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By the turn of the 20th century musical works were becoming more widely known through technological advances. Composers were searching for new kinds of musical expression. Just as painters had turned from realism to impressionism, composers began to write in a more subtle style. This new style was a reaction against the emotional excess of the romantic school.
The first to be called a modern composer (impressionist) was a Frenchman, Claude Debussy. He used shifting harmonies to give listeners an impression, rather than a clear visualization, of what they were hearing. Another modern composer was Igor Stravinsky, who aroused storms of protest with 'the Rite of Spring'. He made daring experiments with harmony and drew on a wide knowledge of all kinds for his effects. And thus the list goes on of many brilliant, and other not so effective modern classical music composers.