Music composed since 1900

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Choose two pieces of music composed since 1900, one of which you like and one you dislike, and explain why. The compositions can be from the course listening (including the ones used in the listening assignments) or from elsewhere.

Aaron Copland (1900–1990). Lincoln portrait (1942).

Pierre Boulez (1925– ). Notations I–IV. Mvt. 2: Très vif. strident (1945).

Write a 5- to 7-page paper (double spaced, 12-14 pt font) explaining your reasoning. Try to remain logical and objective as you explain what appeals (or doesn’t appeal) to you in the two compositions you choose. Discuss the stylistic aspects of each work (including some historical perspective). Characteristics you should consider are:

  • Texture.
  • Harmony.
  • Melody (or lack of melody).
  • Other features you consider relevant.

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