Sample Questions for Twentieth Century Music:
1. During the nineteenth century, opera and other dramatic forms often led the way in the development of new musical styles: would this statement be true in the 20th century? Give some pertinent examples.
2. Often, composers who wrote revolutionary or avant-garde works resorted to traditional forms or neoclassical gestures in pieces. Give some examples of works by composers not thought of as neoclassical but which have these traits.
3. What happens to national styles in this century? Is there any relationship between non classical elements and the development of national styles? Use works of two composers to prove your point.
4. Cite the influence of jazz in the works of composers not thought of as working in jazz.
5. What has been the influence of World War II on the aesthetic of American and European composers? How have they been influenced in ways different from one another?
6. Many histories talk about the "dissolution of tonality" after World War I: given recent developments, how true is this statement?
7. Discuss the evolution of the public concert as development in the last century. How has it changed?
8. Discuss the influence of electronic music on non electronic pieces.
9. With the establishment of the so-called "standard repertoire" certain standard combinations and genres of pieces seem to have solidified (e.g. concerto, symphony, piano trio, string quartet, etc.). To what degree have these genres persisted in the work of avant-garde composers after WW I?
10. People often see the Romantic period in art as a cult of personality. To what degree would this statement be true of today's composers?
11. A strong point of contention today is that the role of the composer in society has changed from the time of Mozart: please support of discredit this view.
12. The romantic period in music saw a close association between the different arts, not just composers writing about music, but real collaboration to produce new media. How has this development grown in this century?
13. Traditionally, theory follows practice in music; however, in the latter part of this century the order may have changed. Cite some examples of this change.
14. How would you characterize the relationship between European and American music at the present time?
15. Discuss the influence of non western and Latino sources in musical style.