The Atonal Music of Anton Webern (Composers of the Twentieth Century Series)
The Austrian composer Anton Webern (1883–1945) is one of the major figures of musical modernism. His mature works comprise two styles: the so-called free atonal music composed between 1907 and 1924, and the twelve-tone serial music that began in 1924 and extended through the remainder of his creative life. In this book an eminent music theorist presents the first systematic and in-depth study of the early atonal works, from the George Lieder, opus 3, through the Latin Canons, opus 16.Drawing on music-analytical procedures that he and other scholars have developed in recent years, Allen Forte argues that a single compositional system underlies all of Webern’s atonal music. Forte examines such elements as pitch, register, timbre, rhythm, form, and text setting, showing how Webern displaced the functional connections of traditional tonality to create a totally new sonic universe. Although the main thrust of the study is music-analytical in nature, Forte also considers historical context and significant biographical aspects of the individual works, as well as word-music relations in the music with text.
The Music of Bela Bartok (Composers of the Twentieth Century Serie)
In this book, Paul Wilson presents a new theoretical and analytical approach to the music of Bela Bartok, Hungary's most famous composer and a key figure in twentieth-century music. Wilson explains his theory and then applies it to five important pieces: the Sonata for Piano, the Third Quartet, and movements from the Fifth Quartet, the Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion, and the Concerto for Orchestra.According to Wilson, earlier critics of Bartok's music have often sought to discover an unvarying precompositional system that accounted for individual musical events. Wilson's approach is different in that he develops a way to explore each work within the musical contexts that the work itself creates and sustains. Wilson begins by discussing a number of fundamental musical materials that Bartok employed throughout his oeuvre. Using these materials as foundations, he then describes a series of flexible, behaviorally defined harmonic functions and a model of pitch hierarchy based on the functions and on several connective designs. Wilson shows how these hierarchical structures provide meaningful forces for coherence and for dynamism and progressional drive in the music. After analyzing the five works from Bartok's oeuvre, he concludes by explaining the philosophical similarities be...
The Music of Alexander Scriabin (Composers of the Twentieth Century Series)
Alexander Scriabin was one of a few major composers who revolutionized musical style in the first decade of the twentieth century by eliminating key as a structural principle and by establishing a new use of dissonant harmonies. This book by James M. Baker is a study of Scriabin’s twentieth-century music, the first thorough analysis of the composer’s evolution from conventional tonality to his later atonal structure. Baker demonstrates that in Scriabin’s transitional music, tonal and atonal procedures―generally considered mutually exclusive―work together to create unified compositions. Baker places Scriabin’s harmony in the perspective of voice leading, applying Schenkerian techniques of analysis to his music for the first time. He explains the great variety of sonorities and their complex relations within the framework of set-complex theory and introduces an original method of statistical analysis to survey Scriabin’s harmonic practice from 1903 to 1914. Offering comprehensive analyses of a considerable number of complete compositions, including such important works as the Fifth Piano Sonata and the Poem of Ecstasy, Baker concludes with a penetrating examination of Prometheus, Scriabin’s largest and most complex composition. The literature thus far o...
The Music of Charles Ives (Composers of the Twentieth Century Series)
With this innovative analysis of the music of Charles Ives, Philip Lambert fills a significant gap in the literature on one of America’s most important composers. Lambert offers the first large-scale theoretical study of Ives’s repertoire, encompassing major works in all genres. He argues that systematic techniques governed Ives’s compositional language and thinking about music, even in his unconventional and apparently unstructured pieces. He portrays Ives as a composer of great diversity and complexity who nevertheless held to a single artistic vision.Using modes of analysis for post-tonal music and approaches devised specifically for the study of Ives as well, the author explains the origin, evolution, and culmination of Ives’s systematic methods. He discusses important aspects of the composer’s early training, the relation between Ives’s experimental and his concert music, Ives’s fugal and canonic techniques as the basis for his systematic music, his paradigms of procedure and transformation, and pitch relations in Ives’s music, particularly the unfinished Universe Symphony. Lambert refutes the popular image of Ives as a highly eccentric composer haphazardly casting about for arbitrarily regulated ways of generating musical material and instead portrays him as...
