20th Century Music History Seminar

Music History Seminar – Gr.12 Vocal RAP, Semester II, Ms. Di Gasbarro

 

*Exploration. If done meaningfully, this project will require a lot of time, planning and thinking. Start EARLY! It is recommended that you leave yourself time to READ, time to LISTEN, and time to then THINK deeply about the significance of your genre.

 

*Leadership. You will be responsible for teaching your peers about your assigned genre. Your presentation should make the most of your allotted time.

 

*Organizational skills and time-management.

1) Your presentation must be in a Prezi or Powerpoint slide show that is clear, colourful, and richly informative. Please use ONLY these two formats (with a preference for Prezi) for ease of sharing them with the class for study purposes. Presentation must be informative with content (explain), music (audio examples), and visually (pictures, art, documentation, etc.) Visit idea of Google docs.

2) You must provide a hand-out sheet with all the categories and points for your peers to go away with – You should, however, take your OWN notes.)

3) Your delivery must take 30 minutes of class time. It may seem impossible to fit in all this material into 30 minutes but if you are efficient with your content and delivery, all these questions can be answered and explored in the given time.

4) It is essential that you are present, prepared, and prompt for your presentation day. The genres are assigned chronologically and therefore one absence will alter the entire experience of moving through the 20th Century genre by genre. Also, time is very limited in the 2nd semester and we have 17 presentations to complete. If you are not present on your assigned day, you may not get another chance to present and may have to take a grade of 0.

 

*Developing understanding and attitudes. The genres of the 20th Century are varied and can be unusual. This project is an eye-opening and ear-opening exploration into worlds that are far more “modern” than what we consider modern music today. It is recommended that you avoid approaching this project with a Top-40 pop music mentality. You must open your mind before approaching these topics and sounds and you must keep them open throughout. Try to avoid “Disney-ing” your genre with thoughts like: “it sounds a scary movie / psycho movie / funny cartoon” etc. We are bombarded with images and forget that music has value in and of itself – not as a soundtrack to a visual picture. Try to avoid knee-jerk reactions like” “this is weird; this is creepy; I hate this; this isn’t music” etc. All assigned genres are important, well-established, historic movements: without them we would not have the popular music of today. Keep your “likes and dislikes” in check when exploring and teaching your genre so you can be unbiased for your audience and potentially be transformed in your own attitudes toward new kinds of music.

 

*Developing knowledge about not only about music, art, and the 20th Century, but also about how history and how art influences socio-politics and vice versa. After much reading, listening and thinking you will be required to answer questions about the genre/era by your peers and teacher. Your Prezi or Powerpoint presentation will include a lot of information but do not fall into the trap of constantly reading to the class what is on the screen. This makes for a dull presentation. Use the Prezi/PP like cue cards but give evidence of your own knowledge with an engaging presentation that is not dependent on constant reading.

 

*University: Being present for ALL these presentations will be an asset in university. It is not only highly advantageous for future music studies, but beneficial for all studies as it helps to develop essential learning skills needed at the post-secondary level.

 

SUCCESS CRITERIA

*  On time. Organized.

*  Prezi/PP presentation – visually appealing

*  Engaging presentation

*  Knowledge off paper (not reading entire time)

*  Presenter is respectful of genre.

*  Clarity of information

*  Clarity of voice

*  Music examples - multiple

*  Art examples – multiple

*  Insightful connections between genre/era and parallel art movements

*  Insightful connections between genre and other genres (“reactions”)

*  Answers questions

*  Hand-out is clear, organized, and informative with audio examples, and art examples.

* Hand-out includes a Works Cited page listing all sources used.

* Prezi/PP presentation is emailed to teacher or shared on USB stick.

* 1 Works Cited page with sources in MLA format

 

ASSIGNMENT:

  • Each one of you is assigned an important genre in 20th Century Music in the classical, jazz, and popular categories.
  • Each one of you will be assigned a presentation date.
  • Two people will present per assigned day.
  • Presentations will typically take place on Fridays in February and April.

Your presentation will explore the following:

 

WHAT

  • Describe the genre and its identity. (Its defining and recognizable features.)
  • Describe the musical aesthetics and characteristics of the genre (What does it sound like? Imagine you are explaining it to someone who has never heard of it before.)
  • Explain what musical properties form those aesthetics. (Consider form/structure, harmony, melody, rhythm, orchestration, text [if any], consonance vs. dissonance, tonality [or not], etc.)
  • What different genres were happening at the same time? (Ex. When John Cage wrote his most influential aleatoric piece 4’33’’, Elvis Presley was months away from making his debut in Rock ‘n Roll history, and bebop was in its prime in jazz.)

WHO

  • Major figure(s) of origin. Was there an individual or small group who started this genre?
  • Who were the major figures that most defined this genre?

WHERE

  • Country of origin.
  • Influence of geography. (Does the landscape and/or culture of that country strongly influence this genre?)
  • Geography of influence. (Did this genre influence the music movements in other countries? If so, where?)

