Contemporary classical music can be understood as belonging to a period that started in the mid-1970s with the retreat of modernism. However, the term may also be employed in a broader sense to refer to the post-1945 modern forms of post-tonal... [more]

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I would like to start off by paraphrasing Charles Wuorinen, in a lecture at June in Buffalo, 2006: “Since the definitive collapse of tonality in 1909, art music has seen a lot of flailing around which hasn’t amounted to much.” Wuorinen is a staunch supporter of post-tonal music, the serial method in particular. He even wrote a book about his techniques, titled (appropriately enough) Simple Composition. What happened in 1909? Scholars point to Arnold Schoenberg, the Austrian composer. Around that time, Schoenberg composed several works which eschewed tonal centers. Perhaps the first was Drei Klavierstücke, Op. 11 (see the video below for the score of Mvt. I and a performance by Glenn Gould). Schoenberg’s new style was quickly dubbed “atonal,” which
Hello readers, Last week I started a theme for August on "quiet music." Here's a quick summary of the related posts so far: (note: each line links to the referred blog entry) My intro blog post, which includes a cool

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