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Rhythmic & Chordal Playing
30 Day Challenge
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Cello Lessons: 20th Century: Aesthetic & Performance Practice

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That is the opening phrase to
Figment by Elliott Carter.
The 20th century is a chaotic
time in music history.
In 1909, Arnold Schoenberg wrote
the first atonal piece of music.
In the Romantic period and
the Classical period,
we were talking a lot about
tension versus resolution.
And throughout the Romantic period,
tension was being extended and
emphasized in classical composition.
Well, by the end of the 19th century,
there was actually not really
much resolution yet left.
It was like all tension and
all unresolved harmonies.
And Arnold Schoenberg was the first
person to simply abandon the whole idea
of tension and resolution and
simply embrace all notes and
all combination notes as equal sounds that
are all valuable in and of themselves.
Arnold Schoenberg was like,
who are you to tell me that C
major is more consonant than this?
Arnold Schoenberg likes this.
And so the 20th century finds
an embrace of no longer a personal,
expressive approach to composition.
But actually it becomes a time for
conceptual approach to composition.
There's a lot of musical
movements in the 20th century,
like atonality, there is serialism where
every note is used an equal amount.
It is like the democracy of music.
And there is also other movements like
Futurism, Neoclassicism, Impressionism.
It's the time of -isms, minimalism,
and even electronic music.
And one of my favorite parts of
the 20th century is the Aleatoric,
or chance music, as represented
by a composer like John Cage.
A lot of 20th century music
is very conceptual in nature.
And so it's really hard to
say that it's one thing,
cuz there's a lot of different things
all happening at the same time.
For a cello player, 20th century music
tends to be very advanced music.
We're not gonna be hanging out
in first position for too long.
So before you dive into
any advanced pieces,
I wanna make sure you've started on
the advanced technique videos we have.
And it's gonna be really important
that your technique is feeling
comfortable as we dive into
the Dialogo by Ligeti.