Exam 3 Study Notes

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Published on 19 Apr 2013
School
McGill University
Department
Music-Arts Faculty
Course
MUAR 211
Professor
MUAR 211 The Art of Listening Jerry Cain Winter 2013
Twentieth Century: 1900+
impressionism in painting: French movement by painters who tried to capture fleeting image of
subject through innovative use of light, colour & perspective; demonstrates fascination for continuous
change in appearance; Monet & Renoir were impressionist painters
o characteristics soft, pastel hues; lacked minute details; pretty & pleasant subjects
impressionism in music: chromatic; irregular phrases; ambiguity of form; unresolved dissonances;
whole tone scales
symbolism: late 19th-century movement in art that sought to express mystical or abstract ideas
through symbolic use of images
symbolist poetry: literature that was contemporary with impressionism focusing strongly on pleasant
& evocative sounds of words in combination; metaphorically & symbolically rich in meaning but
meaning often ambiguous & open to multiple interpretations
Claude Debussy (1862-1918)
o most important French composer of early 20th century
o very important innovator
o entered Paris Conservatory at age of 11
o influenced by performances of Wagner’s music dramas
o biggest innovation harmonic language
o Prelude to an Afternoon of a Faun = popular subject of numerous ballet choreographies but
ballet not original genre
tone poem/symphonic poem: a piece of orchestral program music in one long movement
pentatonic scale: 5 pitch scale; adds exotic (non-tonal) sound to piece; found in music of exotic
cultures; played on the black notes of a keyboard
whole tone scale: a scale comprising only six notes of the octave, each a whole tone apart
avant garde: in the most advanced style; often questions fundamental assumptions; can be very
challenging for performers & audiences; point of work can be to pose questions never asked before
World War I took place from 1914-1918
World War II took place from 1939-1945
Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)
o Russian composer
o became famous in Paris just after WWI for ballet scores
o one of the 2 or 3 most important/influential composers of Western art music
o commissioned by Diaghilev to write 3 important ballets for Ballet Ruse
o sought refuge in Switzerland at beginning of WWI & moved back to France until start of WWII
o international celebrity in 1920s & 30s travelling Europe & USA
exoticism: style term; the condition of being foreign, striking or unusual
primitivism: style term; a subcategory of exoticism; artistic style & movement that imitated &
emulated artworks of various non-European cultures
primitivism in painting: non-Western or European subjects (dark skin colours, violence, sexuality)
Rite of Spring: Russian ballet first performed in Paris, 1913 to shocked & scandalized audience (most
accustomed to refined grace & exotic music of French, late romantic ballet)
o premiere resulted in very famous riot
o riot was not just about music some would go to concert with intent to cause problems due
to political culture at time
polytonal: simultaneous juxtaposition of 2 or more different key areas in different parts of the
orchestra
dissonance: intervals or chords that sound relatively tense and unstable
consonance: intervals or chords that sound relatively stable and free of tension
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MUAR 211 The Art of Listening Jerry Cain Winter 2013
pizzicato: plucking the strings of a string instrument; can pluck so hard the strings hit the board & you
are left with percussive sound
extended techniques: exploration of new uses for traditional, “art-music” instruments
neoclassicism: style term; when composers make an intentional style reference to a previous time or
period
expressionism: style of art that often stresses intense, subjective emotion, isolation, madness or some
intense psychological state
o painters Edvard Munch; Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
o musical characteristics abrupt musical language; clashing dissonances; interest in common
man; emotional intensity
Second Viennese School: group of expressionist composers who worked for each other; closely
associated but developed different compositional styles
o Anton Webern (1883-1945) abstract music
earned PhD in musicology
wrote dissertation on music of composer Heinrich Isaac (1450-1517)
studied composition privately with Schoenberg
created own individual style within new compositional idioms
musical career ruined by Nazi suppression after 1933
mistakenly shot & killed by American solider just after end of WWII
music was rediscovered 1945
o Alan Berg (1885-1935) romantic music
Wozzeck = first & most famous opera
based on German playright Georg Buchner’s Woyzeck (incomplete due to death)
reworked 27 scenes of play into 3 librettos with 5 scenes each
o Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) middle of abstract & romantic music
one of the 2 most important composers of 20th century
influential teacher, author & innovator
early successful works late-romantic style
abandoned tonality around 1908 & composed first works of atonal music
music strongly rejected by contemporaries & critics uglier in press
taught at Prussian Academy of Arts in berlin until 1933 & quit before fired for being
Jewish
emigrated to USA
Sprechstimme: speech voice; vocalist uses timbre of regular speech but follows melodic contour &
rhythm notate in music to create eerie effect
atonal music/atonality/harmonic language: music that does not have a tonic key/central pitch
12 tone music/serial music/serialism: 1922 invention by Schoenberg to rid of atonal music; 2 rules:
o musical pitches must be used in particular order
o once used, no particular pitch may sound again until all 12 have been heard
12 tone row/series: unifying musical idea of the work; each individual piece is based on particular &
unique ordering of the row OR on one of the 3 acceptable permutations
o prime form: first melody of the trio in a minuet movement
o retrograde form: the original (prime) form of the row backwards
o inversion form: row form created by inverting every interval in prime form of the row
o retrograde inversion form: the inverted row form, backwards
Bela Bartok (1881-1945)
o Hungarian composer, pianist, professor & pioneering scholar of ethnic music
o few works published before 1918
o did fieldwork in remote peasant villages of Austro-Hungarian empire compiled more than
10 000 folksongs
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Document Summary

& evocative sounds of words in combination; metaphorically & symbolically rich in meaning but meaning often ambiguous & open to multiple interpretations. Pentatonic scale: 5 pitch scale; adds exotic (non-tonal) sound to piece; found in music of exotic cultures; played on the black notes of a keyboard. Whole tone scale: a scale comprising only six notes of the octave, each a whole tone apart. Avant garde: in the most advanced style; often questions fundamental assumptions; can be very challenging for performers & audiences; point of work can be to pose questions never asked before. World war i took place from 1914-1918. World war ii took place from 1939-1945. Exoticism: style term; the condition of being foreign, striking or unusual. Primitivism: style term; a subcategory of exoticism; artistic style & movement that imitated & emulated artworks of various non-european cultures. Primitivism in painting: non-western or european subjects (dark skin colours, violence, sexuality)

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