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Contents

Music in the Early Twentieth Century

CHAPTER 6 Inner Occurrences (Transcendentalism, III)

Schoenberg, Webern, and Expressionism; Atonality

Chapter:
CHAPTER 6 Inner Occurrences (Transcendentalism, III)
Source:
MUSIC IN THE EARLY TWENTIETH CENTURY
Author(s):
Richard Taruskin

Richard Taruskin

Art is the cry of distress uttered by those who experience at first hand the fate of mankind. Who are not reconciled to it, but come to grips with it…. Who do not turn their eyes away, to shield themselves from emotions, but open them wide, so as to tackle what must be tackled. Who do, however, often close their eyes, in order to perceive things incommunicable by the senses, to envision within themselves the process that only seems to be in the world outside. The world revolves within—inside them: what bursts out is merely the echo—the work of art.1

Arnold Schoenberg (1910)

In the middle of Chapter 1 we stole a glance at a tiny song, Erwartung (“Anticipation”), by Arnold Schoenberg composed in 1899 (Ex. 1-9). Its purpose there was to illustrate Jugendstil, “decadent” sensuality at its prettiest. It also illustrated the device of “the smallest link”—the use of half-step neighbors to create “color chords” that had no theoretical “textbook” standing as harmonic entities, but that were justified by the logic of voice leading. Compared with the gigantic symphonies of Mahler or the bloated one-act operas of Strauss, its immediate companions in that chapter, the song seemed modest in the extreme. There was little in it to suggest that its composer would eventually take transcendental maximalism to its furthest, most threatening extreme, or that as a pedagogue he would play an unparalleled role in its dissemination.

Citation (MLA):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 6 Inner Occurrences (Transcendentalism, III)." The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford University Press. New York, USA. n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2018. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume4/actrade-9780195384840-chapter-006.xml>.
Citation (APA):
Taruskin, R. (n.d.). Chapter 6 Inner Occurrences (Transcendentalism, III). In Oxford University Press, Music in the Early Twentieth Century. New York, USA. Retrieved 15 Dec. 2018, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume4/actrade-9780195384840-chapter-006.xml
Citation (Chicago):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 6 Inner Occurrences (Transcendentalism, III)." In Music in the Early Twentieth Century, Oxford University Press. (New York, USA, n.d.). Retrieved 15 Dec. 2018, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume4/actrade-9780195384840-chapter-006.xml
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