WVU Music 271 Podcast


April 13, 2007

Sorry for the delays this week! This week has been absolutely crazy, and getting this podcast out has taken a back burner to many other things. Please look in the feed for the other lectures from this week. (4/9 and 4/11)

Music 271: 4/13/07
I: Arnold Schönberg (1874-1951): A new approach to harmonic organization prompted by an essentially conservative philosophy:
• Believed he was the heir to a great musical tradition: Art music as cultivated in Vienna
• Harmonic order of Central Europe (Vienna) was being overwhelmed by chromaticism

II: Schöenberg’s career: Two stages and three concepts of harmony: (GB: p.73, Bonds Ch.21)
A: Diatonic chromaticism in the style of Wagner, Mahler, and Brahms (to 1907):
• “Transfigured Night” - 1890s
B: Atonality - no tonic and no alternative harmonic organization (1907-c1923):
• All 12 chromatic pitches have equal weight
• Expressionism - musical compositions as well as visual arts and theatre
• Expressionism: refers to art that takes an inner psychological reality and projects it outwards (Mental instability, emotional repression)
• Examples: “The Scream” painting (Blood red skies reflection of the Krakatoa explosion)
• “The Crosses”
C: Twelve-tone composition or Serialism (c1923-1951):
• Dodecaphony
• Designed to establish order over the chromatic scale
• No one pitch is more important that the others
• Composing in “rows”: Each row includes each pitch. No one pitch is repeated until all of the others have been played
• Suite für Klavier, Op. 25: Prime form: E-F-G-Db Gb-Eb-Ab-D B-C-A-Bb
• Three variants: Inverted transposed up six semi-tones (Tritone), Prime transposed up six semi-tones (Tritone), Inverted (Same initial pitch as Prime)
• Prime → Variant 1 Variant 2 → Variant 3 set up and antecedent-consequent relationship
• Maintains forms and genres from the 18th century

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