Chapter 34. Postwar Crosscurrents

Chapter Outline

 
 

 

The central theme of Western music history since the midnineteenth century is a growing pluralism. With each generation, new popular traditions emerged in response to changes in society, and the heirs to the classical tradition created more diverse styles of art music at an ever increasing rate. This process accelerated in the twenty-five years after the end of World War II, propelled by an economic boom in the United States and most of western Europe, by ever more rapid communications, and by a desire among younger generations to explore new possibilities. Musicians developed new styles, trends, and traditions, including forms of popular music aimed principally at young people, such as rock and roll and its offshoots; styles of jazz, from bebop to free jazz, that demanded more concentrated listening; increasingly complex approaches to serial composition; music built of sound itself that employed new instruments, electronic music, or new sounds on orchestral instruments; applications of indeterminacy and chance in composition; and pieces based on quotation and collage of past music. In Europe, new music was often supported by governments, through radio stations and institutes, while in North America colleges and universities became major patrons of music, training young performers and music educators and supporting composers, new music ensembles, wind ensembles, and jazz programs. 

Chapter Outline: 

  1. The Cold War and the Splintering Tradition
    1. The process of musical change accelerated after World War II, due to several factors.
      1. The United States and Western Europe enjoyed an economic boom.
      2. Communications continued to improve and get faster.
      3. Younger generations wanted to explore new possibilities.
    2. Music continued to change.
      1. Rock and roll emerged, and jazz explored new styles.
      2. Increasingly complex serial techniques, electronic sounds, indeterminacy, and other radical approaches were explored in concert music.
    3. Musical support
      1. Governments supported music in Europe, largely through radio stations and institutes.
      2. Colleges and universities became major patrons and teaching centers for music in the United States.
    4. The cost of World War II
      1. World War II was the most destructive war the world had seen.
      2. Millions were dead, both soldiers and civilians.
      3. Cities, artworks, and music had been destroyed.
      4. In response to the atomic attack on Japan, several nations developed nuclear weapons.
    5. The Cold War
      1. By 1948, the Soviet Union had installed Communist governments in most Eastern European countries.
      2. The United States formed an alliance with Western Europe called NATO (see HWM Figure 34.1).
      3. The division of Germany symbolized the basic conflict.
      4. The newly created United Nations helped, but could not resolve international tensions.
      5. Numerous conflicts, including the Korean War (1950-53) and the Vietnam War (1954-1975), added further tension to the Cold War.
      6. Outer space, the athletic field, and cultural fields were arenas for competition.
    6. Greater access to music
      1. The economic boom paved the way for a tremendous expansion of colleges and universities, which contributed to the growing access to the arts.
      2. Televisions and stereos brought entertainment into the home.
      3. The 78-rpm records (with 78 rotations per minute) of the prewar phonograph were replaced by LP (long-playing) records and 45-rpm “singles,” which became the main medium for popular songs.
      4. Transistors led to portable radios that could go anywhere.
      5. Improvements in tape recorders made electronic music and the preservation of sounds possible.
    7. Musical pluralism
      1. Countries in Asia and Africa gained political and economic significance, leading to greater cultural exchanges.
      2. The era saw unprecedented experimentation and diversification in music.
      3. Strident debates about music were frequent.
  2. Popular Music
    1. Popular music increasingly catered to the tastes of teenagers.
      1. During the postwar years, teenagers had more money and free time.
      2. Record companies, responding to a market in which teenagers had their own radios and purchased records, produced pop music.
      3. Teenagers of the late 1950s and 1960s listened to rock music, creating a “generation gap” with their parents.
      4. A variety of popular styles emerged, and people used music as part of their identity.
      5. The popularity of music was measured in weekly charts, which ranked the sales of 45-rpm singles.
    2. Country music
      1. Country music, or country-and-western, is associated with white southerners.
      2. With roots in folk music, the style grew in popularity after the war.
      3. Country music is a blend of many sources (see HWM Figure 34.2).
        1. Hill-country music of the southeast, based on Anglo-American ballads and fiddle tunes
        2. Western cowboy songs popularized by Gene Autry and other cowboy movies stars
        3. Popular songs of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries
        4. Blues, banjo music, and other African-American traditions
        5. Big-band swing
        6. Gospel songs
      4. The popularity of country music was due to a variety of reasons.
        1. Energy
        2. Sincere sentiments
        3. Witty wordplay
        4. Ability to articulate the experience of working-class America in a rapidly changing world
      5. The music centered on a singer who also played a guitar.
      6. Other singers might join in close harmony, and an accompaniment of fiddles and additional guitars was common.
      7. Distinctive styles developed, including:
        1. Western swing
        2. Honky-tonk
        3. Bluegrass
      8. Two stars earned national acclaim.
        1. Hank Williams (1923-1953)
        2. Johnny Cash (1932-2003)
      9. Nashville became the center of country music, largely due to venues such as the Grand Ol’ Opry.
      10. By the 1970s, country music radio stations had been established across the United States.
    3. Rhythm-and-blues
      1. Rhythm-and-blues developed in urban centers just after the war.
      2. Typical ensembles
        1. Vocalist or vocal quartet
        2. Piano or organ
        3. Electric guitar
        4. Bass and drums
      3. They performed mostly new songs built on twelve-bar blues or thirty-two-bar popular song formulas.
      4. Principal differences with blues:
        1. Insistent accents on the back beats, beats two and four of the measure
        2. Whining guitar
        3. Repetitive amplified bass line
      5. The style was initially intended for African-American audiences.
      6. Interests among whites
        1. White teenagers were attracted by the sexual themes of the lyrics, the strong rhythms, and the intensity of the performances.
        2. Producers began having white singers perform songs already successful by black singers.
        3. Hound Dog, a twelve-bar blues, was a minor hit for Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton in 1952, but a recording by Elvis Presley sold millions in 1956.
