Nonaccentual Rhythms.

Nonaccentual rhythms are characterized by the absence of dynamic accents, which focuses the listener's attention on agogic accents (accents by virtue of duration). (See figure 15.15.)

Figure 15.15

Lucerne: Dirge.

et

23

History

The music of the contemporary period was marked by increasing stylistic divergence. In the twentieth century, rapid transportation, radio communication, and the development of audio recording technology and the sound film brought the rich diversity of the world's cultures to the attention of the general public. At the same time, World War I in Europe devastated established cultural institutions, leaving a culture that was undergoing rapid change while at the same time losing some of its own historical base. The composers of this period were affected in many ways by these upheavals, as the brief biographies in this and the following chapters will illustrate.

Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)

Igor Stravinsky's professional activity lasted nearly sixty years and evolved through many twentieth century styles. Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1882, he began studying with Rimsky- Korsakov in 1907. By 1911 Stravinsky had achieved success in Paris with two ballets, The Firebird and Petrushka. A third ballet, the initially controversial The Rite of Spring, received its first performance in 1913 and has since become one of the landmarks of twentieth century music. Just before World War I, Stravinsky left Russia and took up residence in Switzerland, where he remained until 1920. After a long residence in France (1920-1939), he moved to the United States and became an American citizen in 1945. Perhaps the capstone of his career are the twenty-one works for the theater and nineteen orchestral compositions, but a variety of other media-including chamber music, concertos, sacred choral-orchestral works, solo songs, and piano music-are also among his published works. Stravinsky is considered by many to be the most important figure in twentieth century music.

The following chart provides an overview of the various phases of Stravinsky's professional life:

Approximate Years Period Representative Brief Description of Techniques
Compositions
1904-1913 Post-romantic The Firebird Extreme modulations; rich harmonic
Nationalistic Petrushka schemes; full orchestral sounds;
The Rite of Spring changing and asymmetrical meters
1913-1923 Transition to Histoire du Soldat Chromaticism; polytonality; more
neoclassic Les Noces dissonant harmony; use of polyrhythms;
thinner textures
1923-1951 Neoclassic . Symphony of Psalms Somewhat less chromaticism; use of
Symphony in Three pandiatonicism; thin textures; use of
Movements song and sonatalike forms
1952-1971 Serial technique 'lli Memoriam Dylan Tone rows of five to seven tones; also
Thomas Movements fully developed serial technique
Orchestra Variations suggested by a study of Webern's music 276

The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

Bela Bartok (1881-1945)

Applications

A composer of considerable stature in the twentieth century, Bela Bartok was born in a farming region of Hungary and emigrated to the United States in 1940. He was beset most of his life with financial difficulties and eventually died almost penniless in a New York hospital in 1945. Throughout his life, Bartok was interested in folk music. Almost all of his music is in some way influenced by folk music material. He collected in excess of six thousand Magyar, Slovak, Transylvanian, and Rumanian folk tunes, and they often appear in his works. Bartok was little influenced by his contemporaries. He developed his own unique compositional techniques, working and experimenting as he went along. He avoided the twelvetone technique, did not imitate major composers of his own era, and showed only passing interest in the native styles of America. Important works include: Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta (1936), Concerto for Orchestra (1943), and six string quartets, which are regarded as among the greatest twentieth century works for that medium.

Analysis of Contemporary Music. The diversity of style in the music of the twentieth century resists analysis using any single system. Several systems for analysis have been proposed, but none appears to be useful for all styles of music. In the face of such diversity it becomes important to choose analytical methods that reveal the underlying structure of a given work. Thus the choice of analytical method becomes the first, and most important, decision you must make when approaching the analysis of a contemporary composition. Two specimen analyses, one of the Marche du Soldat from Stravinsky's Histoire du Soldat (1918) and the other of "Chromatic Invention" no. 91 from Mikrokosmos, volume 3, by Bela Bartok, will illustrate two approaches to the analysis of twentieth-century music.

