WVU Music 271 Podcast


April 24, 2007

Music 271: 4/20/07
II: American Neo-Classicism concluded: Copland’s Piano Variations and beyond:
• Copland, Elliot Carter were all Neo-Classic composers
• Rhythmic aspects of early jazz (ragtime) till the 1920s
• Tonal, clear textures: these all can be heard in Copland’s Piano Variations
• Schönberg is a Neo-classical composers who uses serial harmony

III: The Experimentalists (Ultra-modernists): Rejection of both post-Romanticism and Neo-Classicism:
A: Henry Cowell and The Banshee (1925):
• Neo-Classicism “Attempt to reduplicate a bygone style”
• Introduced a new agenda: quest for new sonorities and timbres
• The strumming of the piano strings become the new timbres
B: Edgard Varese and Ionisation (1933):
• Neo-Classicism is “Zealously academic”
• Percussion is another source of new timbres and sonorities
• Began the percussion ensemble tradition: was the first new piece that wasn’t transcribed from another source
C: John Cage:
• Inspired by Varese, composed works for percussion ensemble, solo percussion (brake drums)
• “Discovered sounds”
• The father of prepared piano works (after WWII)
• New direction of experimentalism: pre-recorded sounds (Magnetic tape)
• Magnetic tape could be edited
• William’s Mix (1952)

IV: George Crumb: A disciple of the Experimentalist as well as a multi-culturalist:
A: Crumb’s inspiration: 4 musical domains:
1. European Art Music:
2. American vernacular music:
3. The fusions of folk traditions in WV:
4. Elements of African, Indian, and Japanese music:
• Highly individual style
B: Ancient Voices of Children for soprano and mixed chamber ensemble (1970): poetry by Federico Garcia Lorca:
• Oboe, percussion, piano, musical saw, harp

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