    4. Rock and roll
      1. Rock and roll combined the unrelenting beat of rhythm-and-blues with the guitar background of country music.
      2. Instrumentation
        1. Electric guitars for rhythm and melody
        2. Electric bass and drums
        3. Sometimes other instruments augmented the ensemble
      3. Song forms were derived from Tin Pan Alley and the blues.
      4. Vocal styles ranged from boogie-woogie to country.
      5. The words, often addressing love and sex, spoke to the concerns of teens.
      6. Rock and roll became a national sensation with the appearance of the hit song Rock Around the Clock, by Bill Haley and the Comets, in the 1955 film Blackboard Jungle.
      7. Elvis Presley (1935-1977) was the first megastar.
      8. By 1960, rock and roll, or simply rock, was heard around the world.
    5. The Beatles
      1. From Liverpool, England, the Beatles featured four creative musicians.
        1. John Lennon (1940-1980), singer-songwriter and guitarist
        2. Paul McCartney (b. 1942), singer-songwriter and guitarist
        3. George Harrison (1943-2001), guitarist and songwriter
        4. Ringo Starr (b. 1940), drummer
      2. The Beatles brought “Beatlemania” to the United States in a 1964 tour (see HWM Figure 34.3).
      3. Devoting their energy to studio recordings, the Beatles later experimented with sounds and styles that could not be duplicated live.
      4. Albums, such as Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967), embraced a wide variety of styles.
    6. Other rock music of the sixties
      1. The Beatles’ American tour began the “British Invasion,” which featured a number of other groups, such as the Rolling Stones.
      2. Some blues-based groups were influenced by earlier figures such as Robert Johnson.
      3. Virtuosos on the electric guitar created an enormous sensation.
        1. Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970)
        2. Eric Clapton (b. 1945) from the band Cream
      4. A wide variety of sounds emerged, including:
        1. California style-The Beach Boys
        2. Heavy metal-Steppenwolf
        3. Hard rock-Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith
        4. Acid rock-Jefferson Airplane
        5. Avant-garde rock-Frank Zappa
      5. The youth-oriented lyrics often expressed disillusionment with society.
    7. Folk and protest music
      1. A new style of popular music arose with ties to folk traditions; it became generally known as folk music.
      2. Groups often performed new songs in folk style along with genuine folk songs.
      3. Folk music was deliberately simple, featuring one or more singers with guitar.
      4. Audiences were encouraged to join in the singing.
      5. Folk songs were written to support social causes, such as We Shall Overcome for the Civil Rights Movement.
      6. Prominent writers and singers from the 1940s include:
        1. Woody Guthrie (1912-1967)
        2. Pete Seeger (b. 1919), the stepson of Ruth Crawford Seeger
      7. New voices emerged in the 1960s struggles for civil rights and against the Vietnam War, including Joan Baez (b. 1941).
      8. Bob Dylan (b. 1941)
        1. He voiced protests through songs such as Blowin’ in the Wind (1962).
        2. He combined folk styles with simple guitar harmonies, a rough voice, blues harmonica, and sharp-witted poetry.
        3. By the mid-sixties, Dylan used an electric guitar, bringing together folk and rock traditions.
    8. Soul
      1. Soul was the leading African-American tradition in the 1960s.
      2. It applied the intense expression, melismas, and ecstatic vocalizations of gospel singing to songs on love, sex, and other secular subjects.
      3. Soul was closely associated with the struggle for African-American equality.
      4. The leading performers included:
        1. Ray Charles (1930-2004) (see HWM Figure 34.4)
        2. James Brown (b. 1928), the “King of Soul”
        3. Otis Redding (1941-1967)
        4. Aretha Franklin (b. 1942)
    9. Motown
      1. Motown was a Detroit-based record company (the Mo-tor City).
      2. The sounds of Motown dominated the soul charts of the 1960s.
      3. Motown was intended to appeal to both black and white audiences.
      4. Motown produced a steady flow of well-groomed groups, including the Supremes and the Temptations.
      5. Motown also gave a start to figures such as Stevie Wonder (b. 1950) and Michael Jackson (b. 1958).
    10. Latino Americans produced styles using traditions of Central or Latin America.
      1. Tex-Mex, emanating from Texas and the southwestern United States, combined Mexican mariachi music with American country music.
      2. Salsa emerged in the 1960s, a product of New York City and Puerto Rico.
      3. Salsa mixes Cuban dance styles with jazz, rock, and Puerto Rican elements.
        1. A typical ensemble includes ten to fourteen members on vocals, piano, Cuban percussion, bass, and brass.
        2. Each instrument plays a distinctive rhythm, forming a driving dance beat.
      4. Tito Puente (1923-2000) was a leading figure of salsa.
  3. Broadway and Film Music
    1. Musicals
      1. Musicals continued established traditions, avoiding many of the newer trends in popular music.
      2. Most shows were collaborations, including:
        1. Composer Richard Rodgers (1902-1979) with lyricists Lorenz Hart (1895-1943) and Oscar Hammerstein II (1895-1960)
        2. Composer Frederick Loewe (1904-1988) with lyricist Alan Jay Lerner (1918-1986)
      3. Some of Broadway’s greatest composers from before the war continued to be productive.
        1. Irving Berlin: Annie Get Your Gun (1946) and Call Me Madam (1950)
        2. Cole Porter: Kiss Me Kate (1948)
      4. Rodgers and Hammerstein produced some of the most successful shows of the era.
        1. Oklahoma! (1943)
        2. Carousel (1945)
        3. South Pacific (1949)
        4. The King and I (1951)
        5. The Sound of Music (1959)
      5. Oklahoma! not only enjoyed a record-breaking run, but established a new highpoint in drama, music, and dance (see HWM Figure 34.5).
      6. Leonard Bernstein had a large impact on Broadway.
        1. He was initially known as a classical composer and performer, and as the principal conductor of the New York Philharmonic.
        2. His Broadway career began with On the Town (1944).
        3. His sensational West Side Story (1957) is a retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
        4. In West Side Story, Bernstein employs a variety of styles, including Afro-Caribbean dances, jazz, and Tin Pan Alley melodies in AABA format.
      7. Later Broadway musicals adapted new styles.
        1. Fiddler on the Roof (1964), by Jerry Bock, evoked Jewish folk music.
        2. Hair (1967), by Galt MacDermot, mixes rock styles with Broadway.
    2. Film music
      1. Film music styles diversified in the postwar years.
      2. Miklós Rósza (1907-1995) explored musical styles ranging from film noir to mock-ancient for historical epics like Ben Hur (1959).
