A type of musical style that begain in earnest in the mid-20th C whereby the composers leaves some element of the composition to change, leaves some component of the realization of the music to be determined by the performor, or puposely leaves the musical notation vague, ceding a certain interpretational control to the performer; also referred to as indeterminancy.
One result of such music is that a piece will be executed and sound differently every time.
Pioneers of this style include the Americans Charles Ives and Henry CowellFollowers of their precedent are the Americans John Cage, Earle Brown, and Lamonte Young and Europeans Stochkausen, Boulez, and Lutoslawski.
One such example of this music is Cage’s Music of Changes for piano, based on the Chinese Book of Changes called the I Ching


Anderson, Laurie

B. 1947
One of the main ;performance artists; of the later 20th C.
Anderson wrote music that was primarily designed to be performed by herself and would change fairly drastically if performed by another musician.
Her idiosyncratic approach to performance is extended to violin-playing, piano-playing, and singing.; Much of her work is influenced by popular genres and utlizes multimedia.
Her song cycle United States, features film, slades, props, lighting, electronically-altered voice, stylized body gestures, violin playing, story-telling, poetry, and bits of singing in a two-evening long solo entertainment that is a pop-art collage and a serious commentary on modern technology and the pursuit of the American dream.;

Anderson, Leroy

America, 1908-1975
Composer of Swedish origin.
Trained at New England Conservatory from age 11, then attended Harvard for training in languages as well as music. ;
In 1935, he became a freelance composer and arranger working mainly for Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra which he occasionally conducted.;
His international reputation was established in his light music with such works as Jazz Pizzicato (1939), Sleigh ride (1950), and The Typewriter (1953).;;
His works are often humorous with clever orchestration.;


nontonal music; refers to pre-twelve tone music of Schoenberg and his followers.; Schoenberg preferred the term ;pantonal;.

Babbit, Milton

American, b. 1916
Composer, scholar of mathematics and music.; Teaches at Princeton.; Had notable influence on musical thought not only as composer but also as teacher and theoretician.
Consistently expounded a view of serialism as a musical system whose properties he has elucidated with the aid of terminoloy derived from mathematics (e.g. combinatoriality, set).;
His works are very elaborately structured, with serial methods being used to determine not only pitches but also rhythmic aspects and formal shapes; often the result is a cogent musical construction in which every detail counts.
Among his composition are four String Quartets and various other chamber pieces, piano works (Partitions, 1957; Post-Partition, 1966) songs, and tape pieces in which he has used the RCA Synthesizer (Ensembles for Synthesizer, 1926-4) ;

Bachianas brasileiras

Nine works by Villa-Lobos that combine elements of Brazilian folk music with the spirit of J.S. Bach’s Counterpoint.
Each is a suite with two titles, one reflecting the Baroque influence, and the other referring to a Brazillian popular form. 
Composed over a period of 15 year (1930-45). 
Each work is for a specific ensemble ranging from orchestra to 8 cellos to flute and bassoon.  Four of them are for orhcestra.  two are for piano and orhcestra. 

Ballet Russe

Formed in 1909 by Sergei Diaghilev.
Dedicated to the concept of total unity of production, he hired some of the world’s finest artists to mount works for his company.; Picasso was among his designers.; Scores were commissioned from Stravinsky (Firebird, Petrushka, Rite of Spring_, Debussy (Jeux), Falla, Milhaud, Satie (Parade, 1917), Ravel (Daphnis et Chloe), and others. ;
A revolution was accomplished by Diaghilev’s principal coreographers.  Abstract ballet – classcial dancing with no narrative – was introduced.
Because of Diaphilev, ballet came to be regarded as a serious art and as a leading force in modern aesthetics. 
With his death in 1929, his troupe disbanded.   Former dancers and staff scattered and founded what became internationally prestigious companies – the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, Britian’s Royal Ballet, and New York City Ballet

Bartok, Bela

Hungarian, 1881-1945
Perhaps the foremost 20th C representative of nationalism in music, he made major contributions to the standard repertory of the symphony, the concerto, piano music , and string quartet.; After 1930, when his works were more widely known, his music provided inspiration for other nationalist composers.;
Not primarily interested in innovation (?), the composer succeeded in bringing authentic folk elements into an unprecedented synthesis with the techniques of traditional art music. ; He did extensive research into East- European folk music, publishing 5 books and many articles as well as recording and transcribing more than 9000 folksongs, largely from Romanian, Slovak, and Hungarian sources.
Educated, and later taught at, the Budapest Academy of Music.; His reputation as a concert pianis grew with regular tours that began after 1924. ;
In 1940, he emigrated to the US to escape political persecition but encountered financial difficulty and illness.; Several of his best-known masterpieces were composed during these late years.;
Mikrokosmos and 3 concertos for piano, Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta 1936, Concerto for Orchestra 1944, Six string quartets.;

Berberian, Cathy

First wife of Luciano Berio.;
A remarkable singer, she was the inspiration of some of Berio’s most impresssive vocal works: Thema (Ommaggio a Jouce) 1958, Circles (1960), Passaggio (1963), Recital I (for Cathy) 1972, among others.

Berg, Alban

Austrian , 1885-1935
Berg applied the 12-tone method with freedom and frequent recourse to traditional forms, creating an individaul style with a post-Romantic warmth of expression.
A staunch defender of Schoenberg, he was one of the the founders of the Society for Private Musical Performances in Vienna.
He composed 2 operas (Wozzect, 1921; Lulu, 1935 – orchestration unfinished) that are among the last that have entered the standard repertory, and his Violin Concerto and Lyric Suite have dones so as well.
His classical approach to form and his frequent use of tone-centers have helped to make his works more widely accepted and performed than those of Schoenberg or Webern.
Student of Schoenberg.  Worked briefly for Universal Edition, a music phblishing firm.  Wrote articles and gave lectures on new music.  Taught privately in Vienna.
Piano Sonata, Op.1, Violin Concerto 1935, several art songs (some with orchestral accompaniment), 2 string quartets – including the Lyric Suite 

Berio, Luciano

Italian, b. 1925
This leading contemporary Italian composer has drawn inspiration for his composition from a wide range of sources, including anthropology, electro-acoustic research, ethnomusicology, phonetics, and experimental traditions of the theater.  
Early works reveal influence of NeoClassicism (Magnificat, 1949) and serialism (Five Variations for piano, 1953).  Electribuc music was next (Perspectives, 1957).  Virtuosic studies for large orchestra followed (Sinfonia, 1969)
Berio spent the 60‘s and early 70‘s in the US, generally teaching composition at Julliard until 1973. 
From ’74 until ’80, Berio worked at the elctronic music studio at IRCAM in Paris, where he supervised the creation of a revolutionary system permitting the use of live electronic sound (Sequenza IX, 1980)
In 1987, he established his own research institute in Florence, called Tempo Reale, dedicated to bringing electronic sounds into live contact with traditional instruments.  

Boulanger, Nadia

French, 1887-1979
Conductor and famous teacher in France.
Studied at Paris Conservatory with Faure and others.  
First woman to conduct an entire program for the Royal Philharmonic Society (1937).
Active in reviving Monteverdi. 
At the Paris Conservatory and subsequently at her own American Conservatory in Fontainebleau, she was responsible for training many distinguished composers, particularly from the US – Elliot Carter, Copland, and Roy Harris.
Her sister, Lili was the first woman to win the Prix de Rome.  Lili might have won more fame had she not died at the age of 25

Boulez, Pierre

French, b. 1925
French composer, conductor.
Studied at Paris Conservatory and subsequently Messiaen.  
His first works, which include 2 piano sonatas (1946 and 1948) and a cantata, show his early musical style on the basis of Schoenberg’s serialism, the rhythmic methods of Stravinsky and Messiaen, and Webern‘s tightly integrated apprach to composition.
With the first book of Structures for two piano (1951-2) he achieved a definitive conjunction of the methods of his predecessors, creating and transcending a “total serial ” style in which every musical aspect – pitch, duration, loudness, and attack – is organized according to serial rules.
His Third Piano Sonata introudces chance into the music (influence Cage).  The second book of Structures (1956-61) permits various kinds of aleatory mobility.  Equally striking here is the finesse of Boulez’s orchestration.
His last period of compostiion continues to be “works in progress.”; Of his works since 1962, only the orchestral Rituel (1974-5) has been published in complete form.; The decrease in composition led to a push toward conducting.
He also becomes quite active as the director of the IRCAM (Insitutu de Recherche et Coordination Acoutstique/ Musique) in Paris.
His career is multifaceted: composer, theorist, pianist, conductor, and propagandist.;

Brecht, Bertolt

German poet and philosopher who collaborated with Kurt Weil.
Some of their enormous successes include Three Penney Opera, Seven Deadly Sins, and Mahagony.
These were similar to our Broadway musicals, but they incorporated an alienation effect for political commentary amidst the cabaret style.;

Britten, Benjamin

English 1913-76
Composer, pianist, conductor.;
He was the outstanding British musician of his generation both as creator and as executant, for his brilliance as a pianist (esp. as accompanist, Peter Pear) and as an interpreter of his own and other composers’ music.
Peter Grimes was written in 1945 and was immediately hailed as the first indisputably great
English opera since Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas.
He reached his widest audience when his War Requeim was performed for the dedication of Coventry’s new cathedral in 1962.  This large-scale choral work combines Latin Mass with war poems by Owen. 

Brown, Earle

American b. 1926
Influenced by and associated with Cage, Jackson Pollock, and Alexander Calder.
He is known for his unusual musical notation.  His first graphic score, December 1952, is a design of thin black rectangles on a white ground. 
In 25 Pages (1953), he provided material which can be used in any manner by from one to 25 pianists.
When he came into contact with members of the European avant-garde, he returned to conventional notation, though often in mobile forms.
Available Forms II (1961-2), for instance, has a variety of musical events to be set in order by two conductors, each working independently of the other with a group of 49 players. 

Busoni, Ferruccio

Italian, 1866-1924
Italian pianist, conductor and composer.
A child prodigy, he toured Europe playing Bach, Beethoven and Liszt.
He also conducted a series of concerts containing music of his contemporaries.
Much of his music is based on music of the past, and his most famous composition are the Bach Chaconne in d minor for solo violin and Toccata and Fugue in d minor for organ, both arranged for piano.
He also influenced Edgar Varese by his “Sketch of a New Aesthetic of music” (division of octave in more than 12 degrees)

Cage, John

American, b 1912
Studied composition with Cowell in NY and Schoenberg in LA.
Stimulated by his colleagues in NY (David Tudor, Morton Feldman, Earle Brown and others), he introduced chance procedures into music.  
The material of Music of Changes for piano (1951) was determined by coin tosses, while the notorious 4’33” (1952) is silent: the work consists of whatever environmental sounds can be heard.
During the 1950’s, Cage’s innovations gained him international interest, and he extended his field of compostion to include “happening” (Theatre Piece, 1960), graphic scores (Fntana Mix, 1958), live electronics (Cartridge Music, 1960), and combination of the most varied events (Variations IV, 1963).
In 1969, he returned to straightforward, notated composition with Cheap Imitation for piano and orchestra, but he has continued to produce aleatory and electronic pieces as well.

