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TitleThe Evolution of 20th Century Harmony
File Size17.6 MB
Total Pages244
Document Text Contents
Page 2

The language of music, like that of

speech, varies widely with different

peoples and at different times. As long
as its basic idioms remain settled f^r a

length of time, communication^betwec.*!
composer and listener is a natural procs_
But languages change, and that of music
has done so with bewildering rapidity in
the 2oth century. It is clearly important
that the processes which led to this un-

precedented transformation should be

fully explored. Many serious music-lovers
find an unbridgeable gulf between old and
new. At the same time, many who have
grown up in this century have only the
most superficial acquaintance with its ex-
ternal sounds and are too little aware of
real values either in contemporary or

traditional music.
The author examines features which,

are basic in Western mustc, anvi by
tracing developments in the late 1 9th

century he shows the inevitable evolution
from former diatonic foundations to a
basic scale of twelve semitones. He then
reviews, with numerous musical examples,
the methods which composers have used
to give order to these semitones, (the
Twelve-Note System initiated by Schdn-

berg being only one of many approaches).
He submits to close analysis the inno-
vations in harmony, rhythm and melody
which are fundamental to an understand-

ing of modern music, and in conclusion
he estimates the value which a fuller
technical knowledge can have in enrich-

ing our musical experience.

Page 122

[l8 TWENTIETH CENTURY HARMONY

Ex.74 RAVEL 'Le Cygne* from Histoires ffaturelles

A. .. -.

Music extract reprinted by permission of Durand & Cie.

VATOHAN "WILLIAHB London Symphony, first movement

Music Extract reprinted by permission of Stainer & Bell Ltd

Ex.75 LENNOX BERKELEY

Music extract reprinted by permission of Augener Ltd.

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