The 20th Century
Early 20th century architecture
turned to a functional direction, serving buildings' inhabitants. Less
ornaments, more symmetry and a simpler style
- all of which characterised the international style, the "Bauhaus"
- a movement originating in Germany,
that argued "a design serving its purpose is by nature fine and charming".
This style was enthusiastically accepted in the modern world. One
can find much resemblance to the phenomenon of composers of the so-called
(in German: Gebrauchsmusik) (like
and Kurt Weill)
who wanted music whose purpose is to serve the masses, and get closer to
them and their daily lives.
In the field of painting and visual art in general, one
can see throughout the entire century, in all of its styles and trends,
a tendency to disqualify traditional painting and conventions, bonding
the artist, and to focus on "form" rather
than on "subject". Different directions and trends were
formed during the 20th century, with greater freedom of creation than ever,
and avant-garde becomes accepted and even mainstream. Exploration
and discovery of new ways of creation, bring richness in artistic style
on the one hand, and on the other hand, alienates the masses from modern
art. That is because of their difficulty to understand and enjoy
In music, too, conventions widely
accepted till the late romanticism, were abandoned. Tonality, harmony and
other past concepts were replaced by new diverse ways of artistic expression.
Modern music is hard to listen to and orchestras
are required, by the audience, to perform the classical repertory on a
regular basis; many of them oppose 20th century music as a whole. Styles
such as the "twelve-tone" system
are considered difficult for listening. Other
styles introduce electronic and electro-acoustic means. Several artists
operate within minimalist or "primitive" patterns. Jazz
was embraced by some modern composers; film
music is a channel of making a living for many composers. Only a few of
the composers of art music truly attempted approaching their audience and
created "applied" music that would be interesting for the common
person. Like many kinds of artists, most modern composers entrenched themselves
into making "art for the sake of art", paying a heavy price in
audience's willingness to listen to their work.