Western Music History/Modern Music

Music after the Romantic era experienced a great deal of experimentation and change as many of the old methods that had formed the basis of classical music for centuries were challenged. Tonality, for example, was discarded entirely by many composers in the 20th century. Notably, a number of distinct movements in classical music developed as well.

ImpressionismEdit

Impressionism is the name given to a movement in painting that emerged primarily in France during the latter part of the 19th Century. It featured visual renderings that were intended more for decoration than as records of the precise appearance of people or objects.


The invention of photography provided a faster, cheaper means of recording appearances. Impressionism, instead, was a visual means of recording supposed "impressions" of the subject matter--emphasizing selected features while minimizing others. In practical terms, impressionistic effects were achieved by (1) reducing the detail in a picture, (2) eliminating subtle color mixtures, and (3) exaggerating proportions and perspective to convey motion or lassitude.


The composer Debussy is said to have resisted the comparisons of his music to the paintings of the Impressionists, but the vague melodic and harmonic structures of works such as "L'après-midi d'une faune", "Syrinx" (for Solo Flute) and "Nuages" seem to be in much the same spirit as the blurred, sensuous visual images of the painters with whom he would have been familiar.


Again in practical terms, Debussy was able to differentiate his compositions from what had come before by deliberately writing music that was contrary to the norms that he and every other young composer were taught at the Conservatoire. He abandoned the major and minor scales for other combinations of pitches. He also abandoned 7-note scales for groupings of five notes (pentatonic scales) and six notes (whole-tone scales).


Debussy frequently based his harmonies on so-called "parallel fifths." These were produced by simultaneous melodies that were always exactly seven semitones apart, and they were strictly forbidden by the common practice taught at the time.


Debussy's experiments with new ways of organizing music would not have been nearly as successful if he had not possessed true genius. Even his most vigorous critics were compelled to acknowledge his substantial talent.


He continued to exploit this style of music from 1891, when he introduced "L'après-midi d'une faun" until his death in 1917. He made such thorough and brilliant use of the "impressionist" techniques that other composers were hard pressed to successfully follow his lead.


Other notable composers who are usually categorized as impressionists include Maurice Ravel and the American composer Charles Tomlinson Griffes. In the generation that followed, Darius Milhaud, Selim Palmgren, and others were obviously influenced by Debussy's music but found their own paths by incorporating American jazz or German "expressionist" elements.

AtonalityEdit

Atonal music is characterized by the absence of a key or tonal center.

SerialismEdit

Serialism, in its purest form, is a style of music in which each tone in the twelve note chromatic scale is used exactly once in succession until all twelve are used, at which time the cycle may be repeated using the same series of notes or a similar series derived from the original. The twelve note series is sometimes referred to as a "tone row"; this succession of twelve notes is specifically called the twelve-tone row or dodecaphonic. From this initial row of tones, a matrix can be calculated by inverting the intervals of the row to form a column descending from the first note of the row and then creating new rows by transcribing the intervals of the original row beginning on each of the tones of the inversion. By aligning these rows and columns in a twelve by twelve grid, one derives a total of 48 variations of the row by beginning at any point on the outside of the grid and proceeding vertically or horizontally, as the case may be. A tone row from left to right is referred to as "prime" as it is the initial set of intervals. A column from top to bottom is referred to as an inversion. From right to left is called "retrograde". Consequently, from bottom to top is "retrograde inversion". Any one of these 48 rows may be used but only one row is typically used per part at any given time. However, two parts playing simultaneously - voice and piano, for instance - can use completely separate rows at the same time. At some time after the initial development of serialism composers began using "subsets", or fragments of a row repeated. This allowed freedom to create compositions that were more pleasing to the traditional ear.

This style of composition was initially developed in Austria by Arnold Schoenberg, and was further developed by students of his, including Anton Webern and Alban Berg. These three composers are often referred as forming the Second Viennese School.

Later proponents of serialism would expand the use of series to other musical elements. For instance, a series could be built using alternating dynamics (ppp, pp, p, mp, mf, f, ff fff), combining them to form a new series which would be incorporated over a series of notes. The same could be applied to rhythmic values. The techniques of inversion (in dynamics a ppp would become fff), retrograde and retrograde inversion would also apply.

Composers who explored serialism include: Pierre Boulez, Bruno Maderna, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Luciano Berio, Luigi Nono, Jean Barraqué.

Gustav Mahler (1860-1911)Edit

Life of MahlerEdit

Mahler is a twentieth century composer. Born the second child out of 14 children in July 7, 1860, in Kalischt, Bohemia, in this generation, also known composers were Sibelius and Richard Strauss. Mahler died very young in 1911 at the age of fifty, whereas Strauss died at the age of eighty-five, and Sibelius died at age ninety-one. Mahler was the son of a tavern-keeper and distiller. His parents were non-religious German-speaking Jews. When Mahler was born, they moved to a larger town of Iglau, where their future was brighter. But his childhood was not so good due to the death of many of his brothers. Eight of his ten brothers died by the time Gustav was thirty-five. The death of his brothers had a big impact on the young Mahler along with the unhappy marriage of his parents.

EducationEdit

He studied in Iglau public schools, an semester in Prague, and finished high school in 1877. At a young age Mahler took piano lessons and first performance in public at the age of ten. The rich musical atmosphere of Iglau area, with exposure to Czech and German folksongs, military trumpet calls, has a big musical inspiration for Mahler. In year 1875 Mahler’s Father send him to Vienna to study music. At Vienna Conservatory where one of his classmates was Hugo Wolf, from piano shifted to composition. Mahler won composition prizes during his study at the conservatory. Completed his studies in 1878, briefly studied in university of Vienna took courses in year 1877-78. Took classes from Bruckner lectures on harmony. Year 1880, in University of Vienna he also took classes form Eduard Hanslick, a known critic, but supported in Mahler in later part as appointed director on the Vienna Opera.

JourneyEdit

Years 1878-80 lived by giving piano lessons and accompanying recitals, he was unsettled in this years. Later on, wrote his first composition, the cantata Das klagende Lied (The Song of Lament), he himself wrote the text. He sent this composition to Beethoven Prize composition, Juries felt and thought the piece was too modern. Mahler needs to make money, and went to become a conductor. Got an agent that gave me a job in a small theatre in Bad hall, An Austrian spa. At a very young age of 19 he was able to conduct operettas for just a few months and under primitive conditions. This started his conducting career. Acquired position in European operas to world renown prestigious musical centres. Got to the top of his profession, just like any other successful musicians, negotiated for a better position soon after accepting a new appointment. Later on positions in Laibach, and Olmutz, where musically educated critics noticed his talents and high standards. Between his appointments in the said places he was living in Vienna and in 1883 was appointed as chorus director in Vienna for a season of Italian opera. And regularly visiting his parents in Iglau, financially helping his brothers and sisters and in any other ways.

first SymphonyEdit

Mahler acquired a position in Kassel. Hearing a concert by a conductor Hans von Bulow, Mahler sent a letter to him asking to take him as a student. Bulow response was not very good and he sent Mahler’s letter to his employer, and made Mahler’s situation bad. Even in his situation, he knew a good friend who was also in Kassel that Mahler wrote a piece called Lieder vines fanrenden Kesell (Songs of a Wayfarer), were he got the Idea for his first symphony. Ended Mahler’s position in Kassel with Mendelssohn’s oratorio St. Paul 29 of June, 1885. Though he had not have good experience with people in Kassel, it’s where he became fully aware of his abilities as a conductor. And Mahler ambition to be the director at Vienna Opera.

1885-86, Mahler got a position for the season at German opera in Prague. Impressed director, Angelo Neumann.

1886-88, Mahler got a position of subordinate to the chief conductor, in Leipzig, Germany. 1887-88, Mahler finished his 1st Symphony and the 1st movement of his 2nd Symphony.

Famous composers Mahler met:

Tchaikovsky, Strauss, Brahms, Bruckner, Debussy, Dvorak, Rachmaninoff, Schoenberg, and Sibelius.

In places in Leipzig where Mahler conducted, got a lot of critics, mostly negative, with his techniques in conducting, tempo, dynamics, and they said it was “untraditional”. Mahler resigned his position in Leipzig for a reason of quarrelling with the stage manager.

September 1888, age 28, appointed director of the Royal Opera in Budapest. 10 year contract. Because of his young age, surprised the media, also because of high pay, and Mahler was Jewish. Hungarian press did not welcome him also because he was not Hungarian. He did everything he could to impress Hungarian patronage.

1889, Mahler lost his parents, and sister Leopoldine, and Mahler had to have an operation, performance of his 1st symphony in Budapest gave him a lot of negative reviews in the same year. Made this year very difficult for him. After the death of Mahler’s parents he had to look after his siblings, and his sister Justine has to manage his house until Mahler got married. January of 1891, hierarchy tried to change Mahler’s contract, and Mahler accepted a position at the Hamberg Opera where he previously negotiated. At his last appearance in Budapest he got a lot of praises from the public, but the press was happy for him leaving. Mahler got the heart of the people but not the press/critics.

1890, Mahler was visited by his classmate way back from Vienna Conservatory, violinist Natalie Bauer-Lechner, they got engaged.

