MUSIC IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY


With the dawning of a new age in time came the dawning of a new age in music. The composers of music in the twentieth century sought to completely abandon the traditional styles, forms, and sounds that constituted all of the music that had gone before them. The composers of the twentieth century desperately wanted to break out of the molds that they felt cast into. And so the music of the twentieth century has a great variety of styles and new sounds. Many of these sounds were not well received when they first appeared.

Perhaps the most startling development in music was the complete abandonment of traditional harmony. Composers now sought to use all 12 of the tones in music at one time and in one piece in order to best depict what they felt inside. This was so startling to music critics and audiences at the turn of the century that these works were booed in concert and were strongly criticized as being nothing but noise.

Simultaneous with this development was the advent of a new style called "jazz". This would become the "popular'' music of the early twentieth century and would eventually lead into modern rock and much of the popular music that is enjoyed today. The technological developments that occurred at the beginning of the twentieth century with electricity and electronic gadgets led to the first sounds of electronic music-music composed specifically for electronic instruments such as synthesizers.

The music of the twentieth century is new and sometimes alarming. It has taken the world by storm and has led to the popular music that is enjoyed today. An interesting thing to note is that in the last 15 years there has been a reaction against the music of the early twentieth century-the atonal music or music where all 12 tones are used in a composition. The movement has taken much of the classical music of today back to traditional harmonies and traditional sounds, such as those that would have been heard in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.