Modern Music 1910–
Unlike the Baroque, Romantic and Classical periods, the Modern era is both one of the hardest and the easiest periods of musical history to define. In terms of time-scale it is easy, being simply all the music that has been written since roughly 1910; in terms of the actual music itself, explanation becomes more difficult.
The styles of the prominent composers are massively varied, ranging from the blues-influenced work of Gershwin to Berg's minimalist First Symphony, or from Bartók's nationalistic folk music to Stravinsky's wild and turbulent The Rite of Spring.
What can safely be said, however, is that it was at this time that music really began to change, with numerous composers experimenting and developing new ideas and approaches in order to throw off the restrictive chains of previous times. New instruments were introduced and and orchestration began to be transformed, with composers such as Schoenberg redefining the previously accepted 'scales' and 'tonal' patterns, influencing others, such as Berg, to progress to newer and more daring musical techniques. More importantly, attitudes began to change and people became more prepared to give time to new styles.
Currently, we live in the age of electronic music, where actual music production has become simpler than ever before with computers playing a large role. As a result, it could be said that for the first time there are no rules left in music, rendering the future delightfully unpredictable.
|Ralph Vaughan Williams||Down Ampney||England||1872||1958|
|George Gershwin||New York||USA||1898||1937|
|Aaron Copland||New York||USA||1900||1991|
|Dimitri Shostakovich||St Petersburg||Russia||1906||1975|