29 of March, 1891, Mahler made his debut in Hamburg, performing Wagner’s Tannhauser and impressed the critics. He had a good job experience here. Mahler won Bulow’s approval. Bulow was not a fan of Mahler’s music. And when Bulow died in 1894, Mahler appointed Bulow’s previous position, as a symphonic conductor. First international tour was in Moscow and Budapest in March 1897.

May 18, 1891, conducted Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde.

January 19, 1892, German premier of Tchaikovsky’s opera Eugene Onegin.

June and July of 1892, conducted season of German opera in London.

Despite Mahler’s busy schedule, completed his 2nd and 3rd symphonies and a lot of songs.

1895, premiered in Berlin, the second symphony, again negative response from critics but good response from the public. This performance marked the beginning of Mahler’s career as a recognized composer.

Summer of 1893, spent this time to compose and sketch, and orchestrate and the following summers. Calling himself “summer composer”.

At age 18, Bruno Walter was employed as a coach in Hamburg. Mahler and Walter became life-long friend, and Mahler’s follower and musical interpreter. While in Hamburg, Mahler’s brother, Otto died and relationship with singer Anna von Mildenburg terminated.

1901, Mahler fell in love with Alma Schindler and became his wife, a daughter of a well-know Viennese landscape painter. Married March 9, 1902. They had 2 daughters, Maria and Anna.

1907, Mahler was diagnosed with heart ailment, at the same time Older daughter died at the age of four. At the same year resigned at his post in Vienna. Later, hw was offered to a position to conduct the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

Last performanceEdit

October 15, 1907, was his last performance at Vienna Opera, performed Beethoven’s Fidelio. Before leaving to America December of 1907, he conducted in Russia and Finland. January 1, 1908, Mahler’s debut at the Metropolitan Opera with Tristan und Isolde. 1909-10 season, Mahler was offered conducting position at New York Philharmonic. Mahler spent time in Toblacj in the Dolomites, and worked with his 9th and 10th symphony that he did not finish, and also composed Das Lied von der Erde. 1910, premiere of his 8th Symphony in Munich. 1910-11, Mahler became seriously ill. February 21, 1911, he conducted his last concert with high fever. He got streptococcus infection, no cure at the time. He went to Paris then Vienna for a consult then later died in May 18, 1911. Mahler wished to be buried next to his daughter in the Grinzing cemetery in Vienna.


Claude Debussy (1862-1918)Edit

NationalismEdit

Nationalism in Modern MusicEdit

During Modernism, and Late Romanticism, many composers became invested in national identity within music. Much of the world had been composing in Germanic and Italian traditions for decades, and much of the depiction of other cultures within that music was derogatory and demonstrated what musicologists had generically titled orientalism[1]. Thus, many cultures lacked music known internationally that authentically represented them as a nation; oral traditions and folk tunes continued within nations, but there was a failure to acknowledge this music on the international stage.

Composers such as Vaughan Williams, Bartok, Sibelius, and others eventually explored the peasant and folk styles of their respective cultures’ music. These musical styles were then used both literally and as sources of information on how to write new compositions in peasant styles. However, the latter raises a question similar to the issues discovered in compositions using orientalism and otherness – is this music authentic to the people and is it “real folk music?”[2] A big question, and whether or not it was completely authentic, is difficult to say. Nonetheless, it provided empowerment to the people of the various nations; it acknowledged the uniqueness and musical roots of the cultures while appealing to an international audience through some maintained elements of romanticism, modernism, tonality, and Germanic and Italian compositional tradition.

Ralph Vaughan Williams and A Return to the English SoundEdit

Background:Edit

 
Ralph Vaughan Williams

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) was among the early composers in the Nationalistic movement. The composer maintained an outlook and perspective that “music was for the people”[3] and was genuinely interested in popular and folk traditions. Vaughan Williams became so absorbed in the folksong idiom that his melodic writing was very reflective of the English folksong styles and freed from inconsistencies, even though, in general, he did not use existing folksongs in his orchestral and instrumental works.[4] Though English music had been distinct during the renaissance, it had been overwhelmed by the Germanic and Italian methods of composition, like much of the rest of the world. Vaughan Williams, however, was inspired by the music of Thomas Tallis, Purcell, and other early English composers.

Melodic and Harmonic Style and InspirationsEdit

Vaughan Williams' melodic style is among the most characteristic and defining elements of his compositions. The roots and sources of this come from three primary influences: early church music, folk music, and modern melodic devices. The first, being early church music, is likely of such strong influence because it represents one of the last times that England had its own national, distinctive sound. The folksong influence undoubtedly stems from the perspective mentioned earlier that "music was for the people." The composer's interest and dedication to the exploration and collection of English folksongs definitively translated into a distinctive folk-like quality to his compositions, whether intentional or otherwise. The final influence of contemporary melodic devices came from the compositional styles of his time, of his peers and contemporaries, and of his mentors, namely, Brahms, Verdi, and Tchaikovsky, among others. Thus, his nationalistic compositions are an impressive blend of traditional English styles and modern compositional methods.

In addition to melodic contour and rhythmic freedom, the modality of Vaughan Williams identifies the folk-influence and connection that Vaughan Williams music had to folk music. Thus, the importance his music played in the lives of 'the people.' His contemporary methods, including neoclassicist, modernist, impressionist, and romantic influences, and elements, made his music highly appealing to all audiences, all while building, or re-building, a nationalistic image for the English nation. The opening bars of the Pastoral Symphony illustrate the use of inherently English compositional methods – thirds and triadic harmony, blended with more modern methods of composition. The density of the triads allows him to “superimpose layers of tonally divergent material” and “the principal voices suggest a modally inflected major-minor shift at the Poco tranquillo.[3]

For some of Vaughan Williams career, his reception was hindered by the nationalistic tone his music demonstrated. Linden Lea, the Tallis Fantasia, and A London Symphony, all represent a collection of works that struggled but are now among Vaughan Williams most famous works and display a strong show of musical English Nationalism, thereby affirming the people’s national confidence with folk-like content and materials reminiscent of the English renaissance.

Béla Bartók and Style HongroisEdit

Background:Edit

 
Béla Bartók

Béla Bartók’s (1881-1945) musical development was encouraged by his parents, both amateur musicians, from a young age. He studied piano specifically but also received training in both dance and drumming, which were perhaps significant in his inclinations towards folk and ethnic music. Bartók's family travelled extensively in his younger years, exposing him to many cultures and varieties of music. During these unsettled years, Bartók was already composing dance pieces, including waltzes, landlers, mazurkas, and polkas. This early chapter in Bartók’s musically development demonstrates his early interest in dance music and his personal experience different cultural sounds, setting the groundwork for his eventual fascination with utilizing folk and peasant music in his compositions as a way of empowering the people of forgotten and neglected nations, both musically and otherwise.

Bartók’s Interest in ‘Peasant’ MusicEdit

Bartók’s interest in peasant music was more intensely pursued and explored during his time on the piano staff of the Budapest Academy (renamed the Liszt Academy in 1925).[5] The realization that his compositions were lacking in originality and unity[6] inspired him to search for motivation beyond the Germanic tradition of composition. As Bartók began to explore including peasant music in his compositions, he began to yearn for a sound that authentically and naturally represented the Hungarian people. "In 1904, Bartók overheard one of his employees sing what proved to be a genuine rural folk song,"[7]leading to an examination of its qualities. Bartók became obsessed with "the musical language of peasantry as a 'mother' tongue so that it could be used as a natural means of expression."[8]

===The Fusion of Modernism and Style Hongrois===

 
Bartók and Kodály

Bartók was a “pioneering ethnomusicologist whose work spurred others.”[9] His use of indigenous materials, combined with his modernist compositional style, made his music meaningful to the Hungarian people and relevant to populations worldwide. Hungarian music, which had become known as 'gypsy music,' had been looked down on and only used for exotic appeal. Knowing that this would "impede the development of a universally viable Hungarian Modernist music,"[10] he partnered with Zoltán Kodály and sought a more authentic style hongrois. This is an important feature to note in Bartók’s music: that the music was not only representative of the people and empowered them through its content, but that it was current music that would appeal to an international audience, further empowering the Hungarian people and giving them a place on the international stage. Bartók did eventually publish a three-part description defining what he believed to be the ideal relationship between what he called ‘peasant music’ and ‘modern music’:

1. A composer can use a peasant melody unchanged or only slightly varied, write an accompaniment to it, and possibly some opening and concluding phrases. This kind of work would be similar to Bach’s treatment of chorales.

