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Music - Essay Example

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The second half of 19th century and the beginning of 20th century in France were culturally significant due to developing Impressionist movement in art. The movement was initiated by artists but it immediately captured composers, writers and poets as well. The piece Voiles by…
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Download file to see previous pages It renders new understanding of beauty associated with Impressionism.
The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky was composed under the influence of avant-garde art movement in the beginning of 20th century in France which was a center of cultural experiments. At the same time, this piece focuses on Slavic culture and its specific musical elements. This piece is an interpretation of Russian folk music in an avant-garde key; complicated rhythmic structure, dissonance, disorganized melody and unconventional approach to ornamentation make this piece exceptional. It is not background music; it requires attention and understanding to be appreciated by people. It seems to be too difficult to understand at some points, but it is very engaging and beautiful music.
The first half of the 20th century was the time when music changed significantly in the USA under the influence of African American culture. Swing became very popular with American population due to its lively rhythm, cheerful mood and ability to dance. Cotton Tail by Duke Ellington is a great example of swing music. It is performed by the swing orchestra; its cheerful rhythm and dancing vibes cannot make people listen patiently. Swing music gives beginning to jazz in the USA; it is simpler in its rhythmic structure but it already has syncope and harmonies typical for jazz. It is music for people who belong to the lost generation born between two wars; it is carefree, joyful and entertaining.
Indeterminancy by John Cage shows a new understanding of music born in the second half of 20th century. It becomes an example of how music can be performed in other ways. Indeterminancy presents a cycle of short stories accompanied by specific sounds of various objects that are not music instruments in their primary function. This piece challenges the traditional definition of music because it is not perceived as music. However, sound effects enhance perception of the text and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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