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Lastly, technological advances such as synthesizers became prevalent in the field of music and began to be used in ways classical music had never before experienced. Naturally, such a time of political and societal unrest gave way to many new ideologies, new movements, new perspectives, and most importantly for purposes of this brief analysis, new forms of classical music.
Classical music composers were faced with all of the aforementioned issues and in addition to that were given new tools with which to accentuate their music. The birth of the synthesizer and the use of computers in musical compositions were both immediately co-opted into music as composers and musicians alike attempted to delineate their music through their use. Likewise, greater and more prolific use of atonality, dissonance, and minimalism were employed to a greater and greater extent. Arnold Schoenberg, a composer whose career spanned both 20th century and contemporary periods, will be analyzed in this brief study. Schoenberg’s characteristically atonal, experimental, and minimalist styles can be amply heard in A Survivor of Warsaw Op. 46 1947.
The piece is symbolic of Schoenberg’s unique style, the elements of the contemporary period, as well as the socio-political disturbances that gave rise to so much of the anxt filled music of the era. Firstly and most prominently, the piece features Schoenberg’s full and extravagant use of atonality and dissonance which had become such a characteristic of the prior 20th century; however, in addition, Schoenberg fully employed the 12 tone technique (also known as dodecaphony) for which he became renowned.
This piece critiques modern society in that the atonality, the purposeful confusion, and the minimalism all work towards describing the sheer and utter depravity of humankind without taking away from the story by an overly ornate or complex musical tone. Simply stated, where other pieces may have lost some meaning by purposely
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