2. Instead of using a “real” peasant melody, the composer can invent his own imitation of one.

3. Finally, while not using either real or imitation peasant melodies, a composer can draw on stylistic elements of this music to create an atmosphere of peasant music. In this case, he has completely absorbed the idiom of peasant music that has become his musical mother tongue.[11]

In the above outline provided by Bartók, he places importance on accurate representation of the people to have an authentic style hongrois to reduce the seductively exotic ‘gypsy music’ that had led to the lowering of style hongrois in the early nineteenth century. [12]

Jean Sibelius and Finnish IndependenceEdit

Background:Edit

 
Jean Sibelius
 
Manuel de Falla

Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) was a Finnish composer who composed internationally recognized music. Despite coming from a Swedish background, Sibelius was passionate about Finnish nationalism and learned Finnish in secondary school, though his Finnish nationalistic values did not show until later in life.[13] Submersion in the language came in the 1890s, and, in addition to his compositional sound, which emphasized pure sound, eventually led to his nationalistic compositions. Sibelius's distinct sound allowed for highly descriptive writing, which illustrated the natural landscape of Finland and the folk epics of the nation, most importantly, Kalevala. Sibelius' "fellow-countrymen hailed him as a composer specially gifted to express their national qualities by means of his music."[14]

FinlandiaEdit

Finland was dominated by its neighbors in Sibelius’s lifetime[15], but despite this oppression, Sibelius’s many symphonic poems and symphonies gave him widespread recognition, and thus, gave Finland, and many of the other Nordic countries, a place in the international music scene. The “pro-Finnish pride and anti-Russian sentiment ran deep”[16] in Sibelius’s compositions, and one of his most significant contributions, the symphonic poem Finlandia, is credited to have aided the cause of Finnish independence from Russia. Further, this work became an unofficial national anthem for the Finnish people. The melody of this work is one that was passed down through oral tradition, and has many texts set to it, thus demonstrating an effective and powerful use of folk – or peasant – music, in conjunction with realism and illustrations to empower and recognize a nation.

Manuel de Falla and ‘Natural’ Spanish MusicEdit

Manual de Falla (1876-1946) was a Spanish composer during the modernist movement. Spanish music was not lost in music composition in the same manner that English or other styles were, but it was integrated in a manner that exploited its exoticness. Unlike other composers of his time, who incorporated Spanish music into their highly western – and often Germanic – compositions, de Falla instead incorporated the western compositional methods into his Spanish music, bringing new light and life to how Spanish music was heard by the world. Thus, de Falla demonstrated that “influence could flow both ways.”[17] This also allowed for music that expressed Spanish nationalism, rather than an expression of orientalism and exoticism, as was common when Spanish type music appeared in Western compositions. Thus, the authenticity, and natural state, of Spanish music was more respected in de Falla’s compositions through his deep and personal understanding of the Spanish music within it’s real context. It is important to note however that de Falla rarely used pre-existing melodies in his works[18]; therefore, his compositions would fall under the second and third sections that Bartók proposed:

2. Instead of using a “real” peasant melody, the composer can invent his own imitation of one. 3. Finally, while not using either real or imitation peasant melodies, a composer can draw on stylistic elements of this music to create an atmosphere of peasant music. In this case, he has completely absorbed the idiom of peasant music that has become his musical mother tongue.[19]

A quote from de Falla demonstrates his passion for ‘natural’ Spanish music – as he called it – rather than so called ‘genuine’ Spanish music which was seen in various theatres around the world.

Our music must be based on the natural music of our people, on the dances and songs, that do not always show close kinship. In some cases the rhythm alone is marked by clapping ("palmas") and drumsticks("palillas"), without any melody; in others the melody stands out by itself; so that one should not employ vocal melody alone as a manifestation of folk-music, but everything that accompanies it or exists without it, never losing sight of the milieu wherein all this has its being. … The modern composer's road lies clear before him; it leads him to an undistorted perception of the folk-songs and folk-dances where they are freely manifested, not where they are done to order on payment of 100 pesetas, the usual procedure of English visitors in Granada. If one were to compose after such patterns, the music would surely not be worth the expended 100 pesetas. You will find unconventional rhythms, boundless riches, in the wonderful guitar, played by people who have not studied music, by blind men in the streets of Andalusia who elicit from their instruments such tones as never were heard.[20]


National Socialism and MusicEdit

The Weimar RepublicEdit

The Weimar Republic, also known as the German Reich (1918-1933), was a good time for new and emergent music. Innovative and exploratory artistry abounded with raw and unfamiliar sounds, including 12-tone or atonal composition, jazz, and novel approaches to ballet and other musical theatre works. The celebration of International art was on par with that of German art. Berlin was the musical epicenter of Europe and drew in the incredible talents of composers like Arnold Schoenberg, Paul Hindemith, and Ferruccio Busoni who came to experience its canorous culture. Bela Bartok, Igor Stravinsky, Arthur Honegger, Maurice Ravel, Ernst Krenek, Kurt Weill, Hanns Eisler, Sergei Prokofiev, and other native German and non-German composers leveraged Berlin's open door for the innovation and regeneration of sound.[21]

The Propaganda MachineEdit

The early 1920s brought about a subtle shift in the view of the open door policy of the Weimar Republic with the release of Hitler’s Manifesto Mein Kampf in 1925. Therein, Hitler condemned the Weimar Republic for celebrating the ‘bolshevization of art’ by demonstrating signs of cultural decay. This and earlier critiques of the declension and dilution of German culture rang true to other conservatives. By 1930 Nazi Party propaganda became more prevalent due to newspapers like Alfred Rosenberg’s Volkischer Beobachter, which continued to demoralize Weimar culture.[22]

In addition to the Nazi party’s fight against the Weimar Republic, they instituted The Ministry of Propaganda and Public Enlightenment. The NS Reich’s Sinfonie Orchester commenced in 1931, and Violinist Gustav Havemann established a Berlin Kampfdund Choir and Orchestra in 1932. The KfdK music festival, held in the summer of 1932, promoted the exclusive works of purely German composers, successfully capturing national attention. [23]

In January 1933, Hitler became the Chancellor of Germany, and the Nazi party immediately took on the task of eliminating those in opposition to its policies. Levi, author of Music in the Third Reich describes the “agitation” they employed to prevent the work of specific prominent musical figures. On March 23, 1933, Hitler received agency to “establish a dictatorship.” Many who opposed the Nazi regime were convinced they needed to escape Germany at once. On April 7, the “Law for the Restoration of the Civil service passed, and the Nazis were permitted to “dismiss any state-employed musician from a tenured position” [24]. Pamela Potter, in her essay ‘Musicology Under Hitler’ asserts,

The Nazi’s government’s immediate steps to remove Jews and other ‘undesirables’ from academic posts caused few repercussions, since anti-Semetic policy in university hiring was already so firmly established that these dismissals involved only a small number of Jewish musicologists actually holding university positions.[25]

In 1933, Hitler appointed Joseph Goebbels as the Minister of Propaganda and Public Enlightenment. The Reich Chamber of Music (Reichsmusikkammer) was formed and the work of purifying German Music resumed. Though this work was already underway, the RMK was a system by which the Ministry of Propaganda hoped to regain German Music's cultural purity effectively. The sifting criteria was based, most often, on the race of the composer. However, Germanic composers also suffered censorship if their ideologies did not align with Nazi policy.[26] Jewish composers were the main target of this winnowing process as Goebbels believed that "Jewry and German Music… are opposites, which by their nature stand in harshest contradiction to each other."[27]

The KampfdundEdit

The Kampfdund für Deutsche Kultur (KfDK, or Fighting League for German Culture), founded in 1929 by Alfred Rosenberg, called Germans to fight against the ‘conscious subversion [of the culture] by international powers.’ His goal was to ‘inform the German people about the interconnection between art, race, knowledge and moral values. Although the KfdK manifesto had particularly prominent and powerful political backing from such leaders as J.F. Lehmann, Frederick Klose, and Alfred Heuss, its reach was not as far-reaching as initially hoped. However, by January 1930, the membership of the Kampfdund had doubled, and Wilhelm Frick took over leadership. During his leadership, he gained control of the Thuringian police and Education. Frick leveraged his position to draft the “Ordinance against Negro Culture,” which passed on April 1, 1930. He published his intent to erase “ all immoral and foreign racial elements in the arts. The Bauhaus German art school was the main target of this intent as it sought to ‘reflect the unity of all arts’ [28] and subsequently closed due to Nazi pressure and financial strain in 1933.

Entartete and Bolshevik MusikEdit

Hans Severus Ziegler, Frick’s protégé later organized the Entartete Musik (Degenerate Musik Exhibition) that took place in 1938. “Entartete” was popularized by criminologist Cesare Lombroso, and it meant “something abnormal about the which was portrayed as a great threat to German society.”[29] Thuringian police effectively banned public performances of Jazz, including works by Stravinsky and Hindemith. Erik Levi, one of the foremost experts on music in Nazi Germany, remarks,

the proportion of plays and operas written by contemporary writer and composers shows a fall from 57 percent in 1929 to only 14 percent in 1930, while the proportion of light-hearted musical farces (Schwank) increased in the same years from 7 percent to 30 percent.

Although Alfred Rosenberg asserted that “the whole atonal movement in music is contradictory to the rhythm and blood and soul of the German nation,” this view was not an all-pervading ideology in Nazi Germany.[30] It took four years from the institution of the Reichsmusikkammer in November of 1933 before the establishment of the Reichmusikprufsstelle; only then did they gain more control over the purging and censorship of certain music. Even then, composers like Stravinsky did not encounter censorship until 1940. There seemed to be a hypocritical and arbitrary discrepancy regarding the vetting and approval process for Entartete Musik. For instance, Stravinsky’s works slid under the fence, while Schoenberg’s invoked visceral disapproval. Schoenberg’s prevalent use and promotion of the 12-tone scale seemed to be the deciding factor for discarding his musical contributions to culture. To the Nazis, atonality “…represented a complete destruction of the natural order of notes in the tonal principle of… classical music.”[31]

In Dismantling a Dystopia, Pamela potter highlights the opening words of a speech by Rudolf Stephan, former President of the Gesellschaft fur Musikforschung (Society of German Musicologists),

Whoever concerns himself with the music and musical life of the Third Reich must ask himself: Did National Socialism make any contribution to music history? Did it achieve anything more than the nameless suffering of countless innocents? More than the (premature) death of many people, including musicians? Maybe it prevented the creation of several masterpieces; [but] it played no role in those masterpieces that did arise. (It found them repulsive). It created nothing positive, it only destroyed. It only furthered the already long-observed process of returning humanity to barbarism. Nothing more and nothing less.