Cardew, Cornelius

English, 1936-1981
Composer; Arranger of numbers from Peking Operas, revolutionary songs, etc.; Author of Treatise Handbook; Editor of a number of publications including Stockhousen Serves Imperialism, 1974.;
Served as assistant to Stockhausen, particularly on the score of Carre for four choral-orchestral groups.;;
Stockhausen had an influence on his first works, but from 1960, he moved more toward Cage.; This period culminating in the beautifully drawn Treatis for unspecified forces.
In 1969, he founded the Scratch Orchestra, a group of amateurs who gave rough and ready performances of music new and old;

Carter, Elliott

American, b. 1908
This composer studied in Paris with Nadia Boulanger and returned to America a fluent neoclassicist.
His early works, which include the ballet Pocahontas (1936-9) and the Holiday Overture (1944), sho a post-Stravinsky style characteristic of American Boulanger students, but with a thythmic life that is Carter‘s own.
With the Piano Sonata (1845-6) there began a process of growth which reached fruition in the First String Quartet (1951).  In the period, he extedended his harmonic range, introduced a new rhythmic fluidity by means of metric modulation, and began to create forms which are conversations of musical character, these being defined by their harmonic nature.
From 1955 (including such works as Concerto for Orchestra (1969), two more string quartets, a Piano Concerto, and the Symphony of Three Orchestras), the newclassical inheritance has been left far behind.  The languate is tough but elegant, complex but inviting because the musical ideas are so pregnant.  
A volume of Carter’s Collected Writings was published in NY in 1977.;

Casella, Alfredo

Italian, 1883-1947
Studied with Faure at Paris Conservatory.
In 1902, he began his career as pianist and conductor.
His works from this period show the expedted influences of Debussy, Ravel and Early Stravinsky, but also more unusually, those of Mahler and Strauss (Notte di maggio for voice and orchestra, 1913).
After WWI, Casella was quick to take up Stravinsky’s neoclassical approach.  He composed divertimentos based on earlier music, and also a host of original works using older forms, beginning with the Concerto for string quartet and Partitafor piano and orchestra (1923-5).
While composing his large output, casella was also active as teacher, concert organizer, and promoter of new music.

Chavez, Carlos

Mexican, 1899-1978
Self-taught composer.
Conductor of the Mexico Symphony Orchestra (1928-48) and director of the Mexican National Conservatory (1928-35).
He did much to invigorate musical life in his home country, while his international tours as a conductor took his own and other Mexican music to the world.
Many of his works, including the last of his six symphonies, the Sinfonia india (1961), evoke the ritual splendor of pre-Columbian America, with vigorous rhythms, intricate percussion scoring, and atmospheric woodwind solos. 
Among his literary works are the books Towards a New Music: Music and Electricity and Musical Thought.

Cocteau, Jean

A french poet and author of the early 20th century.
He brought forth an influential essay in 1918 entitled “Cock and Harlequin” in which he said that “Satie teaches what, in our age, is the greatest audacity – simplicity.”  He warned not only against the influences of German music (Wagnarian fog) but also the impressionistic leanings of his own countrymen (Debussian mist and theatrical mysticism, “Rite of Spring”).
Cocteau extoled the virtues of “everyday” music which would have the flavor of the street, the circus, and jazz.
Cocteau not only helped Satie’s rise to fame, but he also penned a ballet, which Satie set to music and which the Ballet Russe performed.; It was entitled Parade, which featured jazz music and the antics of street entertainers and acrobats.


The 20th century compositional technique of combining several incongruous and contrasting styles within a single composition.
The ideology is “Everything is good, so let’s have everything.”
Composers who are known for this technique inculde Ives, Satie, and Berio (Sinfonia).


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A unique feature of 12-tone technique theory whereby a prime row can be combined with an inversion, retrograde, or retrograde inversion of itself such that the first hexachords and second hexachords of the prime row and its other form combine vertically to form the aggregate


The creative uses of combinatoriality have been most thoroughly exploited by Milton Babbitt.

Copland, Aaron

American, 1900-1990
Studied with Boulanger in Paris (1912-14), gaining a facility for neoclassicism which he skilfully and brashly combined with jazz in his Piano Concerto (1926).; this and other works, including the Dace Symphony(1925) and Piano Variations (1930) quickly gained him a reputation in America as daring modernist.
Three ballets in which he used American material: Billy the Kid (1938), Rodeo (1942), and Appalachian Spring (1944).; The last of these gained enormous popularity in its orchestral version and proved that Copland had found a distinctively American style, spare in harmony and sensitivity colored.
His Third Symphony (1944-6) was an attempt to use that style on the most amitious plane, but his abstract works have more usually emplyed a less populist manner: the orchestral works Connotations (1961-2) and Inscape (1967), for instance, make a personal use of Stravinsky-like serialism.

Cowell, Henry

American, 1897-1965
At age 15, he gave his first performance as a composer-pianist in San Francisco; his program included the Tides of Manaunaun (1912), in which he introduced “clusters” of notes to be played with the fist, palm, or forearm.;
Later he used the inside of the piano in such pieces as The Banshee (1925), which is played throughout on the strings.
These and other works formed the repertory for his concert tours of Europe and America during the 20’s and 30’s.
After the publication of his influential book New Musical Resources (1930), he did not stop experimenting.;
He introudced “elastic” forms in works like the String Quartet No.3, requiring the performers to assemble given fragments in any order.
He devised a machine, the rhythmicon, for realizing the complex rhythms he was demanding in his music.; (through piano roll??)
His orchestral musical output was prodigious: 20 symphonies, some of which use Persian, Indian, and Japanese instruments

Craft of Musical Composition, The

Hindemith’s composition textbook. 
In it he explains his system of the composition based on dissonance classifications for different sonorities (ranked 1 through 6). 
His belief was that music should began simply (triad) and move to a point of maximum dissonance (climax) and ultimately return to simplicity (which is why his pieces always end with a major triad).
The book is characterized by its rigor and systematization – almost to the point of dogmatism.
Hindemith wished to extend the rules of traditional tonality, rather than breaking them altogether.  Thus, the triad remained the foundation of his work.

Crumb, George

American, b.1929
Slow to reach maturity as a composer, he found his voice in the Five Piano Pieces (1962)
since when he has made much use of special instrumental effects in the creation of atmospheric sound imagery, often music resulted macabre or nocturnal.
Representative works include Ancient Voices of Children for soprano, treble, and ensemble (1970), Black Angels for string quartet with electronics (1970), and Makrokosmos I-II for piano (1972-3).


It is used as the four-note pc group “D-E flat C B (H in German”, whcih denotes “Dmitri ShostakoviCH”. 
Shostakovish used this motive in some of his compostions including his Violin Concerto Op. 77.  
Sometimes it is somewhat altered by dimished or augmented intervals, and this normally is interpreted as “Distorted self ” under the oppression of Stalin government.


Dada was explicitly “anti-art”.
Much of what the bizarre manifestos, the noice-poetry, the chance-poetry, the incomprehensible “simultaneous”poems in three languages at once, and the general obscenity and irrationality.
It was a nihilistic and pessimistic negation of both “bourgeois society” and the (often overblown) claims of Modern Art to be able to change that society.
E. Satie’s Gymnopedie (1888), Sports ed divertissements (1914), Sonatine buteaucratique(1917), Parade (1917), ballet realistique, and Relache (1824) (“No Performance Tonight”;

Dahlhaus, Carl

b. 1928, German musicologist;
1966, he completed Habilitation, a fundamental study on the development of tonality. ;
He focused on 15th and 16th C music, particularly Josquin, and also worked on modern contemporary music.
He also provided an important stimulus into the research of 19th C music by being the editor of the anthology Studien zur Trivialmusik des 19 Jahrhundert.
His work brought about renewed interest in Wagner scholarship

Dallapiccola, Luigi

1904-1975, Italian composer, pianist and writer.
The principal pioneer of dodecaphony in Italy.
His works combine the use of the twelve-tone technique with a love for melody and for the song and dance forms of early Italian music. ;
Among his most important compositions are Variazoni per Orchestra (“Variations for Orchestra”, 1954), the opera Volo di notte (“Night Flight”) and Il Prigioniero (“The Prisoner”), which are more expressionistic, Tartiniana for violin and orhcestra, based on themes by the 18th century composer Tartini, and several song cycles.;

Davies, Peter Maxwell

b. 1934, English composer
Known for his highly dramatic music.
His earlier works, particularly his music theater pieces of the late 1960s and early 1970s, are expressionist in style.
Both Eight Songs for a Mad King (1969) and Miss Donnithorne’s Maggot (1974), for solo voice and small instrumental ensemble, eature a crazed, obsessive individual.
In the former work, the king screams and wheees and mumbles his way through a four-octave span.
Similarly Missa super l’homme arme (1968; rev. 1971) and Vesalii Icones (1969), for soloist (singer in the former, dance in the latter) and instrumental ensemble, represent violent attacks on religious hypocrisy.
These show his frequent borrowing from the Middle Ages and Renaissance, which he sometimes quotes directly and at other times simply alludes to or imitates stylistically, using plainsong, church modes, or hocket.;
Occasionally he also used magic squares medieval puzzles of mystically or mathematically related numbers – to determine the formal structure of pitches or rhythms.
Other important wroks are Shakespeare Music (1964); the opera Taverner (1972), The Lighthouse (1980), and Resurrection (1988);;
For chamber ensemble, Ave Maris stella (1975), A mirror of Whitening Light (1977), and Image, Reflection and Shadow (1982);
Three Symphonies (1976, 80, 84)
Music theater piece Le Jongleur de Notre Dame (1978), a setting of the old story for voice, juggler, chamber ensemble and a children’s band. 

De Stijl

a group of artists located in the Netherlands which took its name from its monthly publication, begun in 1917.
De Stijl promoted an art of almost mathematical purity, based on the dimplest geometrical shapes.
This was a new objectivity which was an outgrowth of the post-war Dadaist movement 

Debussy, Claude

A French composer who had great influence on the development of 20th century music.
The founder and main representative of the style called Impressionism.
He begain his musical studies on the piano, for which he later composed some of his best works.
In 1884, won the Prix de Rome with his cantata L”Enfant prodique (“The Prodigal Son”).
Interested in the works of impressionist painters and , even more, in the poetry of Paul Verlaine, Pierre Louys, and Stephane Mallarme.  This led Debussy to a completely new style of music, first examplified in his famous Prelude a l’apres-midi d’un faune (“Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun”), after a poem by Mallame.
In this work, Debussy tried to create a kind of music based on a single uninterrupted theme rather than on shorter, more conventional themes or motifs (melodic figures).
In such music, the evocation of mood, atmosphere, and color are all important.
Debussy achieved quite subtle effects by means of various technical devices, including careful choice of instruments for their particular tone color, and the use of an Oriental five-tone scale, the whole-tone schale, dissonant harmonies, parallel chords, and unusualy shifting harmonies.
His notable works are such as Nocturnes, La Mer, and Images (includes Iberia), a string quartet, the opera Pelleas et Melisande, more than fifty songs, and piano music: Estampes, Images, Children’s Corner, two books of Preludes, two books of Etudes, and Suite bergamasque, which includes the famous Clair de lune (“moonlight”);

Delius, Frederick

1862-1934, An English composer.
His music combines features of both romanticism and impressionism, as well as making use of native English materials.
His best works are short pieces portraying the English countryside, such as his On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring and; The Walk to the Paradise Garden (from his opera A Village Romeo and Juliet).
He also adapted various folk elements to his music, as in Appalachia (he lived in the US for a year), Brigg Fair, and North Country Sketches.
Although the forms he used were those of the romantic period, Delius employed a number of devices made popular by the impressionists, notably dissonant harmonies and the whole-tone scale;

Developing Variation

The continuous evolution and transformation of the thematic substance, strictly avoiding literal repetition.; It is related to the concept of “musical prose”.
Both concepts are used by Schoenberg in his First Quartet.;


A renown figure in the early 20th century as a director of company Ballet Russe and other avant-garde movment groups.
He selected Nijinsky, I.
Stravinsky and many other artists/musicians (including E. Satie ) for his avant-garde ballet: Petruschka, The Rite of Spring and Prelude a l’apres-midi d’un faune, among which the latter two evoked numberous cons- and pros- among the audience

Eaton, John

b. 1935. American composer.
His compostion teachers inculde Babbitt, Cone and Sessions.
His earlier career was a jazz pianist.
Received three American Prix de Rome (1959, 1960, 1961), two Guggenheim Fellowships (1962, 1965).
He has utilized the varied resources of electronic instruments with exceptional originality and virtuosity.
He has been closely identified with the syn-ket, a type of electronic synthesizer invented by Paolo Ketoff in 1964, which has several keyboards sensitive to pressure and sliding movement.
Eaton’s Concert Peice for Syn-ket and Symhony Orchestra was first performed in 1966 at Tanglewood by the Boston SO conducted by Schuller.  
The primiere of his opera Heracles took place in April 1972 at the opening of the Musical Arts Center at Indiana University

Electronic music

Music made up of sounds created or manipulated by electronic devices, which are recorded and reproduced on magnetic tape or a digital storage medium, or are created and performed live at virtually the same time (and many simultaneously be recorded).


