classes are divided into two sections: an individual lesson of 1 hour every
two days and a seminar in English every other day.
The content of the one-to-one lessons will vary according to the student's level
and will be aimed at creating a new composition during the course, to be
performed at the final concert (performers and time permitting).
techniques will be studied according to the student's aesthetic preferences
from traditional tonal harmony to more elaborate musical expression.
Students will learn
about musical scripting software, particularly using Sibelius notation
The seminars will study in some detail the most significant influences on contemporary
The development by
19th-century composers of a musical style that would express the
characteristics of their own country. They did this by including tunes from
their nation’s folk music, and taking scenes from their country’s
history, legends, and folk tales, as a basis for their compositions. Nationalism
was encouraged by governments in the early 20th century for propaganda
purposes in times of war and political tension.
Composers of nationalist music
include Jean Sibelius, Edvard Grieg, Antonin Dvorak Carl
Nielsen, Zoltán Kodály, Aaron
Copland, Edward Elgar, Dmitri Shostakovich, and Stephen Foster.
As its name implies, Neo-Classicism
was a kind of "new classicism". It combined musical elements from
the Classical Period with the newer trends that
were emerging early in the twentieth century. These classical elements included
tonal centers, clarity of form, and melodic
shape. To these (and many other) classical elements, neo-classicists added
such modern flavourings such as quirky rhythms, spiky dissonances, and
large amounts of chromatics.
movement was fairly widespread, with many composers from all over Europe
(and the U.S.) contributing to the sub-genre. Some of the more recognized
neoclassical composers are Igor Stravinsky, Paul Hindemith, Dmitri
Shostakovich, Sergei Prokofiev, and Aaron Copland, to name only a few. The
motivation for the neoclassicism was simple: the heavy musical
experimentation of the early part of the century left some composers
wanting to "reconnect" with musical tradition. They did this, but
at the same time held on to musical aspects that they had been developing
during the Modern Period. The aim was not to revive old musical idioms but
to simply acknowledge tradition.
While neoclassicism was
a reaction against the chaotic musical period from 1910 to 1920, so too was
Arnold Schoenberg's new twelve-tone method. Both tried to bring control
over the previously wild music of the 20th century. The difference is that
the twelve-tone method did this by creating an entirely new musical
language, while neoclassicism did it by revisiting tried-and-true musical
A French movement in the late 19th and early 20th cent. It was
begun by Debussy in reaction to the dramatic and dynamic emotionalism of
romantic music, especially that of Wagner. Reflecting the impressionist
schools of French painting and letters, Debussy developed a style in which
atmosphere and mood take the place of strong emotion or of the story in
program music. He used new chord combinations, whole-tone chords,
chromatics, and exotic rhythms and scales. In place of the usual harmonic
progression, he developed a style in which chords are valued for their
individual sonorities rather than for their relations to one another, and
dissonances are unprepared and unresolved. Although conceived in reaction to
romanticism, musical impressionism seems today the culmination of
romanticism. Its influence was widespread and is evident in the music of
Ravel, Dukas, Respighi, Albéniz,
de Falla, Delius, C. T. Griffes,
and J. A. Carpenter.
technique or dodecaphony.
Twelve-tone technique is a system of musical composition
devised by Arnold Schoenberg. Music using the technique is called
twelve-tone music. Josef Matthias Hauer also
developed a similar system using unordered hexachords, or tropes, at the exact same time and
country but with no connection to Schoenberg.
himself described the system as a "method of composing with 12 notes
which are related only to one another". Schoenberg
invented the twelve-tone techniques, which is a method of composition based
on a fixed order of the twelve chromatic tones (Benward,
303). It is a system in which the twelve pitch classes are placed in a
specific order, forming a set that then become a compositional tool (Sadie,
286). It was developed around 1920 as a means of providing a coherent basis
for complete chromatic music.
The basic difficulty in
composing in atonal idiom is intelligent control of melodic and harmonic
forces. "There are ways of harnessing these forces by contrapuntal and
harmonic means that are similar to those used in the early development of
Western polyphony" (Marquis, 185). However, these ways are much more
complex than the tradition Western polyphony. Therefore, Schoenberg
invented the matrix system to help composing.
In music, the minimalist movement was, like
minimal art, a reaction against a then-current form, with composers
rejecting many of the dry intellectual complexities and the emotional
sterility of serial
music and other modern forms. Generally, minimalist compositions tend
to emphasize simplicity in melodic line and harmonic progression, to stress
repetition and rhythmic patterns, and to reduce historical or expressive
reference. The use of electronic instruments is common in minimalist music,
as are influences from Asia and Africa. Among prominent minimalist
composers are Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Terry Riley, La Monte Young, and
analysis and listening will also be an important aspect of the course,
stimulating debates and encouraging students towards their own creativity.