The music of many unknown yet prolific artists sank into obscurity during the Nazi's reign. Musicians like "Robert Kahn (1865-1951); Walter Bricht (1904-70)…, Hugo Kauder (1888-1972)…, Richard Fuchs (1887-1947)… and Friedrich Hartmann (1900-73)" to name a few (Anderson). Much of this music is being rediscovered in our time and should continue to be. Although the focus tends to be on the artists from Austria and Germany, there are those from other countries who were also affected by the prohibitions of the Nazi dictatorship, like Hungarian and Polish musicians Laszlo Weiner and Josef Koffler, respectively. Native composers of Vienna and Italy also lost their music to the Third Reich. We may never have heard their contributions to the culture of their time were it not for friends or family willing to dig up lost treasure. Marcel Tyberg from Vienna's (1893-1944) music was found by the son of a friend who fished the music out from the basement of his New York apartment.[32]

ReichsmusikkammerEdit

The Reichsmusikkammer (Reich Chamber of Music), made public on November 15, 1933, was one of the seven parts of the Reichskulturkammer (RKK, or Reich Chamber of Culture) created by Adolf Hitler and the Head of the Ministry of Propaganda for the Nazi Party, Joseph Goebbels. The Reichsmusikkammer eventually dissolved the Kampfdund, obligating all musicians and those who participated in the “production of cultural material’, to be members of the RMK. According to Levi, “department A” of the RMK was made of “4 basic administrative strands: President, Vice-President, Business Manager, and inner council. [Along with] seven departments comprising various music professions, including composers, performers, concert agency and management, copyright matters, musical arrangements, German Singers Union, music publishers, music stores, instrumental manufacturers.” Department B (Reichsmusikerschaft) had six subsections relating to “orchestral musicians, chamber musicians, and singers, conductors and soloists, music teachers, evangelical and catholic church musicians.”[33] Goebbels stated that it was the purpose of the RMK to “provide the ‘loving and caring supervision of the music life of the German nation, enhance the quality within the German music profession [and] the achievement of the individual.”[34] Goebbels sought to draw attention away from the restrictive and exclusionary nature of the RMK. Members of the RMK needed to be racially and politically pure by the standards of the Nazis. This excluded Jews, African Americans, Gypsies, and many other minority groups. Even Germans who did not align with the policies of the Nazi movement were not permitted to receive membership.[35] Those included in the Reichsmusikkammer followed strict regulations. Travel restrictions, program approval, and arbitrary rules like the “necessity for all artists to use German pianos."[36] The propaganda machine did its work as the RMK became known as the sole entity in charge of the German musical culture. Goebbels appointed Richard Strass and Wilhelm Furtwangler as President and Vice-President of the RMK, though neither of them subscribed Nazi ideals. Their inclusion helped to paint the organization as reputable in the minds of a partially paranoid public.[37] However, Strauss eventually fell prey to the RMK. In 1934, Strauss could not appear at the Salzburg Festival due to tension between the German and Austrian governments. Following this, Strauss collaborated with Jewish composer Stefan Zweig. Strauss received permission from Hitler and Goebbels for the collaboration. Nevertheless, when the work was banned in 1935, two officials visited Strauss and commanded him to resign from his post due to old age and sickness. The RMK rid itself of others on its council, including Furtwangler, who resigned due to the unjust treatment of Hindemith.

Nazi Aryanization of MusicEdit

Racism and discrimination were at an all-time high in Germany during World War II. Not only was there an intense desire on the part of the Nazis to purify German art from the “racial degradation” of non-Germanic art forms, but they also sought to rid “the whole literature of music… [of] all traces of Judaic influence. Erik Levi, former Professor of Music and Director of Performance at Royal Holloway, excerpts the following report published in The Times on February 16, 1942, entitled Musical Progrom:

Jewish contamination is reported to be making rapid progress, and it is pointed out that this is all the more remarkable as Germany is engaged in a life and death struggle in which the concentration of the nation's entire strength on essentials is imperative. The texts of all the oratorios of Handel are being rewritten. After the acknowledged success of the conversion of Judas Maccabeus into William of Nassau by Klocking and Harke, these two collaborators have been entrusted with the still more difficult task of transforming Israel in Egypt into Mongolensturm (Mongol Fury), which is to be performed in Hamburg towards the end of this year. It is expected that the 'Aryanization' of all works of the German classical composers, notably Bach, will take many years.[38]

Mendelssohn is a well-known composer whose Jewish birth meant his compositional works met censorship during World War II. Richard Wagner's essay, Das Judentum in der Musik, penned in 1850, openly chides Jews and Felix Mendelssohn especially. He explains his belief that the Jews are incapable of possessing true musical genius. German Musicologist Hans Joachim Moser, later echoed Wagner, though with a little more subtilty in his book Geschichte der deutschen Musik. He asserted that "Mendelssohn's 'pleasing utilization of existing forms,' 'his inability to attain the level of profundity which is characteristic of the greatest Nordic art; 'and an inclination toward superficial virtuosity' were inevitable reflections of his Jewish background."[39]

