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The anniversaries are usually associated with people birthdays, but Adam Scott Neal in his recent and very insightful blog celebrates the birth of the Post Tonal Century in 1909 – the moment that changed classical music scene forever. Hundred years ago, Arnold Schoenberg presented several works that, as Adam notes “eschewed tonal centers”. Adam shares with us his views on post-tonal music concluding, “The theme of the Post-Tonal Century is not dissonance. It is liberty.” And indeed 20th century was liberating for arts in many ways.


Interestingly, this year is also an anniversary of the opposite in music: Franz Joseph Haydn a father of symphony and string quartet as musical forms died 200 years ago – a century before Schoenberg shook the world with his Op. 11 piano piece. You can read the notes on Haydn appearing in our blog features here.


GraceAnne remembers Billie Holiday who prematurely left us 50 years ago. And indeed, what better way to pay homage to a musician that influenced you but with a piece of music that was inspired by that person's legacy. GraceAnne explains in her blog the inspiration and details of her own piece The City of Dreams (2005).


I leave you now with an invitation to continue contributing to this month topic and with three works by Schoenberg, Holiday and Haydn…

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“re: Schoenberg vs. Haydn... I remember one of my professors saying "there are two kinds of artists - those who revolutionize their discipline, and those who epitomize their style." Schoenberg (as well as Beethoven, Wagner, Stravinsky, etc.) belong to the former category, while Haydn (with Mozart and Bach) belong to the latter.”
Posted over 5 years ago
Marc Lafia replies:
“I like this observation a great deal. Adam, when you say, 'epitomize their style', what exactly does this mean, they bring to an already codified style of the discipline a heightened distinctive personalized style? They do not change the form per se? I'd love to hear further thoughts on this.”
Posted over 5 years ago
Alen Hadzovic replies:
““I believe that 'epitomize their style' in this context could be best understood as 'become the typical examples of their style' i.e. the first thought of Haydn's opus usually is - symphony and vice-versa: classical symphony brings Haydn to mind””
Posted over 5 years ago
Adam Scott Neal replies:
““I take this to mean that artists who 'epitomize their style' are those who did it the best. Haydn did not invent the symphony, and Bach did not invent the fugue. However, they came to define these genres because of their craft and genius.””
Posted over 5 years ago
Alen Hadzovic replies:
“Yes! Yes! Yes! Well put, Adam! That is certainly a great way to look at the phrase! That's why they and their work (for me) are archetypes for the respected forms - they set the bar really high!”
Posted over 5 years ago
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Arnold Schoenberg
Billie Holiday
Joseph Haydn

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