A tape recording or floppy disk or circuit diagram thus corresponds to the written score of traditional music, and playing a tape or compact disk may correspond to a musical performance.


Its heavy reliance on tape led electronic music to be called tape music.


Strictly speaking, electronic music differs from music concrete in that the sound themselves are generated electronically by a device called a synthesizer.  In practice, though, this distinction is not always maintained, for many composers of electronic music combine taped or live natural sounds with electronically generated sounds.


In the early 1960s, voltage-controlled (v-c) oscillator; in the mid-1980s, MIDI (“musical instrument digital interface”)

Elgar, Edward

1857-1934, The first strong native-English composer to appear on the scene since the early 18th century.
His only major composition written in the 19th C was the Enigma Variations (1899).
Some of Elgar’s orchestral textures are remeniscent of Brahms, but his harmonic language comes closer to mature Wagnerian style

Emancipation of dissonance

a phrase coined by Schoenberg to describe his new style of composition after the First Chamber Symphony.
Emphasis on non-harmonic tones becomes so extreme that these tones tend not to resolve at all.
Dissonant harmonic complexes are no longer regulated by underlying triadic successions, but are “set free” as absolute harmonic entities, capable of standing on their own and related solely to one another rather than to a single harmonic type representing a universal norm.
Pieces which exemplify this new style are the Second string quartet (op.10), Das Buch der Hangenden Garten (op.15) and the monodrama, Erwartung (op.17)


The study of music in relation to the culture that produced it.
The subject of such studies is frequently outside the Western (European and American) tradition, such as the music of China, Japan, the Arab countries, or various peoples of Africa. ;
Until the 19th century, the music of non-Western cultures was regarded mainly as a curiosity.; For many years, all such music, despite its enormous verity, was lumped together into one category called “exotic music.”
Toward the end of the 19th century, however, scholars began to apply to non-Western music the same careful methods of study they had been using for music of their own culture.
One result has been the increasing influence of non-Western music in Western music, seen both in popular music – i.e. raga, rock, and reggae – and its serious music, as in the use of various non-Western scales, instruments, and rhythms: for instance, opera Turandot


A term borrowed from painting to describe certain kinds of 20th century music written as though to express the innermost feelings of the composer or, in stage works, of the characters.
Like expressionist paintings, which is distortion and exaggeration to picture a kind of inner reality, expressionist music often seems harsh and discordant, as well as emotional and dramatic.
Outstanding examples are Schoenberg’s Verklarte Nacht, Pierrot lunaire, and Erwartung, Berg‘s two operas: Lulu and Wozzeck, and more recent Harrison Birtwhistle’s Punch and Judy (1966) and Peter Maxwell Davies’ Eight Songs for a Mad King (1969).
As might be expected, both texts and music of these stage works concentrate more on the psychology of the characters than on external events.

Falla, Manuel de

1876-1946, the central of Spanish music in the first half of the 20th c.
He collected and arranged national folk songs, and his works La Vida Breve and El Amor Brujo, are imbued with the melodic and rhythmic qualities of popular Spanish music.
Nights in the Garden of Spain are a testament to national sources and influence of Debussy.
His finest mature works are the Concerto for Harpsichord and 5 solo instruments and Master Peter’s Puppet Show.

Feldman, Morton

American composer (1926-1987)
In 1950s he was closely associated with John Cage, Brown, Wolff and Tudor, and with the abstract expressionist painter in NY.
Influenced by the visual artists more than that by any musician, he composed pieces immediately recognizable for their extreme point-style scoring and their subdued dynamic range.
At the same time he invented new means of notation to give certain freedom in performance, i.e. in Projection series (1950-51), he introduced graph notation; in Durations series (1960-62), he used precise notation but to make duration relatively free.

Foss, Lukas

A German-born American composer, pianist (b.1922)
His music combines a vareity of styles, among them neoclasscism, romantic lyricism, and Americal folk elements.
In late 1950s, he began to use various styles, experimenting with improvisation (in his suite, Time Cycle, 1960), aleatory music, serial techniques, and quotation and collage (Baroque Variations, 1967 borrows from Handel, Scarlatti, and Bach).
From 1970-1990, Foss devoted himself more to conducting.


Initiated by poet and dramatist Marinetti(1876-1942) in 1909; later among the Italian visual artists flourished, such as in the works of a futurist painter Luigi Russolo.
Futurist dispise everything “old”; admire speed, technology, youth and violence, the car, the airplane and the industrial city. All that represent the triumph of technology over nature.  They were also passionate nationalists.
A few young musicians joined this: Franco Casavola (1891-1955), Nuccio Fiorda (1897-1975), Antonio Russolo (1877-1942) and Silvio Mix (1900-1927).
Fiorda combined “intonarumori” (Noise-intoners) – series of cumbersome machines – with conventional instruments, as did A . Russolo (Luigi’s brother) in Corale and Serenata (c. 1921)


A general name for a classical Indonesian orchestra, of which there are many different kinds, as well as for its music.
Indeed, a gamelan may be unique, made up no just of certain inds of instrument but of specific instruments that have been played together for many years.
Such a gourp is often given a proper name, just as a person is.
Some of the gamelan still used in Java today are a thousand years old.
Javanese music uses two kinds of scale system, a five-tone system called slendo and a seven-tone system called pelog.
A complete gamelan consists of two sets of instruments, one set of pelog and another of slendro.; Altogether there may be as many as eighty instruments, played by about thirty performers.
The most important are the percussion instruments, consisting of gongs, drums, wylophones, and kettles.
Texture of gamelan music is dense.; The central melodic theme is played by metal xylophones.;;
Two leaders: the largest drum for tempo changes; a fiddle for melodic variations.


German “music to be used” “utility music“.
A term invented in the 1920s for music to be played (used) at home by amateurs instead of a concert hall by professional performers.
Among those who felt that home performance had been neglected was the composer Paul Hindemith, who along with others wrote music specifically for this purpose.
To make home performance easier, such compostions call for small groups of players and are not too lengthy or technically difficult.
Moreover, they often allow for substituting different instruments when the ones called for are not available.
Hindemith’s Gebrauchsmusik compositions include a children’s opera, Wir bauen eine Stadt (“We are Building a City”, 1930) ; Spielmusik (“Music for Playing”) for string, flutes, and oboes; and a set of easy duets for two violins.

Gershwin, George

American composer (1898-1937)
The first to succeed in combining American popular and serous music.
Gershwin’s earliest success was the immensely popular song “Swanee”, which he wrote at the age of nineteen.
His first important serious composition was Rhapsody in Blue for piano and jazz orchestra, first performed (with the composer as soloist) in 1924.
Gershwin wrote musical comedies and popular songs, as well as serious concert pieces.
To his popular music he brought the craftsmanship of a trained musician; to his serious music he brought elements from ragtime, jazz, the balck tradition of spirituals and blues, and the Latin American dance rhythms so popular during the 1920s’ and 1930’s.  
His best-known works are the symphonic poem An American in Paris, the Concerto in F for piano, the folk opera Porgy and Bess, the musical comedies Lady be Good, Strike Up the Band, Funny face, Girl Crazy, and Of Thee I Sing

Ginastera, Alberto

Argentine composer (1916-1983)
His oeuvre has an unbroken continuity, in that each new development is an extension or elaboration, and the whole bears the stamp of a string personality and an inflexible creative will.
The principal distinction to be observed is that between works of Argentine character and others.
Three periods: objective nationalism, which directly uses Argentine folk elements as in musica criolla
Subjective nationalism, in which the folk elements are not explicit as in this String Quartet no. 1 (1948) and Piano sonata (1952)
Neo-expressionism which began with Quartet no. 2 (1958), his first entirely serial work.
Tragic and fantastic elements are prominent in his operas, as are all the characteristically expressionistic features: Don Rodrigo (1964) in which he exploited 12-note techniques; Bomarzo, Beatrix Cenci

Glass, Philip

An american composer (b. 1937), who first became known for his minimalist music, based on extensive repetition, rhythmic regularity, and conventional tonal harmony.
In the late 1960s Glass founded his own eight-member ensemble of electric keyboards (synthesizer, organ, piano), amplified wind instruments, and voices, for which most of his compositions were written.
In the mid-1970s, Glass also began writing operas.  The first was Einstein on th eBEach (1976), in collaboration with playwright-director Robert Wilson, who contributed the scenario and assisted with staging and sets. 
Well received in Europe, it received its American premiere at the Metropolitan Opera and shocked audiences with its text of solfege syllables, and interior monologues.
The muisc of this four-and-one-half-hour work and is different form his earlier work in its tonal and textual richness, though the melodic patterns are still repeated relentlessly


Haba, Alois

Czech composer, theorist and teacher (1893-1973)
The organ Fugue on H-A-B-A and the orchestral piece Mladi (‘Youth’) both written in 1913, already show freedom in their use of diatonic melody and harmony and in their treatment of thematicism.
He took an active part in turning Czech music in a more adventurous direction; was a leading officer of several Prague music societies and a jury member and honarary member of the ISCM. 
During WWII he was presecuted as a progressive artist, but in 1945 he returned to musical life
He may justly be regarded as the orginator of the use of quarter and sith-tones in Western art music.
The realize this new music he poinered the construction of special instruments: three types of quarter-tone piano (1924-31), a quarter-tone (1928) and a sixth-tone (1936) harmonium, and a quarter-tone clarinet (1924), trumpet (1931) and guitar (1943).
His microtonal music empluts the same compostional techniques as his work in the semitone system and he has avoided opposing the two.
In the preface to his Second Quartet op.7, he wrote: “It is my concern to permeate the semitone system with more delicate sound nuances, no to abolist it… to extend the possibilities of expression already given by the old system.”
Developing from microtonal usage in Moravian folk music, the major mode is stressed by quarter-tone and sixth-tone sharps, the minor by quarter-tone flats; in each case the result is to heighten the expressive effect
Opera Marke (The mother) is the masterpiece of his quarter-tone music.