      3. Alex North (1910-1991) used jazz in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951).
      4. Leonard Bernstein used a dissonant style in On the Waterfront (1954).
      5. Bernard Herrmann (1911-1975) collaborated with Alfred Hitchcock and used a consistently dissonant style in Psycho (1960).
      6. Italian composer Ennio Morricone (b. 1928) created a new pop-oriented Western sound for scores such as The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1967).
      7. Ethnic sounds from other countries were used in films, such as Zorba the Greek (1964), with music by Mikis Theodorakis.
      8. Electronic music was also used in film scores.
      9. Popular music was a strong element in postwar movies.
        1. David Raksin (1912-2004) made a great sensation with his jazz-inspired score to Laura (1944).
        2. Rock music made a strong impact beginning in the late 1950s.
        3. The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night (1964) was a successful movie and a successful soundtrack, setting a model for future films.
  4. Jazz
    1. Postwar developments
      1. New styles emerged, and older styles continued to be performed.
      2. There developed growing consciousness of jazz history and a desire to preserve it.
        1. By 1970, jazz had developed its own classical repertoire.
        2. Beginning in the 1950s, jazz ensembles were formed in schools.
      3. Jazz was increasingly regarded as music that demanded concentrated listening.
      4. Most jazz performers were still African American, but many were white, and the audiences were predominantly white.
      5. Big bands declined and were replaced by smaller ensembles called combos.
    2. Bebop
      1. A new style of jazz called bebop or bop emerged in the early 1940s.
      2. Bebop was built around virtuosic soloists featured in combos.
      3. The style originated in New York, where big band soloists would meet in clubs after leaving their regular engagements and pit their skills against each other.
      4. Characteristics
        1. It was rooted in standards of the swing era.
        2. It added extreme virtuosity and harmonic and rhythmic complexities.
        3. The focus was on soloists and improvisation.
      5. Typical combo
        1. Rhythm section: piano, drums, bass
        2. One or more melody instruments: trumpet, sax, or trombone
      6. Prominent bebop musicians include:
        1. Charlie “Bird” Parker (1920-1955), saxophone
        2. Dizzy Gillespie (1917-1993), trumpet
        3. Miles Davis (1926-1991), trumpet
        4. John Coltrane (1926-1967), saxophone
        5. Thelonious Monk (1917-1982), piano
    3. Anthropology (NAWM 159)
      1. Composers: Parker and Gillespie (see HWM Figure 34.6)
      2. Anthropology is a contrafact.
        1. A new melody is composed over the chord progression from Gershwin’s I Got Rhythm.
        2. Contrafacts were major sources for new bebop compositions.
      3. The NAWM recording is from a live broadcast.
      4. Performers improvise from an abbreviated score called a lead sheet.
      5. The performance is characterized by short, rapid bursts of notes creating an unpredictable melody.
      6. Form
        1. The lead melody, called the head, is AABA and is played in unison at the beginning and end of the song.
        2. After the head, Parker plays three choruses (statements of the AABA harmonic progression).
        3. Gillespie then solos for three choruses.
        4. Powell on piano plays two additional choruses.
        5. Parker and Gillespie alternate with the drums for two choruses.
        6. The piece ends with a final statement of the head.
    4. After bebop
      1. New jazz styles were explored in the 1950s.
      2. Cool jazz
        1. Miles Davis developed a more relaxed jazz style.
        2. The Modern Jazz Quartet and Dave Brubeck (b. 1920) took up the style.
        3. Cool jazz returned the composer-arranger to a prominent role.
      3. Hard bop, dominated by drummers, focused on the percussive side of jazz.
        1. Kenny Clarke
        2. Max Roach
        3. Art Blakey
      4. Modal jazz
        1. It featured slowly unfolding melodies over stable modal harmonies.
        2. Miles Davis explored this style as well.
      5. Free jazz
        1. Ornette Coleman (b. 1930) and his quartet introduced this radical new jazz language.
        2. He moved away from jazz standards and familiar tunes.
        3. The style is built on melodic and harmonic gestures, new sounds, atonality, and improvisations on free forms.
      6. Avant-garde jazz
        1. The style is based on very fast playing, motivic development, new sonorities, and greater dissonance and density of sound.
        2. John Coltrane developed this style.
  5. The Classical Tradition
    1. Postwar developments
      1. The performance and study of classic music became even more pronounced.
      2. Some composers attempted to preserve some aspect of tradition.
      3. Other composers focused on creating something new.
    2. The university as patron
      1. Many composers were employed as teachers at colleges and universities.
      2. At these institutions, composers had ready access to performers and venues.
      3. Academic freedom allowed a vast range of styles, from traditional to experimental.
      4. The safety of the ivory tower allowed some composers to isolate themselves from the public.
      5. A number of refugee composers taught at universities, including:
        1. Schoenberg at the University of California, Los Angeles
        2. Milhaud at Mills College in Oakland, California
        3. Paul Hindemith at Yale
      6. Walter Piston, student of Boulanger, encouraged a neoclassic style at Harvard.
      7. Roger Sessions and Milton Babbitt at Princeton focused on the styles of Schoenberg and Webern.
  6. Composers Using Traditional Media
    1. Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992) (see HWM Figure 34.7)
      1. Messiaen is the most important French composer born in the twentieth century.
      2. An organist, he became professor of harmony at the Conservatoire in 1941.
      3. His students after the war include:
        1. Pierre Boulez
        2. Karlheinz Stockhausen (b. 1928)
        3. Luigi Nono (b. 1924)
      4. Works
        1. Messiaen composed works on religious subjects.
        2. Several are for organ.
      5. Messiaen notated birdsongs and used them in his compositions.
      6. Harmony
        1. He used scales that have limited transpositions, such as whole-tone and octatonic.
        2. Such scales do not create a strong desire for resolution.
      7. Rhythm and meter
        1. Rhythms create a sense of duration, not meter (see HWM Example 34.1).
        2. Messiaen used added values, the addition of small durational value to produce units of irregular length.
        3. He also used nonretrogradable rhythms, which are the same forward and backward.
    2. Quatuor pour la fin du temps (Quartet for the End of Time, 1941), first movement of Liturgie de cristal (Crystal Liturgy; see NAWM 160 and HWM Example 34.1)
      1. Background
        1. Messiaen was interned at a prisoner-of-war camp in Silesia.
        2. The work is set for violin, clarinet, cello, and piano, instruments played by fellow prisoners (he played piano).
        3. The work was performed for their fellow prisoners.
      2. Meaning
        1. The title refers to the Apocalypse, which will bring about the end of time and the beginning of eternity.
        2. The work is religious, even though there is no text.
        3. Messiaen sought to create a sense of ecstatic contemplation in Liturgie de cristal.
      3. Messiaen preferred beautiful timbres, as heard in the high harmonics of the cello augmented by gentle birdcalls in the violin and clarinet and set over soft dissonances in the piano.
