Chapter 79 12-tone music and serialism after wwiiPresentation Transcript
Chapter 79 Twelve-Tone Music and Serialismafter World War II
12-tone Music after World War II• Following WW II, younger composers in Europe and America rejected neo-classicism , which before the war had been the dominant style of modern music worldwide.• In its place they at first proposed a revival of 12-tone and serial composition extending the thinking that underlay these methods to: – encompass not only the selection of pitch – but also rhythm and other variables in composition, producing “total serialism.” - represents a reduction in the free choices available to a composer and a step toward a more “automatic” approach in the compositional process .• Combinatoriality - in America, Milton Babbitt used a mathematical model to create a common procedure by which both rhythms and pitches could be inverted .
Various Post-WW II Approaches to 12- tone Music• Babbitt’s interest in serial procedures received a boost when they were adopted in the 1950’s by Igor Stravinsky – who took the 12-tone music of Webern as his principal model.• Stravinsky’s use of the 12-tone method confirmed the existence of a new style period in the 1950’s – with serial composition as one of its principal features.• Pierre Boulez began his career as a composer of strictly serialized music – in Le marteau sans maître (1955) he reinterpreted its methods for tonal organization in a far freer manner. – this created and led to a general rejection of the 12- tone method and other strict serial procedures .
Igor Stravinsky’s 12-tone and serial works• serialized but not 12 tone : – Cantata (1952) – Septet (1953) – Three Songs from William Shakespeare (1953) – In Memoriam Dylan Thomas (1954) – Canticum sacrum (1955)• serialized and partly 12 tone : – Agon (1953-57)• serialized and 12 tone (selected): – Threni (1958) – Movements (1959) – The Flood (1962) – Variations (1964) – Requiem canticles (1966)
Igor Stravinsky, Agon , 1953–1957, “Bransle double”Rounded Binary form
The Life of Milton Babbitt (b. 1916)• 1916 - born in Philadelphia, grows up in Mississippi• 1931-35 - attends the University of Pennsylvania and New York University• 1938 - joins the faculty at Princeton University• 1959 - appointed director of the Columbia Princeton Electronic Music Center
Principal Compositions by Milton Babbitt• Orchestra: character pieces; piano concertos (2)• Chamber music : works include string quartets (6) and a woodwind quintet• Piano: character pieces• Voice: works include – Phonemena – Vision and Prayer – Philomel• Tape works
Milton Babbitt, Composition for Piano No. 1, 1947Free Rounded Binary form
The Life of Pierre Boulez (b. 1925)• 1925 - born in Montribson (in central France)• 1942-45 - studies at the Paris Conservatory• 1954-67 - directs the Domaine Musical (for the performance of new music)• 1971-77 - music director of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra• 1977-92 - director of the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM) in Paris
Principal Compositions by Pierre Boulez (many are works in progress without definitive final versions)• Orchestra: works include – Rituel – Livre pour cordes• Voice and orchestra, works include: – Pli selon pli – cummings ist der Dichter – Le marteau sans maître• Chamber music, works include: – Polyphonie X – Eclat – Répons – ‘. . . explosante-fixe . . ‘ – Livre pour quatuor• Piano: works include sonatas (3) and – Structures (for two pianos, two books)
Pierre Boulez, Le marteau sans maître , 1955, “L’artisanat furieux”Through-composed form