Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
• Rachmaninov
• Prelude
• Contrast between march like A section and lyrical B section
• Both hands move back and forth between melody and accompaniment in A section
Pierrot lunaire, Op. 21, No. 8 “Nachat”
• Schoenberg
• Song cycle
• Atonal
• Sprechstimme
Symphony No. 5, second movement
• Shostakovich
• Symphony
• False keys (influence of Beethoven, Mahler, and Tchaikovsky)
• Scherzo
Appalachian Spring, “Simple Gift”
• Copland
• Ballet suite
• Variations on Shaker hymn Simple Gifts
• Rapid melodic figure in Presto represents country fiddling
The Banshee
• Cowell
• Piano piece
• Extended techniques (touching inside strings of piano, plucking, rubbing)
• Form is broken up by volume and how the strings are played
Nocturnes, No. 1 “Nuages”
• Debussy
• Symphonic poem
• New scales
• Alternating 3rds and 5ths adapted from Mussorgsky
Piano Suite, Op. 25, “Minuet and Trio” – fugue trio will be shown
• Schoenberg
• Piano suite
• 12 tone system
• Refers to the form of the past
The Rite of Spring, Part 1, “Dance of the Adolescent Girls”
• Stravinsky
• Ballet
• Rhythmic ostinato
• A flat harmonic minor chord
Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta, third movement – night music will be shown
• Bartok
• Symphonic suite
• Symmetry in terms of form, pitches, and layers of instruments
• Neotonal
This is a German term meaning “speaking voice.” It is a vocal style developed by Schoenberg in which the performer approximates the written pitches in the gliding tones of speech, while following the notated rhythm. An example is Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire. The unnatural sound parallels the depressing plot and the Expressionist style meant to reveal the darkness of the human subconscious.
Twelve tone method
This is a form of atonality based on the systematic ordering of the twelve notes of the chromatic scale into a row that may be manipulated according to certain rules. No single pitch is repeated until all 12 pitches are played. Schoenberg created this system to try to match the coherence of tonal music. An example is Schoenberg’s Piano Suite.
Second Viennese School
The members of this group of Viennese composers are Schoenberg, Webern, and Berg. Grouping themselves under this “school” gives legitimacy to the new atonal music by connecting themselves to traditional German music and the First Viennese School of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. An example of music from one of the composers from this Second Viennese School is Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire.
This is a term derived from art, used for music that evokes moods and visual imagery through colorful harmony and instrumental timbre. Characteristics of Impressionist music include a blurred style, exotic scales, and motives and harmony that evoke musical images. Instrumental timbres are intrinsic to the musical content. An example is Debussy’s “Nuages.”
This is an early 20th century term derived from art, in which music avoids all traditional forms of “beauty” in order to express the character’s tortured subconscious through exaggerated gestures, angular melodies, and extreme dissonance. Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire is a good example of an expressionist work.
This is a musical style that represents the primitive through ostinato (rather than meter), static repetition, unprepared and unresolved dissonance, and dry timbres. Typical narratives include savages, human sacrifices, and worship of the earth. An example is Stravinsky’s ballet The Rite of Spring.
This is a musical style current in American music between the World Wars that focused on developing new musical resources. It incorporated American nationalistic styles and sounds into European genres. It is associated with experimentalism, specifically in the Western United States. This style is associated with Cowell and an example is his piano piece, “The Banshee.”
Pierrot Lunaire and Salome essay
Pierrot is a sad clown who is in love with a character named Columbine, but his love is unrequited. In the symbolist poem, giant moths, depicted musically with tremolos, represent his psychological distress. There are also elements of expressionism through the disorienting atonal music and distorted Sprechstimme vocal technique that help reveal his insanity. The passacaglia that Schoenberg uses emphasizes Pierrot’s fixation on love.
Salome has an unusual obsession with John the Baptist despite the fact that he detests her. She becomes so fixated on this that her insanity drives her to demand his murder so she can finally be with him. Strauss manipulates the Salome leitmotive to evolve with her character, growing more disillusioned as the plot continues. There is a “bitonal clash” that combines the Salome motive and the death motive that foreshadows Salome’s tragic end as the head of John the Baptist is lifted for her to see. In her final speech to him, there is a lot of textual and musical repetition that highlights her obsession with him.