Nationalism
A 19th century movement promoting music built on national folk songs and dances, or associated with national subjects.
Bela Bartok- Music for Strings, Percussion and Celsta.

Aaron Copland- Appalachian Spring

George Gershwin- Preludes for Piano

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Sergei Prokofiev- Alexander Nevsky

Whole-tone Scale
A scale, used sometimes by Debussy, comprising only six notes to the octave, each a whole not apart (ie. two semitones)
Octatonic Scale
An eight-note scale (used by Stravinsky) consisting of half and whole steps in alternation.

Stravinksy- The Rite of Spring

Impressionism
A French artistic movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Claude Debussy- Three Nocturnes

Expressionism
An early 20th century movement in art, music and literature in Germany.

Arnold Schoenberg- Pierrot Lunaire

Ostinato
A motive, phrase, or theme repeated over and over again.
Atonality
The absence of any feeling of tonality
Sprechstimme
A vocal style developed by Schoenberg, in between singing and speaking.

Arnold Schoenberg- Pierrot Lunaire

Twelve-tone System/Music
Method of composition devised by Arnold Schoenberg in which twelve pitches of the octave are ordered and strictly manipulated.

Arnold Schoenberg- Pierrot Lunaire

Neoclassicism
A 20th century movement involving a return to the style and form of older music, particularly 18th century music.

Maurice Gravel- Piano Concerto in G

Row
Same as series; a fixed arrangement of pitches (or rhythm) held to throughout a serial composition.
Chance Music
A type of contemporary music in which certain elements, such as the order of the notes or their pitches, are not specified by the composer but are left to chance.
Minimalism
A late 20th century style involving many repititions of simple musical fragments.

Steve Reich- Music for 18 Musicians

Electronic Music
Music in which some or all of the sounds are produced by electronic generators or other apparatus.
Music Concrete
Music composed with natural sounds recorded electronically

Edgard Varese- Poeme Electronique

Primitivism
Music styling resembling some of the characteristics of the art movement of the same name. Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring exemplifies many of the common features: persistent and driving rhythms, bold dissonances, and the simultaneous use of more than one key.
Polymeter
The use of two metric frameworks simultaneously, or in regualr alternation. Examples include Bela Bartok’s String Quartet.
Polyrhythm
More than one rhythm or time signature being played at the same time, such as 3 against 2.
Ethnomusicology
The study of various types of music in relation to their geographical, racial and cultural context.
Total Serialism
A technique for composition that uses sets to describe musical elements, and allows the manipulation of those sets.
Aleatory
Completely dependent on chance.
Happenings
A performance, event or situation meant to be considered as art. Happenings take place anywhere, are often multidisciplinary, often lack a narrative and frequently seek to involve the audience in some way. Key elements of happenings are planned, but artists sometimes keep room for improvisation.
Clusters
Two or more sounds put together to make a single sound.
Eclecticism
The practice of selecting or borrowing from earlier styles and combining the borrowed elements.