The 20th Century

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In the twentieth century, musicians were very open to change. Many new styles and genres were made. In a way, they got rid of all of the rules and created new ones. Composers, trying new things, created ragtime, jazz. Some of the new approaches towards tonality were atonality, polytonality, neotonality and the twelve-tonal methods. Different styles were impressionism, expressionism, neoclassicism, primitivism and minimalism. Composers trying to create completely new sounds produced experimental music, spatial music, and electronic music. Not all composers aimed for completely new things. Some wanted to continue the traditions of old classical composers while also finding ways to make their music relevant in their time. All of these elements together are what characterize the twentieth century and what influences much of our music today.
At the end of the nineteenth century, there were African Americans whose traditions got blended with American music. As a result of this, new traditions, such as jazz were formed. Jazz has a lot of styles and genres included within it. Early beginnings of jazz came out of ragtime and blues music. A good example of ragtime is Scott Joplin’s Maple Leaf Rag which is still one of the most popular ragtime pieces to this day. The music of the blues expresses feelings about oppression and sadness. It contained elements from the African American tradition like syncopated rhythms, growls, slides, and blue notes. There were two major kinds of blues which were the Delta and Classic blues. The Delta Blues had more of the older style and traditions in it. They usually were performed by African-American males playing a guitar. Usually Classic blues were typically performed by women. One of...

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...ssentially one way through the classical tradition, but after then, people opened their minds to different ideas. The twentieth century and the new ways composers experimented with sounds shaped what came after, and the music that we know and have today.

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