Jazz Music and its impactEdit

Jazz music and the alto Saxophone, what is it? The word “jazz” is from a Creole word that means both African dances and procreation. To one it is an extremely broad style of music that is put together by complex harmony, rhythms, and a lot of improvisation. Jazz music was developed back in the early twentieth century by Black musicians in New Orleans. Within the African American and White music industry, jazz music has formed a sagacity. Jazz music was and still is used all over the world, in many different areas. It is said that after the Civil War, African Americans started to play woodwind and brass instruments when leaving the military bands, both of the Unions and Allied services. In the 1920s, jazz music had started to be more established in the African American community, more specific in the Southern part of the United States. Poetry was evolving around the same time as jazz, so they were asking for the demand of jazz for they would be more so of a combination of them both. In this decade of success, it was a tremendous change socially and culturally. Jazz music was first an American musical genre that drew the attention of the French. In Paris, the new trend of Jazz and exoticism had started to be published in the media. There was a new fashion for the new woman which was called “flappers.” The flappers were the vibrant young people specifically a woman of the 1920s. Short-skirted women who listened to jazz music bobbled their hair and flaunted their contempt for what and then later the behaviour was seen to be accepted. The ideal instrument that will allow players to express their individuality with jazz was the saxophone. Its raspy tones and buzz of the instrument contributed to the texture of the music played. Although the saxophone is loved by both classical and jazz musicians, the qualities that are demanded by this instrument are different for each genre. With jazz music, it is ideal for the player to have an instrument that will allow the player to express their individuality. With classical music, when choosing the right instrument, they look for a clean and finely controlled pitch instrument. For the most accurate pitch, the more gradual taper is usually better. Looking more into the development of the alto saxophone and greater composers of jazz music, Alophe Sax and Charlie Parker had the greatest impacts. As you continue to read, I hope their stories and development inspire young artists and those that are enthusiastic about jazz music. Adolphe Sax full name Antoine-Joseph Sax was a Belgian-French maker of instruments invented the saxophone. Born on November 6, 1814, in France ruled Belgium, one of eleven children, he lived his professional life in Paris. His love and interest in musical instrument designing were found in his parents, they were designers themselves and he found interest at a youthful age. He took on the practice and started making his instruments at an early age, started trying different instruments out. He exhibited the flutes and clarinet that he competed at a competition at the age of fifteen. As he got older, he moved to Paris where the most important invention was made was the saxophone, which was patented and to this day remains his greatest invention. However, with all his greatest accomplishments, a couple of his inventions were challenged by his competitors who questioned the legitimacy of his work, this then resulted in legal expenditures, and this put him in bankruptcy twice. There is extraordinarily little information available on Adolphe Sax’s early education, but different chroniclers have noted and showed there was an interest in music instrument design from an early age. He studied the instruments clarinet and flute when he was only 15 years old at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels. It is safe to say that growing up Adolphe was very much accident-prone. He suffered a series of life-threatening accidents which included a fall from a tall tree, a fall into a pan/stove that causes serve burns, a fall into a river that could have drowned him among others, and he also accidentally drank some sulfuric acid. His parents were known to convince themselves that Sax would not have lived exceedingly long, but throughout it all, he did and invented one of the most popular instruments in the music industry. On June 28, 1846, Sax’s most famous invention of the saxophone was awarded a patent. The incredibly unique thing about the instrument was and is that it is versatile enough to be a part of many different bands as well as orchestras. Following his amazing success with the saxophone, he then became a well-known inventor in 1857 and then was noticed by many that the Paris Conservatory decided to hire him as a teacher. He was honoured with a Legion of Honor in 1849. Adolphe Sax never got married but did indeed have a romantic relationship with Louose-Adele Maor. The two had five children together, one of their sons Adolph-Edouard Sax, chose to follow in his father’s footsteps and went into the same profession. Adolphe Sax suffered from lip cancer between 1853 and 1858, he recovered from the illness completely. He lived a good and eventful life, and died on February 7, 1894, in Paris at the age of seventy-nine. “Singing Bird: On a cloud above me whirling, twirling Sighing lying in wait for the blue breath from tired lungs Bird is playing a long note Looking above from down below ink-jet pen quietly waiting excitedly I hear a brain wave Words like Bird-notes leap off the page perhaps a Bird-poem will start to sing” A beautiful poem written by the great Charlie Parker. (“Five Poems for Charlie Parker - Jazz da Gama”) From the age of eleven, he just started playing the saxophone, and at twenty started leading a revolution in modern jazz music. Sadly, at the age of thirty-four, he died from years of drug and alcohol abuse. Born August 29, 1920, to a teenage mother in Kansas, City, Charlie Parker grew up across the river in Kansas City in Missouri. Charlie did not have his father around since he was more interested in gambling than being a parent. When he was at the age of twelve, he was playing in the high school marching band and local dance halls. (“Jazzbird - Blogger”) This was then when he heard the sounds of jazz. Staying around that area, he was not to hear and see every musician that would pass through. At an early age, he made a few idols such as Jimmy Dorsey, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Ben Webster, and Louis Armstrong. When Parker was sixteen years old, he withdrew from high school and married his high school sweetheart, Rebecca Parker Davis. He tried his best in Kansas City to get noticed so he would play around wherever and whenever he got the opportunity. In the year 1938, Parker moved to Chicago. He was only 18 years old at the time and the attention he received started his career, they were astonished by his work. In 1940, Parker separated from his wife and joined a band. Months later Parker ended up in Dallas recording with artists, where he then picked up the nickname “Yardbird” no one at the time could remember why but before long everyone would just call him “Bird.” As he continued to be recognized, he would join and leave bands and started composing his music to be recorded. In 1950, he began to live with a dancer whose name was Chan Richardson, although he was married to his long-term girlfriend Doris two years earlier, Charlie and Chan had a daughter in 1951, then a son in 1952. (“A Bird’s Life: How Charlie Parker Changed the Course Of ...”) Charlie and Chan’s daughter dies from pneumonia in 1954, this even caused the final decline for a man whose mind was already fragile from self-abuse. He had tried to have recording sessions after, but they were not his best. Things for Bird continued to get worse he was banned from Birdland. In September 1954, Bird had a breakdown and even attempted suicide. Trying his best to get back on his feet after the hospital, he was booked at Birdland in March 1955. Before he could fulfill this engagement, he died at the home of Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter, on March 12, 1955. Parker was only thirty-four when he died. Although his life was cut truly short, Charlie Parker contributed to the sound of modern jazz as we know it today. It is difficult to overestimate his impact on the evolution of jazz and other performers who came after him. Fortunately, all we can do is listen and learn how the Bird’s singing continues to live on. It does not matter what your age is, it is especially important to take care of your physical and mental health needs. There are multiple different small lifestyle changes that you can adjust to help. An amazingly simple thing you promote your health is listening to jazz music. Jazz has been shown to have positive health benefits such as improving mental wellness, reducing stress and even better physical health. How is jazz music beneficial to you? When you sit, relax, and listen to jazz, the music stimulates a calming effect on your body, this will signal your central nervous system to help lower your respiratory rate and heart rate. It has been shown in research that jazz can improve an individual’s verbal ability, focus, memory, and mood. It is said that patients that suffered from a stroke benefit from listening to jazz music. Jazz music has the power to lower blood pressure by expanding blood vessels, this consequently reduces the likelihood of developing any health complications. According to the New Orleans Musician Clinic “listening to jazz can expand vessels by up to 30%. As a bonus, it can also boost immunoglobulin levels, decreasing the risk of infections. (“What are the Benefits of Listening to Jazz Music? | Riddle ...”) It also stimulates the brain and gives several different cognitive benefits such as stress relief, and better sleep. Increased creativity, improved memory and mood and reduced depression. Whether or not you listen to the same songs on repeat or a new musician every night, when you expose your brain to jazz music it will improve your overall mental well-being. Now jazz is not enough to treat every health issue more specifically for older adults, it is also to have fun for all ages. Try it for yourself, incorporate jazz music in your day, when you wake up, on your way to work/school, while you clean or cook and before you go to bed. You could be shocked at the results of what you see in your life, by taking the time to let your mind and body relax just by listening to this genre of music. Adolphe Sax and Charlie Parker both had tremendous life-changing stories that we were not able to read and be inspired by. They paved a way for young artists and musicians to use their creativity and improvision for their own stories. Adolphe’s family did not think he would make it with all the accidents he had in his childhood. Charlie did not start his career off already knowing, it took challenging work and putting yourself and dreams first to be out there and noticed. Letting your talent and work speak for themselves is what these two incredible men did. For that, there is not the incredible saxophone and jazz music that is taking over the world to this day.


SummaryEdit

As seen throughout the above exploration, there is a trend of seeking the natural and authentic, a yearning experienced by the composers named above, and by many other composers, to escape the pigeonhole the western music community had put them in for decades, and in some cases, centuries. Though the journey was different and unique for each composer, each share commonalities in their motivations – the goal of discovering a true representation of a people who had been neglected and sometimes wrongly represented in Western music.

Vaughan Williams explored the English people's folk traditions and returned to the roots of English music. He explored the Renaissance sound and integrated it into his works, and, alongside the freedom of the folk melodies, and the modernist methods he also incorporated, he composed many stunning and internationally recognized pieces. Bartok fought for proper representation of Hungarian music and raised it from a low style, gypsy music, to a higher, more authentic style by taking real folk tunes and absorbing the folk idiom, and blending the elements with modernist techniques. He also established guidelines for what he thought to be the ideal relationship between folk music and a composer. Sibelius, like Vaughan Williams, gave a voice to a culture that had not had its distinct voice for a long time, if ever, and had been under the thumb of its neighbors, most notably Russia. His composition, Finlandia, is credited with have aided the Finnish independence movement, and his works gave recognition and a distinctive sound to Finland and other Nordic countries. De Falla, like Bartok, took a style that had been victim to orientalism and exploitation due to its exoticness. He fought for a natural Spanish sound, one that was of the people and was like the music heard by musicians who made music for the love of it. Most importantly, he showed the Western world that influence could go both ways and added some westernized elements into his Spanish music, rather than the other way around. These composers fought to recognize their people and create music that was not just for and of the people but would provide natural and authentic representation and refute ideas created by orientalism.

Mélanie Hélène Bonis (1858-1937)Edit

Some facts of her lifeEdit

There are few resources concerning this 19th-century musician. But it is interesting to put forward the women musicians who are an integral part of the musical world. She is the only musician known to have the pseudonym "Mel Bonis" to hide that she is a woman. Coming from a relatively modest family, she is a self-taught girl who, until 12 years old, learns different known tunes on an old piano at home.  She entered the conservatory thanks to a family friend named Maury, who noticed her talent. She was introduced to César Franck in December 1876 at the Paris Conservatory, who taught her to composition. She studied with Claude Debussy (1862-1918) and Gabriel Pierné (1863-1937), famous composers. She also attended the classes of Enerst Giraud for harmony and composition and piano accompaniment with Auguste Bazille. An assiduous and gifted student, she won the second prize for piano accompaniment in 1879 and also the harmony prize in 1880.

Unfortunately, she ended her schooling in 1881 because she fell in love with one of her classmates, Amédée Hettich (1856-1937), who was in her singing class and sang his poems. Her parents were opposed to a possible union. She was obliged to marry Albert Domange in 1883, who was twice widowed and had five sons. He is 25 years older but is a wealthy industrialist. She will have a practical everyday life; she will be an ordinary mother and give birth to three children. Fortunately, she did not lose contact with music and even signed her works with her maiden name.

Woman and ComposerEdit

Being a woman at that time was not easy; inequalities reigned, and yet, Mélanie Bonis managed to make her place. To write more freely, she decided to take the pseudonym of "Mel Bonis," as we have already seen in the introduction, which allowed her to remain in doubt and integrate herself into the artistic milieu. One of the percussionists of her music was Alphonse Leduc in the 1890s, who defended her music. She turns to composition and religion to soothe her moral torments. She composed a large amount of chamber music in a post-romantic style but her music is also inspired by the impressionism of the time, the musical color is often full of imagination as in the Piano Quartet entitled Andantino where she uses a muted string. Mel Bonis also wrote for romantic organ - an instrument that had found its audience (but it is challenging to find recordings). The first pieces written by Mel Bonis were for the piano. Everything is there: inspired music, served by a piano of a rare fluidity. She received a prize for the composition competition (for a suite for oboe, horns, cellos, and chromatic harp) which earned her a place in the great Parisian halls. She joined the Society of Composers and became its secretary, a unique event for a woman. Her music was played and sung in bourgeois salons and at student auditions. Unfortunately, her music will not have enough opportunities to be produced in the Parisian concert halls to reach the notoriety it deserves: one remembers a certain number of concerts, mainly between 1900 and 1910.

Forgotten ArtistEdit

She takes refuge more and more passionately in religion, which protects her from anguish and gives all the meaning of her life. She wrote her thoughts which her children collected under the title "Memories and Reflections." Although her children wanted to perpetuate her works, after the German occupation of France between 1945 and 1985, she remains an artist like many other forgotten women composers. She aspired to moral purity and tried desperately to communicate this idea to those around her. Just like her, other women have composed like: Marie Jaëll (1846 - 1925), Augusta Holmès (1847 - 1903), Cécile Chaminade (1857 -1944)... and many others, have known in a patriarchal society, to make a place for themselves in this artistic world. Mel Bonis left this world on ===March 18, 1937===, in Sarcelles (Val-d'Oise).

Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951)Edit

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975)Edit

Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953)Edit

i. intro

Prokofiev was born April 27, 1891. He is one of the notable composers of the 20th century. Prokofiev's contribution in both instrumental and vocal works: operas, ballets, incidental music, film scores, orchestral, vocal orchestral, choral, chamber, instrumental, and piano. Prokofiev was also known as a young prodigy in composition and piano. He traveled a lot and met a lot of known musicians in his travels. He had two sons and married to Lina Prokofiev and Mira Mendelson.

ii. Life and education

Prokofiev is the youngest of 3 siblings. unfortunately, his two sisters died that making him the only child. His parents, Sergey Alekseyevich Prokofiev and Mariya Zitkova in a comfortable situation, his father worked in a branch of agriculture called agronomy that deals in field crop production and other tasks. His mother is well educated, and the one who has been there supporting and overseeing him in his music career. In his early childhood, he has been criticized by his playmates. (Prokofiev, Sergei, Translated by Daniels, Guy, Edited by King, Francis. Prokofiev by Prokofiev a composer’s memoir.)

His piano lessons started at 4, and he has been starting to compose at this age as well. At a young age, he composed Indian Galop, in variations of march and waltz, and more compositions. at ten years old around 1899-1900, His mother brought him to Moscow and St. Petersburg to watch operas that inspired him to write one himself. (Prokofiev, Sergei, Translated by Daniels, Guy, Edited by King, Francis. Prokofiev by Prokofiev a composer’s memoir.)

In January of 1902, he learned music theory with Yury Nikolayevich Pomerantsev, a graduate of Moscow conservatory. Later on, in the summer of 1902-03, He took composition lessons with Reinhold Gliere. His parents saw how he progressed and saw the potential in him that persuaded them to let Prokofiev go to St. Petersburg Conservatory. (Prokofiev, Sergei, Translated by Daniels, Guy, Edited by King, Francis. Prokofiev by Prokofiev a composer’s memoir.)

At twelve years old he had begun preparing to go to the conservatory, learning music theory, and piano lessons. He took the entrance examination, and he passed. Prokofiev finished his degree in composition in 1909, with a Russian diploma as a free artist. In his final year in composition, he composed his 6th sonata and a scene in his opera A Feast in Time of Plague. These pieces were not well received and were given a grade of 'good'. (Prokofiev, Sergei, Translated by Daniels, Guy, Edited by King, Francis. Prokofiev by Prokofiev a composer’s memoir.)

He also took piano and conducting degree in the same conservatory, he learned piano with Anna Yesipova, who also taught to really good Russian pianists. In his completion of these degrees, he joined a piano competition and performed his first piano concerto composition, and won. He also composed a symphony in E minor, and some more piano works. Graduated in both piano and conducting in 1914. (Prokofiev, Sergei, Translated by Daniels, Guy, Edited by King, Francis. Prokofiev by Prokofiev a composer’s memoir.)

iii. Travels

After Prokofiev's graduation, his mother gave him this trip to London as a graduation gift, so he went to London in 1914-16. On this trip, he heard Stravinsky, and Ravel's works. He also got introduced to a famous impresario of the Ballet Russes, Sergei Diaghilev. Sergei Diaghilev was impressed with Prokofiev's works and he commissioned a ballet on Russian themes, Ala and Lolli. Prokofiev proposed the Gambler but got turned down because he believed that opera had no future. The first draft of Ala and Lolli also got rejected because of the resemblance of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, he showed this draft in his travel to Rome because of was in 1919. He performed his second piano concerto in Rome. (Redepenning, Dorothea. Article, Prokofiev, Sergey (Sergeyevich).)

Because of the rejection of the piece, he made it to Scythian Suite op.20 for orchestra also known as the Ala and Lolli. performed in 1916 with Prokofiev conducting. The Scythian Suite is a challenge with its tone colors, frequent dissonances, long pedal-note, and ostinato techniques, and large orchestra playing forte or fortissimo for long passages. (Redepenning, Dorothea. Article, Prokofiev, Sergey (Sergeyevich).)

In 1916-1918, Prokofiev went back to the St. Petersburg Conservatory. He learned to play the organ in avoidance the draft of world war 1. Mariinksy Theater commissioned an opera The Gambler. Later on, he left for the city of Caucasus, this is where he wrote his first symphony, the Classical Symphony, he was also working on some other major works. Prokofiev said about his classical symphony: ‘I thought that if Haydn were alive today he would compose just as he did before, but at the same time would include something new in his manner of composition. I wanted to compose such a symphony: a symphony in the classical style'. Prokofiev was one of the Neoclassical composers. (Redepenning, Dorothea. Article, Prokofiev, Sergey (Sergeyevich).)

Prokofiev traveled to America from 1918-1919, he rode a ship to San Francisco and train to New York. Because he was an exceptional composer, his concerts in America met with a hostile press and public. And a positive debut in Chicago, because Chicago opera was also impressed with his works, they commissioned him. And he wrote The Love for Three Oranges. The performance of the piece was postponed due to the death of the conductor of Chicago opera who commissioned the piece. (Redepenning, Dorothea. Article, Prokofiev, Sergey (Sergeyevich).)

Prokofiev returned to Europe in the summer of 1920-1936, continuing to compose and going back to America for the winter season. On his stay in Paris and London, One month before the premiere of Chout, emigrant conductor Serge Koussevitzky plays the Scythian Suite. Both are hugely successful, positioning Prokofiev as a huge star. (Redepenning, Dorothea. Article, Prokofiev, Sergey (Sergeyevich).)

Prokofiev moved to a small town in Ettal. He was working on an opera The Fiery Angel. But he never found a person to produce this opera. some of the themes of this opera also appeared in his third symphony. In the year 1923, he met his first wife where he had two sons, Lina Llubera, a Spanish singer. In 1927-1929 h wrote two more works for Diaghilev that are successful in the period. (Redepenning, Dorothea. Article, Prokofiev, Sergey (Sergeyevich).)

He got some discouragements from the public from his works that made him stop his career for a while.

In 1924, Prokofiev returned to Russia and at this time, he joined the Soviet Union. Prokofiev toured around Russia and got praised for his works and in his interview, he mentioned that he will follow the Soviet arts policy. A lot of his works were marked by the Soviet Union's political consideration. Prokofiev continued to compose and revise his works. the Soviets commission him to compose the film soundtrack for Lieutenant Kijé, and his music is performed and published in Russia. (Robinson, Harlow. Sergei Prokofiev a Biography)

His famous Romeo and Juliet were commissioned by the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, in 1934. He later composed programmatic children's music, the fairytale Peter and the Wolf, which are more successful as a result of governmental requirements of Soviet Union. (Robinson, Harlow. Sergei Prokofiev a Biography)

iv. Last years of his life

in 1941, Russia was attacked by the Nazis, and so Pokofiev has to evacuate Russia and return in 1943. While in a war he continued composing and revising his works. And some of his works have some political propaganda either in the title or in music. (Robinson, Harlow. Sergei Prokofiev a Biography)

His symphony number five won a Stalin Prize and many of the chamber works from this period, war sonatas for piano and first violin sonata. (Robinson, Harlow. Sergei Prokofiev a Biography)

He married Mira Mendelson, a librettist. he completed his composition on war and peace and the Cinderella ballet. He nearly died in 1945, due to a fall and he got a concussion. (Robinson, Harlow. Sergei Prokofiev a Biography)

After the war, in Central Committee resolutions drafted by arts commissioner Andrei Zhdanov, Prokofiev's music is banned. And was forced to plead guilty for public admission. He continued to compose and revise his works. (Robinson, Harlow. Sergei Prokofiev a Biography)

He died in 1953, the same day as Stalin's death. So Prokofiev's death was not known for one week and only 40 people showed up for a funeral at the composer's union. (Redepenning, Dorothea. Article, Prokofiev, Sergey (Sergeyevich).)

Film ScoresEdit

The first films that were created had no sound. In fact, they were not even films but rather pictures put together much like a stop motion movie. Eadweard Muybridge is credited with creating “The Horse in Motion” which was one of the first uses of photography for movies and it became important for the development of motion and motion pictures in movies. One of the early inventions that led to the creation of a projector that became used for showing movies was the kinetoscope. The kinetoscope was a creation that was a predecessor to the movie projector as it would show motion pictures but only to one person at a time through an opening or a peephole. Eadweard Muybridge and Thomas Edison are responsible for working together to create a kinetophone which is also known as a photokinetoscope. The addition of sound to the kinetoscope was created with a kinetophone or a photokinetoscope. The first sounds created with the kinetophone were not completely synchronized with the pictures that were shown through the opening or peephole.

