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What were Messiaen’s chief interests? What elements characterize his musical style?



Modes of limited transposition

Pitch and rythmic independant variations

Inclusive, not dogmatic

Catholic religion, Bird Song, Tone Color

Rythmic phrasing that goes against traditional metered bars to enhance space and time


Why is the


Quartet for the End of Time

written for the instruments it is?

To enhance the imagery that it is supposed to portray

Clarinet (Birds)




How is the first movement of the


Quartet for the End of Time

structured? Explain the musical materials used by the violin and clarinet, and those used by the cello and piano. What is the effect of this layering? What is the programmatic meaning of this movement?




How did Britten “swim against the tide,” musically and personally?

  • Went against modernist views of art for the few who would appreciate it (obscurity Babbit). Music was not meant for the future generations but for people of today as a means of expression and relationship
  • Wanted to broaden classical audience
  • Education of public
  • more tonal and accessible



From the Ross reading: why were Shostakovich and Britten kindred spirits?


quote pg 449

pg 454 mastered shostakovichian art of parody and grotesquerie



What are some important similarities between


Peter Grimes and Wozzeck?

 Consider both musical and dramatic aspects. What are some important differences? Compare Peter Grimes’s final monologue (“mad scene”) with Berg’s eulogy for Wozzeck (the final orchestral interlude): do they serve similar purposes, or different ones?

Ross mainly


How did the approaches of Peter Pears and Jon Vickers to the role of Peter Grimes differ? Whose performance of the end of the opera do you find more effective? More true to the score?

not sure


Compare the musical strategies that Britten (at the end of

Peter Grimes) and Messiaen (in the first movement of the Quartet) employ to evoke timelessness. What does timelessness signify in each context?


What was the state of state-sponsored music immediately after the Russian Revolution? Why did this change?

Ross pg 239-240

Revolution in society went hand in hand with revolution in art. (Lenin and Lunacharsky)

Commissariate of Enlightenment changed to a more political move than artistic

Stalin to power (1929) wanted soviet modernism (a school that promoted the society as a whole) rather than a movement that expressed the individual


Why, according to Ross, did some composers welcome the rise of totalitarianism?

pg 239

“comunism was embraced becasue it promised to cut the throat of the decadent bourgeoise”

Their ideas were radical and new (art, music, style format, harmony) and so was their reigning government.

This new uprise of government would promote the ideal feelings of the people (against a higher class telling them what to do).

 Where everything is equal and expressed evenly


What is formalism?

Anything that Stalin didn’t like…

was seen as beregoise and against Comunism


What is ultramodernist music, as opposed to merely modernist music? What are some;

generalizations that can be made about the American ultra-modernists (as stated in the Straus;

reading for today)?;

Ultramoderists were a clad group of people whose strategy was to become entirely independant from previous traditional boundries. Its avoidance of traditional triadic harmonies, melodies and rhythms. Using traditional instruments in unusual ways, precompositional planning,



What makes Edgard Var;se and Henry Cowell important;in terms of both their compositions;and their activities? What distinguishes each of their musical outputs?;

Cowell- revolved around the periodical New Music which embraced the modernist movement. Also created New Music Society (modeled after ICG);which gave west coast listeners a taste of NY. pg 215 straus. also basically ran PAN am.


Varese, founder of ICG, and PanAm, which created a fundimental change in relationship of composer and public, pg. 140 (CofUM)


What were the goals of the International Composers? Guild and the League of Composers? What;differences led some ICG members to defect and form the League? Why did the League last so much longer than the ICG? (Broyles);

to centralize the works of the day, and to present these in such a way to reveal their true meaning.

fare and free representation of work

differences of how it was ran, (ICG as a heirarchy) also, more euorpean tendancies pg 130

League played everything (to reresent every school) and had repeated sessions, more american in its model (democratic) predominetly jewish

ICG disbanded by varese in 27′ quote on pg 134/5 (Broyles)


Why were women so important to the development and support of ultramodern music in 

America? What was the role of Claire Raphael Reis? (Broyles) 

women of wealthy families were important patrons of the arts.pg 137 went against their own tradtions (not their mothers daughter) and as a reaction favored UM music. Voice of the new generatio.

Reis was the founder of the League, also represents patronage women of the era


How did the ultramoderns? creation of community enable them to dramatically change the American musical scene? (See p. 149 of the Broyles reading for a good summary.) 

created not just societies but communities of subcultures that flourished off of the radical branch that politics had grown for them. bypassing the New York traditional highclass orientation of music lead way to the artist and the music being a new identity  in the public eye.


What is distinctive about the scoring of Hyperprism? In what ways is this a radical piece of music? In what ways is it traditional? 

lots of dynamic and musical markings

no repetions . traditional instruments making untraditional sounds,no pulse, no strigns with lots percuss 

Tradit: atonal, chromatic sturation, a movement through time leading to another. Blocks of time in space (stravinskian)


What is a tone cluster, and why is it “the ideal emblem of new music” (Broyles, p. 135). 

demonstrative of the relationship with the composer, the music, and the public. It was real music that could be understood by anyone, and not specified for any class. uncanny techniques (TC) proved the range of the human creativity, emotional subjectivity that could be produced and the public’s wanting of raw music


Why did Ruth Crawford Seeger stop composing modernist music in the 1930s and 40s?;

pg 211/12


How is Crawford?s use of serialism in the fourth movement of String Quartet, 1931 different;from Schoenberg?s 12-tone method? ;


What processes unfold over the course of the movement? What is striking about it? How is it;representative of American modernism?;


In what ways might gendered dualities be reflected in this movement? ;


In what ways is this music not typical of music written by female composers of previous;



What syntheses did Martha Graham use in the creation of American dance? What syntheses did;Aaron Copland bring to American music?;


What is the story of Appalachian Spring (i.e., the plot)? What are some of its subtexts (i.e., for;Graham, for American society in this period)?;


In what way are Appalachian Spring and Afro-American Symphony analogous in terms of how;they fit into their respective composers? stylistic developments?;


According to Antokoletz, what do Bart;k and Copland have in common in their use of folk;music? What sets them apart?;


What are some specific ways in which the influence of Stravinsky?s ballets, especially Rite of;Spring, can be seen in Appalachian Spring? (Make reference to the score.);


What are some specific elements contributing to the iconic American sound of Appalachian;Spring? (Make reference to the score.);


What European models does the opening of Appalachian Spring resemble? (Note: the opening of;the piece, not of the excerpt in Burkholder.) Is there anything specifically;American about this;opening?;