      4. The clarinet and violin play stylized birdcalls that change in unpredictable ways but do not develop.
      5. The cello constantly repeats a five-note sequence in high harmonics.
        1. These pitches are presented three times in a rhythmic pattern of fifteen durations.
        2. The pattern repeats every five and a half measures (measures 8, 13).
        3. The pattern combines two nonretrogradable rhythms; the first three durations and the remaining twelve are both palindromes.
        4. The rhythms are the same forward and backward, hence suggesting the unchangeable, the divine, and the eternal.
      6. Messiaen avoids movement towards resolution by repeating harmonies to create a sense of stasis or meditation.
        1. The piano has twenty-nine chords; the second chord cycle begins at the end of measure eight.
        2. The rhythmic pattern has seventeen durations; the second rhythmic cycle begins in measure six and repeats every thirteen beats thereafter.
    3. Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)
      1. One of England’s foremost composers, Britten studied at the Royal College of Music.
      2. Like Copland, he tempered modernism with simplicity and created a widely appealing idiom.
      3. He was deeply influenced by humanitarian concerns, which is reflected in his later music.
      4. Most of Britten’s choral works were created for amateur ensembles.
      5. Britten was homosexual, and his life partner was the tenor Peter Pears (1910-1986) (see HWM Figure 34.8).
        1. Britten wrote most of his tenor roles for Pears.
        2. Several of his operas have themes that relate to homosexuality, including Billy Budd (1950-51) and Death in Venice (1971-74).
      6. War Requiem (1961-62)
        1. Britten expressed his pacifism in this choral masterpiece.
        2. The work interweaves traditional Latin texts with poems by Wilfred Owen.
        3. The Latin texts are set for soprano soloist, chorus, boys’ choir, and full orchestra, while the poems are for tenor and baritone soloists with chamber orchestra.
        4. The English poems comment upon the Latin text.
    4. Peter Grimes (1944-45), final scene by Britten (NAWM 161)
      1. This opera established Britten’s reputation and became the first English opera since Purcell to achieve international recognition.
      2. The story of a fisherman who is driven to suicide by mobs can be seen as an allegory for the condition of homosexuals.
      3. The opening of the final scene
        1. The chorus of townspeople repeatedly calls out Peter’s name.
        2. Peter answers in a meandering recitative that includes a motive from an earlier scene.
        3. The only accompaniment is a foghorn pitched at E-flat.
      4. Ellen appears, and Peter sings a brief reprise of his love song in Act I.
      5. There is no music as Balstrode helps Peter put the boat out to sea.
      6. At the end, the indifference to Peter’s fate is conveyed through bitonality.
        1. Music representing the sea, including a haunting flute melody, is in C major.
        2. In A major, the townspeople reprise a hymnlike song about their daily routines heard at the opening of Act I.
        3. The report of a sinking boat is dismissed as a rumor.
    5. Samuel Barber (1910-1981)
      1. One of many composers who remained committed to tonality
      2. The Adagio for Strings, originally written for string quartet in 1936, expresses his tonal romanticism.
      3. He does incorporate modernist resources, such as the twelve-tone rows within a tonal framework in his Piano Sonata (1949).
      4. He was renowned for his vocal works.
    6. The Monk and His Cat from Hermit Songs by Barber (1952-53) (see NAWM 162 and HWM Example 34.2)
      1. Text
        1. The song cycle is based on texts of Irish monks and hermits.
        2. W. H. Auden translated the texts into English.
        3. The poem describes the contented lives of the scholar and cat, each focusing on his own work-theology and mouse control.
        4. Each of the five lines is punctuated in the middle like a psalm verse.
        5. The first sentence is repeated at the end.
        6. Barber treats the two halves of each sentence in a variety of ways (see the diagram in the commentary to NAWM 162).
      2. Music
        1. Open fifths in the bass create a medieval atmosphere and suggest the monk.
        2. Dissonant augmented unisons suggest the cat, either walking on the piano keys or pouncing on a mouse.
        3. This song is solidly in F major, although it features almost no consonant harmonies.
        4. Barber freely alters the meter to follow the accents of the text.
        5. The vocal melody often contradicts the implied meter in the piano.
        6. The vocal line is a decorated paraphrase of the piano’s chantlike melody.
    7. Alberto Ginastera (1916-1983)
      1. From Argentina, Ginastera is the most popular Latin American composer after Villa-Lobos.
      2. His career can be divided into three phases.
        1. “Objective nationalism” (to 1947): tonal music infused with traditional Argentine folk elements
        2. “Subjective nationalism” (1947-57): synthesis of native and international elements
        3. “Neo-expressionism” (after 1957): earlier traits combined with twelve-tone and avant-garde techniques
      3. His turn from nationalism towards more abstract music is typical of the era.
    8. Gunther Schuller (b. 1925)
      1. Some American composers who were versed in both jazz and classical music sought to merge the two in the 1950s and 1960s.
