Twentieth Century

Modern era music is a style of Western music composed from 1900 to the present day. Around the turn of the century, the transition from nineteenth-century Romanticism to twentieth-century "Modernism" is, perhaps, as violent an upheaval as was the transition from the Renaissance to the Baroque.

The speed of twentieth-century innovation in all areas has been so accelerated that music has also moved from one new idea to another with such speed that no previous era can be compared with the diversity and extremes of its expressions. The search for originality on the part of every composer has led to a great variety of expression, reversion to past historical styles, neo-Classicism, neo-Romanticism, serial composition, electronic music, microtonal music and so on.

Musical recordings and publishing has made music highly available to the public. The invention of electronic instruments, such as the synthesizer, began around 1950. Composers today are mindful of the fact that it is through the medium of recorded sound that they have the greatest opportunity to reach their audience. As a result, they compose with recording in mind.

Notable composers from this period:

Bartok, Bela (1881 - 1945)
Britten, Benjamin (1913 - 1976)
Debussy, Claude (1862 - 1918)
Prokofiev, Sergei (1891 - 1953)
Ravel, Maurice (1875 - 1937)
Stravinsky, Dmitiri (1906 - 1975)

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