Hanson, Howard

American composer, teacher and conductor of Swedish ancestry (1896-1981)
In 1924, appointed director of the Eastman School till 1964.
Developed it in one of the finest university conservatories in the America by bradening the curriculum, orhcestra, and teachers.
Conducting debut in 1924; a neo-Romantic composer; cited Sibelius and Grieg as powerful influences on his lyerical and harmonic style, and Respighi on orchestration
Structural unity reflects Palestrina and Handel
Lux aeterna: quoted from Gregorian chant; featheres rhythmic vitality and tonal richness, gaiety and humor

Harris, Roy

American composer (1896-1981)
His music is noted for its skillful use of counterpoint.
Harris employed traditional tonal material but avoided the use of key signatures.  In effect, he wrote in a key without saying so.
Sometimes his themes are based on American folk songs, altough the tunes are usually no longer recognizable.
The most successful symphony of his is No. 3 (1938).
His works also include many chamber compositions, several ballets, choral music, and numerous pieces for piano

Hauer, Josef Matthias

Austrian composer and theorist (1883-1959)
The central concept of his theory was “melos” to which “Rhythmus” functioned as a counter-concept.
Melo was associated with atonal music and Rhythmus with tonal music.
For him Melos was the only true, objectively immanent and fundamental law of music.
He detested all are that expressed ideas, programs of feelings, demanding a purely spiritual, supersensual music composed according to impersonal rules.
On a definite arrangement of the 12 pitch classes: The “Constellation” or “Grundgestalt” (basic shape); unordered pair of hexachords.
From 1921, he was extraordinarily productive by writing works of 12-note notation of his own devising.
Hauer’s insistence on his priority in the discovery of 12-tone compostion developed theoretically in the Deuntung des Melos (1923), vom Melos zur Pauke (1925) and Zwolftontechnik (1926)

Henze, Hans Werner

A German born composer (1926)
First became known for his operas.;;
Using dissonant harmonies and, for a time early in his career, melodies based on a twelve-tone series.
Henze concentrated on the inner reality of his characters, in the manner of the earlier expressionist works.
The formal structure of the operas tends to eb strict, and occasionally there are direct allusions to older musical forms (i.e. Bach chorale in The Bassarids).
In 1950s, he move permanently to Italy.
In 1960s, he became a strong admirer of revolutionary socialist principles, which inspired the oratorio Das Floss der Medusa (Medusa’s Raft) of 1968 and sixth symphony which quotes protest songs
He had neoclassic style in some of his works
He continued to champion the underprevileged and oppressed and to attack fascism and militarism

Hindemith, Paul

A German Composer (1895-1963) who became one of the outstanding musical figures of the first half of the 20th century
He left Germany for the US during the 1940s and later became a United States citizen.
He developed various styles in more than 40 years as a compsoer.
His early works, such as Suite 1922 for piano, reflect his rebellion against the 19th century romantic tradition, expressed mainly in his use of dissonant harmonies.
Gradually he began to adopt elements of the music of earlier periods, particulrly the counterpoint of the baroque and the polyphony of the Renaissance.
Active as a teacher and theorist, Hindemith was also an excellent violist, and he began to write for older instruments (such as the viola d’amore) and to perform in and direcet presentations of early music.
At the same time he formed new views concerning the ocmposer’s place in society, coming to believe that music should be directed to the people who listen to it and perform it, not just to composers and professionla musician.  He became a leading advocates of Gebrauchmusick, and durin ght e1920’s and 1930’s wrote many works for soloists and small ensembles to be performed by amateurs and studnets.
Among these are sonatas; chamber works, a children’s opera Wir Baueb eine Stadt.
His major works include the operas Cardillac, Mathis der Maler, and Die Harmonie der Welt, a symphony based on Mathis der Maler; Ludus Tonalis, a set of 12 fugues for piano.
Also wrote an important 2-vol. book om compositon, The Craft of Musiclal Composition (Unterweisung im Tonsazt_

Holst, Gustav

A English composer (1874-1934) of the early 20th C.
Influenced by English traditional song and Hindu mysticism, as evident in his Choral Hymns from the Rig-Veda.
Though he wrote very fine settings of Walt Whitman poems, like Ode to Death and Dirge for two veterans, it is his orchestral suite The Planets that is easily his mjost well-known piece.
It is responsible for his well-maintained prominence among 20th C composers.; It is still often played in classical concerts today

Honegger, Arthur

(1892-1955).; A Swiss composer who lived mostly in France and became a member of an influential group called Les Six.
One of Honegger’s first great successes was Pacific 231 (1924), a tonal portrayal of a locomotive, which audiences hailed as a perfect picture of the modern machine age.
Honegger, however, abandoned this type of realistic music soon afterward.
A master of choral composition, he returned to the style of an earlier work, the oratorio Le roi David (“King David,” 1921), producing such works as the dramatic oratorio Jeanne d’Arc au bucher (“Joan of Arc at the STake”).
His music is noted for its regular highly accented rhythms and effective use of counterpoint.;


Also, aleatory music, chance music.
Music that involves elements of chance. ;
Chance may be involved in how the composer writs the music, or in how it is performed, or in both.
In compostiion, the pitches of the notes, their duration, intensity, and other features may be seleced by a throw of dice, by following the drawing of a design, by mathematical laws of chance, or by some similar means.
In performance, chance operated by leaving some elements of the music up to the performer.
John Cage, Karlheins Stockhausen, Pierre Boulez, and Henri Pousseur;

Ives, Charles

1874-1954, Amercian composer; studied at Yale
Won the 1947 Pulitzer Prize in the 3rd Symphony
Combined a true expression of Amercian tradition with daring experiments;
on the one hand, he quoted American hymns, popular songs, dance tunes, and marches, employing mainly of the conventional tonal forms of 19th century; ;
on the other, he used conlficting rhythms and keys at the same time (polyrhythm and polytonality), dissonant harmonies, tone clusters, microtones, and optional voice-parts.
The best known compositions include his four symphonies, Concord Sonata for Piano, Three Places on New England for orchestra, and The Unanswered Question for a chamber ensemble;


Synonomous with serial, music in which a series of tones generates the entire structure of a composition.


Refers to tone-painting of Debussy.
Impressionistic music is characterized by parallel chord movement, unresolved dissonance such as seventh and ninth chords, whole-tone scales, and subtle, unusual timbral effects.
The idea is to present a general “impression” of a scene rather than its precise equivalent.;

Integral serialism

Musical composition based on prior arrangements not only of all 12 pitches of the chromatic scale, but also of dynamics, duration, timbre, register.

Milton Babbitt is known as a leading proponent of total serialism, and it is evident in a work such as Composition for Synthesizer.
Other composers of total serialism include Stockhausen
Babbitt’s Three Compositions for Piano, written in 1947

Janacek, Leos

1854-1928.  A Moravian (Czechoslovakian) composer and teacher whose music ranks with the finest produced in his country, particularly works he wrote after about 1900.
He became very interested in folk music.  From his studies of folk song, he derived a complex theory of harmony, which he applied in his own works.
Also, he adopted the characteristic intervals and scales of Slavic folk music, as well as the device of insistent melodic repetition, which he used with dramatic effect in his own work (especially in his operas)
Among the best of Janacek’s compositions are the opera Jenufa, Kata Kbanova, The Cunning Little Vixen, and From the House of the Dead, Slavonic Mass, Concertino for piano and chamber orchestra, and numberous chamber works and folk song arrangements.;

Ben, Johnston

b.1926.; American composer and theorist.;
He studied privately with Partch. ;
He has composed in a variety of styles, (serial, electronic, aleatory, microtonal), but is especially associated with works in just intonation.
Works include a rock chamber opera (Carmilla, 1970), theater pieces, ballets, incidental music, several string quartets, a sonata for microtonal piano (1965), other instrumental music, choral music and songs, and music for films and exhibitions.;

Kagel, Mauricio

b.1931, Argentinean composer.
Apart from music, he is known for his films and plays, riding the crest of the avant-garde in all three areas.
His music often incorporates theatrical elements, mixing actors and musicians or requiring actions of the musicians themselves.
As in Cage, it often satirizes the performance act itself.
In addition to exploring new instrumental timbres, he has delved into musique concrete, new vocal techniques, and electronic composition.
He has also based works of the music of Beethoven (Ludwig van, 1968; made into a film in 1969) and Brahms (Variationen ohne Fuge, 1972).
Other works include operas and radio plays;

Kandinsky, Wassily

A leading figure in the expressionist movement
He was the first major artist to create completely non-representational painting, in Munich during the years immediately preceding World War I.
His 1914 oil Winter (painting Number 201) suggests something of the nature of the season through the descriptive powers of abstract menas.
He and Schoenberg exhcanged ideas.;


Tone-color melody (GR)
A succession of tone colors (even if with only a single pitch)treated as a structure analogous to a melody, (or succession of pitches).
The notion was proposed and term coined by Schoenberg in his Harmonielehre of 1911.
It is reflected in his Five Orchestral Pieces op. 16 (1909, rev. 1949), especially the third, which was originally titled “Farben.”
Webern explored the concept extensively, e.g. in the first of his Five Pieces for Orchestra, op. 10 (1913).
The concept has played an important role in the development of serial music and in some electro-acoustic music.
The texture that results has sometimes been called pointillism, by analogy with painting.;

Kodaly, Zoltan

1882-1967, Hungarian scholar-composer whose music was more narrowly national, and less thoroughgoing than Bartok‘s in integrating folk and art styles.
However, he was like Bartok a vocally oriented composer for whom melody was a foundation of music.
He had a striking individual musical personality that resembled his interests in Gregorian chant, Palestrina, and Bach, but the prominent part played by his Hungarian folk intonation and his roots peasant culture guarded his music against any heterogeneity.
His most famous works include Psalmus Hungaricus and the Singspiel Hary Janos.
His most lasting contribution though is perhaps to music education

Krenek, Ernst

1900-1991, Austrian composer.
His “jazz opera” Jonny spielt auf (1926) was one of the most successful products of the 1920’s Zeitoper trend.
In it, he returned to the tonal idiom, combining the cantilena style of Puccini with jazz elements.
His style has varied quite a bit, from neo-classicism insired by Les Six, to a neo-Romanticism inspired by Schubert.
He also used integral serialism in some of his music, as well as experiments in indeterminacy.
His output includes several operas, orchestral works, chamber works and vocal music.;

Les Six

A name given in 1920 to a group of six French composers: Louis Durey, Arthur Honegger, Darius Milhaud, Germaine Tailleferre, Georges Auric, and Francis Poulenc.
They shared the aesthetic ideals of Erik Satie
Jean Cocteau was an advocate of Les Six.
They came to symbolize the light and bubbly flavor of post-war France
Their music was direct in approach, light in touch, and free of the pretensions of the concert hall;

Ligeti, Gyorgy

b.1923, Transylvanian composer who studied in Jungary.
Like Penderecki, he worked with clusters, but unlike Penderecki (who treated clusters as “solid” blockes of sound made up of undifferentiated individual parts), Ligeti formed his clusters from separate components that changed constantly to produce subtly transofrming internal patterns.
In this type of composition with planes of sound, or Klanflachenkomposition, the clear articulation of melody, harmony, and rhythm are abandoned (though still notated ) in favor of the timbre and texture of the sound itself.
Ligeti’s Atmospheres (1961) is in this style.  Some of his later compositions use microtones