      2. Schuller, one of the most successful, called the combination “third stream.”
      3. Transformation (1957) transforms a pointillistic twelve-tone context into a full-blown modern jazz piece.
    9. Michael Tippett (1905-1998)
      1. English composer Tipett synthesized historical, ethnic, and non-Western styles.
      2. His use of rhythmic and metric independence is derived in part from Renaissance music.
      3. Javanese influences can be seen in several works.
        1. Piano Concerto (1953-55)
        2. Triple Concerto for violin, viola, and cello (1979)
  7. Serialism
    1. Many composers adopted twelve-tone methods after the war.
      1. Established composers, such as Stravinsky, Copland, and Ginastera, took up serialism.
      2. The system had its biggest impact on younger composers.
      3. In Germany, some composers adopted the system as a political rejection of Nazi and communist ideologies.
      4. The West German government encouraged these developments and sponsored courses in new music at Darmstadt.
        1. The ideas fostered at Darmstadt inspired musical experiments.
        2. Boulez and Stockhausen became the two principal composers.
      5. In the United States, university composers, free from the need to appeal to audiences, embraced serialism.
      6. Milton Babbitt became the leading serial composer and theorist in the United States (see HWM Source Reading, page 916).
      7. Total serialism began to be explored in the late 1940s.
        1. Composers applied the principles of Schoenberg’s tone rows to parameters other than pitch, such as durations, intensities, and timbres.
        2. Other new serial techniques were explored as well.
    2. Milton Babbitt (b. 1916) (see HWM Figure 34.11)
      1. Three Compositions for Piano (1947) is the first piece to apply serial principles to duration.
      2. The complexity of his approach can be seen in the opening measures of his Third String Quartet (1970; see HWM Example 34.3).
        1. There are eight layers, with each instrument having two (one arco, one pizzicato).
        2. At the beginning, each layer has its own row.
        3. The rhythm is serialized as well, which is articulated with dynamics (see HWM Example 34.3b).
    3. Pierre Boulez (b. 1925)
      1. Independent from Babbitt, Messiaen created several complex systems.
      2. Inspired, Boulez wrote the first European work of total serialism, Structures for two pianos (1952).
      3. Le marteau sans maitre (The Hammer without a Master, 1954, revised 1957)
        1. The work fuses the pointillist style and serial method with a sensitive musical rendition of the text.
        2. The work has nine movements centering on verses by the surrealist poet René Char.
        3. Each number has a different combination of instruments, as in Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire.
        4. The ensemble comprises alto flute, xylorimba, vibraphone, guitar, viola, and percussion instruments.
        5. The translucent sound suggests Balinese gamelan music.
        6. The contralto vocal line has wide leaps, glissandos, and some Sprechstimme.
        7. Despite the logic, the audience’s perception is of randomness.
  8. Nonserial Complexity and Virtuosity
    1. A new generation of performers responded to musical complexities.
      1. Championing new music, they were capable of playing subtle nuances with accuracy and technical virtuosity.
      2. Their abilities inspired composers to use complex systems other than serialism.
    2. Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
      1. Italian composer Berio created a series of works titled Sequenza, each for an unaccompanied solo instrument from flute to accordion.
      2. Each work was composed for a specific performer.
      3. Sequenza IV for piano (1965-66) (see HWM Example 34.4)
        1. The rapid gestures and sudden changes are typical of the work.
        2. The atonality, figurations, and textures resemble those of his earlier serial music.
        3. The sustain pedal allows open strings to continue sounding and to catch harmonics from other notes.
    3. Elliot Carter (b. 1908)
      1. American composer Carter also wrote for virtuoso performers.
      2. He used a complex, nonserial style with innovative rhythms and forms.
      3. Carter developed a technique known as metric modulation.
        1. Transitions from one tempo and meter to another are through intermediary stages that share aspects of both.
        2. The results are precise proportional changes in the value of a durational unit.
        3. Cello Sonata (1948) is Carter’s first work with this procedure.
      4. The String Quartet No. 2 (1959; see HWM Example 34.5).
        1. Each instrumental part has a distinct personality.
        2. The instruments are differentiated by their most prominent intervals.
        3. They are also distinguished by rhythms.
        4. The first violin effects the metric modulation.
        5. The result is a counterpoint of sharply differentiated lines.
  9. New Sounds and Textures
    1. In the postwar years, the search for new musical resources intensified, and composers turned to four avenues of exploration.
      1. Use of new instruments, sounds, and scales
      2. Incorporation of non-Western sounds and instruments
      3. Electronic music
      4. Music of texture and process
    2. John Cage (1912-1992)
      1. Cage’s long and influential career was characterized by a continuous effort to bring to music sounds that had been traditionally excluded.
      2. In the 1930s and 1940s, he wrote numerous works for percussion ensemble that included instruments such as tin cans and an electric buzzer.
      3. He invented the prepared piano.
        1. Various objects, such as pennies, screws, and plastic, are inserted between the strings of a piano.
        2. When the keyboard plays, a variety of percussive sounds are projected.
      4. Sonatas and Interludes (1946-48)
        1. The work contains twenty-six sonatas and four interludes.
        2. The sonatas are single movements in two repeated parts, as in Scarlatti sonatas, but without thematic returns.
        3. The pianist follows detailed instructions in preparing the piano in advance.
        4. Each movement explores a different set of timbres and figurations.
    3. Harry Partch (1901-1974)
      1. Partch sought out a wholly new system inspired by Chinese, Native American, Jewish, Christian, African, and rural American music.
      2. He developed a new scale with forty-three notes to the octave.
      3. He built new instruments that could play in this scale, including a gourd tree (see HWM Figure 34.9).
      4. He created a number of multimedia works in which these instruments accompany speaking and chanting voices and dancing.
    4. George Crumb (b. 1929)
      1. Crumb has masterfully created new sounds out of ordinary instruments and objects.
      2. Ancient Voices of Children (1970)
        1. This cycle has four songs on poems of Federico Garcia Lorca with two instrumental interludes.
        2. Unusual sound sources include toy piano, musical saw, harmonica, mandolin, Tibetan prayer stones, Japanese temple bells, and electric piano.
        3. Special effects are also obtained from the traditional instruments.
    5. Black Angels (1970) by Crumb (NAWM 163)
      1. The work was written as a protest to the horror of the Vietnam War.
      2. The image of a black angel represents a fallen angel; the work is divided into three parts.
        1. Fall from grace
        2. Spiritual annihilation
        3. Redemption
      3. Numerology plays a significant role, with an emphasis on the numbers seven and thirteen.
      4. A surrealistic character is created through the imaginative use of color.
        1. The string quartet is amplified electronically.
        2. Innovative string techniques are explored.
        3. Quartet members play a variety of percussion instruments and make vocal sounds, including ritualistic counting in several different languages.
