Musical Progress Essay

Musical Progress Essay

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What is progress in terms of music? Progress like in anything is innovation, something new or something people have never seen or heard before. When it comes to music so many things have already been done and so many things have been recycled within new pieces of music. In the first half of the 20th century major progress was made in music, this progress was done by composers like George Gershwin and Igor Stravinsky. The two composers although of diverse musical genres and particular time periods had a common theme, they both created music that pushed the boundaries for their respective styles. Gershwin with his early Jazz pieces and Stravinsky with his early neoclassicist work both created pieces that are still performed in the 2000’s. Although they both faced a different set of challenges, they did something similar, they aimed themselves toward progress. The progress that the two composers made can be heard through their profound ability’s to both borrow themes or styles from different genres and make a body of music original. The works of both Gershwin and Stravinsky particularly Rhapsody in Blue and Histoire de Soldat epitomize, in their respective time periods music at the cusp of musical progress.
Stravinsky was an accomplished composer of his time period, while many questioned him and his changes in style. But many of his changes, musically speaking, throughout his lifetime emulate or better yet display his progressive nature in music. Many critics of his era had criticized him for a surplus of variation in regards to style, notably Theodor Adorno in regards to his distaste for Stravinsky neoclassicist works.
“Stravinsky's place as a seminal figure in 20th‐cent. mus. and individually as a great composer seems assure...

... middle of paper ...

... Gershwin was helping bring Jazz to the forefronts of both popular culture and critical acclaim. Both made progress with their respective works in different ways, both extending their talents, they both brought music in the early 20th century to the next level by perpetuating their existing works into something new. Both Rhapsody In Blue and Histoire Du Soldat bear a symbol of progress in the 20th century.

Works Cited

1"Stravinsky, Igor ( Fyodorovich Igor Stravinsky )." Oxford Music Online. Oxford UP. Web. 26 Oct. 2011.
2Walsh, Stephen. "Stravinsky, Igor, §11: Posthumous Reputation and Legacy." Oxford Music Online. Oxford UP. Web. 26 Oct. 2011.
3Crawford, Richard. "Gershwin, George [Gershvin, Jacob]." Oxford Music Online. Oxford UP. Web. 26 Oct. 2011.
4Crawford, Richard. "Gershwin, George [Gershvin, Jacob]." Oxford Music Online. Oxford UP. Web. 26 Oct. 2011.

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