WHEN

  • Dates
  • Country/place of origin
  • What other genres was your genre sandwiched in between?
  • What other genres were happening in music at the same time? (Popular forms, other classical forms, jazz forms, etc.)

HOW

  • How did we get to this genre from the music era before?
  • How are the musical forms and aesthetics of this genre new in comparison to what came before it?
  • How are the musical forms particular to this genre and/or the composers who developed it?
  • How was this genre reaction to what came before it?
  • How was this genre different from what other forms were happening during the same time period?
  • How did it influence what came after it?

WHY - IDEOLOGY

  • What is the ideology/philosophy/beliefs behind the creation and execution of his genre?
  • What did the creators believe in?
  • What is happening in the world at that time, in politics, in society that is influencing the ideology of the people?
  • Is this genre conforming to, contrasting from, or creating the ideology of the era?

PARALLEL MOVEMENTS

  • Parallel movements in other art fields (Similarities in aesthetics? Comparing ideologies and how they are evident in other art forms.)
    • Visual Art** (painting, sculpture, installation art). Major figures, major works – draw similarities.
    • Fashion. (Is fashion part of your genre’s ideology and identity? If so, how? How does it fit into the ideology of the music?)
    • Literature, poetry – does this influence the development of lyrics/libretti? How?

ANTI-MOVEMENT (The pendulum effect)

Changes in history, and art, occur as reactions to what is happening around us. We begin to reject the rules of the world react by creating an idealized new way of doing things. That in turn upsets people who want to maintain the status quo. While these new movements satisfy those wanting change, it inevitably creates a new set of rules that another group of people, with a different ideology don’t want to accept, and eventually reject. This is called, the pendulum effect. (You may refer or merge this section with “conforming to, contrasting from, or creating” in the Ideology section.

  • How was your genre a reaction to what came before it; different from what other forms were happening during it; and how did it influence what came after it? (What preceding era was it the “anti-movement” to?)
  • What reaction did your assigned genre instigate? What “anti-movement” followed your genre?

MUSIC EXAMPLES

VISUAL EXAMPLES

KEY WORDS

 

1. Impressionism in Music Friday, February 26 (Amanda)

* Parallel movements in art (Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh...)

* Parallel movements in other music genres happening at the same time.

* Major figures (Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy, Gabriel Faure, Manuel de Falla...)

* Anti-movement / Reaction ex. Les Six. Why?

* Key words: 11th chords, 13th chords, realism...

* Essential musical examples: Chanson de Bilitis (Debussy), Trois poeme de Stephane Mellarmé (Ravel), Pavane pour une infante défunte (Ravel)

 

 2. Modernism in Music Friday, February 26 (Alessia)

* Parallel movements in art (Picasso, cubism...)

* Parallel movements in other music genres happening at the same time.

* Major figures (Igor Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Bela Bartok...)

* Anti-movement / Reaction

* Key words: Octatonic scale, Folk music, Nationalism,  

* Essential musical examples: Stravinsky's Rite of Spring.

 

 3. Serialism in Music Friday, March 4 (Caitlin)

* Parallel movements in art (Vasili Kandinsky, Paul Klee)

* Parallel movements in other music genres happening at the same time.

* Major figures (Arnold Schoenberg, Anton Webern, Alban Berg)

* Anti-movement / Reaction

* Key words: 12 tone music, atonality, row, retrograde, inversion, the Second Viennese School.

* Essential musical examples: Webern Opus 21

 

 4. Electronic Music Friday, March 4 (Cassandra)
* Parallel movements in art (film)

* Parallel movements in other music genres happening at the same time.

* Major figures (Pierre Henry, Pierre Shafer, Edgard Varese, Shostakovich, Paulina Oliveros)

* Anti-movement / Reaction

* Key words: tape, tape recorder, analogue, digital, ambient sounds.

* Essential musical examples: Come for consultation

 

5. Minimalism - Friday, March 11 (Michaella)
* Parallel movements in art (Branet Newman, Yves Klein)

* Parallel movements in other music genres happening at the same time.

*  Major figures (Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Terry Riley)

* Anti-movement / Reaction

* Key words: New York Hypnotic School, Experimentation, repetition, drones, stasis, gradual transformation, consonant harmony.

* Essential musical examples: Come for consultation

 

6. Aleatoric Music Friday, March 11 (Robin)
* Parallel movements in art (Marcel Duchamp, Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jasper Johns abstract expressionism)

* Parallel movements in other music genres happening at the same time.

*  Major figures: The New York School - John Cage, Charles Ives, Pierre Boulez,

* Anti-movement – are there any?

* Key words: aleatory, chance, indeterminancy, graphic notation, the I Ching, Dadaism, expressionism, avant-garde, postmodernism.

* Musical Examples: John Cage 4'33",

 

7. Gospel Music - Thursday, March 24 (Celina)

* Parallel movements in art (African American folk art)

* Parallel movements in other music genres happening at the same time.