      5. Images 4 and 5 are linked together.
        1. They are played without a break.
        2. They depict the dance of death based on the image of the devil playing the violin.
        3. Both quote phrases of Dies irae.
      6. Image 4: Devil-Music
        1. The first violin plays an intense cadenza.
        2. The musical material emphasizes a chord that includes the tritone.
        3. Dies irae is played with pedal tones accompanied by a tam-tam.
      7. Image 5: Danse macabre
        1. The second violin and viola create unusual colors.
        2. A motive from Saint-Saëns’s Danse macabre is quoted several times.
        3. The first violin and cello play Dies irae with unusual timbres that includes whistling.
  10. Asian Influences
    1. Instruments, sounds, and textures from Asia fascinated Western composers.
      1. Canadian composer Colin McPhee (1900-1964)
        1. He transcribed gamelan music for Western instruments.
        2. Tabuhtabuhan (1936) for orchestra draws upon Balinese materials.
      2. Henry Cowell
        1. His travels to Iran, India, and Japan led to works blending Asian and Western elements.
        2. His works include two concertos for the Japanese koto.
      3. Lou Harrison (1917-2003)
        1. He combined Asian and Western instruments.
        2. Harrison also wrote numerous works for traditional Javanese gamelan.
    2. Asian composers, such as Toru Takemitsu (1930-1996) from Japan, also linked Western and Asian traditions.
      1. In his early works, Takemitsu wrote for traditional Western instruments and within Western genres.
      2. In the 1960s, he began to combine the two traditions.
      3. November Steps (1967) is like a double concerto, combining a shakuhachi and biwa with a Western orchestra.
      4. Takemitsu used similar combinations in his film scores.
  11. Electronic Music
    1. Musique concrète
      1. Musique concrète works with recorded sound.
        1. The entire world of sound is potential material for music.
        2. The chosen sounds are manipulated and assembled into collages.
      2. Tape recorders, which had recently been developed, made it possible to record, amplify, transform, and arrange sounds.
      3. Pierre Schaeffer (1910-1995)
        1. He created the first major work using this technique, Symphonie pour un homme seul (Symphony for One Man).
        2. Schaeffer premiered the work in a 1950 radio broadcast.
    2. Electronic sounds
      1. Most electronic sounds are created by oscillators, invented in 1915.
      2. Early electronic instruments
        1. The Theremin was invented around 1920 by Lev Termen.
        2. The Ondes Martenot was invented in 1928 by Maurice Martenot.
        3. Both instruments produced one pitch at a time and projected voicelike sounds capable of glissandos.
        4. They were featured in some orchestral works and film scores.
    3. Electronic studios
      1. Between 1951 and 1953, a number of major electronic studios were created.
        1. Columbia University in New York
        2. Cologne, Germany
        3. Milan, Italy
        4. Tokyo, Japan
      2. Most composers at these studios focused on producing sounds electronically and manipulating them through electronic devices and on tape.
      3. Gesang der Junglinge (Song of the Youths, 1955-56) by Stockhausen
        1. This work combines electronic sounds with a boy’s voice.
        2. It is the first major electronic piece to use multiple tracks.
        3. In concert, the various tracks were projected with loudspeakers placed around the audience.
      4. Poème electronique (Electronic Poem, 1957-58) by Varèse
        1. Poème electronique also combines electronic and recorded sounds.
        2. This eight-minute piece was composed for the 1958 Brussels Exposition.
        3. The music was played through 425 loudspeakers in a pavilion designed by Le Corbusier (see HWM Figure 34.10).
        4. Fifteen thousand people a day experienced this multimedia piece over a six-month period.
    4. Synthesizers
      1. Electronic sound synthesizers enabled composers to call on pitches from a music keyboard.
      2. Composers could control harmonics, waveform, resonance, and the location of sound sources with switches and knobs.
      3. The RCA Mark II Synthesizer was developed at the joint Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center in the late 1950s (see HWM Figure 34.11).
      4. Robert Moog and Donald Buchla each developed simpler and more-compact synthesizers in the mid-1960s.
      5. After becoming commercially available in 1966, they were adopted by studios and composers around the world.
      6. Silver Apples of the Moon (1967) by Morton Subotnick (b. 1933)
        1. Created with the Buchla synthesizer, this work was the first electronic piece to be commissioned by a record company.
        2. It was designed to fill two sides of an LP.
      7. The Beatles and other pop musicians adopted the new synthesizers.
    5. Electronic music and performance
      1. The electronic medium gave composers total control of the music, bypassing human performers.
      2. The absence of performers hindered audiences’ acceptance of the medium.
      3. A number of works were created that combined prerecorded tape with live performers.
    6. Philomel (1964) by Milton Babbitt (NAWM 164)
      1. This work combines live performance with prerecorded tape and synthesized sounds.
        1. The tape alters recorded fragments of the singer and uses electronic sounds.
        2. The taped voice often answers the soloist by distorting her line or commenting like a Greek chorus.
        3. The voice sometimes employs Sprechstimme.
      2. The text is derived from an Ovid fable taken from Metamorphoses.
        1. Philomel is the sister of Procne, the queen of Thrace.
        2. Tereus, Procne’s husband and king of Thrace, rapes Philomel and cuts out her tongue so that she cannot tell what happened.
        3. Philomel weaves the story in a tapestry, and Procne gets revenge by feeding Tereus the butchered corpse of their son.
        4. Tereus pursues the two sisters, but the gods transform them into birds.
        5. Philomel, transformed into a nightingale, regains her voice just as this work begins.
      3. The composition is in three sections.
        1. Section 1: Philomel screams as she recalls the pain of her violation and runs through the forest in fear and confusion (this portion is NAWM 164).
        2. Section 2: Philomel seeks answers about her predicament.
        3. Section 3: Philomel sings a strophic lament joined in refrains by her taped voice.
      4. Interludes for tape and synthesized sounds alternate with the voice.
      5. Everything is worked out with serial procedures.
        1. The pitch-class E is central to the construction.
        2. The rows are manipulated in a way that allows E to become successively the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth pitch-class in the row.
