HideShow resource information
  • Created by: Qiao-Chu
  • Created on: 07-04-13 19:29


Music modernism - philosophy of art, music and composition. Artistic continuum, progression but respect for the past. Seeks to challenge audience and encourage them to question. Evoke one strong human emotion like Edvard Munch's 'The Scream'.

Expressionism: Early form of Modernist composition. Atonal but not reliant on formal composition like Serialism. One fo Five Orchestral Pieces composed in 1909, title 'a sudden change of fortune'.

1 of 10


Schoenberg was prominent Modernist composer. Invented Serialism. He and pupils Berg and Webern were collectively known as Second Viennese School.

2 of 10


Extremes of pitch: Large and angular leaps. Atonal melodies very chromatic.

Extremes of rhythm: Extreme rhythmic duration. Relatively long notes followed by flourishes of short notes.

Hauptstimme: Principle voice. Highly polyphonic but Schoenberg uses H and closing bracket to indicate which voice is most important at one time.

Nebenstimme: Secondary voice. Second most important melody at any given time. Indicated by N and closing bracket.

Hexachords: Melodic fragments constructed from group of six notes from the chromatic scale.

Klangfarbenmelodie: Sound colour melody. Different instruments contribute short motifs to form complete melody. Schoenberg believed timbre important aspect of melody.

3 of 10


Atonal: No traditional sense of harmony.

Hexachords: Chords formed from 6 notes in the chromatic scale. Highly dissonant harmonies.

4 of 10


Atonal: All 12 semitones are of equal importance. No hierarchy like in Western tonal music where dominant and tonic more important.

All notes used equally.

5 of 10


Polyphonic: Many melodies and fragments often sounding at the same time. Complex polyphony.

Extremes of texture: Number of instruments playing at one time can vary dramatically from one bar to the next. Bar 59 beginning just clarinet and texture is briefly monophonic, then in a few bars other instruments join and texture clearly polyphonic again.

6 of 10


Loose Rondo: Expressionist music hard to structure due to lack of keys so no contrasting section in the dominant or relative minor. Some theorists suggest Peripetie is in loose rondo due to apparent return of certain melodic material. Traditionally rondos have repeated fixed sections and variety of refrains (contrasting episodes).

7 of 10

Tempo, Rhythm and Metre

Tempo pivots between 'sehr rasch' (very fast) and 'etwas ruhiger' (somewhat calmer).

Simple triple time 3/4 with occasional changes in meter.

Complex rhythms so no clear sense of pulse.

Extremes of duration where long notes quickly followed by short notes.

8 of 10


Composed for large symphony orchestra.

Virtuosic writing and performance requires highly skilled players.

Klangfarbenmelodie as Schoenberg feels timbre was important part of music.

9 of 10

Dynamics and Articulation

Extremes of dynamics: Markings range from pp-fff and can change suddenly and dramatically.

High control: Schoenberg ensured high control over performance with clear attention to detail in all parts. Many notes have individual performance directions.

10 of 10


No comments have yet been made

Similar Music resources:

See all Music resources »See all Schoenberg resources »