The Modern / 20th Century Era

(1900 - Present)

     With the coming of the 20th century another evolution in the musical world emerged. While some of the early 20th century music can be seen as extensions of the late Romantic style, much of 20th century music can be seen as a rebellion. Composers did not look to build on what was standard but again created music freely and used sounds that went against the current grain. Twentieth century music can be described as being more refined, vague in form, delicate, and having a mysterious atmosphere.

     Twentieth century music is an era that is hard to define in terms of musical style. The only easy way to define 20th century music is that it does not fit into the Romantic era's requirements. And because of its own expression and orchestral technique it does not fit into any other category but its own.

     This time period spawned many new terms for musical styles because of the diversity of music that was being written. Some common examples are atonality, expressionism (seen in Schoenberg's early music), neo-Romanticism, and Neo-Classicism.

     As was true in the Romantic era, nationalism was still an important musical device used during the first half of the 20th century. Composers utilized folk songs to enriched their music. Examples can be seen in the music of Raplh Vaughan Williams (England), Bela Bartok (Hungary), Heitor Villa Lobos (Brazil) and Aaron Copland (USA). Jazz and popular musical styles influenced composers from both the United States and Europe.

     In 20th century musical styles traditional forms and structures were broken up and recreated or composed using non-Western musical techniques and abstract ideas. Technology also became an extremely important factor in the music making during this time period. Composers have been known to use recording tape as a compositional tool. Electronically created sounds are used in combination with other electronic sounds or played together with traditional music instruments. Most recently, the use of computer technology has affected the world of music making. Some ways in which computers currently alter the face of the music world are by manipulating the performance of instruments in real time.

 
The Modern / 20th Century Era Trends | The Modern / 20th Century Era Techniques The Modern / 20th Century Era Composers

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