Until sound and film could be melded together, silent film was the only type of movie that could be shown. Projectors were then developed to be able to show a film to a larger audience but the sound was still lacking. In order to make up for the lack of sound in the movie or film, there would be live instrumentalists who would play music, usually on a piano or some percussion instruments to add incidental music as well as sound effects to the film. As sound and music became demanded in theatres more and more, theatres began to hire larger ensembles to play during the movie. Theatres also began to change the anatomy of the actual screening rooms to make space for the larger ensembles. Movie theatres that could not afford to hire and pay instrumentalists and buy instruments would often use a phonograph or a gramophone to have background music. Unfortunately, for theatres that could not afford live instrumentalists and would use a phonograph, the music would often be the same for various movies and scenes as the music was limited.

Film scores and sound effects in movies became a component of movies in the late 1920s. Jack Donovan Foley is credited with creating sound in movies. He was hired in 1914 by Universal Studios to create sound effects once recording sound became more and more welcome and in demand by filmmakers and film studios. In 1927, due to advancements in both filming and recording sound, Warner Brothers created the first-ever movie that had synchronized sound which was The Jazz Singer. The film had a musical score that was synchronized which was done by Louis Silvers and even had synchronized lip-synching. The film was a success and was the start of a new era of film, which ended the silent film era.

Film scores of this time were often not original. Scores were recycled between different movies and composers. Film music was often not even made for movies, as movie music was often a popular song that was played on the radio which was just added to the movie. As a result of this, many singers and songs put into film came from Broadway musicals, singers, and instrumentalists. However, Max Steiner became an important figure in the film industry for his contributions to film scores. He is called and considered the “father of film music” as he created many original scores for well-known movies such as; King Kong, Little Women, A Star Is Born, Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and Gone With The Wind. Max Steiner was known for being a child prodigy as he was only fifteen years old when he was conducting, arranging, and composing music full time. Max Steiner worked with Bernard Herrmann who was another film score composer.

From the 1940s to the 1960s, film scores became widely accepted as a legitimate musical form. All movies during that time tried to include music in some form. Walt Disney Studios later renamed Walt Disney Productions and finally renamed Walt Disney Pictures, became a driving force for music in movies, especially ones that were animated. Disney became famous for including songs that were sung by actors and actresses that were easy for children to remember and sing back. Songs from Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty became popular to the point that Disney began to include songs in most of their movies.

Film AnimationEdit

Film animation has been around since the 19th century. Many individuals had created moving images like Cohl. In 1908 he started one of the first animated films called Fantasmagorie, which focuses on funny faces. This animation is entirely silent and has no sound. At this time, sound was not generally used for films, especially animation like today. In 1928, the first talking picture was realized, called The Jazz Singer, and this inspired many animation studios to think about the possibilities of having synchronized sound in their films. That same year, Walt Disney Studios created Steamboat Willie with a synchronized sound. The term “mickey mousing” was used to describe on-screen action and sound. For some films, bands and orchestras were used to make music, but studios wanted sounds from the real world. Since they could not get sounds from the real world, they were forced to invent new sounds; there were two new approaches to creating sound. In one approach, a musician used percussion instruments such as a tympani, cymbals or wood blocks in a recording studio. In the second approach, the studios had created complex effect machines to replicate outside world sounds. Before “talking images,” pit drummer had worked for movie theatres and provided many films with percussion sounds. When Walt Disney Studios started to create animated films with synchronized sound, the pit drummers would bring items such as slide whistles, jew’s harps, bulb horns and brake drums and more. Soon this started to become regular and more films were made. As more years went by technology continued to progress, and both sound and animation became more realistic. Instead of just a single man making all the sounds, edited sounds can now be made by professionals and computers. Some modern-day animation sounds were made-up of multiple key positions such as supervising sound editors whose purpose was to be responsible for the entire process, sound effects editors or designers whose job was to create and sync sound effects to the picture, dialogue editors are the ones who adjust the synchronization and the quality of the dialogue, foley artists that perform footsteps and record props and re-recording mixer who put all the elements together with the addition to music.

Diegetic and Non-diegetic Sound: As animated films progressed, Walt Disney started adding words to the synchronized sound, also called musicals. Researchers have been trying to indicate the collocation of music in films, both natural and animated, for many years. There are different categories that researchers have studied that explain the impact that sound has, such as onscreen, offscreen, over, diegetic and nondiegetic. Onscreen, offscreen and over demonstrate the relationship between sound and the image. “Diegetic sounds indicate that the music is produced inside the story.” Some examples would be ambient sounds, sound effects such as birds chirping and dialogue speech. Nondiegetic sounds do not have an onscreen source, which the characters can not hear. An example of this would be contrapuntal sound, other music or voiceovers. Both diegetic and nondiegetic sounds can be found in animated films, but the diegetic sound is used more. Many Walt Disney's animated films include diegetic sound because they want the story to stand out and the music. An example would be Snowhite; this animated film has many sound effects that the animals make, ambient sounds for intense scenes.

Musicals and Animation: Musicals and animation also play a role in what effect sound has on animated films. In musicals, there are scenes where the characters do not speak or move normally; instead, they begin to express themselves by singing and dancing. Many animated Disney films are considered musicals because there is always singing and dancing; rarely the characters do not express their emotions by singing and dancing. An example would be Sleeping Beauty; in this animated film, the main character Aurora has fallen in love with a stranger. She starts to sing and dance; this also encourages the other characters around her to join. Animation presents objects or things that exist in the story that, in reality, are lifeless and can not move. It helps in the narrative, visual and auditory solutions of the story. Many films consist of unrealistic objects speaking and interacting with the characters; in some situations, the lifeless things are the main characters. An example of this would be Beauty and the Beast; Lumiere is an inanimate object because, in reality, he is a candlestick. In the film, Lumiere and many other furniture talk to the main characters and have a significant part in the movie; in other words, they narrate the story.

Debate: The Role Music Plays In Animated Films There are many questions about the effect music has on films. Based on the previous information, it is shown that music is used by many characters and mainly for expressing emotions. Despite this conclusion, scientists still have questions such as “is the source shown in the image, or is it hidden? Is it inside the story or outside of it? Is it part of the narrative world, or is it purely a rhetorical artifice?” One case study called The Erdmann-Becce-Brav case did not focus on where the placement of the music was in the film but instead on what its function was; they believed that it could be expressive or informative. This study allowed many researchers to think deeper about how music can leave a message for the audience, though some researchers still had different beliefs. Some believed in objectivity and subjectivity, connection with the narrative, relationship between music and the image, and non-diegetic sounds. It is difficult to watch a scene without music. Another issue was the definition of non-diegetic sound. Characters are not supposed to hear the sound, but sometimes they respond to it but it is still considered a non-diegetic sound. Music seems to arise from a character's movements or feelings; this would be an example of expression and information; the music prepares the audience for what’s coming. The character demonstrates the emotion through their movements and feelings in the scene. Also, the perception can suggest that music shares the same space as the character, the area present in his or her world. In other words, the film wants to comment through the music, which is more meaningful and informative. The film wants the music to leave a message and tell the story instead of the character.

The Three Levels: More debates arose, and three levels were created to separate and understand the different roles music/sound plays in animated films. The levels are internal, external, and mediated. The internal level is when the musical event is demonstrated in the narrative of a scene. Its presence can be manifested or taken from the context. The internal level can be shown by facial expressions and the character's words. An example would be Snowhite; she is very passionate and calm when singing. Her facial expressions tell the story of how she’s feeling whether happy or sad; because of this, the supporter characters react by showing facial expressions; in this case, the dwarves. The external level means that the musical event is not created inside the narrative; characters or the audience does not share it; it is only directed towards the latter. The external level is more challenging to be shown in animated films because the music or songs always correspond with the character's feelings and what they are about to do. Rarely does the music not compare with anything. A close example would be Tarzan; at the beginning of the film, music plays while the supporting characters tell a story. The film fast forwards the life of the supporting characters, and this is a demonstration of the narrative advancing. Though this happens, there isn’t any interaction between the main characters and their actions. The mediated level is when the main character hears musical sensations but is unsure whether it is because of a memory or an emotion. The mediated level happens in many animated films; the characters sometimes sing randomly by themselves. Once they are done, they act as if nothing has happened; this is usually because of the emotion or memory they are trying to share with the audience. An example of this would be Frozen 2; the main character Elsa is tormented by a voice calling out to her, and she is unaware of where it is coming from. It could be because of an emotion or a memory. She starts to sing and calls out to it to look for it.

In conclusion, the placement and function of music in films are interrelated and can not be entirely separated. Many researchers/ scholars believe that the diegetic and nondiegetic sounds are inaccurate and do not have enough evidence to prove that sound is demonstrated in specific ways. Despite this problem, other scholars have given real examples such as the three levels internal, external and mediated. These levels provide a broad example of how music is used in animated films and musicals; it explains how it affects each character and the things around them. Overall, no one has reached an agreement or conclusion about the role music plays in animated films; there is still more research. Walt Disney, many other industries and creators have put musicals and animation together and created something unique with meaning to the audience. Music provides emotion and imagination for the film and audience, and it allows the audience to appreciate the film more.

Billie Holiday (1915-1959)Edit

Early Life

Billie Holiday was a legendary jazz vocalist who influenced generations of musicians. Before succumbing to her addiction, she used to have a stellar career for many years. The singer is regarded as one of the greatest jazz singers. She had a successful music career in her peak times when she got public love and attention for her performances. She was successful and impressively talented that she got nominated for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. She was born on April 7, 1915, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Baltimore, Maryland, is the place where she spent most of her childhood. She was born to Sadie, her mother when she was a teenager. Clarence Holiday, her father, is commonly thought to have been a renowned jazz musician who performed with Fletcher Henderson and others. The marriage life of her parents was not so good, and most of her childhood days suffered from conflicts between her parents, and they started living separately. Her father was an occasional visitor throughout her childhood, traumatic for her.

