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McGill University
Music-Arts Faculty
MUAR 211
Jerry M.Cain

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  impressionism in mthic:  symbolism: late 19 -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 20 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  nocturne: “night piece”; title for romantic miniature compositions for piano  tone poem/symphonic poem: a piece of orchestral program music in one long movement  ternary form: a musical form having 3 different sections in which the last section repeats the first (ABA)  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 o the octave, each a whole tone apart  pedal tone/pedal point: long held notes, normally in the bass, that sound against changing harmonies in the upper parts  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  modernism: style in music that aims to break with classical & traditional forms  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: the condition of being foreign, striking or unusual  primitivism: a subcategory of exoticism; artistic style & movement that imitated & emulated artworks of various non-European cultures o Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) is an important representative of primitivism in visual arts  became fascinated with people/culture of South Pacific, abandoned homeland & settled in Tahiti  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 MUAR 211 – The Art of Listening – Jerry Cain Winter 2013 o riot was not just about music  some would go to concert with intent to cause problems due to political culture at time  ballet score: a musical composition written or used for the classical dance form  block form: abrupt juxtapositions (positioning close together) of differing musical tableaux, purposefully suggest as “crude” craftsmanship  polyrhythm:  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  commission: sum of money paid to an artist in advance to facilitate the creation of a new work for a specific ensemble, performance, occasion, etc.  pizzicato: plucking the strings of a string instrument; can pluck so hard the strings hit the board
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