During the 20th century, music had a great diversity of styles and currents that broke with stylistic unity in search of new music.  At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, two important musical currents developed:
 – Impressionism: used modal, subtle or soft melodies and a great variety of musical colors, that is, timbres (using a variety of instruments in the orchestra such as the harp, glockenspiel or the piano).  Highlight Debussy, Ravel or Dukas.  Let’s listen to a work by these composers.
 – Expressionism: he used the torn expression of feelings using the “sprechsang” (shouted song).  It is atonal music full of dissonances.  Highlight Schoenberg, Berg and Webern. 
At the beginning of the 20th century avant-garde emerged such as:
 – Futurism: introduced noise and machines in musical pieces.  Highlight Marinetti in literature and Russolo in music with his intonarumori (a machine that made noises).
 – Neoclassicism: seeks simplicity based on the music of the Baroque and Classicism.  Neoclassicism recovered tonality, freed itself from technical complexity and fled from emotion.  Composers such as Stravinsky, Satie, Hindemith and Malipiero stand out.  Let’s listen to Malipiero.
 After the 2nd world war the new vanguards: 

– Concrete music: it consisted of manipulating recordings of musical instruments, voices and sounds from the natural environment.  They used a magnetic tape.  We can highlight authors such as Pierre Shaefer with “Orpheus” and Pierre Henry with “Well-tempered microphone”.  Shaefer and Henry composed “Symphony for a lonely man” together.  Let’s listen to this avant-garde piece of music.
 – Electronic music: it was laboratory music created by generators.  Stockhausen worked on this style in the Cologne studio.  Other authors were Maderna and Berio.  Let’s listen to their music.
  – Electroacoustic music: it is a mixture of electronic and concrete music.  The synthesizer was invented and authors such as Nono, Maderna, Berio or Stockhausen used it.  Let’s listen to “The Song of the Teens” by Stockhausen.
  – Dodecaphonism: it broke with more than three centuries of tonal music and introduced the equality between the twelve notes.  Shoenberg was the creator of this twelve-tone style.
– Integral serialism: he applied the concept of series to all the parameters of the sound, not only to the height (acuity or gravity of the sound), but also to the intensity and rhythm.  Let’s see on youtube a fragment of Boulez or Messaien.

– Ballet: the most important ballet was Diaghilev’s Russian ballet.  Picasso, Miró or Juan Gris painted the sets and the music was composed by musicians such as Falla, Debussy or Stravinsky.  All these authors worked for the businessman Diaghilev.  Famous dancers such as Nijinsky and Nureyev and dancers such as Paulova stood out.  Let’s see on YouTube a fragment of the ballet “El amor brujo” by Falla or one of Stravinsky’s ballets.
 – Modern theatrical dance: this dance was based on emotion and freedom.  Freedom of movement, they put aside academized movements like the plié, demi- plié.  Highlight the dancer Cunningham in collaboration with his partner, the musician John Cage.  The dancer Isadora Duncan broke the rules of classical dance.  Let’s look at Isadora Duncan or Cunningham.
 – Ballroom dances: such as the Charleston, swing, fox-trot from the United States, the waltz from Europe and Latin dances such as salsa or merengue from South America.
– Spanish music in the 20th century: Falla, Turina or Guridi belonged to the generation of 98. They mixed classical and traditional music, that is, they were nationalist musicians.  Let’s listen to Guridi.  The generation of ’27 was influenced by the European avant-garde, we can highlight composers such as Gerhard, Remacha, Oscar Esplá, Rodolfo Halfter and Cristobal Halfter.  Let’s listen to a fragment of some work by these authors.


This historical-artistic period includes the entire 19th century.  In this period the composers were free artists who wanted to express their fantasy and their feelings.  They tried to leave behind the extremely regulated era or stage of Classicism in search of freedom.
 Beethoven was the first romantic musician, he was also a classical composer, he is the one who made the transition.  Later Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Bramhs, Listz, and Chopin composed music for piano, symphonies, and lieder.  Let’s listen to a Schumann symphony.
 There was an expansion of the orchestra, especially more brass and rubbed-string instruments were added to compensate.  Concertos for virtuosos were composed and programmatic music emerged, based on the description of a plot, for example, Berlioz’s “Fantastic Symphony”.  Let’s listen to this composition by the French composer Berlioz.
The small musical forms for piano represented the most intimate feelings of the romantic period.  Let’s look at musical pieces by Chopin and Listz.
 A lied is a song composed for piano and voice, with poetic text, in German and generally with an ABA structure.  Schubert composed around 600 lieder.  Also highlight lieder composers such as Schumann, Bramhs and Wolf.  Let’s see a lied on youtube.
 The piano was the favorite instrument of the romantic period with musical forms 

Opera was the favorite show in Romanticism.  In Italy the current of bel canto prevailed, that is, a very virtuous melody sung.  At the end of the 19th century the bel canto was replaced by verismo, this style refers to the truthful, the real, without the gorgoritos of the bel canto.  Highlight Puccini with “Madame Buterfly” or “Tosca” and Leoncavallo.
 The operetta was born in France, simpler and more popular than the comic opera.  Offenbach composed many operettas.
 In Germany Wagner composed the musical drama which is a total work of art with continuous development.  Wagner has operas that last more than four hours.  Wagner took more than 20 years to compose “The Ring of the Nibelungs”, this composition consists of 4 operas and is based on German legends.  Let’s see the “Cavalcade of the Walkyries” on YouTube.
 Nationalism emerged in the second half of the nineteenth century, reinforcing the romantic feeling with folklore, thus, nationalist music mixes classical or cultured music and traditional or folk music.  In the music scene, countries like Russia, Hungary, Norway or Finland used folklore as a sign of identity.  Let’s hear Scheherazade from Korsakoff.
We cannot forget Spanish nationalist composers such as Albéniz, Granados at the end of the 19th century and Falla, Turina or Guridi already in the 20th century.  Let’s see a fragment of the ballet “El amor brujo” by Falla.
The violin in Spain was important with Sarasate or Jesús de Monasterio, the guitar with Tárrega.  Let’s see the “Spanish Dances” of Sarasate.

There were 2 types of zarzuela:
 – Genre boy: short zarzuela of only 1 act.
 – Zarzuela grande: longer and in 3 acts.
 The ABC composers stand out: Arrieta (“Marina”), Bretón, Chueca (La gran via ”), Chapí (“ La revoltosa ”).  Let’s see a fragment of “La verbena de la paloma” by Breton or “La revoltosa”.
 Romantic ballet reached its maximum splendor imposing technical virtuosity with dance on pointe shoes, dancing by stepping only with the toes of the slippers.  Highlight the ballets “La Sílfide” or “Giselle” and dancers such as María Taglioni and Paulova.  Let’s see “The Sylph” or “Giselle”.
 The society dance achieved great  popularity with the new bourgeoisie.  The favorite dance was the waltz.