Claude Debussy, Three Nocturnes

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I. “Clouds”


– use of pentatonic

– use of parallel chords

– representation of an impressionist painting

Igor Stravinsky, La sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring)

Part I


– crude derivation of russian folk song

– octatonic scale

– dissonant chords & odd accents

– ostinato

Arnold Schoenberg, Pierrot lunaire (Moonstruck Pierrot)

– No. 8 “Night”

– No. 18 “Moonfleck”

Expressionism – more complex and emotional than romanticism

– serialism – chromatic (?)

– No. 8 – passacaglia – varying chords & basslines

– sprechstimme – ignorance of conventional pitch

Alben Berg, Wozzeck

Act III, scenes iii and iv


– Wagnerian – musical continuity

– ragtime reference

– iii – short, repeated rhythm @ changing tempo

– iv – sprechstimme – ignorance of conventional pitch

Charles Ives, Second Orchestral Set

II. “The Rockstrewn Hills Join in the People’s Outdoor Meeting”


– scherzo

– Ives – first important/influential American nationalist & modernist composer

Charles Ives, The Unanswered Question: A Contemplation of a Serious Matter


– three “indepdendent levels” – smooth string choir, dissonant woodwinds, haunting solo trumpet

Maurice Ravel, Piano Concerto in G

I. Allegramente


– M. Ravel – elegant, crisp, precise

– parallel chords

– pizzacato, folk-like, reference to blues music

Bela Bartok, Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta

II. Allegro


– too folk to be abstract

– pizzacato

– sonata

Aaron Copland, Appalachian Spring



– ballet, cowboys in rural America

– Section 1 – use of counterpoint

– Section 2 – irregular rhythms (a la Stravinsky)

George Gershwin, Preludes for Piano

I. Allegro ben ritmato e deciso


– blues scale

– jazzy

Sergei Profokiev, Alexander Nevsky Cantata

V. “The Battle on Ice”


– Russian film music refashioned as cantata for concert

John Cage, 4’33”

Aleatory – incorporation of chance


Gyorgi Ligeti,;Lux aeterna (Eternal Light)

Cluster-sound/tone clusters – expanding, dissonant, sound complexes/blocks

– composed w/graphic notation

Edgard Varese,;Poeme electronique

Musique concrete – manipulated sampling

– presented w/flashing colored lights

Kaija Saariaho,;From the Grammar of Dreams

– Song 1

– Song 3

– Song 4

New Expressionism – dark emotions

– based on a Sylvia Plath poem

– Song 3 – imitative polyphony

Steve Reich,;Music for 18 Musicians

– Introduction

– Section I


– Intro. – continuous pulse (common aspect of minimalism)

– Sec. 1 -;symmetrical musical form;(i.e. ABCBA), based off a single harmony

John Adams,;El Nino

– “Pues mi Dios ha nacido a penar”

– “When Heron Heard”

– “Woe unto Them That Call Evil Good”


– postmodern;oratorio


– “realism”

– in reaction to major/minor romanticism -; dissonance, atmospheric, short form

e.x.;Claude Debussy


– extreme emotion: nightmare, hysteria, perversion


– unusual ensembles

-;e.x. Alban Berg, Arnold Schoenberg



– ethnomusicology

– incorporation of national folk music into classical

– patriotic texts, exotic scales, librettos

-;e.x.;Bela Bartok, Aaron Copland, George Gershwin, Sergei Profokiev

Musique Concrete

– natural sounds, live performers ; electronic sounds

– manipulated sampling

-;e.x. Edgard Varese


– “continous gradual change in the relationships of repeated short patterns”

– process evident when listening.. repeat, change, etc.

-;e.x. Steve Reich


– dissonant, chromatic; simple, tonal

– polyrhythm, polymeter, successive meter; straightforward

– quote samples (literary)

e.x.;Charles Ives