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Twentieth Century Declarative Knowledge

Twentieth Century Declarative Knowledge

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06/04/2013

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 http://ibscrewed4music.blogspot.com/ 
Twentieth Century Declarative Knowledge
Debussy and Impressionism
1. The Impressionist Painters
 
o
 
Impressionism was a French movement developed by painters
 
Claude Monet, Edouard Manet, Camille Pissarro, Edgar Degas, Auguste Renoir
o
 
"First impression" of a subject captured by use of light and color
o
 
Abandoned grandiose subjects of Romanticism
2. The Symbolist Poets
 
o
 
Literary response to tradition
 
Charles Baudelaire, Stéphane Mallarmé, Paul Verlaine, Arthur Rimbaud
 
All influenced by American poet Edgar Allan Poe
 
Concern with the sound of a word as well as its meaning
 
Achieved an abstract quality in the text
3. Impressionism in Music
 
o
 
Sentiment that the possibilities of the major/minor system had been exhausted
 
Attraction to ancient scales (church modes of the Middle Ages), exotic scales(chromatic, whole tone)
o
 
Interest in non-Western music flourished
 
Moorish music of Spain, Javanese, and Chinese orchestras (as heard at the 1889World Exposition in Paris)
o
 
A departure from Classical harmony is witnessed in Impressionism
 
Unresolved dissonances, parallel chords, ninth chords
 
Use of the chromatic scale and whole-tone scale parallel chords, ninth chords
o
 
Orchestral color was exploited in new ways
o
 
The pulse in Impressionist music tended to be obscured
o
 
The large forms of the past were abandoned in favor of short lyric forms
4. Claude Debussy (1862
 –
1918): His Life and Music
 
o
 
French composer, trained at the Paris Conservatory
 
Rebelled against compositional traditions at Paris Conservatory
 
At age 22, won the Prix de Rome with cantata
The Prodigal Son
 
o
 
Fame came after the premiere of his opera
Pelléas and Mélisande
(1902)
o
 
WWI robbed him of his interest in music
 
Died in 1918 during German bombardment of Paris
o
 
Composed slowly, relatively small output
 
Most recognized works
 
Orchestral:
La mer, three nocturnes, Prelude to "The Afternoon of a Faun" 
 
 
Piano:
Clair de lune, Evening in Granada, Reflections in the Water, TheSunken Cathedral 
 
o
 
He also composed chamber music and French songs
 
 http://ibscrewed4music.blogspot.com/ 
 
French song: independent of the German Lied
 
Chamber music: String Quartet in G minor, sonatas for cello and piano; violin andpiano; flute, viola, and harp
5. Debussy:
Prelude to "The Afternoon of a Faun" 
(Listening Guide 65)
 
o
 
Symphonic poem, based on a Mallarmé pastoral poem
 
Mythological faun
o
 
Free ternary form
o
 
Chromatic melody
o
 
Rich orchestration creates evocative mood expressing poem's sensuality
Ravel and Post-Impressionism
1. Ravel's need for order and organization caused him to return to basic forms
 
o
 
His music falls between the ideals of Impressionism and Neoclassicism
2. Maurice Ravel (1875
 –
1937): His Life
 
o
 
French composer, trained at the Paris Conservatory
o
 
Group of friends nicknamed the
apaches
(French for "ruffians"): avant-garde poets,painters, musicians
o
 
Music reflects "exotic" interests
o
 
After WWI, Ravel was in high demand as composer and conductor
o
 
Visited the U.S. in 1928
o
 
Influenced by American jazz
o
 
Died after surgery meant to repair a rare brain disease
3. Ravel's Music
 
o
 
National artist, drawn to French Impressionist images
o
 
Exploited "exotic" and ancient musical styles
 
Music of Spain and medieval scales
o
 
Often compared to Debussy in terms of style
o
 
Drawn to Classical forms
o
 
Master of the French art song
o
 
Orchestral works won him international admiration
 
Spanish Rhapsody, Mother Goose, Boléro
 
4. Ravel:
Don Quixote to Dulcinea,
two songs (Listening Guide 66)
 
o
 
This song cycle is Ravel's last work
 
Originally began as a film score
 
Text, by Paul Morand, is drawn from Cervantes
 
Evokes the mystique of Spain
o
 
Each song is based on a Spanish dance rhythm
 
1)
guijira
rhythm alternates between metric feel of 3 and 2
 
Text portrays a chivalrous knight-errant
 
2) Prayer to St. Michael and St. George
 
Slow-paced meter based on Basque dance
zortziko
 
 
3) Boisterous drinking song
 
 http://ibscrewed4music.blogspot.com/ 
 
Rhythms evoke Spanish
 jota
(vigorous triple-meter dance)
 
Melismatic singing suggests flamenco singing
Main Currents in Early Twentieth Century Music
1. The Reaction against Romanticism
 
o
 
Early-20th-century music was the product of a reaction against Romanticism
 
 
Sought to escape refinement, adopt primitive, uninhibited, spontaneous style
 
o
 
Turned towards non-Western sources (Africa, Asia, eastern Europe) for primal,powerful rhythms, and fresh concepts
 
2. New Trends in the Arts
 
o
 
Futurism, Dadaism, Cubism
 
 
Movement had an effect on artists (Erik Satie and
Les Six 
in France)
 
3. Expressionism
 
o
 
Expressionism was German response to Impressionism
 
 
Explores the worlds of the subconscious, hallucinations, and dreams
 
o
 
Artists: Kandinsky, Klee, Kokoschka, Munch
 
o
 
Composers: Schoenberg, Berg, Webern
 
o
 
Musical characteristics:
 
 
Expressive harmony
 
 
Extreme ranges
 
 
Disjunct melodies
 
4. Neoclassicism
 
o
 
Revival of balance and objectivity in the arts
 
o
 
A return to formal structures of the past
 
o
 
Began in the early 1920s
 
o
 
Composers preferred absolute to program music
 
New Elements of Musical Style
1. The New Rhythmic Complexity
 
o
 
Revitalization of rhythm
 
o
 
Polyrhythm, polymeter, changing meter, irregular meters
 
2. The New Melody
 
o
 
Becomes instrumental, not vocal, in character
 
 
Abounds in wide leaps and dissonant intervals
 
3. The New Harmony
 
o
 
Beyond traditional systems of tonality
 
o
 
Polychords, polyharmony
 
o
 
New Conceptions of Tonality
 
 
The major-minor system was no longer dominant
 

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