Mahler, Gustav

1860-1911, Austrian commposer and conductor.
In 1897, he became music director of the Vienna Court Opera, and brought the company to new heights.
He can be seen as the last major link in the hcain of AUstro-German symphonic omposers.  He extended trends in the development of symphony, including a tendency toward greater length, a lyricism from Schubert and Bruckner, and the inclusion of voices in his second, third, and fourth symphonies (in the tradition of Beethoven’s Ninth).
He tended toward constant variation in his music, continuously evolving new material out of old.
His music tends to avoid accompanimental “filler” in favor of an essemtially polyphonic texture, influenced by Bach.
His harmonic language is relatively conservative, but tonally, his music is more exceptional: complete works, and even individual movements, no longer necessarily define a single key, but explore a range of related and interconnected regoins, often closing in a different key from the one in which they began.
His symphonies are also pervaded by music of a popular, even “vular” quality, as is evident in his first Symphony, whith its inclusion of Frere Jacque in minor and Klesmer music.
His music is marked by a high degree of disjunction and juxtaposition.
Though he wrote no chamber music or operas (he did complete Weber’s sketches for the comic opera Die Drei Pintos), his works included Nine finished Symphonies, one unfinished symphony, lieder, the cantata Das Klagende Lied, the songs with orchestral accompaniment Das Lied van der Erde, and some settings of poems from Des Knaben Wunderhorn 

Malipiero, Gian Francesco

1882-1973, Italian composer and musicologist.
He was influenced by early Baroque Italian composers, and even Gregorian chant
He reacted against 19th centruy Italian opera.  In his music, the harmony is often triadic in foundation, but traditional functions are avoided in favor of a sort of neo-modality.
The music’s freely developed formal character results from the succession of clearly differentiated, essentially lyrical musical segments.;
His output includes 11 symphonies, 6 piano concertos, and a large number of stage works (including over 30 operas), as well as chamber and piano music;

Microtonal music

The modern interest in microtonal scales coincided with the search for expanded tonal resources in music mid-19th c. music.
Halevy was the first modern composer to subdivide th semitone, in his cantata Promethe enchaine (1847).
The first microtonal piece to use Western instrumental forms is a string quartet by John Foulds (1897).
In 1892, Behrens-Senegalden published an account of his patented quarter-ton piano
In 1907, Ferrucio Busoni proposed a sixth-tone scale.
Alois Haba inaugurated a department of microtonal music at the Prague Conservatory in 1924.
By 1917, American composers such as Hanson and Ives were experimenting with music for two pianos tuned a quarter tone apart. ;
Mexican composer Julian Carrillo composed much microtonal music and, in 1930, he formed an ensemble to play them.
Other composers who used or experimented with microtones included Block, Copland, Hary Partch, Lou Harrison, and Ben Johnston.
Composers of electro-acoustic music have made the greatest use of microtones, becuase of the inherent flexibity and precision of some of the equipment.;

Milhaud, Darius

1892-1974, French composer, member of Les Six.
Collaborated with Satie on the notorious Musique d’ameublement.
His collaborations with Cocteau included Le boeuf sur le toit (1919).  
His ballet score, La Creation du monde (1923) was one of the first concert works significantly influenced by American jazz.
His somewhat irreverent attitude toward composition found expression in such works as his three so-called “minute operas”, light-hearted dramatic works which each last only ten minutes.
In his piano suite Saudades do Brasil (1921), he used polytonality, a simultaneous combination of two or more keys.
His works include 15 operas, 17 ballets, 13 symphonies, 18 string quartets, numberous orchestral scores (including over 20 concertos), chamber works, songs, choral music, and incidental music for film, stage, and radio. 


As a reaction to the complexity of serialism, it is a style which is intentionally limited, whether in terms of rhythm, melody, harmony.


However, in contrast to the compression and constant change of serial music, the length of these compositions is anything but minimal.


One of the pioneers of the movement is La Monte Young, with The Tortoise: his dreams and journeys.


Terry Riley, an outgrowth of La Monte Young’s ensemble, experimented in Mescalin Mix, with a tape loop of repetitions of short phrases against a continuous regular pulse and piling these up on another.


Steve Reich is perhaps the best known of minimalists, used a quasi-canonic procedure whereby musicians lay the same material slightly out of phase with each other.


Other prominent minimalists include Philip Glass and John Adam

Metrical modulation

A rhythmic technique devised by Elliott Carter, and first employed in his Cello Sonata (1948).;;
The term (not coined by Carter) is actually a misnomer, since what is changed is not meter but tempo; the basic pulse is altered by taking some fractional subdivision (or multiple) of its total value and treating that as a new pulse of different value.
The result is a proportional shift in rate of pulse – in other words, a change of tempo;

moment form

A concept introduced by Stockhausen, it is a compositional approach in which a narrative overall line is deliberately avoided.


The component moments in such a form are related by non-linear principle of proportions.


However, this does not mean that it avoids goal-directed processes.


also called “mosiacs of moment“, in turn, “self-contained (quasi-)independent section, set off from other sections by discontinuities


Exaple of his work containing moment form are Kontakte and Momente

Musical Prose

The constant unfolding of an unbroken musical argument without recourse to the symmetrical balances produced by phrases or sections of equal length and corresponding thematic content (exemplified most clearly in the Classical formal unit known as a “period”).
The result is a polyphonic texture in which all parts are equally developmental and motivically derived.
Harmonic “padding” is shunned.
Along with “developing variation,” this concept was used by Schoenberg, as in his First Quartet (1905)

Musique concrete

music made on tape with sounds drawn from nature and man-made noises, and then sometimes altered electronically; as opposed to musical instruments.
The first examples are by Pierre Schaeffer in Paris.
Varese, Messiaen, Berio, Stockhausen, Cage and Boulez followed

mystic chord

Also known as the Promethean chord, it is the name given by Scriabin to his chord spelled that is essentially the same as the Tristan chord, a minor 7 chord. (a chord used by Skryabin consisting of various types of fourths.?)
It forms the harmonic basis of many of his works, including the tone poem Promethee, from which the chord takes its alternative name.

Nielsen, Carl

1865-1931, Danish composer and contemporary of Sibelius.
Like Sibelius, he built his work firmly upon the foundation of the 19th c. symphonic tradition, renouncing the innovations introduced by other composers.
His six symphonies are true to established classical formal categories, with triadic models supporting a traditional tonal structure.
His music generally avoids excessive chromaticism, favoring lightness and textural transparencym, whcih creates an almost “Classical” character quite different from the earlier Russian and German symphonists, and from Sibelius.
His also composed two operas, concertos for violin, flute, and clarinet, and chamber works, including a woodwind quintet.


A tendency to employ the tehcniques and forms of pre=Romantic periods, principally Baroque an dClassical.
Commonly applied to wroks of Stravinsky li Pulcinella and The Rake’s Progress.
Features objectivity, motivic clarity, textural transparency, formal balance, tonal centricity, and reliance upon stylistic models.
Ravel’s La Tombeau de Couperin.
Other composers: Busini, Falla, Prokofiev, Milhaud, Piston, Hindemith, Shostakovich

Orff, Karl

1895-1982, German composer and music educator.
Unlike many other composers under the Nazi regime, he was somewhat successful in fashioning a style that was simultaneously simple enough to please the authorities, and nevertheless clearly individual and in significant repects original.
His scenic cantata Carmina burana (1937), a setting of somewhat ribald medieval Latin and German songs, represented the first emergence of his chracteristic style; in it, simple syllabic settings are projected through elemental chant-like melodic figures, repeated incessantly to the percussive accompaniment of static, block-like triadic figures.
His works after Carmina burana are mostly for the stage, with dramatic content presented in detached and objective, rather than personal and psychological, terms.
In his later theater works, everything is geared to highly stylized rhythmic projection of the text.
His educational work with children led him to develop special, easily playable instruments, and a set of graded materials, (including exercises, folk tunes, and dnaces), published under the ttle Orff-Schulwerk

Part, Arvo

b. 1935, Estonian composer.
He has moved through a variety of styles, from the influecne of Prokofiev, to serialist techniques, to experiments with aleatoric devices.
In some works, he has freely quoted from specific works of past composers or from past musical styles, especially medieval, pre-moderm, music.
The tinntinnabuli style of pieces such as his Tabula Rasa (1977) is akin to American minialism, in that he arpeggiates “bell” or “tinntinnabuli” voices endlessly over long pedal drones, thus prolonging a single consonant triad, which resonates unendingly through the entire piece.
His devout Eastern Orthodox Christian beliefs are represented in many of his works, some of which link rhythm and melody to iconic representations of, say, the Cross, or to exotic number symbolism.

Partch, Harry

1901-1974, American composer, instrument make, and performer.
His works draw on American folklore, immigrant culture, Christian hymns, and Native American, African and eastern cultures.
His outlined his esthetic in a book, Genesis of a Music (publ in 1949).
His interest in alternate tuning systems (his 43-note scale could produce pure, untempered consonances), and the construction of insturments on which his tunings could be conveniently employed;
influenced microtonal composers such as Ben Johnston, as well as composers of mixed-media works and miniamlists.
Most of his works involve actors and dancers as well as musicians; he also wrote music for films.
His Li Po Songs (1930-33) were his first work in his new style; the voice inflects the words in a speech-like, chanting manner, and is accompanied by “adapted” viola.

Perle, Geroge

b.1915, American composer and theorist.
He composes in a technique of his own devising called 12-tone tonality, which is somewhat related to 12-tone technique: there is a hierarchy among the pitches of the chormatic scale so that they all referentially relate to one or two pitches, which then function as a tonic note or tonality.
Its homage to 12-tone music is its use of an ordered linear succession of pitches.;
The system similarly creates a hierarchy among intervals and larger collections of notes.
He has been awarded the Pultizer Prize and was co-founder with Stravinsky of the Alben Berg Society

Penderecki, Krzysztof

b. 1933, Polish composer.
His early works, such as Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima (1960), for strings, illustrate his experimentation with sound blocks, or “clusters,” colors, and textures to create formal structures.
He later explored ritualistic traditions such as religious services, such as in Utrenia, which uses the text and format of the Orthodox Christian rite dealing with burial and resurrection.
From 1974, his style is characterized by a rich lyricism and Romantic orchestration, moving toward modality and tonal centricity and away from serialistic devices.; This last period includes such works as the Concerto for Cello and Orchestra No.2 (1982), written for Rostropovich.
His works include operas, choral music, instrumental works, chamber works, and music for electronic tape.

Performance art

The composer-violinist-vocalist Laurie Anderson (b.1947) combines pop influence and mixed-media (such as film, slides, props, lighting, electronically altered voice, stylized body gestures, violin playing, story telling, poetry, and singing) in many of her works.
His chracteristic has become a trend in recent music, and has given rise to the term “performance art.”
Others who engage in this type of performance include the “borderline” pop singer Meredith Monk, and even minimalist composers such as Reich and Glass

Petrassi, Goffredo

b.1904, Italian composer.
In compositions such as his Partita for Orchestra (1932) and his First Concerto for Orchestra (1934), he adopted a diatonic, neo-classical style derived from Stravinsky and Casella.
Later, however, he put more emphasis on chromaticism, and eventually adopted the twelve-tone system, which he used in the Second Concerto for Orchestra (1952).
More recently, he has favord an uncompromisingly chromatic and atonal language that, while not strictly serial, owes much to the stylistic innovations of the post-World War II generation.; For instance, the String Trio (1959) is athematic in conception and emphasizes textural and timbral features.

