MUS Modern

The Modern classical period (1900-now)

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The Modern Period 1

The Modern Period began around 1900 and it is not over yet. Many famous composers have been born during the Modern Period.

Here are some of them: Igor Stravinsky, Leonard Bernstein, Maurice Ravel, Sergei Prokofiev, Arnold Schönberg and Sergei Rachmaninov.

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The Modern Period 2

Development and inventions

In the 20th century, a lot of new things happened and changed people's lives. There were a lot of inventions. Even before 1910, the Zeppelin, the aeroplane, the vacuum cleaner, the tea bag, cornflakes, plastic and much more were invented.

The First World War from 1914 to 1918 was awful and it upsets people a lot. After the war, many artists felt that they had to create something brand new without any of the old things.

The painters painted abstract paintings. Theatres introduced abstract performances, and composers wrote completely different types of music.

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The Modern Period 3

Brand new ideas for music

Some composers became tired of the Romantic Period's feelings. They created mathematical rules, removing all kind of feelings from the music. It is called serial music.


The composer John Cage from the USA believed that music cannot be planned. Music was something that happened here and now. John Cage said that in reality, music could consist of all kinds of sounds, also the ones we think is noise.

Away from major and minor

The composers tried to make new keys that did not look like major and minor. The composer Debussy from Paris created a whole-tone scale with no 'half tones'.

Other composers plunged into the old church keys from the Middle Ages.

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The Modern Period 4

Storing music

At the end of the Romantic Period, Thomas Edison invented the phonograph. It was a machine that could record and play sounds. From then on, it became possible to store music and listen to it over and over again.

Now, it became easy to go from the phonograph to gramophone records, cassettes and CDs to the mp3 and streaming of our time. Today, it is hard to imagine that 100 years ago, you had to go out to listen to music.

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The Modern Period 5

Classical music in modern times

In 1916, the film was invented. It was quickly discovered that film and music were a good match.

Music played by the symphony orchestras is still the type of music often used in films and cartoons.

We still play music composed more than 100 years ago. But there is also a lot of classical music made today. You can meet a living composer here in Symphonia. His name is Erik Sandberg.

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The Modern Period 6

Classical popular music

In 1990, three of the world's best opera singers and a good symphony orchestra held outdoor concerts and thousands of people listened to the music. It was a huge success.

Many countries held the same kind of concerts with the same success.

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