Holiday had a relatively secure home life in 1920 when her mother married Philip Gough. However, their relationship failed and after some time he left Holiday and her mother to struggle on their own once more. Holiday sought consolation in music throughout her terrible childhood. In the late 1920s, she moved to New York with her mother and started her singing career. She began to perform in local bars in the early 1930s. In 1933, her first recordings were released. She became one of the best jazz vocalists despite having no professional musical training. Her songs are today considered classics. Her real name was “Eleanora Fagan” however, when she began started performing, she went under the stage name Billie, after an early film star named Billie Dove. She decided to adopt this stage name because she was so inspired by the film star and adopted the name in appreciation of her. Her nickname was "Lady Day," given by one of her friends. She also adopted a unique singing style as she wore white gardenias in her head while performing.


Music Career

She started her journey as a musician in 1930 by singing in bars. Luckily, John Hammond, a producer, recognized her talent while she was performing in a jazz bar. At that time, she was 18 years old. This was the successful beginning of her career and she was fortunate enough at that time to be well recognized. She performed vocals on many records, notably the commercial release of her career, "Your Mother's Son-In-Law," and "Riffin' the Scotch" which was considered the top ten smash of 1934. She got the opportunity to record with Teddy Wilson, a famous jazz pianist and some other musicians in 1935. She was a unique vocalist for her distinctive rhythm and mournful vocals. People usually liked her because of the woeful touch in her vocals which created magic on the stage.

"Miss Brown to You" and "What a Little Moonlight Can Do" were two of her major hits. In the film "Symphony in Black" she worked with Duke Ellington, the famous composer of that time, in the same year. Holiday began performing solely in concerts around 1940. Her best years were 1936 through 1942 when she recorded the most. She was frequently linked to Lester Young, his friend and nicknamed her "Lady Day."

Unfortunately, during her successful music journey, she was charged with drugs infraction in 1947 and managed to spend a year in a treatment facility. Despite not securing a music hall permit in New York City, she sold out Carnegie Hall just ten days following her release. She kept playing in concerts and bars outside New York, and she went on multiple tours in her later years. Her voice, but not her style, was devastated by her ongoing fight against the addiction to heroin. In 1937, Holiday went on tour with the Count Basie Orchestra. She collaborated with Artie Shaw and his orchestra the following year. She was one of the first-ever female African-American singers who got an exceptional opportunity to collaborate with a white orchestra as she worked with Shaw. This significantly impacted her music career and made history. However, misfortune knocked on her door again at that time as the sponsors raised objections about her colour and her distinctive style of singing. This was so disappointing, and she became frustrated and left the orchestra.

Biggest Hits

The emotional state of Holiday made even the most mundane lyric extraordinary. "Strange Fruit," "Lover Man, "Solitude," and "The Very Thought of You " were some of her biggest hits. Some of the most outstanding performances of the interaction between a singer's voice and a musical obbligato were made during Holiday's work and intimate relationship with Young during the classic years. Her song, Strange Fruit, was written by Abel Meeropol, and she sang it in 1939. Meeropol's poetry, written in 1937, inspired the lyrics. The song opposes the execution of African-Americans and compares the sufferers to the fruit of the tree. In the early 1900s, massacres in the Southern United States were high, with the real victims being black. Targeted assassinations or the launching occurred in U. S. in the 1830s. Even though victims came from a range of ethnic backgrounds, once over four million imprisoned African Americans were freed, they became the major targets of white Southerners. Lynchings were at their peak in the United States during the 1890s and the 1920s, and they predominantly targeted minority groups. The lynchings happened mainly in the South as the majority of the African Americans resided there. There were some other areas where the racially charged lynchings occurred. Those areas included some of the Midwest and some of the border areas. This song was referred to as a "declaration" and "the start of the "civil rights movement." Meeropol took the help of his wife, who was also a singer, to put his lines to music and played the song at the places like Madison Square Garden, New York, in the late 1930s as a protest song. In 1978, the song was accepted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. The song also got the honour of being included in the "Songs of the Century" list. The Library of Congress declared "Strange Fruit" to be "culturally, historically, or aesthetically important" in 2002, and it was chosen for preservation in the National Recording Registry. This song was created when Jim Crow laws were still in effect. Discrimination was widespread across the country, and crimes like these were commonplace. These incidents were taboo topics; they represented monsters in the closets. The song was composed specifically for Holiday to perform. She was invited to complete it, but initially, she rejected it. She first objected to the music because it was too explicit, but she later consented to perform Strange Fruit. Because of the song's topic, it became one of her top hits and received critical praise. Billie Holiday's song "Strange Fruit" demonstrates how music can profoundly impact many people's lives.



End of Her Career

Holiday was one of the most famous singers with an ongoing successful and extraordinary music career. Her recognition and unique way of performing made people her overwhelming fans, but what pushed her behind was the fact that she got herself into substance abuse. She had so many reasons to do that. She got sexually assaulted in her childhood and did not see prosperous family life. She lacked the mutual love and care of her parents and eventually, her problems began to increase. These drug addiction problems ruined her career and pushed all her achievements behind. She got married to James Monroe in 1941. Holiday, who was already a renowned alcoholic, adopted her new husband's opium-smoking habit. Her husband called her into this habit, which also added misery to her career, which was already at stake. Their wedding didn't endure and they eventually got divorced. However, the divorce did not stop her from addiction, and the issues persisted till the end of her career. Federal Bureau of Narcotics, which was there from 1930 to 1968, warned Holiday, not to perform her song "Strange Fruit" again after performing it in 1939. Holiday stood firm and continued to perform the song. When she persisted in continuing to sing 'Strange Fruit,' then Anslinger, who was a well-recognized racist, decided to destroy her career. He made it his goal to bring her to justice for her addictions, and he followed her tirelessly until her death.

Joe Guy, her lover at the time, was a trumpet player, and it was with him that she began taking heroin. To cope with her sadness following her mother's death in October 1945, she started drinking more frequently, and her drug addiction eventually got increased. However, her drug addiction resulted in a major career setback the next year. In 1947, she was charged with drugs possession and found guilty. She was then sentenced to one year and one day in prison and was sent to a rehab clinic in Alderson, West Virginia.

Holiday, which was launched the next year, encountered further obstacles. She was unable to obtain the requisite license to perform in cabarets and clubs due to her conviction. On the other hand, Holiday was still able to play in concert venues, and not long after her release, she had a sold-out appearance at Carnegie Hall. With the help of John Levy, who was a New York club owner, Holiday was eventually able to play in Ebony. Levy became her manager, and at the same time, he took advantage of her and pretended to be her lover, and she was detained for drugs in this period, although she was cleared of the allegations. She shared her personal story with the public in 1956 and become overwhelmingly famous in public. She started dating Louis McKay about this time. In the same year, both were arrested for drugs; however, they married later that year in Mexico. McKay was also like most of the other men who utilized Holiday's money and reputation for his interests, particularly to boost his career.

Billie’s Final Achievements

After facing a lot of troubles and all the difficulties in her life, she managed to give some powerful performances. She inspired many people with her performance on television. She performed on a broadcast “The Sound of Jazz" with Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, and Lester Young. She recorded "Lady in Satin", with the Ray Ellis Orchestra for Columbia in 1958. However, the tracks on the album displayed her rough-sounding voice but were full of emotional bliss and intensity. On May 25, 1959, Holiday gave her farewell concert in New York City. After that, she was hospitalized for liver issues, mainly due to excessive drinking. She also got ailments related to the heart. She was dependent on heroin to the extent that she got arrested in hospital for possession. She died on July 17, 1959, of alcohol and drug-related problems. Her autobiography was adapted into the film "Lady Sings the Blues", in 1972. This film revived public interest in her music. She was the inspiration of so many people due to her inspiring vocal skills.


ReferencesEdit

  1. Orientalism: defined by Richard Taruskin as the musical representation of non-European (generally Asian) cultures.
  2. Walter Wiora, “Concerning the Conception of Authentic Folk Music,” Journal of the International Folk Music Council 1 (1949), 15.
  3. a b Hugh Ottaway, and Alain Frogley. "Vaughan Williams, Ralph." Grove Music Online. 2001;
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  5. Ibid. 6
  6. Ibid.
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  11. Béla Bartók, “The Influence of Peasant Music on Modern Music” Béla Bartók’s Essays, 141-44
  12. Richard Taruskin and Christopher Howard Gibbs, "Chapter 27," in The Oxford History of Western Music College Edition, 2nd ed. (Oxford: Oxford Univ Press, n.d.), 671
  13. Ibid.
  14. Watson Lyle. "The "Nationalism" of Sibelius." The Musical Quarterly 13, no. 4 (1927)
  15. Richard Taruskin and Christopher Howard Gibbs, "Chapter 27," in The Oxford History of Western Music College Edition, 2nd ed. (Oxford: Oxford Univ Press, n.d.), 666
  16. Ibid.
  17. Ibid. 670
  18. Ibid.
  19. Béla Bartók, “The Influence of Peasant Music on Modern Music” Béla Bartók’s Essays, 141-44
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