Petrushka Chord

a polychord of C major and F# major.;
Rite of Spring uses a polychord of Bb7 first inversion over Cb major

Pierrot Lunaire

1912, Shcoenberg’s famed setting of twenty-one poemby the French poet, Albert Giraud.
The work is set in German for Sprechstimme (half-speaking, half snging vocal production) and five instruments (piano, violin, flute/alto flute, cello, Clarinet/bass clarinet).
Giraud’s poems express madness and decadence and fit nicely with the eerie quality of Sprechstimme.
All twenty-one poems have different instrumental combinations and only in the final one are all seven used.
Several movements (Die Nacht – passacaglia on a three-note cell; Der Mondflect- double canon, retrograded after the midpoint) feature use of contrapuntal techniques, marking a move away from Schoneberg’s earlier, free style

Phase technique

a prominent technique in the music of Steve Reich since 1967 (piano phase) in which two or more melodic lines comprising the same rhythm are presented together and then one line subtly accelerates until it is one time-unit out of phase with the other.
This acceleration occus enough times to bring the two line sback to the unity of the original presentation.
Concentration is on the interaction of rhythms and rhythmic nuances rather than melody, pitch or teleology. 
Violin Phase, and Clapping Muisc are two other important phase compositions of Reich

Ptich continuum

or pitch-space
a term used by analysts of twentieth century music to describe the division of all audible musical space into half-step increments.
Thus, pitch-space or the pitch continuum constitutes all audible musical pitches.
It is distinguished from all audible musical sound (which is not divided into half-step increments) and pitch-class space (in which register is ignored and only the twelve pitch-classes are considered)

Pfitzner, Hans

1869-1949, A German composer famous in his own country, but not ouside of it.
His compositions never pass beyond the limits of late Romantic tonal and harmonic practice.
His best-known work is the opera Palestrina (1915) about an apocryphal event in Palestrina’s life.
Pfitzner was a staunch conservative who defended the principles of Romantic music (expression and feeling) vs. what he saw as the calculating and intellectual music of the 20th century.
His most important polemic was the pamphlet Futuristengefahr (danger of the Futurists) written in 1917 as a rebuttal to Busoni’s New Esthetic of Music

Poulenc, Francis

1899-1963, one of Les Six, Poulenc probably embodied the ideals of Les Six (as espoused by Cocteau) better than anyone.
He was largely self-taught in composition and his style tends to be triadic and simplistic with a decidedly lyric quality best suited to his composition of many fine songs.
His music changed style after his return to Roman Catholicism in the 1930s and he concentrated on many religious works (Gloria and Stabat Mater) and opera (La Voix Humaine – for one singer alone is his best-known).  These later works established his prominence in the musical world more than his earlier, more frivolous works.


A musical trend evident in the music of the early twentieth century (Bartok and Stravinsky).
In this movement, countries that were less “advanced” artistically and lacked well-defined artistic goals often drew strength from their pasts and their sense of primitive folk beginnings.
Uses of folk tunes, melodic grace notes (Stravinsky, Les Noces), unusual scalar formation (pentatonic and octatonic), assymetrical phraseology, and the sonorities of primitive of folk instruments all characterize this style.
Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, though featuring no authentic folk tunes or dances per se, is the epitome of this style, both in terms of musical construction and programmatic content

Prokofiev, Sergei

1891-1953, Born to musical parents, Prokofiev graduated form the St. Petersburg Conservatory in both composition and piano.
His style is primarily anti-Romantic and anti-emotional.
His Classical Symphony, meant to evoke the style of Haydn, betrays his symphathy for Neo-classicism.
In 1918, Prokofiev left Russia to settle in Paris.; He did not resettle in Russia until 1936.; After this time, he succumbed to Party pressure and towed the party line of the communist regime.
Though boigraphers have attempted to demonstrat that Prokofiev was anti-Party, these attempts have not been as successful as with Shostakovich.
Prokofiev wrote a great deal of music for the piano, the orchestra (seven symphonies, two violin concerti, three piano concerti), the ballet (Romeo and Jeliet, Love of Three Oranges), and films (Lieutenant Kije)


A group centered in France and led by the architect Le Corbusier.;
The group reacted to the absurdity of Dada and idealized simplicity, the use of industrial materials, and the importance of these materials in influencing design decisions.
He characterized a house as “a machine to live in”.;;
The group’s periodical was entitled L’Esprit nouveau (first issue 1920)

Ravel, Maurice

1875-1937, Ravel once stated that his aim as a composer was to achieve technical perfection.; This is surely audible in his stereotypically French attention to clarity and detial.
Many of his works feature exotic (Scherezade, Rapsodie espanole), jazz (Violin sonata, Piano Concerto in G) and antiquated (Tombeau de Couperin, La Valse) musical styles, forms and gestures.
He was a virtuoso orchestrator (Pictures at an Exhibition, Bolero).
His music owes a great deal to Debussy in its use of freely employed non-harmonic tonies and richly extended triadic harmonies, though his style is more firmly rooted in traditional functional tonality.
Ravel was more an “updater” than an innovater.; He was out of phase with current trends (too late for traditional tonality, too early for neo-classicism) and preferred to polish rather than create anew.

Reich, Steven

b.1936, Reich participated in the first performance and recording of Riley’s In C and like Riley developed a compositional style heavily predicated on repetition.
His first works were with tape loops and out of this grew his innovations with phase tehcnique.
Most of his music features brief diatonic figures, steady rhythmic pulsation and percussive attackes played with machine-like accuracy.
During 70s Reich explored additive music in which melodic patterns are gradually built up or broken down by substitution pitches for rests or vice versa (Drumming, 1971).
Most recently Reich has become interested in enrichment of musical language through polyphonic and harmonic textures.  Newer works like Vermont Counterpoint and Tehillim work with larger instrumental forces and sound more traditional due to their dependence on contrapuntal techniques.

Riley, Terry

b.1935, Perhaps the first composer to experiemtn with repeating tape loops.
He was the composer of the semial work, In C, in the 1960s.  This piece is based on fifty-three standard patterns of 18th century tonal music, all in C Major.  Performers then play these snippets in any sequence with any numbe rof instruments performing at the same time.  The surface rhythm is strictly dictated by regular eighth-note Cs played on the upper register of the piano.  The other performers, however, play their excerpts at their own rates of speed, repeating each one until they desire to pass on to the next.
Riley has likened this music to a “hall of mirrors”.
Since In C, Riley has been exploiting his early jazz training and interest in music of Indian music along with tape display in his recent work

Rochberg, George

b.1918, 20th c composer who at first wrote in a serialist vein, but in the early 1960’s when his son died, he left serialism, saying it was devoid of emotion and not capable of expressing his grief and rage.
By the 70‘s embraced an eclectic style of collage, integrated pre-existing music into his composition (ex. SQ no.6 Pachelbel Canon and var) or writing “in the style” of Mahler or Beethoven.
He also had sections of music that were tonal, which led critics to describe him as a Neo-Romantic

Rzewski, Frederic

b.1938, American composer who adopted a popular style out of political convictions.
He espouses musical realism which directs music to a large and diverse audience and takes it out of the concert hall arena.
A famous piece of his is The People United Will Never Be Defeated! (1975) which is considered some of the most technically challenging pieces of the 20th C.
The player is asked to slam the piano lid, and whistle as well.
The piece itself is a set of 36 variations for piano and is based on a popular tune by the Chiliean Ortega, and had has become something of an anti-imperialist icon

Satie, Erik

(1866-1925), The French composer who most set the tone for the rejection of German Romanticism in France.
He attended the Paris Conservatory but achived little in his studies.  
After WWI, the influential poet Cocteau wrote of the need to rid music of the Wagner fog, the Debussian mist, and the Russian (Stravinsky) mysticism.  He offered Satie as an example of the clear concise forms that exemplified a return to simplicity.
His harmonic language (evident in the Gymnopedies for Piano) is diatonic but not tonally-directed and probably derived from Chabrier and Faure.
He joined the French branch of the Rosicrucian Brotherhood, a mystical religious group based on the secret societies of Middle Ages.
He wrote a number of compositions for this group.
Many of Satie’s scores have humorous titles or humorous and engimatic verbal indications (“Slow down politely”). ;
His most famous work was his light Parade, a work that portrays the informality of street performers and acrobats and which includes popular types of music, including jazz.; It was written for Diaghilev’ Ballets Russes

Schnittke, Alfred

b.1934, A musical pluralist Russian composer who has used styles and quotations from many different historical periods, both to “tweak” the listener and to create a tragic quality.
This tragedy arises out of the fact that tonality is a beautiful way to write music and it can never be returned to.

Schoenberg, Arnold

Serenade, Op.24 – first 12-tone piece.
Three piano pieces, op.11 was his earliest consistently atonal opus.
more see poultney  (need editing)


A series of pieces composed by Luciano Berio in the 1950s for a solo instrument or voice.
These pieces were meant as virtuosic showpieces of newly-developed 20th century techniques (extended techniques) for the given instruments

Sessions, Roger

1896-1985, Born in Brooklyn, he graduated from Harvard at nineteen and then studied at Yale.
The largest influence on the young Sessions, however, was the Swiss Jewish composer, Ernest Bloch.  Session studied and worked with Bloch in the early 20s at the Cleveland Institute of Music.
He then went on to an eight-year residency in Italy and Germany.  He later returned to the U.S. and taught composition at a number of institutions.
Many of his students were very important composers (Babbitt, Del Tredici).
Sessions’ musical output is small but his works are quite substantial in terms of both length and content.; His music started out Neo-Classical in focus (somwhat like Copland), but moved away from Stravinsky and more towards Schoenberg.
Much of his music is very expressive and personal in nature (not a Neo-classic trait!).;
Sessions felt that music should not be popular in nature and moved toward every-increasing complexity in his works, but his style remained the same.; Even his first twelve tone work (Sonata for Unaccompanied Violin) remains its expressive quality.
Sessions is the best symphonist produced by America and many of his works (though complex, difficult, and not often performed) traced a direct line back to 19th century German romanticism;

Shapey, Ralph

b.1921, A distinctive and innovative composer who deos not concern himself with schools and musical fashions.
He studied composition with Stephan Wolpe during the late 1930s and from him developed a committment to total chromaticism, including an unsystematic use of twelve-tone procedures.
Varese was antoher strong influence – lending Shapey a love of sound as physical object.
Shapey’s composition are more concerned with combinations of sounds rather than transformations or development of sound.  His String Quartet no.6 is an excellent example of this “spatial” approach to music 

Shostakovich, Dmitri

1906-1975, From his earliest years, Shostakovich believed that music should have an ideological function and he strove to reach as large an audience as possible.
His fateful opera, Lady MacBeth of the Mtsensk Districk, met with initail success but was later the cause of his being attached by the Party in Pravda.
Soviet music from this point forward (1936) took a very repressive tone.
Shostakovish entitled his Fifth Symphony the composer’s “creatuve abswer ti hystufued crutucusn.”
Shostakovich’s  style features an essentially tonal language, but one which is extremely chromatic and features the use of “dissonant counterpoint”.
His music also displays an amazing arrays of affects, ranging from despair (Symphonies 5, 8, and 10, String Quartet 8) to gaiety  (Symphonies 9.15)