Marche du Soldat. Histoire du Soldat (The Soldier's Tale), a work intended "to be read, played, and danced," was written in 1918 for a small touring theater company composed of a few actors, dancers, and a chamber ensemble consisting of clarinet in A, bassoon, cornet in A, trombone, percussion, violin, and double bass. The percussion instruments include two snare drums, two tenor drums, bass drum, cymbals, tambourine, and triangle, all to be played by one player. This limited ensemble was clearly chosen to emphasize diversity of color, but the woodwinds, brass, and string section are each represented by one high- and low-pitched instrument and the entire orchestral range is covered by the ensemble. Swiss author C. F. Ramuz prepared the libretto, and since he was not a dramatist, he prepared a mimed narration (narrator and mime) supported by dancers and orchestra. Currently the work is sometimes performed without the staging.

Because the work is heterogeneous (consisting of many diverse elements), the analytical approach is largely descriptive.

The Contemporary Period (1910-1945)

277

Figure 15.16

Stravinsky: Marche du Soldat (Soldier's March) from Histoire du So/dat (The Soldier's Tale). By permission of J & W Chester Edition Wilhelm Hansen, London Limited.

M.M. j = 112

r-G-o - -
-~. f--- .
U Cor - ".
1 f 2 3 4 5
b;n~~ .. b. +CI.I-hn. )
~# ~. b. ~ P
1.:X:-O:: --
-~-
I Cn. [ ~ ~- "lJ --
sempre .I/(/('C. e p Scale basis:

Chromatic

------------------------------~I GM~or---------------------7

?lTy

GM: I

V ~OMIT 3. j. 7

Lecture (rythmee) ~I ~ ____..}.:___. --4J--1)I-#-}---#-}---}----4}~~}~'f ---!-~-

Reading (rhythmic)

En tre Denges et De - ne - zy.

Down a hot and dust - y road,

.,.. ('ut
~: .. --::
t.J -t 1ft: .p ~ ~ "::;
6 Trh 7 II 9 10
8
: .. ,-- .. :.;- .. ., . 1--+--.,-
---41 _.- . ___l____ I=-..±---' .. __
II -,; ":" II II II l

A Mixolydian

• simile

Bitonal:

--------.:.:__---------;. to ms. 20

G Major

ostmato to ms. 20]

4S

--++

g

II JJ.h .h ) I .h .h }

Un sol - dat qui rentrc chez lui.

Tramps a sol - dier with his load.

,
~. ~\-;r- • --- l' • ~ ... • 11 •
II 12 13 _ 14
! ~ ,n~ - "J Jfi ~ --::1 ..0
.,
:
.. - :.;
[ .. [ .. l f "" f l f .. f [ f 278

The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

Figure 15.16 Continued

~ -
" r-" r.t- -_ -~- --
=I::. ~"
tJ ~i* I' it .. __ #~ ~. -:J _-:J i! I L..!J II'
20 '!l:t \7 21 22 23
Ch
- ---
~
: -----" - "-- -
__ ~ __ L I----_j --4f
,-. -- ('(1l"

P

ell!

>

if p.

A Lydian -------------~Bitonal:

A (with chromaticism)

---'7 to ms. 31

G Major

Ustmato

I ~ to ms, 31

AM: I

II

DM:

II I J ---i

Quinze jours
Ten days The Contemporary Period (1910-1945)

279

Figure 15.16 Continued

$ Ii $ .b JI .b J .b JI
marche de - puis long temps de -
CI Will his jour - ney nev - er de can - ge qu'il a

leave he has to spend,

10 Major (some chromaticism) to ms. 46

T(ostmato)

Ell

) J

pedal

to ms. 42

II

)! "f $
ja.
end" VrL • • ---
cl ~ ~ frA ... 1 ~ ~
II - - .. .
- - -
~4- ..... ,r--.
If) -r: _J 11 ..J ~r n'" ",. nj I~ .. . ~ ."'.
.. ---- _!!
37 ~~ k
~q .... ~ 38 j~~ 39 40
:
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ --t) -,; --t) ~ 280