      6. Word painting and imagery
        1. The opening pitch E matches the vowel that is being sung.
        2. Synthesized trills support the word “trilled.”
        3. Recorded birdsongs are added.
  12. Music of Texture and Process
    1. VarÌse’s concept of sound masses moving through musical space influenced several composers.
      1. The emphasis was on sound itself.
      2. Electronic sounds stimulated the invention of new sounds from conventional instruments and voices.
      3. Works contained striking sound combinations that created novel textures.
    2. Iannis Xenakis (1922-2001)
      1. Xenakis was a Greek composer who spent most of his life in France.
      2. An engineer and architect, he saw mathematics as fundamental to music.
      3. Metastaseis for orchestra (1953-54)
        1. Each string player has a unique part.
        2. At times, each has a glissando, moving slowly or quickly.
        3. Xenakis plotted the glissandos on a graph and transferred the lines to music notation (see HWM Figure 34.12).
    3. Krzysztof Penderecki (b. 1933), Threnody: To the Victims of Hiroshima (1960; NAWM 165)
      1. Polish composer Penderecki originally wrote this as an abstract work, but his added title and dedication helped make this his most famous piece.
      2. Threnody is scored for fifty-two string instruments.
        1. Each instrument has a unique part and is required to use unusual performance techniques.
        2. The unusual timbres delineate five sections.
      3. Section 1 has each instrument playing as high as possible.
      4. Section 2 (beginning in measure 6) features a variety of unusual sounds played as quickly as possible.
      5. Section 3 (beginning in measure 10) introduces sustained tones and quarter-tone clusters linked by glissandos (see HWM Example 34.6).
      6. Section 4 (beginning in measure 26) presents isolated pitches and various sound effects in canon.
      7. Section 5 (beginning in measure 56) reintroduces earlier sound effects and clusters that lead to a climactic fifty-two-note chord.
      8. Penderecki used similar sounds in other works.
        1. St. Luke Passion (1963-66)
        2. The Devils of London (1968), an opera
      9. In the mid-1970s Penderecki turned toward neoromanticism.
    4. György Ligeti (b. 1923)
      1. This Polish composer achieved international fame when three of his compositions were used in Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001: A Space Odyssey.
      2. The music for all three works is in constant motion, but static harmonically and melodically, as heard in Atmosphères (1961).
        1. Atmosphères begins with fifty-six muted strings and a variety of wind instruments playing all the chromatic notes through a five-octave range.
        2. Instruments gradually drop out, leaving only the violas and cellos.
        3. Later, clusters of instruments are pitted against each other.
        4. At times he creates the effect of slowly moving masses of sound.
    5. In the wide spectrum of choices that composers have made, listeners are required to forego traditional expectations and engage each work as an experience of sound.
  13. The Avant-Garde
    1. The previously discussed composers are not strictly avant-garde.
      1. These composers intended for their works to be placed in the classic repertoire.
      2. They often drew upon the art music tradition, but with a new and distinctive personality.
      3. They continued the goals of modernism.
      4. Avant-garde composers, like Satie, challenged the concept of permanent classics and wrote music only for the present.
      5. This distinction lies in the purpose of the music, not the technique.
    2. John Cage
      1. Cage was the leading avant-garde composer of the postwar years (see HWM Figure 34.13).
      2. He argued against the museumlike preservation of music from the past.
      3. He did not seek to write works that expressed emotions, developed material, or had a logical unfolding of events.
      4. Influenced by Zen Buddhism, he created oppor-tunities for experiencing sounds as themselves, not as vehicles for the composer’s intentions (see HWM Source Reading, page 934).
      5. Three strategies to achieve this goal:
        1. Chance
        2. Indeterminacy
        3. Blurring boundaries between music, art, and life
    3. Chance music
      1. Some of the decisions normally made by a composer are left to chance.
        1. Such pieces do not convey the composer’s intentions.
        2. His approach varied from work to work.
      2. Music of Changes for piano (1951; Book I in NAWM 166)
        1. The title is taken from the ancient Chinese book of prophecy I-Ching (Book of Changes), which offers a method of divination by tossing coins.
        2. Cage devised charts for possible sounds, dynamics, durations, and tempos.
        3. The methods described in I-Ching were used to select the sounds of a given performance.
        4. As a result, sounds occur randomly.
    4. Indeterminacy
      1. Certain aspects of the music are unspecified.
        1. He drew the idea in part from a work by his friend Morton Feldman.
        2. The exact sound for Concert for piano and orchestra (1957-58) will vary from performance to performance.
        3. 4’33” (Four Minutes Thirty-Three Seconds, 1952) has the performers sit in silence for this amount of time, thereby allowing the environmental noises to constitute the music.
      2. In both of the above techniques, the listener is invited to hear sounds as sounds.
      3. Value judgments are irrelevant, and there can be no mistakes.
      4. Variations IV (1963) uses both indeterminacy and chance and can be combined with other activities, including activities of daily life.
      5. Musicircus (1967) has any number of musicians performing different music all at once, while the audience wanders freely.
    5. Other composers adopted indeterminacy.
      1. Earle Brown (b. 1926) in Available Forms I (1961) and II (1962)
      2. Stockhausen in Klavierst�cke XI (Piano Piece No. 11, 1956)
      3. Penderecki in Threnody
    6. Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
      1. This Polish composer used indeterminacy selectively while maintaining ties to modernism.
      2. String Quartet (1964) specifies pitches and rhythms, but not the coordination of the parts.
      3. Symphony No. 3 (1983) applies this method with great subtlety.
    7. Consequences of indeterminacy
      1. New kinds of notation were developed.
      2. No two performances were exactly alike.
      3. It opened the door to the awareness that earlier music was not a rigidly defined, unchanging work.
    8. Performance art
      1. Performing an action as a work of art in a public place is called performance art.
      2. It appeared in the 1960s, spearheaded by Fluxus, a loose group of avant-garde artists in Europe and the United States.