Sibelius, Jean

1865-1957, A Finnish composer working during the period of Finland’s increasing sense of national status and eparation from Russia.
Most of sibelius’ early works are symphonic in construction and are all based on programmatic comceptions inspired by Finnish national literature.
After these early works, the seven symphonies of Sibelius dominated the remainder of his creative life.
Sibelius remarked that he admired the severity of style and profound logic linking the motives of a symphony (unlike Mahler’s vision of symphony-as- world).;;
Sibelius uses no actual folk melodies in his music, though it still retains a national character due to the dark orchestral colors, and use of modal scales.;

Skryabin, Alexander

1872-1915, The Russian composer who is remembered for his orchestral and piano music and for the novel harmonies that foreshadowed the revolutionary atonality of Schoenberg.
Although Scriabin’s works created a sensation when they were first played, for a time they were seldom performed.
Scriabin was a virtuoso pianist, and his early works, particularly short piano pieces (mazurkas, impromptus, etudes), are in the tradition of Chopin.
Gradually, he became more experimental, esp in longer works, among them his three symphonies, piano concerto, and two long orchestral compositions, Poem of Ecstasy and Prometheus- the Poem of Fire.
In the last, he based the harmony on a single chord, C-F#-Bb-E-A-D, which is characteristic of his later works in that it proceeded by fourths instead of the conventional thirds (triadic harmony).
This chord is sometimes called the mystic chord
In his emphasis on dissonance and his lack of reference to a single tonal center (key), Scriabin was preceeding 20th C composers after Schoenberg

Societe Nationale de Musique

An attempt in 1871 to counter the pervasive influence of Wagner and the trend towards late Romantic chromaticism.
This group was founded by a group of young composers, including Saint-Saens, chabrier, and Faure with the purpose of inspiring a musical remaissance of specifically French character.
Particular emphasis was placed on resurrecting absolute music and returning to ideal of order, clarity and restraint.
The group finally split in the 1880s 

Society for Private Musical Performances

A group founded by Schoenberg in 1919 in vienna to perform a wide range of new music, encompassing such varied composers as Debussy, Bartok, Reger, and Schoenberg and his pupils.
The idea was to present contemporary music in a setting conducive to its proper appreication.
Compositions were carefully rehearsed, difficult works were repeated, publicity was avoided, and critics were barred.
The Society only lated three years, but it furnished an early reflection of the isolation of “new music” from “official” concert institutions. 


a vocal style halfway between singing and speaking.
Calls for only the approsimate reproduction of pitches.
Often notated with an “x” on the notehead.
found in expressionistic music, particularly that of Schoenberg (Pierrot lunaire) 

Statistical Music

A type of music explained by Stockhausen as music which depends upon ony approximate designations.
Density of texture becomes so great that individual notes can no longer be accurately perceived – everything tends to melt together in a generalized, total effect.
Obviously, one type of statistical music would be stochastic music 

Stochastic music

This term is mainly applied to the music of Iannis Xenakis.
Stochastic music is based on probability theory (and related theories such as the kinetic theory of gases).
Individual details are not as important as the movement of large blocks of sound (Xenakis’ “Clouds” or “galaxies”) just as the movement of individual atoms is not particularly important in considering the movement of a cloud.
His work Metastais (1954) is a good example of stochastic music.
Stochastic music is somewhat related to the idea of indeterminacy since it relies on statistics and averages to produce musical materials;

Stockhausen, Karlheinz
Stravinsky, Igor
Technique de mon langage musical

The book by Olivier Messiaen, written in 1944.
He is known for the technique of “added value“, and the use of nonretrogradable rhythms, rhythmic pedals and canons, and polyrhythmic textures.
He is also noted for the progressive transformation of one rhythm to another, coloristic approach to harmony, and modes of limited transposition;


The memoirs of Shostakovich as related to and edited by Solomon Volkov.
The volume has been surrounded with controversy regarding its authenticity.
In the memoirs, Shostakovich attacks the Stalinist regime.; Therefore, he did not allow it to be published until after his death.
Mr Volkov took great measures to get the book published in the West.;

Thompson, Virgil

1896-1989, American composer.
He spent time in France studying with Nadie Boulanger and met Satie, Cocteau, and “Les Six”.
He met Gertrude Stein and began to collaborate.; They collaborated on Susie Asado, Preciosilla, Capital Capitals and an operas Four Saints in Three Acts and The Mother of Us All (based on the life of Susan B. Anthony).
His music often makes allusion to Protestant hymns, popular song, and folk dances.
His instrumental works inculde a violin sonata, two string quartets, a series of instrumental potraits of friends and others.;

Tippet, Sir Michael

b.1905.; British composer who wrote in nearly every genre and many styles.;
Many of his works draw on other musics, like African American spirituals, blues, English folk song, etc.
Late works draw on avante-garde music.
His Symphony #3 uses the Ninth Symphony of Beethoven to make a statement about the breakdown of Enlightenmen/humanist ideals;

tone cluster

One of the new timbres of the 20th century.
Tone clusters were first used on the piano by Henry Cowell in the 1920s in pieces like Tiger and later by John Cage in his prepared piano pieces.;

Union of soviet composers

The single most important musical organization in the Soviet Union.
The government sponsored organization was established in 1932 in reaction to a group of young composers headed by Shostakovich.
The idea was to end the permissive period of music making and control Soviet culture.
This move was reinforced by the official condemnation of Shostakovich’s opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District 

Varese, Edgard

1883-1965, A poineer of new music, he explored new musical sound.
He was the first composer to exploit percussion and raise rhythm to an equal plan with pitch.
His most famous piece for percussion ensemble is Ionisations 

Vaughan-Williams, Ralph

1872-1958, The foremost English composer in the first half of the 20th century.
He was motivated by national and cosmopolitan sources (English folksong, hymnody, and English literature – as well as the hymn For All the Saints).
Other important works are the Sea Symphony (with voices), Fantasia on a theme of Thomas Tallis, The London Symphony, the Pastoral Symphony, and his many songs 

Villa-Lobos, Heitor

1887-1959, Brazilian composer.  represents nationalism in Latin America.
His best known works are the 14 Choros: a series of compostiions for various vocal and instrumental combination.  The pieces use Brazilian rhythms and sonorities.
Other important works are the Nonet, the Rudepoema for piano (dedicated to Rubinstein) and Momoprecoce for piano and orchestra 

Walton, William

1902-1982, Largely self-taught in composition, Walton did study for a time at Oxford but never received his degree there.
Walton collaborated with the Sitwells (poets) on his first work, Facade (1922) which was a series of poems set to music (like Pierrot) for drawing-room entertainment.
The style is quite similar to that of Les Six, thus differentiating Walton from contemporary English composers.
His later works, however, tended to be more traditional and stemmed from his orchestral heritage from Elgar.  These included the Viola Concerto and the Symphonies.
Walton produced relatively few composition, being a slow and methodical worker.
He wrote a fammous oratorio (Belshazzar’s Feast again with text by Osbert Sitwell), two operas, some scattered orchestral pieces, and a few chamber works.;

Webern, Anton

1883-1945, One of Schoenberg’s disciples.
Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern are the second Viennese school and the first exponents of twelve-tone music.
His Six Pieces for orchestra use Klangfarbenmelodie, where a motif or phrase is distributed among several instruments.
His style is economic and concentrated, often with imitative counterpoint (often strict canon).
Textures are very thin, rhythms are complex, and the sound rarely rises above a forte.
His instrumentation is often unusual.
Often movements are very short as in Six Bagatelles for string quartet and Five Pieces for Orchestra.  
The language is very compressed, demanding a lot of attention from a listener 

Weill, Kurt

1900-1950, One of Germany’s leading dramatic composers.
He often collaborated with Bertold Brecht, the communist poet and playwright.
Die Dreigroschenoper (The three penny opera- an adaptation of Gay’s Beggar’s Opera), and The Seven Deadly Sins were outcomes of this collaboration.
He incorporated a lot of popular music elements.
Most of his music was meant as social commentary and a means to motivate people to fight oppression;

Xenakis, Iannis

b.1922, Greek composer who explored new timbres of traditional instruments.
He also focused on finding new ways in which mathematical structures could be realized into musical sound.; His work Metastasis is based on the Fibonacci series.
He also experimented with electronic music, aleatoric music, and computer music to carry out mathematical equations

Young Classicism

A name given by Busoni to his conception of a hoped-for new music which would take into account all the gains of previous experiments and their inclusion in strong and beautiful forms.
His system advocated the use of microtonal divisions of the octaves, electronic instruments, new notational systems, and the “overthrow of the tyranny of the major/minor system”.
Young Classicism was a direct reaction to Romanticism and was somewhat prophetic, considering the Neo-classic developments which took place after WWI;

Young, La Monte

b. 1935, One of poineers of the minialist movement.
His work The Tortoise: His Dreams and Journeys (1964) was an improvisation in which instrumentalists and singers come in and out on various harmonics over a fundamental played as a drone on a synthesizer.
He also experimented with works that had verbal instructions and no notes (Composition, 1960).
further experimentation was with intonation systems;

Zappa, Frank

1940-1993, Rock song writer who was first recognized with the band Mothers of Invention.
Beginning in the 1980s, he was involved in avante-garde composition and performance.
His album, Jazz from Hell was written on the synclavier.
He was also a powerful lobbier in Congress against censorship in music;


German for “opera of the time”.
this referred to the practice of writing libretti which feature modern people in contemporary situations.
A good example is Hindemith’s Neues vom Tage (News of the Day, 1929) in which there is an office scene with twelve typewriers contributing to the music and a woman who sings an aria from a bathtub 

Zimmerman, Bernd Alois

1918-1970, German composer.
His opera die Soldaten (1965) gave him international stature.
It combines serialism, expressionistic orchestration, jazz interludes, Bach chorales, Gregorian chant, and other styles in a “Pluralistic” texture.
He applied collage to other works as well 


The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers.


Created in 1914, it protects the rights of its memebrs through licensing and distribution of royalties.


It affects anyone who wants to perform copyrighted music publicly.


Its board of directors is elected from and by its members

Beach, Amy

American composer and a precocious piano talent.


She was first American woman composer to succeed with large-scale art music.


She toured Europe before WWI and was hailed there as a composer and pianist.


Mostly a self-taught composer, she owes her mature style to the late Romantics, with increasing use of chromaticism, avoidance of the dominant, and modulation by 3rd relations.


First made her reputation in art song, but it was her symphony and Mass that won her acclaim

Concord Sonata

The 2nd piano sonata by American composer Charles Ives, which features 4 sections dedicated to the New England Transcendentalists Emerson, Thoreau, The Alcotts and Hawthrone.


It features tone clusters, quotes Beethoven, even includes a flute obbligato.


The mood is from widely dissonant to idyllic.

John Corigliano

American composer and teacher.


Born in NYC to a father who was concertmaster of the NY Phil for 20 yrs and whose mother was a piano teacher.


His sonata for violin and piano won him a prize in Spoleto, and his career was launched.


His most famous works are the Dylam Thomas triology, Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra, and the Pied Piper fantasy, a flute and orchestra work written for James Galway.


He taught at Julliard

Allen Forte

American music theorist.


His writings range from Tonal Harmony, a textbook on the underlying principles of harmonic practice, to analsyses of Webern.


Much of his works shows influence of Schenkerian theory.


Other interests the music of the 18th and 19th c as well as American popular song


“Song of Gurre”Schoenberg‘s massive symphonic cantata for 5 soloists, 4 choruses, narrator, and large orchestra.