The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

Figure 15.16 Continued

poco

ostillato to 111S. 84

A major (with chromaticism),' IBitonal:~~~~~~~~~G major

to ms. flO

~~ L1~ L1;-~ • t Cor -;; r--
: --0-
~ ,~-41' II ~ #i_i "-
HSIl_ #:;i
48 49 50 f 51
" \in. ~ ~
----- --11 -
tJ • n:, • - - -"'-
f
Trh r--- ~
: ~ --._---.
"' --- -y-
f -
~- --.;
'--. ._--
"" II II II
-- >

Cl

The Contemporary Period (1910-1945)

281

Figure 15.16 Continued

- I --= I""'- - - ~ --
I r- It. =---
--I ------I ~ .. -
-
tJ #!--./:;i ~ ~ ~ ... .., =- :; "~ :; ~ til I~ .., =- Ifi-:; =
> .. ..
52 > 53 54 55
,., ~ ~-.- .. D ... ~ \--- -~D- _ . -t\- - .. )_ ~ ~
. _ ~.- -!f---. .
tJ "=- • n~ • ~ • n~ • TI=- • -.
> J"'-oooo,,_ ~ ~ =---'1
:
r ~ ~. ~
- r""'"
._- r---
V----8-- .-¥- ..
.- # .. --:; -
til - .., .., .., +0- ~ I I ~ >1 >.
.. 'n: ------
tJ ~=- I ~ I "1 ~ I ~
~ ":"'"
>-.._/ 57 CUI 59
56 h 58
I ') .~)_ . -
.----7. -OIl _ ..
~_Q. -,t- n~ • n=- • "~
1 Hen
> > ~ .J r l .- m'
: ----+1hf---._~~~-
1.L-8-· ...
> ..- ~.
r--
rn>:;-o:
., - -¥-- ~
.. L . f--.J _,___
til .., .., .., II 2 ~ ~ j)_ I j)_ "1 ~ j)_ j)_ j)_ j)_ I j)_ "1 ~ 13
4: 8
A mar che, a beau -coup mar - che,
March - ing home, March - ing on his way. ,.,
~ . __ .. ------ _. -- _._. ~
tJ
60 61 62 63
__.,
: ._---
_....l___._~ •• --_}___.- .___j_. . .
.. .., til .., G major to ms. 64

282

The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

Figure 15.16 Continued

CI

ff~ _r-:- l=- -
,... ~ -b ---- _oj. --OIl -
-- --*
-
tJ "> 11> *. !!' > 11 ,
Hsn
64 vn~ 65 ~ I 66 ~ ~ 67 __. ~ ~ ~
.. __. .. ~ __. ... JI
: -_._- --- ----_ -"'-- it
[Ch t [ [ I I l I ~ _B
• ~ • B· I Chromatic (D related)

itona : to ms. 84

G major

>

>

>

.ff.f

,... '---. -'0- ~.
--4- - [dr. - _. 4
t.J *. x .. • fl· ~'!" ~~ '!" W· .-r=-
>
68 ~ 69 ~ ~ ~ 70 71ff ~-
.., __. -~- __. .., ~ .. ~ ~
..:r--M- -.::;- -~L_+
[ ~ [ ~ I [ I • I [ ~ The Contemporary Period (1910-1945)

283

Figure 15.16 Continued

"1 .--T--r- ---T-

--.J _' _

> > > >
, I I I I I
-~2-.---14 .
-- -8-= ..
t. ~l+" _, ~~-4 jtt~ • ~" .. "-j ._. '-i
80 ~ ~ ~ 81 -! ~ 82 ~ ~ ~ 83 l ~ ~
~ ! ... --"
: -- ~--
I ) I [ I ~ I [ I .- f [--T- JJ I
- _I pp I

$ } } ~ (~ ) } ~
-
s'im - pa tiente d'ar ri
March - ing, March - ing all the " SlI J. -
-t
-~ ~- In' .. ... In' .. .. . In' ..
~\!1
84 v" ~ i- 85 ~ ~ 86 .. ..
t-' I- - -
~- --I, I- -", ---4 ~- -- ..
-_j_ --_ t--- __j____ .--+-.
p sub. ~h ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ G minor to ms. 88 ;J: J Pedal to ms. 89

f

----j

284

The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

Figure 15.16 Continued
i ~ } I } } } } I -~ t
~ • "1
vcr parc(e) qu'il a beau - coup mar che.
day Soon he will be home to
Bsn J J
----- •.. _
88 CI I Chromatic .

