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Béla Bartók (1881-1945): Topic
Hungarian composer. His works are influenced by folk music and often use modality. His music is highly dissonant and contrapuntal, but not atonal.
Luciano Berio (1925-2003): Topic
Italian composer. His work, usually involving electronic sound, combines serial techniques with commedia dell'arte and antiphonal practices, as in Alleluiah II (1958) for five instrumental groups.
Harrison Birtwistle (1934- ): Topic
Born in Accrington, Lancashire, he began his career as a clarinettist. While in Manchester he formed, with other young musicians including Peter Maxwell Davies and John Ogdon, the New Manchester Group for the performance of modern music.
John Cage (1912-1992): Topic
American composer, b. Los Angeles. A leading figure in the musical avant-garde from the late 1930s.
Aaron Copland (1900-1990): Topic
US composer. His early works, such as his piano concerto (1926), were in the jazz style but he gradually developed a gentler style with a regional flavour drawn from American folk music.
Claude Debussy (1862-1918): Topic
French composer, exponent of musical impressionism.
Brian Eno (1948- ): Topic
A pioneer synthesizer player with Roxy Music, Eno later earned a reputation as a leading avant-garde figure in rock-music circles, and explored the potential of ambient music in such albums as Music for Airports (1979).
Lukas Foss (1922-2009): Topic
US composer, conductor, and pianist. His stylistically varied works, including the cantata The Prairie (1944) and Time Cycle for soprano and orchestra (1960), express an ironic view of tradition.
Roberto Gerhard (1896-1970): Topic
Spanish-born British composer. His achievement was to unite atonal methods with the colours and rhythms of his native Spain.
Philip Glass (1937- ): Topic
American composer, b. Baltimore. Considered one of the most innovative of contemporary composers, he was a significant figure in the development of minimalism in music.
Percy Grainger (1882-1961): Topic
Australian-born US experimental composer and pianist.
Paul Hindemith (1895-1963): Topic
German composer and teacher. His operas Cardillac (1926, revised 1952) and Mathis der Maler/Mathis the Painter (1933-35) are theatrically astute and politically aware.
Charles Ives (1874-1954): Topic
US composer. He experimented with atonality, quarter tones, and clashing time signatures, decades before the avant-garde movement.
Darius Milhaud (1892-1974): Topic
French composer and pianist. A member of the group of composers known as Les Six, he was extremely prolific in a variety of styles and genres, influenced by jazz, the rhythms of Latin America, and electronic composition.
Krzysztof Penderecki (1933-2020): Topic
Polish composer. His expressionist works, such as the Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima (1961) for strings, use cluster and percussion effects.
Steve Reich (1936- ): Topic
US composer. His minimalist music employs simple patterns carefully superimposed and modified to highlight constantly changing melodies and rhythms.
Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951): Topic
Austrian composer, b. Vienna. He revolutionized modern music by abandoning tonality and developing a twelve-tone, "serial" technique of composition.
Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975): Topic
Russian composer. His music is chromatically tonal/modal, expressive, and sometimes highly dramatic; it was not always to official Soviet taste.
Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928-2007): Topic
German composer of avant-garde music. He explored new musical sounds and compositional techniques from the 1950s.
Toru Takemitsu (1930-1996): Topic
Japanese composer. He was mainly self-taught and was initially influenced by Schoenberg, Messiaen, and musique concrète.
Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959): Topic
Brazilian composer and conductor. He absorbed Russian and French influences in the 1920s to create neo-baroque works in Brazilian style, using native colours and rhythms.
Anton Webern (1883-1945): Topic
Austrian composer. He wrote spare, enigmatic miniatures combining a pastoral poetic with severe structural rigor.
Iannis Xenakis (1922-2001): Topic
Romanian-born French composer of Greek parentage. He evolved a method of ‘stochastic’ composition using the mathematics of chance and probability and also employing computers.
Aleatory Music: Topic
Music in which deliberate use is made of chance or indeterminacy; the term chance music is preferred by many composers.
In music, systematic avoidance of harmonic or melodic reference to tonal centers. The term is used to designate a method of composition in which the composer has deliberately rejected the principle of tonality.
Electronic Music: Topic
Music composed completely or partly of electronically generated and/or modified sounds.
Movement in abstract art and music towards extremely simplified composition.
Serial Music: Topic
The body of compositions whose fundamental syntactical reference is a particular ordering (called series or row) of the twelve pitch classes—C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B—that constitute the equal-tempered scale.