An Introduction to Twentieth Century Music

By Peter S. Hansen | Go to book overview

All three were extremely sensitive to unusual, subtle tone color. Avoiding the mass effects of the late romantic orchestra, they sought sounds at the top and bottom of instrumental ranges and were fascinated by flutter tonguing and mutes for the brass instruments, as well as harmonies and glissandos for the strings. Instruments such as the celesta and xylophone were raised to positions of great importance.

This extreme sensitivity to tone color as well as the fragmentary quality of their melodies and the freedom with which they treated dissonances make for interesting points of contact with the music of Debussy. The French composer is objective and cool, while these composers are subjective and burning, but the sound worlds they inhabit are not totally disassociated. Most of the composers of the time were faced with the problem of writing music without the structure provided by major-minor tonality. It is not surprising that their various solutions were similar at times.


SUGGESTED READINGS

The bibliography of Schoenberg will be found at the end of Chapter X, and that of Berg and Webern in Chapter XI.

-74-

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An Introduction to Twentieth Century Music
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Epigraph iii
  • Title Page iv
  • List of Illustrations vi
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • Part One - 1900-1914 1
  • Chapter I - Nineteenth Century Background 3
  • Suggested Readings 9
  • Chapter II - Paris 11
  • Chapter III - Paris: Other Composers 33
  • Suggested Readings 52
  • Chapter IV - Germany and Austria 53
  • Suggested Readings 74
  • Chapter V - Music in America 75
  • Chapter VI - Experiments in Music 87
  • Part Two - 1914-1945 105
  • Chapter VII - Paris After World War I 107
  • Chapter VIII - Les Trois 125
  • Chapter IX - Stravinsky 151
  • Chapter X - Schoenberg 175
  • Chapter XI - Berg and Webern 197
  • Suggested Readings 218
  • Chapter XII - Bartók 223
  • Suggested Reading 238
  • Chapter XIII - Hindemith 249
  • Suggested Reading 265
  • Chapter XIV - Soviet Russia 267
  • Suggested Reading 287
  • Chapter XV - England 289
  • Suggested Reading 303
  • Chapter XVI - Music in America 305
  • Suggested Reading 337
  • Part III - 1945-1960 343
  • Chapter XVII - New Directions 345
  • Suggested Reading 357
  • References 359
  • Composers 365
  • Index 367
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