C major

OAD[)(, C A[)[)6

Melody. The characteristics of the melody are as follows:

1. The melody is in the top part, often with contrapuntal accompaniment.

2. A mixture of homophonic and contrapuntal texture applies throughout most of the composition.

3. The melody is based essentially on major scales.

The Motives. The melody utilizes three motives:

Motive A is simply a diatonic, conjunct passage that first descends and then ascends. Figure 15.17 shows examples of variations of this motive.

Figure 15.17

Motive A:

13 14

~--RV-~*;

7 8

45

46

48 49 50 50 51

~.~ .. ~i #~n=,~,p;~'d#ml g~L~r~_lgF~i!=~ ~ E211#~ r

53 54 55

, 0 1'0 IT f r t to-,- r

52

53

The Contemporary Period (1910-1945)

285

Motive B, by contrast, consists of outlined chords. (See figure 15.18.)

Figure 15.18

Motive B:

30

33

34

[l

Motive C is very similar to motive A, but differs in that it is made up entirely of repeated notes and half steps.

Figure 15.19

Motive C:

22

23

24

25 26

A close look at measures 64-79 reveals the technique of phrase extension using motive C. Figure 15.20 compares measures 64-70 with measures 71-79. Whole notes are used to represent all tones so that rhythmic factors won't obscure the pitch relationships.

Figure 15.20

Phrase extension (melodic extension):

Measures 64 65 66 67

~ ~~ I~~ ~ qo I n ~~) gl.' r= 0 ~o qo d

, I I I , ' I I

68 69 > 70

~Iln 0 nJn~) '0 I qo in 0 I

, , I I , , , , I

I I I I I I I , I

Measures 71 72 ._-, 73

-'. 74

75 --76

77

78

- 79

, 10 ~.;u 0 101" b;, rT 0 H'W'le '1 0 0 Ho n Ibn e n ~nr:hl 0I>: 01

Theme segment Repeated melodic extension

286

The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

Form. The composition does not divide itself easily into clearly defined sections, because it is strongly influenced by the spoken narrative (The Soldier's Tale) and is thus designed to accompany and strengthen the plot. An ostinato figure and a pedal tone on D are two of the most easily identified musical components of the work. If these two factors were considered alone, the form might suggest the following:

Measures Lower Voice Section
1-30 Ostinato figure A
31-41 Pedal tone B
42-83 Ostinato figure A
84-90 Pedal tone B Another point of view might relate motive order as a way of organizing the composition, as follows:

Measures Motive Measures Motive
1 18 A 39-43 B
20-21 B 44-46 A
22-26 C 45-47 (overlap) B
26-30 B 47-57 A
31-32 A' 57 59 B
33-34 B 64-83 C
34-38 A' (inv.) 84-90 Related to A Harmony, The harmonic material is mostly the result of the bitonal mix, except for clear chords in measures 4, 20 and 21, and 90.

Phrase Structure. Melodic cadences, such as in figure 15.21, often mark the end of phrases in the upper voices, but they are not often supported by the lower voices because of the continuing ostinato figure.

Figure 15.21

Melodic cadence: 16

17

18

The Contemporary Period (1910-1945)

287

Figure 15.22

Figure 15.23

288

Overlapping phrases are fairly common. A melodic cadence is completed in one voice, while at the same time a new phrase begins in another voice. See figure 15.22.

Overlapping phrase:

Next phrase overlapping

44

45

46 j i#J J

l!

J

Melodic cadence

Meter. There are frequent meter changes, but in most instances the steady ostinato figure disregards these and plods on as if the ~ meter had not been altered. Figure 15.23 is an example showing Stravinsky's actual notation along with another version illustrating how it might have been written keeping the steady ~ meter intact.

The passage as written:

The same passage in strict ~ meter:

Texture. A thin, homophonic texture persists throughout. The upper voices occasionally engage in counterpoint (as in measures 11-18).

The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

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