Milton Babbitt
Leading Serial Composer in US. Philomel combines live performance with prerecorded tape and synthsized sound. It is taken from Metamorphosis, in which a girl is raped and transforms into a nightingale. Three Compostitions for Piano is the first piece to apply serial principles to duration.
John Cage
American, one of leading avant-garde composers of postwar years. Invented prepared piano. Influenced by Zen Buddhism. Used Chance, indeterminancy, and blurring boundaries between art and life. 4’33”, iching (Music of changes), and musicircus
Gunther Schuller
American composer to coined term “Third Stream”, in which he merged jazz and classical music. Transformation – turns a pointalistic 12-tone context into a jazz piece.
Elliott Carter
Wrote for Virtuoso performers. Used a complex, non-serial style with innovated rhythms and forms. *Developed Metric Modulation, as seen in String Quartet No. 2.
Edgard Varese
Combined electric sounds with recorded ones-Poeme electronique
Terry Riley
Member of La Monte Young’s ensemble. Experimented with Tape loups. – In C
Ellen Taffe Zwilich
First woman to recieve pulitzer prize in music for Symphony No. 1. Used continuous variation with older formal devices- Similar to the procedure used by Schoenberg, but the idea is much simpler and more readily understood.
George Rochberg
American composer who wrote mostly serial music until his son died, when he based works on borrowed Material. Nach Bach- written for harpischord as commentary on Bach’s Keyboard Partida No. 6 in E minor
Bright Sheng
Born and trained in China, Used Asian themes in music, combined with baroque and modernist techniques. “Seven Tunes Heard in China” is a work for solo cello, linked with the suites of Bach.
Oliver Messiaen
Most important French composer of the 20th century. Organist, taught at Paris Conservatory. Juxtaposed static ideas rather than developing themes. Preferred beautiful timbres, BIRDCALLS. Catalogue d’oiseaux (Catalogue of the Birds), Quartet at the end of time
Benjamin Britten
One of England’s foremost composers. Wrote for amateaurs. Tempered w/modernism and simplicity. Wrote Peter Grimes, War Requiem, Billy Budd, and Death in Venice
George Crum
Created new sounds out of ordinary instruments and objects–Ancient Voices of Angels (toy piano, musical saw, harmonica, mandolin), Black Angels- in protest to Vietnam War- Quotes Dies Irae
Samuel Barber
One of many composers who remained committed to tonality. Known best for Adagio strings. Also did vocal works- Hermit Songs.
Krzysztof Penderecki
Polish composer- turned to neoromanticism. -Threnody: To the Victims of Hiroshima
Robert Moog and Donald Buchla
Developed simpler and more compact synthesizers in the mid 60s. After becoming commercially available in ’66, they were adopted by studios and composers around the world.
Lev Termin
Invented the Theremin- produced one pitch at a time and project voice-like sound capable of glissandos. Featured in orchestral works and film scores