely Canadian cultural concerns. What are some of the concerns on the minds of Canadians today? How might Christos Hatzis’s String Quartet No. 1 (“The Awakening”) illustrate some of these features? Christos Hatzis (b. 1953) Born in Greece, member of the Greek Orthodox faith Emigrated to Canada (via the US) in 1982. Lives in Toronto His musical values: inclusiveness, universally shared by listeners of no particular musical background, opening up a series of lay
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