Musical Trends in the 20th Century

Musical Trends in the 20th Century

Musical Trends in the 20th Century

Musical Trends in the 20th Century

Excerpt

This book is not a "History of Fifty Years' Music". It does not set out to include every name and every work which has come to light since the beginning of the century in every country. It is a study of certain composers who may justly be said to have played a part in the history of world music; consequently they have arrived at a state of maturity and have already influenced the future trend of music. They have formulated the several facets of twentieth-century music and have become representative of the first half of the century. In many cases the earlier works gave little indication of the future trend. Some of them are universally acknowledged as giants; others have played a great part within the limits of their own cultures without, perhaps, making a direct world impact. It has been considered necessary to include the latter because the tendency of insularity is to regard articles and persons unknown and unexperienced within the confines of that insularity as being somehow deficient in value and importance. The tendency also is to exaggerate the importance of the insular article, and although it may not be essential that a composer has a world or at least a European recognition, it is necessary that he be kept in due perspective.

Looking round at the scene to-day, it is obvious that in all countries there is an enormous creative activity, but economics and other factors work against universal recognition of many who deserve it. On the other hand, there are a great number of composers who write admirable music of no great importance. To include these side by side with giants like Sibelius, Vaughan Williams and Schoenberg would be unfair to the composers themselves and would make them look ridiculous.

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