Paying more than lip service to the late-Romanticism it outdoes Mahler and Strauss in complexity of scoring and Wagner in emotional fervor

Christopher Hogwood

Noted early music conductor, scholar, and harpsichordist.


He is a founding member of the Early Music Consort in England, and in 1973 founded the Academy of Ancient Music to play Baroque music on period instruments.


It has achieved international renown, and has since broadened its horizons to include Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven

Kodaly Method

His teaching philosophy which was fundamentally based on the idea that acquisition of musical skill should progress logically from the known to the unknown.


He understood that students learn best through direct experience in song and movement that are presented in familiar frameworks.


This was mostly directed towards elementary music education but is now gaining ground for teaching of professionals as well.


Some aspects of the system include a movable-do solfege system, hand signs, rhythmic syllables, and a musical short-hand called stick notation, songs, dances, and graded exercises has been adopted in many European countries and in N. America

Kol Nidre

A piece for cello and orchestra by Max Bruch.


Consists of a set of variations on 2 main themes of Jewish origin.


The Kol Nidre is the first theme of the piece and is the prayer which is recited during the evening service of Yom Kippur.


In Bruch’s piece, the cello imitates the rhapsodical voice of the hazzan, who chants the liturgy in the synagogue.

Le Marteau sans Maitre

Fr for “The Hammer without a master”.


A work by Pierre Boulex for alto and 6 instrumentalists, it is a setting of the Surrealist poet Rene Char.


It is a piece in 9 movements, featuring the serial technique, and paying homage to Schoebnerg’s Pierrot Lunaire use of Sprechstimme and in that each movement chooses a different subset of the available instruments

Lotte Lenya

American singer-actress of Austria birth.


Her husband, Kurt Weill, created roles for her in his own works, namely Jenny in Die Dreigroschenoper, which was incredibly popular, and which assured her and Weill of international reputation.


After Weills death in 1950, she devoted much of her time to the revival of some of his most important works,


The Lotte Lenya Vocal Competitions Finals are held in Kilbourn Hall

L’Histoire du Soldat

“A Soldier’s Tale” by Stravinsky, is a 1918 work with a libretto on a Russian folk tale written in French by Ramuz.


It is scored for a septet of violin, double bass, clarinet, bassoon, cornet, trombone, and percussion.


There are 3 actors: The soldier, the devil, and the narrator, and also a dancer, who plays the princess.


The music is modernist, with changing time signatures, and is usually performed with a conductor, though sometimes not

A Lincoln Portrait

A patriotic Copland work for full orchestra and narrator.


The narrationis on excepts of Abraham Lincoln’s great documents, including the Gettysburg address.


It was written for the WWII war effort, and also features quotations of original folk song such as “Camptown Races” and “Springfield Mountain”


An unfinished expressionistic opera by Berg.


It is organized along 12-tone lines but not without some tonal implications.


It also features use of mirror strucutre on a large and small scale.


There is a film interlude at the center of the work in Act II.  The events in the film are a miniature version of the mirror structure of the opera as a whole, and the music accomp the film is an exact palindrome.  It reads the same forwards and backwards.


The center point of the palindrome is the rising and falling arpeggio played by a piano

Alma Mahler

Gustav Mahler’s wife and a composer herself.


She was a gifted pianist and studied composition with Zemlinsky.


Gustav Mahler’s sym No.8 is dedicated to her, as well as Berg’s Wozzeck.


She had several relationships after Mahler’s death, including the marriage to the architect Walter Gropius.


Her songs, which are published, are lyrical in manner and occasionally feature bold harmony

Le Mer

symphonic sketches by Debussy, it was not initially well-received but has become one of the most performed and admired orchestral pieces of the 20th C.


He was influenced by the painters Claude Monet and JMW Turner.


The author Jean Barrque describes la Mer as the first work to be in “open form“, that is, a “developmental process by which the notions of exposition and development coexist in an uninterrupted burst

Olivier Messiaen

French composer, orgaist and teacher.


His distinguished pupils include Boulez and Stockhausen, and Luigi Nono.


One of the first to experiment with total serialism.


In Quatre etudes de rythme, each pitch of an unordered 12 tone set is assigned a duration, a dynamic value, and type of attack.  And the note values are arranged so that each is 1/32 longer than the previous one.


His Reveil des Oiseaux is imitationg of birdsong, which he wrote own into musical notation.


Other pieces include his Quatour pur le fin de monde, for violin, clarinet, cello an piano.


These piece reflect him as a serious student of Western and music history and Indian music.


He was inspired by 14th C isorhythm and the repeititions of extended rhythmic patterns


Alexander Nevsky

A propaganda film directed by the great Russian film maker Sergie Eisenstein in the 1930‘s to raise morale of the Russian populace.


It employs the film music talents of Sergei Prokofiev, whose writing for the film is a par with this masterpiece.


He later wrote an Alexander Nevsky cantata Op.78 for the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the October Revolution, an unsubtle snub at the apparatchiks of the government

Neue Sachlichkeit

“New Objectivity” was an art movement founded in Germany in the aftermath of WWI by Dix, Grosz and Max Bechmann.


It is a realist style combined with cynical, socially critical stances; many of the artists were anti-war.


Composers sympathetic to the movement were Krenek (Johnny spiel auf) and Weill (Royal Palace).


The musical style is characterized by an absence of complexity and familiarity in subject and means of expression.  It often features the use of popular dance and light music or jazz, and quotations.


The music favors communication over the isolation and self-containment of Expressionist works

Les Noces

“The Wedding” – a work by Stravinsky for 4 pianos, pitched and unpitched percussion, mixed chorus, and sop, mezzo, tenor and bass soloists.


It is a dance cantata, or ballet with vocalists, choreographed by Nijinska for the Ballets Russes.


Stravinsky’s choice of instrumentation exemplifies the time a decade after the Rite of Spring where he showed interest in stripped down, mechanistic sound groups.


It is never difficult to stage, and so is rarely performed, but the influence can seen on Phillip Glass, Bernstein’s West Side Story, Orff’s Carmina Burana, and John Adam’s Short Ride in a Fast Machine


Technique used in playing a wind instrument to produce a different pitch by changing the direction and/or force of the air.


It can be done deliberately, or inadvertently, resulting in the instrument producing an unintended pitch.


However, sometimes, as in brass instruments, it can be combined with the tightening of the embouchure to produce a different harmonic


A compositional technique in which chords, and succession of chords are freely formed from all degree of a diatonic scale, without regard for their diatonic function.


The term was coined by Nicholas Slonimsky to describe some of the Neo-Classic work of Stravinsky (Petruschka), and some of the works of John Adams (Shaker Loops) and Steve Reich (Desert Music)

Horatio Parker

A teacher of Ives, American composer and church musician.


He became a professor at Yale, a post he held for his entire life.


He is remembered mostly for his work Hora Novissima

Peter Pears

An English tenor and life-long partner of Britten.


Many of Britten’s works contain tenor roles specifically for Pears, including Peter Grimes, Turn of the Screw and his Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and String.


He was also a celebrated interpreter of Schubert lieder, often with Britten on the piano


A chord composed of 2 or more traditional triads.


Much of Milhaud‘s music after 1913 is characterized by his use of polychords and bitonality.


In his music it often manifests itself as 2 lines and planes of harmony, each in a distinct and different key, sounding simultanesouly.


One such example is his piece Saudades do Brasil


The simulateneous occurrence of 2 or more different keys.


If there are only two then it is called bitonality.


It first appears in early 20th C music.


In Petrouchka, Stravinsky emplolys “black keys against white keys” in terms of the piano, ie C major and F# major.


In Milhaud’s Saudades do Brasil, he employs C major with Ab major.


In Prokofiev’s Sarcasms for piano, he uses F# minor and Bb minor

prepared piano

A piano modified by objects like mutes, bolts, and screws placed between or on its strings in order to produce percussive and otherwordly effects.


The idea originated with Henry Cowell, and a prepared piano was devised for by Cage for his Bacchanale.


Since 1950, it has been used mostly in ensemble works, by the likes of Nancarrow, Birstwhistle, and Sariaaho.


It is particularly notable in Part’s Tabula Rasa, and Schnittke’s Concerto Grosso No.1

Theodore Presser

He is the oldest continuing music publisher in the US.


His immediate success in publishing the Etude music magazine led to larger facilities and the beginning of his life as a dealer and publisher.


He also became a philanthropist, and his altruism is manifest today in the form of the Theodore Presser foundation, which awards music scholarships, grants, and funds to further music and music education

Prix de Rome

Was an award for French composers (actually for all art students, of which music was one category) allowing the winner to spend a year studying at the Villa Medici in Rome.


It also entitled him to a 5 yr pension.


It was adjudicated by the Paris Conservatoire.


Entrants had to submit a fugue as proof of their compositional technique.


Four successful candidates were then required to write a dramatic cantata to a text chosen by the judges.


Berlioz needed 4 successive tries for him to win, probably because the judges at the time were staunch conservatives in style compared to him.


Other winners included Massenet and Gounod.


Ravel was a favorite one year, did not win, and a scandal followed

La Pulcinella Suite

The work that symbolized Stravinsky’s transformation to the Neo-Classical style.


He leaned way from Russian folk music to earlier Western Art music as a source of imitation, quotation and allusion.


He also began to prefer a cool, balanced, and more objective approach to his music.


Pulcinella was a ballet for which Diaghilev asked Stravinsky to arrange some 18th C music to accomp a commedia dell’arte scenario.


He chose the music of Pergolesi (found later to be erronesouly attributed to him).


Stravinsky is quoted as saying that his experience in writing Pulcinella, in looking back to music of the past, and linking it with his modern sensibilities, led to an epiphany for which his later works were made possible

Ruth Crawford Seeger

American composer and folk-song specialist of the 1st half of the 20th C.


As a composer, she was outstanding among the early American modernists, and as a American traditional folk music specialist, she transcribed, edited, and arranged important anthologies in the 1940’s and 50’s.


She was one of the earlist composers to extend serial technique to parameters other than pitch, and to develop formal plans based on serial operations

Louis Vierne

Born nearly blind, he was, like Faure, an assistant to Widor in Paris.


From 1900 on he was organist at Notre Dame de Paris.


Considered one of the great improvisers of his generation, although most of his works were never written down.


His writing style respects from over most everything, and even the few recordings of him improvising sound like finished products.


His output for organ include 6 symphonies, 24 fantasy Pieces, 24 Pieces in Free style, among others.


He achieved his stated dream of dying at the organ of Notre Dame; he had a stroke towards the end of a recital

Andrew Lloyd Webber

Highly successful English composer of musical theater.


In addition to great popularity on Broadway, with some musicals running over a decade, he has written 2 song cycles, a Latin Requiem Mass, and 2 film scores.


Some of his musical numbers, such as “Memory” from Cats, and “Music of the Night” of Phantom of the Opera have been widely recorded and are hits outside their parent musicals


Austrian composer, and teacher.


Was supported by Brahms, and met Schoenburg, whom he became close friends with.


Zemlinsky gave Schoenberg counterpoint lessons, thus becoming the only formal teacher Schoenberg would have.


Fell in love with Alma Schindler, but the romance died soon, and she married Mahler.


He premiered Schoenberg’s Erwartung in 1924.


With the rise of the Nazi party, he fled Vienna and eventually moved to the US, where he taught at USC and UCLA.


His best-known work is his Lyric Symphony, a 7 movt piece for sop, baritone, and orchestra, set to poems by a Bengali poet.