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20th Century

Impressionism Artistic movement focused more on sensations, perceptions, and light than on the direct representation of an object. Used to describe harmonies, melodies, and forms considered indistinct.
Gamelan An Indonesian musical ensemble consisting primarily of pitched gongs and xylophones. The conductor usually plays a double-headed drum
Whole-tone scale - A scale with only whole steps, no half steps; eliminates any sense of a tonal center
Pentatonic scale Five tones
Atonal A style of writing that establishes no harmonic or melodic center of gravity; without a tonic, all notes are of equal weight and significance.
Dissonance The sound of notes that clash, either harmonically or melodically, and do not seem to belong together.
Consonance The sound of notes together that our ear finds naturally right
Expressionism A broad artistic movement that flourished in music, painting, and literature in the early decades of the twentieth century, in which psychological truth took precedence over beauty, and inner emotion over and sense of external reality.
Sprechstimme In German, “speech-voice.” A style of singing halfway between speech and lyrical song, in which the singer hits precise pitches and then allows them to tail off, rather than sustaining them, as in lyrical singing.
Primitivism 20th century compositions that imitate rhythms, melodies, modes, and techniques of so-called primitive music (“prehistoric music”).
Polytonal The closely put together of two conventional harmonies in a way that creates a new dissonance.
Ostinato A short pattern of note repeated over and over
Ballets Russes itinerant ballet company from Russia which performed between 1909 and 1929 in many countries. Directed by Sergei Diaghilev, it is regarded as the greatest ballet company of the 20th century.
Scenario The story line of a ballet
Sergei Diaghilev ballet impresario and founder of the Ballets Russes, from which many famous dancers and choreographers would arise
Register The range of a pitch or series of pitches, usually described as high, medium, or low.
Art song A song set to serious poetry, usually for solo voice and piano, in the tradition of the German Lied.
Blue note A pitch preformed flatter than the standard major scale would indicate; usually they occur as substitutes for the 3rd and 7th (and sometime 5th) notes of the standard major scale.
Additive form A compositional technique in which nothing disappears, but new layers are constantly added
Aleatory music Music composed using elements of chance (sounds around you)
Minimalism A style on which a brief musical idea or group of ideas is repeated and varied incrementally over a long span of time, with a relatively slow rate of change.
“First great composer of the twentieth century,” no other single figure in his era did more to expand the possibilities of form, harmony, and timbre. Studied in Paris and won a prestigious prize of composition. Claude Debussy, 1862-1918
Voiles- Piano piece: spacious and questioning Claude Debussy, 1862-1918
Charles Ives 1874-1954- absorbed and rebelled against almost any musical tradition of his time. Worked as an insurance man, wasn’t recognized during his time but after death was known to be the first American composer of modernism.
The Unanswered Question- Strings with alternating frustrations Charles Ives
Created by: ccmayn9621