Search Results 1 - 25 of 26


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Serialism/Twelve-Tone Technique

Serialism or the twelve-tone technique is a way of composing music that involves replacing major and minor scales with a fixed ordering of the pitches…

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Lutyens, Elisabeth (1906–1983)

(Agnes) Elisabeth Lutyens, CBE, was an English composer, credited with helping to establish the twelve-tone method of serialism in Britain. Lutyens’s first major composition using…

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Modernism and Popular Music

Modernism has an uneasy relationship with popular music and popular culture in general. Many modernist music movements (e.g. the twelve-tone school of Schoenberg) are diametrically…

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Microtonality

Microtonality refers to any use of pitch that departs from twelve equally-spaced tones per octave (twelve-tone equal temperament), the standard tuning established in Europe since…

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Atonality

Atonality refers to the complete absence of tonality in a musical composition. In music, it is often claimed that modernism stands in opposition to classicism…

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Cordero, Roque Jacinto (1917–2008)

Roque Cordero was a Panamanian composer, conductor, and educator, and the only twentieth-century Panamanian composer to gain international recognition. During the 1940s he studied composition…

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John Cage (1921–1990)

A leading figure in the twentieth-century avant-garde, John Cage was a prolific composer, writer, and artist. His early works show Schoenberg’s influence in their use…

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Miguel Aguilar Ahumada (1931--)

Miguel Aguilar Ahumada is a Chilean composer, academic, and musicologist. His value in the Chilean and Latin American musical panorama lies in his role as…

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Krenek, Ernst (1900–1991)

Ernst Krenek, twentieth-century composer, was born in Vienna in 1900. Krenek composed over 240 works from 1917 until 1989, and his career includes works in…

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Paz, Juan Carlos (1897–1972)

Juan Carlos Paz (1897–1972) was an Argentine composer, critic, writer, and self-described “compositional guide” who played a key role in twentieth-century Argentine contemporary music. Known…

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Perle, George (1915–2009)

George Perle (1915–2009) was an American composer and scholar, awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, a Pulitzer Prize (1986) for his Wind Quintet no. 4, and…

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Scelsi, Giacinto (1905–1988)

Giacinto Scelsi was an Italian avant-garde composer best known for the single-note style he developed during the 1950s and 1960s, which minimizes harmonic and melodic…

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Berg, Alban

Composer Alban Berg (1885–1935) is best-known for his two operas, Wozzeck (premiered 1925) and Lulu (left unfinished but performed in incomplete form until the full…

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Honegger, Arthur (1892–1955)

Composer Arthur Honegger was one of a group of six young French composers, known as Les Six, in the forefront of post-WWI Parisian musical modernism.…

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Adorno, Theodor Wiesengrund (1903–69)

Born Theodor Ludwig Wiesengrund to an Italian Catholic mother and an assimilated Jewish father, Adorno would take his mother’s vaguely aristocratic last name. Philosopher, aesthetician,…

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Kolisch, Rudolf (1896–1978)

Rudolf Kolisch was an Austrian-born violinist, teacher, and conductor. As leader of the Kolisch Quartet he premiered many important chamber works by the Second Viennese…

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Tavener, John Kenneth (1944–2013)

John Tavener was an English composer. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where his composition teachers were Lennox Berkeley and David…

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Black Mountain College

Between 1933 and 1957, Black Mountain College served as an unlikely crucible of modernism. Despite its isolated location near Asheville, North Carolina, at various times…

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Iturriaga (Romero), Enrique (1918--)

Enrique Iturriaga is a Peruvian composer and music pedagogue. He is one of the lead representatives of the so-called Generación del 50, a Peruvian composers’…

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Just Intonation

Just intonation is a system of tuning musical intervals based on simple ratios between the frequencies of their constituent pitches. For voices and most musical…

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Kagel, Mauricio Raúl (1931–2008)

Mauricio Raúl Kagel was an Argentine-German composer. One of the most influential composers of the post-war European avant-garde, Kagel was instrumental during the development from…

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Malipiero, Gian-Francesco (1882–1973)

Gian-Francesco Malipiero was an Italian composer whose life spanned an expansive period of Italian history, from the post-Risorgimento years through two disastrous wars and into…

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Orrego-Salas, Juan (1919--)

Juan Orrego-Salas was a Chilean composer and musicologist. Born in Santiago, Chile on January 1919, he began his music education in Santiago, while also pursuing…

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Dallapiccola, Luigi (1904–1975)

Luigi Dallapiccola was the leading Italian composer of the middle half of the twentieth century, contributing much to the development of musical modernism in Italy…

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Balanchine, George (1904–1983)

George Balanchine (Georgii Melitonovich Balanchivadze), arguably the greatest ballet choreographer of the twentieth century, was at once both modernist and traditionalist. Unlike many radical innovators,…