Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) Arnold Schoenberg is one of the key figures in the history of music that made significant contribution towards the development of the genre in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries…
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The artist composed music in different styles attracting a mixture of reactions from the audience including students, friends, and other Viennese audiences. Some of his works later contributed to hatred from his musical enemies. The early life and music Arnold Schoenberg was born to a merchant Samuel Schoenberg and Pauline in Vienna, Austria, on September 13, 1874 (ThinkQuest, para.1). Schoenberg was born in a family that had no particular musical history (Rovi Corporation, para.2). His father died in 1890 when he was aged 16 after which he became an apprentice with some bank shortly. As such, he had to learn much of the music styles through self-teaching and reliance on friends. The artist learnt to play violin and began to compose at the early age of eight years (ThinkQuest, para.1). He had shown aptitude for music composition at the early age. He also began to learn and acquire skills from his friends. One of the artists who helped him develop his talents was Oskar Adler, who gave him rudimentary instructions in harmony and counterpoint (Rovi Corporation, para.2). In 1891, Schoenberg joined the orchestra “Polyhymnia” and met Alexander von Zemlinsky, the conductor of the orchestra; they would be friends throughout their lives (ThinkQuest, para.1). Zemlinsky, who would later be his brother-in-law, taught Schoenberg composition skills. This was the only formal instruction of this nature that the artist received in music. The early works of the artist in this career involved teaching privately and in other institutions and occasionally orchestrating operettas. He was a conductor of the metalworker-choir. Schoenberg got married to Zemlinsky’s sister, Mathilde, in 1901 and he moved with his wife to Berlin. The marriage was shaken at one point whereby Mathilde got married to another artist. They reunited later before her death in 1923. Schoenberg later got married ten months later to another woman, a sister to another artist. Music styles Schoenberg developed his first original composition, some few piano pieces, at the age of twenty. The early musical compositions by this artist bore the image of the German Romanticism. This was particularly evident in his first composition Verklarte Nacht, Op.4 composed in 1899. This work was romantic and rich in harmony and color making this earlier work to be easy to comprehend and listen to (ThinkQuest, para.7). In the later developments, the artist concentrated in atonal music that did not have the structure of the traditional tonality. This formed the basis of criticism from his detractors. Nonetheless, the style attracted a large faithful following. He became an instructor in music. Some of the active followers would later become his pupils after establishing his private institution. The two most identifiable pupils of the artist are Alban Berg an Anton Webern. The two pupils developed their skills in music and would later match their trainer in style and composition ability. Working together, the three musical composers were the corner stones in the development of the atonal and 12-tone music that rocked the music industry in the first half of the twentieth century While in Berlin, Schoenberg was appointed to teach at Stern Academy in Berlin (ThinkQuest, para.3). In 1903, he returned to Vienna and established a private teaching academy. Berg and Webern became his first pupil. Schoenberg received further support from Zemlensky and another friend, Gustav Mahler, towards the real composition of atonal pieces (ThinkQuest) Gustav Mahler was the director of court opera. Schoenberg had now begun to move away from tonality towards atonal composition. He later composed some works and performed in a legendary in
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