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20th Century Music

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By the turn of the century and for the next few decades, artists of all nationalities were

searching for exciting and different modes of expression. Composers such as Arnold

Schoenberg explored unusual and unorthodox harmonies and tonal schemes. French

composer Claude Debussy was fascinated by Eastern music and the whole-tone scale,

and created a style of music named after the movement in French painting called

Impressionism. Hungarian composer Bйla Bartуk continued in the traditions of the still

strong Nationalist movement and fused the music of Hungarian peasants with twentieth

century forms. Avant-garde composers such as Edgard Varиse explored the manipulation

of rhythms rather than the usual melodic/harmonic schemes. The tried and true genre of

the symphony, albeit somewhat modified by this time, attracted such masters as Gustav

Mahler and Dmitri Shostakovich, while Igor Stravinsky gave full rein to his manipulation

of kaleidoscopic rhythms and instrumental colors throughout his extremely long and

varied career.

While many composers throughout the twentieth-century experimented in new ways

With traditional instruments such as the "prepared piano" used by American composer

John Cage, many of the twentieth-century's greatest composers, such as Italian opera

composer Giacomo Puccini and the Russian pianist/composer Sergei Rachmaninoff,

remained true to the traditional forms of music history. In addition to new and eclectic

styles of musical trends, the twentieth century boasts numerous composers whose




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