We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more

Contents

Music in the Late Twentieth Century

ZERO HOUR

Chapter:
CHAPTER 1 Starting from Scratch
Source:
MUSIC IN THE LATE TWENTIETH CENTURY
Author(s):
Richard Taruskin
Zero Hour

ex. 1-2 Stefan Wolpe, Quartet (1950), II, mm. 1–5

The tension and frustration inherent in Wolpe's position was characteristic of the time, and contributed to many a strange turn of events that could never have been predicted before the war's end. The most noteworthy was the unexpected resurgence of twelve-tone composition—or “serialism,” to use the postwar term—from what many considered to be a moribund, sectarian status into something that began to look like stylistic dominance among “serious” composers in Western Europe and America. (The word serious, now widely recognized as an invidious standard and an enforcer of conformity, is nevertheless the word to use in this context, for it was the word then used: it derived from German usage, in which the distinction between “classical” and “popular” music was couched as one between ernste Musik or “E-Musik”—that is, “serious music”—and Unterhaltungsmusik or “U-Musik,” meaning “entertainment music.”) For such a thing to happen, a complex and remarkable convergence of circumstances and personalities was required.

Citation (MLA):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 1 Starting from Scratch." The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford University Press. New York, USA. n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2018. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume5/actrade-9780195384857-div1-001006.xml>.
Citation (APA):
Taruskin, R. (n.d.). Chapter 1 Starting from Scratch. In Oxford University Press, Music in the Late Twentieth Century. New York, USA. Retrieved 25 Feb. 2018, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume5/actrade-9780195384857-div1-001006.xml
Citation (Chicago):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 1 Starting from Scratch." In Music in the Late Twentieth Century, Oxford University Press. (New York, USA, n.d.). Retrieved 25 Feb. 2018, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume5/actrade-9780195384857-div1-001006.xml
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.