Throughout the twentieth century, many trends developed. These trends permeated all the different areas of music and did not specifically happen at a given point in time or take on a strict form. Some of these trends were incorporated together into the same piece of music. The twentieth century broke all the musical rules of the past and let one form and style flow right into another. It is still important to note that although much change came with the turn of the century, Romantic music continued throughout this era, and remained the dominant form for quite some time.
Impressionism was the very first trend of significance which moved away from Romanticism and towards Modern era characteristics. Though this type of music was programmatic, it still started the movement away from the Romantic era. Impressionistic music was vague in form, delicate in nature, and had a mysterious atmosphere to it.
Although not as important as Impressionism, Expressionism was a prominent early twentieth century movement. Stylistically, expressionistic music was very atonal and dissonant. It was a German movement away from French Impressionism. It was emotional and had a somewhat Romantic feel to it.
can be defined as the new classical movement. This movement started in the early 1920s and continued to be a leading musical movement throughout the century. This trend is still popular today. Neo-Classicism is a movement which incorporated the music of the Classical era, in terms of clarity of texture and objectivity. This trend not only based its music on the Classical era, but it also mixed Renaissance, Baroque, and some modern trends in with it.
Jazz is a musical movement which dominated the 1900s. It is mainly an American form and remains popular to this day. Jazz can be defined as anything from popular music of the twentieth century to the improvised sounds of a dance band. Some prominent forms of Jazz throughout the century have been Ragtime, , , Dixieland Jazz, Bop, and Boogie-Woogie. Since the second half of the 1900s, new forms and techniques of Jazz have come about. These include funky hard bop regression, cool jazz, progressive jazz, and rock and roll. Generally these newer styles have a greater range in harmony, rhythm, and melody, and are less oriented to dance music. They also sometimes borrow techniques and forms from classical music, and vice versa, as modern classical music often contains Jazz elements.
Aleatory Music or Chance Music
Aleatory music is an extremely random style of music. The composer and/or the performer will randomly pick musical materials and make it into a piece of music. There are no rules to this form of music, and, thus, any kind of music can be created as a result. After the composer writes a piece in this unusual style, the performer then improvises on it, to make it stranger and more unique. Some techniques involved in aleatory music are having the audience improvise along with the performer, using electronic or computer media, or reading poetry somewhere inside of the work.
The newest trend of the twentieth century lies in electronic music. Electronic music takes electronically generated sounds and turns it into a work of music. Like conventional music, electronic music has four general properties to it. These are amplitude, pitch, duration, and timbre. Electronic music is typically composed on either a synthesizer or a computer. The most current trends in this form of music show electronic music in combination with Jazz.
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