*  Major figures: Mahalia Jackson

* Anti-movement / Reaction

* Key words: spirituals, sacred, Baptist/Protestant, Jim Crowe

* Essential musical examples: Come for consultation

 

8. The Blues (Rural Black America) & Folk Music (Rural White America) - Thursday, March 24 (Clarice)

* Parallel movements in art (American folk art)

* Parallel movements in other music genres happening at the same time.

*  Major figures in blues (Leadbelly, Robert Johnson, Bessie Smith, Alan Lomax)

*  Major figures in folk (Woodie Guthrie)

* Anti-movement / Reaction was there one? (Country?)

* Key words: blues scale, 12 bar blues, African music, gospel music, spirituals, emancipation, Jim Crowe, protest songs

* Essential musical examples: Come for consultation

 

9. Jazz – from Swing to Bebop to Avant-garde free jazz - Friday, April 8 (Daniela)

* Parallel movements in art ()

* Parallel movements in other music genres happening at the same time.

*  Major figures (Scott Joplin, Benny Goodman, Louise Armstrong, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Miles Davis - Singers; Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Holiday, Sarah Vaughan)

* Anti-movement / Reaction

* Essential musical examples: Charlie Parker (Giant Steps), Miles Davis (A Kind of Blue, Bitches Brew), Ella Fitsgerald and Louise Armstrong

* Key words: Swing, Big band, Dixieland, crooners, Bebop, cool jazz, free jazz

(Visit the connection between Charlie Parker and Igor Stravinsky.)

 

  10. 20th Century Opera - Friday, April 8 (Erica)
* Parallel movements in art ()

* Parallel movements in other music genres happening at the same time.

*  Major figures (Alban Berg, Bela Bartok, Gian Carlo Menotti, Luciano Berio)

* Anti-movement / Reaction

* Key words: Extended harmony, disjunct melody, polytonality, serialism, neo-tonality,

* Essential Musical Examples: Lulu, Wozzeck, The Medium (The Consul), Bluebeard’s Castle  

 

11. Musical Theatre (vaudeville, burlesque, new opera) - Friday, April 15 (Julianne)

* Parallel movements in art (What were the major figures during the inception of this genre?)

* Parallel movements in other music genres happening at the same time.

*  Major figures (Narrow into a category of the genre – ex. Golden age)

* Anti-movement / Reaction

* Key words:

* Essential musical examples: Come for consultation

 

12. The Birth of Rock ‘n Roll - Friday, April 15 (Jazalen)

* Parallel movements in art (What were the major figures during the inception of this gengre?)

* Parallel movements in other music genres happening at the same time.

*  Major figures (Elvis Presley, Bill Hailey, Buddy Holly, Little Richard, The Beatles)

* Anti-movement / Reaction

* Key words: Swing, blues, country, folk,

* Essential musical examples: Come for consultation

 

13. Motown & Stax Records - Friday, April 22 (Emma)

* Parallel movements in art (What were the major figures during the inception of this gengre?)

* Parallel movements in other music genres happening at the same time.

*  Major figures (Motown: Barry Gordy, Smokey Robinson, The Supremes, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye. Stax: Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Isaac Hayes)

* Difference between the two musically, aesthetically, idealogically.

* Anti-movement / Reaction

* Key words:

* Essential musical examples: Come for consultation

 

 14. Psychedelia to Classic Rock - Friday, April 22 (Chiara)

* Parallel movements in art (Postmodernism)

* Parallel movements in other music genres happening at the same time.

*  Major figures (Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, )

* Anti-movement / Reaction

* Key words: confessional, protest, middle-class, affluence, soloist, publishing,

* Essential musical examples: Come for consultation

 

15. Disco & Funk - Friday, April 29 (Luisa)

* Parallel movements in other music genres happening at the same time.

* Parallel movements in art (film - Saturday Night Fever, abstract expressionism, graffiti)

*  Major figures: Disco - The Bee Gees, Chic  /  Funk – Stevie Wonder,

* Anti-movement / Reaction - Rock, Punk, The "Disco-Sucks" movement,

* Key words: Dance, flamboyance, sexuality, femininity, syncopation, strings,  

* Key words:

* Essential musical examples: Come for consultation

 

16. Singer-Songwriter as genre - Friday, April 29 (Margarita)

* Parallel movements in art (What were the major figures during the inception of this genre?)

* Parallel movements in other music genres happening at the same time.

*  Major figures: Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon,

* Anti-movement / Reaction

* Key words: confessional, protest, middle-class, affluence, soloist, publishing,

* Key words:

* Essential musical examples: Come for consultation

 

17. Punk & Ska - Thursday, May 13 (Sarah)

* Parallel movements in art (graffiti, post-modernism, abstract expressionism)

* Parallel movements in other music genres happening at the same time.

*  Major figures: Punk - Sex Pistols, The Clash  /  Ska - The English Beat, The Specials, The Police)

* Anti-movement / Reaction – Disco

* Key words: rebellion, Mods, Punks, Quadrophenia,

* Essential musical examples: Come for consultation