      3. Composition 1960 No. 2 by La Monte Young instructs the performer to build a fire.
      4. Yoko Ono (b. 1933)
        1. Grapefruit (1964) is a collection of pieces aimed at the performer and observer.
        2. In Earth Piece (1963), the performer is asked to listen to the sound of the earth turning.
        3. She brought her approach to rock music, collaborating with John Lennon after their marriage in 1969.
      5. Korean-born Nam June Paik (b. 1932) created exhibits with multiple television sets that blended music, video, performance art, and sculpture.
  14. Quotation and Collage
    1. A number of composers quoted existing music, sometimes even creating a collage of multiple quotations.
      1. Modernist composers like Schoenberg and Stravinsky borrowed previously composed material.
      2. Postwar composers used older music to carry meanings that were not available by other means.
    2. Peter Maxwell Davies (b. 1934)
      1. This British composer borrowed from chant and English Renaissance music.
      2. By distorting the source material, he emphasized the gulf between modern times and the distant past.
      3. Taverner (1962-70), an opera on the life of the Renaissance composer, reworks the latter’s In Nomine.
    3. George Rochberg (b. 1918)
      1. American composer Rochberg had written mostly serial music.
      2. After the death of his son in 1964, he turned to writing works based on borrowed material.
      3. Nach Bach (After Bach, 1966) for harpsichord is a “commentary” on Bach’s Keyboard Partita No. 6 in E Minor, BWV 830.
    4. Lukas Foss (b. 1922) transforms music by Handel, Domenico Scarlatti, and Bach in his Baroque Variations (1967).
    5. George Crumb quotes the chant Dies irae and Schubert’s Death and the Maiden Quartet in Black Angels.
    6. Stockhausen borrowed music in several works, including Gesang der J�nglinge and Hymen (1967).
      1. Hymen incorporates many different national anthems in a setting for electronic sounds, voices, and instruments.
      2. The intention was not to interpret, but to present the familiar.
      3. Opus 1970, written for the Beethoven bicentenary, includes recognizable fragments of Beethoven’s works.
    7. Luciano Berio’s Sinfonia (Symphony, 1968-69) contains a rich collection of borrowed music.
      1. The scherzo incorporates most of Mahler’s scherzo to his Symphony No. 2.
      2. Superimposed on the Mahler are verbal and musical commentaries.
      3. Berio adds quotations from over one hundred other works.
  15. Band and Wind Ensemble Music
    1. A large repertoire of serious works was created for band in the postwar era.
    2. The wind band grew in popularity throughout the twentieth century.
      1. After Sousa, the most famous bandmaster was Edwin Franko Goldman (1878-1956).
      2. Along with his son, Richard Franko Goldman (1910-1980), he continued the tradition of outdoor concerts with nationally broadcast performances in New York’s Central Park.
      3. Bands became especially important in schools across the country.
      4. Band associations promoted the concert band for performing serious concert music.
      5. Goldman and others commissioned new band works that matched the seriousness of orchestral music.
      6. Several prominent composers wrote for concert band, including Schoenberg, Milhaud, and Hindemith.
    3. Wind ensemble
      1. In 1952, Frederick Fennell (1914-2005) founded the Eastman Wind Ensemble.
      2. A wind ensemble was a group dedicated solely to serious music.
      3. In a wind ensemble, each instrumental part became essential.
      4. A number of composers wrote serious works for the wind ensemble, including Persichetti, William Schuman, Copland, Penderecki, and Joseph Schwantner.
    4. Music for Prague 1968, introduction and fanfare by Karel Husa (NAWM 167)
      1. Husa was born in Prague and came to the United States after Communists assumed power in his native country.
      2. Music for Prague 1968 was inspired by the Soviet Union’s overthrow of Czechoslovakia’s liberal government.
      3. Originally composed for wind symphony and later arranged for orchestra, this work has four movements.
        1. Introduction and fanfare
        2. Aria
        3. Interlude for percussion only
        4. Toccata and chorale
      4. The central thematic idea is the first phrase of a fifteenth-century Czech chorale tune, You Who Are God’s Warriors.
        1. Smetana used the tune in two tone poems from Má Vlast.
        2. The chorale was a song of the Hussites, followers of religious reformer Jan Hus, who symbolized resistance to outside oppression.
        3. Employing cumulative form, fragments of the tune are developed before it is heard fully at the end.
        4. In the first movement, the first two measures of the tune appear in the brass (measures 74-76), but the tune remains incomplete as the movement ends.
      5. In the adagio, the timpani presents fragments of the chorale, with some distortion.
      6. At the fanfare (measure 35), the trumpets take notes from the timpani to create a four-note idea: D-E-flat-D-flat-C.
        1. This motive becomes the main material of the movement.
        2. Development of this motive leads to the climactic arrival of the first two measures of the chorale.
        3. The motive is transposed, and its retrograde becomes part of a twelve-tone row in the second movement.
      7. The material of the piccolo and flute solos at the beginning is drawn from the chorale or fanfare figure.
      8. A three-note motive (measures 3-4), also related to the fanfare, appears later in the movement.
      9. Other modernist methods
        1. Instruments sometimes have contradictory dynamics, allowing for chords to change as they sound.
        2. Dynamics sometimes become a virtual melody.
        3. Brass use a variety of mutes to create different colors.
        4. Alto saxophones play quartertones (measures 33-34).
        5. Indeterminate notation is used at the climax (measures 81-87).
      10. This work represents a number of trends from this chapter.
        1. The composer is a university composer; Husa taught at Cornell.
        2. A college ensemble commissioned the work.
        3. The work was composed in response to a political event-the occupation of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Union.
        4. It employs borrowed material, a Czech hymn.
        5. Abstract procedures include twelve-tone methods, indeterminacy, and an all-percussion movement.
  16. New Classics
    1. The pop world has now established a classical repertoire.
      1. Music from the 1950s and 1960s are “golden oldies” on the radio.
      2. Broadway musicals are continuously revived.
      3. Jazz has been preserved on recordings, and classics are learned in school ensembles.
      4. Film music has begun to receive attention as well.
    2. Postwar art music has not fared as well.
      1. Some works have been established in the permanent repertoire.
      2. Other works are well known by the musical elite.
      3. For the most part, the musical experimentation of the era found no audience.
      4. Still, the techniques that were developed have opened up new doors.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s