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APA Research Paper 1st Draft (Messiaen and Boulez)

APA Research Paper 1st Draft (Messiaen and Boulez)

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Published by: jgwlaos on Mar 30, 2011
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Running head: REVIVAL OF AVANT-GARDE IN MESSIAEN AND BOULEZ 1Revival of Avant-garde in Messiaen and BoulezAn Inspection into Serialism Influences in Messiaen and Boulez¶s Piano WorksAdeline Ong Siau ShiunUniversiti Sains MalaysiaAuthor NoteThis paper is prepared for VZM386, Performance and Instrumental Literature Study,taught by Dr. Yoshioka Yumi.
REVIVAL OF AVANT-GARDE IN MESSIAEN AND BOULEZ 2AbstractFollowing World War II, a strong impact was seen on European musicians as newexperimental style started to sprung up especially the twelve tone method and serialism, ametaphor for rebuilding a shattered world. In 1950s, Neoclassicism of Stravinsky andProkofiev was pushed from center of attention and an establishment of total organization of music is provoked among young composers such as Stockhausen, Boulez and Nono, partlydue to Darmstadt influence in Germany where serial music is performed and analyzed.French composer, Olivier Messiaen stimulated great influences where his works drewinspirations from Hindu modes, bird sounds and Greek poetry, resulting in an exotic andeclectic sound with polymodal and polyrhythmic writing. His most famous student, PierreBoulez drew on his method of rhythmic manipulation and pitch mode in
Mode de valeurs et d¶intensites
(first European work to be written in total organization) and composed the
Structures I 
in total control of musical elements, too. The paper discusses about theapplication of serialism method in Messiaen¶s
Mode de valeurs et d¶intensites
and Boulez¶s
Structures Ia
through usage of pitches, duration of notes and articulation whereby thecomparison between them portrays similarities and differences between one another asinfluence of Messiaen on his student¶s early works is strong.
REVIVAL OF AVANT-GARDE IN MESSIAEN AND BOULEZ 3An artistic renewal for new aesthetical ideas was seen among the young avant-gardecomposers, looking towards a more conventional pathway to compose music includingrational thinking procedures and mathematical applications. What were followed often havesparse and disconnected textures, angular melodic lines and short phrases. Those who adhereto Schoenberg¶s serial music feel that other aspect of musical elements should be controlledinstead of dealing with pitches only. Thus, the first European piano work to be written intotal organization (also called total serialism or integral serialism) is
Mode de valeurs et d¶intensites
for solo piano, composed by Olivier Messiaen in 1949, being part of 
Quatreetudes de rythmes
.He spoke out against the affinity of second Viennese school composers to experimentexclusively with pitch structures while adhering to traditional conceptions of rhythm andform. At the same time he cited the possibility of using a series of timbres, a series of intensities, and especially a series of durations. To describe the piece as µserial¶ is not strictlyaccurate, although it has many things in common with serial music (Johnson, R. S., 1975,p.105).Messiaen¶s
Mode de valeurs et d¶intensites
was rather modal and not based ontwelve-note tone row series, but all basic musical elements are predetermined before actualnotation of the piece take place. In this piece, three divisions of twelve-note pitches(consisting of all notes of a chromatic scale) have been created with different note duration,dynamics, intensities (modes of attack) associated to each note, thus resulting in 36 differentpitch of sounds, 24 rhythmic values, 7 dynamics and 12 mode of attacks. The first divisionhas basic duration of demisemiquaver, the second division with a basic duration of semiquaver and the third division with quaver as basic duration unit. Each note of thedivisions has a multiply of 1 to 12 of the basic duration unit. As this piece is in three-part

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