Edexcel GCSE Music AoS 2

just things about "changing directions in western classical music from 1900". FASCINATING :) tbh.. you're probably better off listening to some extracts of different types of contemporary music on youtube or something - it's all just so strange!

But here you go anywayy...

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  • Created by: Lara
  • Created on: 22-05-10 13:32

Expressionism

Expressionism came from Romaniticism, it's basically just really melodramatic.

Key Features:

  • Related to art - expressing inner emotions ("The Scream" kind of thing)
  • Early Schoenberg (before he went all Serialist - have a look on YouTube for a few videos
  • Atonal
  • Often chromatic

I can't really describe it very well - if it's not serialist, minimalist, experimental or electronic in AoS2 questions it's probably expressionist.

(one of my music teachers say that expressionism is it's own musical genre in it's own right but the other says that it's more of an "umbrella term" encompassing serialism, expreimental etc.. so i'm very confused)

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Serialism

It's a method of composition when you take all 12 notes in an octave, put them in any order without repetition (tone row) and compose music using just those notes in that order.

You can change the tone row by:

  • Octave displacement (moving the note up/down the octaves)
  • Inversion (turning it upside down). It starts on the same note, so if the tone row started on an A and went to a C, in the inversion you would start on an A and go down to an F sharp
  • Retrograde (doing the tone row backwards)
  • Verticalisation (ie making chords out of them)
  • Transposition
  • or... just any of the above wanged together e.g. a verticalisation of the octave displacement of the retrograde tone row inverted.

Was though up by Schoenberg, who was part of the Second Viennese School with Berg and Webern.

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Minimalism

Minimalism key features:

  • Looped rhythms like ostinati are often used.
  • Phase shifting - gradually changing. Gives it a hypnotic/trance-like feel
  • Tonality - Minimalist pieces are never atonal
  • Influence from African and Indian music (e.g. repeating patterns like tala in Indian music
  • Repetition
  • Aleatoric - there's often an element of chance

Key composers are Steve Reich, John Adams and Phillip Glass

It's worth having a google of In C by Terry Riley

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Experimental

Very strange - it's supposed to push the boundaries of music. It proposes a big debate - what is music and what is just a whole load of sheeet?

Key Features:

  • Household objects used as instruments/ Prepared piano
  • Music Concrete - not really a feature but it is experimental - usins everyday sounds and then manipulating them (e.g. by reverb, looping etc.)
  • Graphic score - written out in pictures, diagrams and symbols

Composers - John Cage is probably the most influential experimental composer but there's also Maxwell-Davies and David Tudor.

4'33" is the one that you should really think about. The orchestra came on and the conductor beat them in. Then there was just 4 minutes and 33 seconds of silence meaning that the environmental noises became part of the music.

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