MSC 1003 - Music in Civilization

Section ETR: Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:30-3:45 in Room 6-170
Section FTR: Tuesdays and Thursdays 4:10-5:25 in Room 6-170
Section UR: Thursdays 6:05-9:00 in Room 6-170
Class 26UR: Thursday, May 18 at 2:30
ETR: Thursday, May 18 at 4:10
FTR: Thursday, May 18 at 6:05

document iconClass Notes for Session 26 document icon

Quiz Four News

Quiz 4 will be Friday, May 19 for Tuesday-Thursday classes and Thursday, May 25 for the double class.

Please email me if you think you will have a scheduling conflict for the day in question, and we'll start rounding up a group or two for an alternate day to meet.

Quiz Four Study Guide

I got yer complete playlists right here:

Jazz playlist: Youtube / Spotify / Youtube for Phones
Modern Classical playlist: YouTube / Spotify / Youtube for Phones

Assignment #17: Quiz Four Preview is now live. It is due before Class 27 (= the quiz day for your regular section.)

Modernism II: The Avant-Garde

In the previous session we focused on Stravinsky and some people who follow in his footsteps. I call these composers "mainstream" Modernists because it is usually possible to see how their work relates to what came before.

In this session we look at some of the more radical developments in the 20th century.

Arnold Schoenberg

This is the first movement of Pierrot lunaire [1912]. It is also the last track we will add to the list of "quiz pieces."

You can read about Schoenberg on pp. 362-365 in the eighth edition or pp. 343-346 seventh edition.

Track Links: Naxos Spotify
Album Links: Naxos Spotify Amazon Mp3 iTunes Google Play

Also in the notes I talk about Webern's Piano Variations (as our example of serial or "twelve-tone" music) so let me put that here as well.

Later in the session we look at Pierre Boulez's Sur Incises, which shows how serialism grew into incredibly complex music.

John Cage

Cage is an American composer who had a very conceptual or even philosophical approach to music. One aspect he was particularly interested in was chance or randomness.

The book briefly discusses Cage on pp. 388-390 in the eigth edition and 374-5 in the seventh edition.

We'll look at Atlas Eclipticalis

and Radio Music

John Cage: Radio Music, for eight radios (1956)

as well as the infamous 4'33".

Gy├Ârgy Ligeti

Ligeti and some other composers start working with sculpted blocks of straight-up noise.


There are some other YouTube videos out there which show how this sound is actually being made by human beings.

Philip Glass

The book discusses Minimalism on pp. 390-392 in the eighth edition and pp. 376-378 in the seventh.

In a way Minimalism is a reaction to all of this complexity and chaos, choosing to explore extreme simplicity and repetition instead.

There used to be good footage of the opera Einstein on the Beach on youtube, but THE MAN has taken most of it down. I'll embed a pretty long clip of it here on our website.

And you can actually buy this on video now: Amazon

For some reason I made a bonus page on new operas last semester. Check it out if you would be interested in operas with a more contemporary sensibility.