Classical Music Is the Final Period Research Paper

Pages: 3 (1086 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Music

¶ … classical music is the final period of western classical music and it originates from the 1940s to the present. "Like modern art, modern music has focused on variety and radical experimentation. Also like modern art, modern classical music witnessed a continuation of prewar developments (Spielvogel, 942). Modern classical music was a direct reflection of the multitude of changes that were sweeping through society that forced individuals to re-evaluate their roles as individuals, men, women and consumers.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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Since modern classical music debuted in the 1940s, it's worth examining this decade first and foremost to determine which societal forces were flagrant at the time and impacting the way in which music was composed (Kennedy, 199). Notably in the 1940s, America was a nation at war; these circumstances forced individuals to reevaluate their place in society and how they viewed themselves. "Conditions in wartime America challenged how many men saw themselves and forced many to ask hard questions about their manliness and status: How does society view me? How does the other sex view me? Do they view me as weaker, since I was ranked 4-F in the draft physical? Do they view me as past a man's prime, since I'm too old for the draft?... Wartime society's sudden status upheavals made certain men feel more insecure, and the new film noir genre's appeal came from its depictions of what were men's (and, as we shall see, women's) conscious and unconscious reactions to these changes" (Greenberg & Watts, 318). There's no doubt that the internal unrest that men were feeling about their masculinity, and roles as a provider and protector had an effect on the emergence of modern classical music. Just as the gender roles were shifting from their standard positions music was undergoing a shift from its standard structure and composition. This was directly reflected in serialism: "Inspired by the 12 tone music of Schonberg, serialism is a compositional procedure in which an order of succession is set for specific values: pitch, loudness and units of time. By predetermining the order of succession, the composer restricts his or her intuitive freedom as the work to some extent creates itself" (Spielvogel, 942). This to an extent reflects the impact of the changing gender roles of society; just as the war was forcing the role of men and women to be deconstructed and somewhat swapped, and the roles of men and women respectively were co-evolving with the changing times on their own, as a direct impact of the war.

A particular type of modern classical music, minimalism which was developed by the likes of Philip Glass, Terry Riley and Steve Reich in the 1960s is also a clear reflection of societal values at the time. The 1960s marked the time when people were past the period of the 1950s which was solely devoted to returning to normalcy. The 1960s were thus a period that was ready to experiment again. Television reflected this desire for normalcy with the clean, manicured lawns and neighborhoods of shows like Leave it to Beaver and Ozzie and Harriet (Greenberg & Watts, xvi ). A sense of financial stability pervaded many American homes with a marked consumerism prevailing with many families buying televisions, cars and Tupperware. Thus, one could argue that… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Classical Music Is the Final Period" Research Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Classical Music Is the Final Period.  (2012, June 4).  Retrieved August 2, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Classical Music Is the Final Period."  4 June 2012.  Web.  2 August 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Classical Music Is the Final Period."  June 4, 2012.  Accessed August 2, 2021.