The Music of Alban Berg (Composers of the Twentieth Century Series)
Austrian composer Alban Berg (1885-1935), along with his contemporaries Arnold Schoenberg and Anton von Webern, dramatically altered the musical landscape of the Western world. Dave Headlam offers a comprehensive analysis of Berg's music in this original book. He examines each of the composer's works―including the Piano Sonata, Opus 1, the operas Wozzeck and Lulu, and the Violin Concerto―and defines the main components of his musical language. Charting Berg's development as he progressed from late-romantic tonality to atonality and finally to his own distinctive dodecaphonic language, Headlam demonstrates with clarity and sophistication the compositional continuity that underlies all of Berg's music.Headlam closely analyzes Berg's compositional technique and the use of symmetry and cycles throughout his oeuvre. He brings into the discussion Berg's own writings as well as those of composer and musicologist George Perle; the techniques of Schoenberg, Webern, and other serialists; and aspects of pitch-class set and twelve-tone theory. Headlam contends that in his treatment of all musical elements―pitch, rhythmic, formal, and even orchestrational techniques―Berg achieved a synthesis that transcends the surface distinctions of his tonal, atonal, and twelve-tone periods, and th...
Satie the Composer (Music in the Twentieth Century)
Erik Satie remains one of the most bizarre figures in music history, yet everything he did has its own curious logic, once it can be perceived. In this important new study Dr Orledge reveals what made Satie 'tick' as a composer, dealing with every aspect of Satie's complex career and relating his achievement to the other arts and to the society in which he lived. Almost every figure in contemporary art was involved with Satie in some way or another, from Matisse and Picasso to Apollinaire, Cocteau and Brancusi. This, however, is no mere life-and-works study but rather an exploration of the technique behind Satie's art, which foreshadowed most of the 'advances' of twentieth-century music from serialism to minimalism, and even muzak. As the book progresses Satie appears as far more than just the composer of the popular Gymnopédies and Parade.
The Music of Gershwin (Composers of the Twentieth Century Series)
George Gershwin is perhaps the most popular American composer of the twentieth century, and his short and dramatic life has been the subject of much attention. His music, however, has never been scrutinized as closely as his life, and the composer known for his show tunes has had difficulty finding a niche in the world of "serious" music. This book is the first in-depth analysis of Gershwin's entire compositional oeuvre, including his concert music.Weaving biographical material with musical analysis, Steven Gilbert presents a chronological study of the highlights of Gershwin's career. He discusses the well-known Rhapsody in Blue, Concerto in F, An American in Paris, and Porgy and Bess, as well as such popular songs as "Swanee." "S'Wonderful," "I Got Rhythm," "Love Walked In," and "Love Is Here to Stay." But he also examines relatively neglected works that are no less deserving, such as Second Rhapsody, Cuban Overture, and Pardon My English, the last of which, says Gilbert, was a failure on Broadway but was one of George and Ira Gershwin's finest collaborations. Written in a fluid, conversational style and illustrated with numerous musical examples, some of which have never before been published, this book will be enjoyed by general readers and appreciated by professional musician...
Prince and the Purple Rain Era Studio Sessions: 1983 and 1984
Featuring groundbreaking, never-before-heard stories, Duane Tudahl pulls back the paisley curtain to reveal the untold story of Prince’s rise from cult favorite to the biggest rock star on the planet.His journey is meticulously documented through detailed accounts of his time secluded behind the doors of the recording studio as well as his days on tour.With unprecedented access to the musicians, singers, and studio engineers who knew Prince best, including members of the Revolution and the Time, Duane Tudahl weaves an intimate saga of an eccentric genius and the people and events who helped shape the groundbreaking music he created. From Sunset Sound Studios’ daily recording logs and the Warner Bros. vault of information, Tudahl uncovers hidden truths about the origins of songs such as “Purple Rain,” “When Doves Cry,” and “Raspberry Beret” and also reveals never-before-published details about Prince’s unreleased outtakes. This definitive chronicle of Prince’s creative brilliance during 1983 and 1984 provides a new experience of the Purple Rain album as an integral part of Prince’s life and the lives of those closest to him.
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A Brief History of 20th Century Classical Music (Tetris-style)
20th Century Composers Series
Where the timeline of classical music history was more or less a line, a series of relatively consistent and coherent approaches one after another, classical music in the 20th century was more like a complicated game of Tetris, a bunch of interlocking and overlapping pieces. So why not visualise it as one! That's what I did in this video.
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