Modern music
Main Period: Modern







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A composition technique in which there is a line of 12 notes of the chromatic scale, appearing serially, and the musical piece is based on the repetition of this fixed order. Through the logic of the 12 equally important notes, and the rules attached to them, Schönberg intended to offer alternative techniques to the tonal system, in which one note is central. This is a-tonality. The technique Schönberg developed in the early 20th century became one of the most important methods in modern art music, also thanks to his followers Alban Berg and Anton Webern.

A composition technique evolved from dodecaphony, which does not obligate a series of 12 notes but a line of several sounds chosen by the composer (but no longer than 12). There is also the total serialism, in which every aspect of a piece is controlled by the serial pattern, not only sound pitch, such as in the dodecaphonic system. Rhythm, dynamics, tempo and so on - all derived of the original series.

Music based on a pattern repeated over and over again with tiny (minimal) changes. The influence to this trend came from both plastic art, when, in the 1960's, there was a school of the same name, that worked with basic geometric structures, and from the music of the East, based on a hypnotizing repetition of patterns. Le-Monte Young conceived the ideas of constant repetition (repetitiveness), inspired by John Coltrane's free jazz. Steve Reich (known for his famous drum piece "Drumming") and Philip Glass ("Music in 12 Parts") are two of the prominent artists in this school, which had a great influence on popular music. In the 1970's Stockhausen wrote minimalist works, the most prominent of which is his "Stimmung", written for 6 singers.

Aleatory Music
Music based on random elements, that is elements set by accident, in the course of composition or performance. John Cage, the father of this system, was influence by the musical traditions of the east and Hindu philosophy, which he profoundly studied, and wrote pieces such as "The Alterations' Music", that caused a scandal among listeners, for being unordinary and almost irritating in the way they were presented to the audience (in "4:33"Just like 4:33, for example, Cage requires an undefined ensemble of performers to sit for 4 minutes and 33 seconds and keep silent. The music is the noise sound around). Stockhausen ("From the Seven Seas") and other composers were influenced by the ideas of randomness.

Electronic Music
Music created on electronic instruments such as synthesizers, samplers etc. Boulez ("Repons") and Stockhausen ("Hymns" - Hymnen (Anthems)) are among the most important composers in this field. Max Matthews and Luciano Berio ("Thema"), were also engaged for a while in composing electronic music.

Musique Concrète (Fr.) Concrete music
Music prepared from recorded sounds (from nature or man-made environment) recorded and arranged on tape. A technique developed chiefly by Pierre Schaeffer. The concrete music was later absorbed into electronic music.


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