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An overview of the music in the early part of the modern era

  • Increased use of percussion, and use of standard instruments in non-standard ways were important developments in this era;
  • Bringing together diverse strands of thought in a broader intellectual history of temporality, Grant's study fills an unexpected yet conspicuous gap in the history of music theory, and is essential reading for music theorists and composers as well as historical musicologists and practitioners of historically informed performance;
  • Harpsichord music achieved new heights, due to the works of such masters as Domenico Scarlatti and others;
  • Composers came from all over Europe to train in and around Vienna, and gradually they developed and formalized the standard musical forms that were to predominate European musical culture for the next several decades;
  • The commercial music industry, which began in the 1930s, is now the dominant musical force across the world, leaving today's art-musicians scrambling to preserve an audience;
  • The Renaissance Generally considered to be from ca.

These years were marked by constant warfare, the absence of a Holy Roman Emperor, and the virtual disappearance of urban life. Over the next next nine centuries, the newly emerging Christian Church came to dominate Europe, administering justice, instigating "Holy" Crusades against the East, establishing Universities, and generally dictating the destiny of music, art, and literature.

It was during this time that Pope Gregory I is generally believed to have collected and codified the music known as Gregorian Chantwhich was the approved music of the Church.

  1. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
  2. Musical Modernism and the Influence of the Tonal Tradition.
  3. Literary Modernism and Musical Aesthetics. The instrumental concerto became a staple of the Baroque era, and found its strongest exponent in the works of the Venetian composer Antonio Vivaldi.
  4. Drawing on paradigms from the history of science and technology and the history of philosophy, author Roger Mathew Grant illustrates ways in which theories of meter and time, informed by one another, have manifested themselves in the field of music. This era has seen the gradual decline of the worldwide British Commonwealth which once included India, Hong Kong and other parts of the Far East, much of Africa, Canada, and the British Isles , the establishment of the United States as the major force of the Free World, and the rise and fall of Soviet Communism.

Much later, the University at Notre Dame in Paris saw the creation of a new kind of music called organum. And it was during these "Middle Ages" that Western culture saw the appearance of the first great name in music, Guillaume de Machaut. The Renaissance Generally considered to be from ca. With the rise of humanism, sacred music began for the first time to break free of the confines of the Church, and a school of composers trained in the Netherlands mastered the art of polyphony in their settings of sacred music.

One of the early masters of the Flemish style was Josquin des Prez. These polyphonic traditions reached their culmination in the unsurpassed works of Giovanni da Palestrina. Of course, secular music thrived during this period, and instrumental and dance music was performed in abundance, if not always written down.

It was left for others to collect and notate the wide variety of irrepressible instrumental music of the period. The late Renaissance also saw in England the flourishing of the English madrigalthe best known of which were composed by such masters as John Dowland, William Byrd, Thomas Morley and others.

The Baroque Age Named after the popular ornate architectural style of the time, the Baroque period ca. This was a time when the many monarchies of Europe vied in outdoing each other in pride, pomp and pageantry. Many monarchs employed composers at their courts, where they were little more than servants expected to churn out music for any desired occasions. The greatest composer of the period, Johann Sebastian An overview of the music in the early part of the modern erawas such a servant.

Yet the best composers of the time were able to break new musical ground, and in so doing succeeded in creating an entirely new style of music. It was during the early part of the seventeenth century that the genre of opera was first created by a group of composers in Florence, Italy, and the earliest operatic masterpieces were composed by Claudio Monteverdi.

The instrumental concerto became a staple of the Baroque era, and found its strongest exponent in the works of the Venetian composer Antonio Vivaldi. Harpsichord music achieved new heights, due to the works of such masters as Domenico Scarlatti and others.

Dances became formalized into instrumental suites and were composed by virtually all composers of the era. But vocal and choral music still reigned supreme during this age, and culminated in the operas and oratorios of German-born composer George Frideric Handel. The Classical Period From roughly 1750 to 1820, artists, architechts, and musicians moved away from the heavily ornamented styles of the Baroque and the Rococoand instead embraced a clean, uncluttered style they thought reminiscent of Classical Greece.

The newly established aristocracies were replacing monarchs and the church as patrons of the arts, and were demanding an impersonal, but tuneful and elegant music. Composers came from all over Europe to train in and around Vienna, and gradually they developed and formalized the standard musical forms that were to predominate European musical culture for the next several decades. A reform of the extravagance of Baroque opera was undertaken by Christoph von Gluck.

Johann Stamitz contributed greatly to the growth of the orchestra and developed the idea of the orchestral symphony.

Modernism (music)

The Classical period reached its majestic culmination with the masterful symphonies, sonatas, and string quartets by the three great composers of the Viennese school: During the same period, the first voice of the burgeoning Romantic musical ethic can be found in the music of Viennese composer Franz Schubert.

The Romantic Era As the many socio-political revolutions of the late eighteenth-century established new social orders and new ways of life and thought, so composers of the period broke new musical ground by adding a new emotional depth to the prevailing classical forms. Throughout the remainder of the nineteenth-century from ca. The romantic artists are the first in history to give to themselves the name by which they are identified. The earliest Romantic composers were all born within a few years of each other in the early years of the nineteenth century.

During the early nineteenth century, opera composers such as Carl Maria von Weber turned to German folk stories for the stories of their operas, while the Italians looked to the literature of the time and created what is known as Bel canto opera literally "beautiful singing".

Later in the century, the field of Italian opera was dominated by Giuseppe Verdiwhile German opera was virtually monopolized by Richard Wagner. During the nineteenth century, composers from non-Germanic countries began looking for ways in which they might express the musical soul of their homelands. Many of these Nationalist composers turned to indigenous history and legends as plots for their operas, and to the popular folk melodies and dance rhythms of their homelands as inspiration for their symphonies and instrumental music.

Others developed a highly personal harmonic language and melodic style which distinguishes their music from that of the Austro-Germanic traditions.

The continued modification and enhancement of existing instruments, plus the invention of new ones, led to the further expansion of the symphony orchestra throughout the century. Taking advantage of these new sounds and new instrumental combinations, the late Romantic composers of the second half of the nineteenth-century created richer and ever larger symphonies, ballets, and concertos.

The Twentieth-Century By the turn of the century and for the next few decades, artists of all nationalities were searching for exciting and different modes of expression. Composers such as Arnold Schoenberg explored unusual and unorthodox harmonies and tonal schemes. French composer Claude Debussy was fascinated by Eastern music and the whole-tone scale, and created a style of music named after the movement in French painting called Impressionism. The tried-and-true genre of the symphony, albeit somewhat modified by this time, attracted such masters as Gustav Mahler and Dmitri Shostakovichwhile Igor Stravinsky gave full rein to his manipulation of kaleidoscopic rhythms and instrumental colors throughout his extremely long and varied career.

In addition to new and eclectic styles of musical trends, the twentieth century boasts numerous composers whose harmonic and melodic styles an average listener can still easily appreciate and enjoy. A Bibliography of sources used in the creation of Music History 102.