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Music in Western Civilization in 20th Century

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Submitted By prince21
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Music in western civilization in 20th century Music is defined as sounds that are arranged in a particular pattern in which when played are exciting to hear or listen to. Music is commonly used as a form or relaxation and entertainment. The chronology of music started way back in the period of the medieval times when the chanting was introduced into most of the catholic churches. Music then had moved through the following stages up to until the modern day music (Burkholder, Grout & Palisca 2010, p. 276). It originated in the medieval era then moved to the renaissance, baroque, classical music which ushered in the romantic music which in turn paved way to the modern music and hence the contemporary music of the 20th century.
Medieval music traces back to times when music was only done to kings and queens or generally the royal people. It later found its way to liturgical platforms where the music was introduced to the Roman Catholic churches as this time Christianity was real emerging. During this time many musical artists were priests or members of the clergy. As the music entered the renaissance era the printing media had already been established. There emerged a class of composers from the western nations of for instance France Belgium Netherlands etc. Music in this era had become strong with especially the use of instruments. This included the a cappella.
As the music moved on to the baroque era it had started to be used to bring a certain mood. The music composers used musical effects to get into particular states of mind. They had already embraced the use of rhythm effectively (Christensen 2002, p. 24). They also developed melody as the time went by Classical music them was developed later by major composers like Mozart, Beethoven Schubert etc. here music exhibited lots of fluctuations in terms of its mood. The classical music gave a platform for modern music. Modern music is primarily the music of the 20th century. The focus of this essay lies here in the music of the 20th century in the western civilization.
In the western civilization in the 20th century, the reputation of music had been greatly associated with the orchestras and the immerse use of instruments. This revolution exhibited the search for the new forms of expression. The music in this century was differentiable through the functional tonality. The emergency f the photographic technology provided a platform where images were easily and quickly recorded. Serialism was largely employed. It’s defined as a style in music composition where each tone in the chromatic scale is used one in succession until the 12th one is used (Lippman 1992, p. 237).
The use of chromaticism emerged in this period which was accompanied by the extended use of dissonance, the establishment of harmony and melody. These structures were developed from the early folk songs of the western culture. The last century rooted the structural interrelationships between all parts of the music composition, the expansive use of instruments, the complexity and the independence of rhythm and the tone color (Taruskin & Taruskin 2010, p. 356). The contemporary modern day music emerged and is largely base on originality rather than the rules of music that had been in place and followed in the recent and distant past. The artists employed mainly the use of dissonances. The western cultures have had a major influence in the music development. In the course of the 20th century the jazz and rock music emerged because of the vast increment of music listening. Radio had gained much popularity and phonographs had been used to replay and distribute music. Jazz music is an art of music that traced its origin in America by the African American communities by the fusion of the African and American music traditions. Rock music on the other hand was developed in the midst of the century. It’s a genre of the pop music which incorporates the blues and country music. During this period timbre was explored greatly and the development of new playing techniques on the instrument to make expansions on the tonal range (Al-Taee 2010, p. 68). Electronic instruments were widely used because technology too had gained momentum. The recording technology had made it easier for musicians to access their fans and their audiences in general. Rock music for instance was influenced by the blues and rhythms. It borrowed a great deal from the blues and the folk music that was early mentioned in this article. The production of rock music is base on the electric bass guitar and drums. Its message normally revolves around romantic love but also it addresses other themes that are very feasible in the social and political arenas. Rock has been classified as soft, hard, Christian, roots rock or even progressive rock. These are all subgenres of rock music. Jazz on the other hand is said to have developed and spread around the world. It also was able to develop subgenre just like the rock. These subgenres just represented regions or states where jazz had gained popularity in big measures (Taruskin & Taruskin 2010, p. 356).
Most famous jazz musician of the 20th century Bing Crosby is arguably the It incorporated the most elements of pop music. Pop music draw its name from popular which emerged after the rock and jazz music. Pop music does not follow one style and thus it often borrows elements from other styles however it has core and distinct elements that defines it which include repeated choruses and bridges, short to medium songs which are written in a particular format for example following some alteration and rhyme. It heavily based on the use of instruments.pop music has been heavily commercialized and tends to command large audiences (Lippman 1992, p. 239).Pop music has over time developed influences from other music genres. Its first influence emanated from ballads. It has been characterized by the use of technological innovation which facilitated the improvement of microphone designs that have in turn allowed more intimacy in singing. The television innovation has led to more televised performances.
Pop music is more dominant in the USA and Britain music industries which have very big influence and command in the international culture of music/.western civilization pop music has been compared many a times to the globalization of the world music because of its massive influence. The modern pop music has its vocal style influenced by African American music traditions such as R&B, blues, soul and gospel music. The songs in this modern genre of music talk about love, dance and money (Burkholder, Grout & Palisca 2010, p. 203).
The modern day pop music is almost use interchangeably with the hip hop music. Hip hop also is referred to as rap music it emphasizes on rhyming speech which also accompanied by rapping. It incorporates key elements like the use of disc jockeys choreographed dancing like break dances and the use of graffiti in their videos. It originated in the 1970s and was a practice of music by the youth of New York City. The hip hop culture reflected the political and economic reality of these youths. In fact it was sometimes considered the voice of the disenfranchised youths.
Rap has over time gained popularity as it encompasses the use of instrumentals or synthesized beats that are followed by the verses of lyrics and rhyme. Today rap dominates the music industry with stiff completion among rapper to be the best. They involve production of very expensive videos and expensive shows some of which the rappers take the opportunities to show off their wealth in the industry. Most renowned rappers who emerged in this period include the Notorious BIG, Tupac Shakur, LL Cool J among others (Christensen 2002, p. 67). The rap music today has been under very sharp criticism because it has exposed all kinds of contradictions on the American culture. It has also exhibited strong rivalry among rappers from different regions like the rivalry between the east coast and west coast of the American rap music industry.

References
Al-Taee, N. (2010). Representations of the Orient in Western music: Violence and sensuality. Farnham, Surrey, England: Ashgate.
Biddle, I. D., & Gibson, K. (2009). Masculinity and Western musical practice. Farnham, England: Ashgate.
Burkholder, J. P., Grout, D. J., & Palisca, C. V. (2010). A history of western music. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Burkholder, J. P., Grout, D. J., & Palisca, C. V. (2006). A history of Western music. New York: Norton.
Christensen, T. S. (2002). The Cambridge history of Western music theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Lippman, E. A. (1992). A history of western musical aesthetics. Lincoln [u.a.: Univ. of Nebraska Press.
Taruskin, R. (2009). The Oxford history of western music. New York: Oxford University Press.
Taruskin, R., & Taruskin, R. (2010). Music in the early twentieth century. New York: Oxford University Press.

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