Expressionism and Music: A “New Music” Approach and Musical Modernism in the First Half of the 20th Century around the Second Viennese School

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DOI: 10.16917/iusosyoloji.331331

OnlineFirst published on August 20, 2017

Year: 2017 Vol: 37 Number: 1

Abstract

Consciousness, which is included in trends under the scope of modernism, is less prominent in music than in other art disciplines. Either finding the trends under the heading of modernism, together with the common ideal of modernism, first by what distinguishes them from one another in terms of their artistic forms of production and attitudes and to an excessive degree through music as well as the plastic arts and literature-based developments, or classifying composers and their works in the framework of these trends (explaining the literary of structural and stylistic elements related to it or through a language that belongs to other disciplines by escaping the environment of music’s own distinctly abstract language) is more complex than in other art disciplines. Since its beginning as an art discipline directed towards “abstraction”, music’s housing of the element related to a small number of different disciplines apart from stage performance and in particular its instrumental forms that consist of pure sound and time (in that it doesn’t particularly contain literary text; i.e., it consists of only rhythm and sound elements), has made it difficult for these trends to be included. Because of this and similar special-to-itself technical conditions, modernism in music began to be experienced and understood a little later than in other artistic trends. And when the subject is the relationship of Expressionism and music, together with the difficulty of describing Expressionist elements in terms of form, some general and special stylistic qualities with common structures become available. As such, some general observations can be made regarding Expressionism’s stylistic appearances in a variety of musical elements, and these also relate to the Expressionist features in paintings and literature.

Keywords
Expressionism • Modernism • New music • 12-tone scale • The Second Viennese School

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