Musical modernism can be seen as the time where music emerges its liberty from Romantic era style -that started in the late nineteen century to end of the Second World War- and gains new ideas and freedom. With the political turmoil and chaos that took over the European countries, -that lured countries into the First World War- composers and artists started to find, create more and new ways to express themselves. They eagerly began to discover the art of Eastern countries with the hope of finding new ways of expression. The changes in tonality, irregular rhythms, tone clusters, distressed and antagonistic melodies, the expressionist, abstract, unusual ideas over powers the music, the traditional structures recreated or composed with unusual techniques and music gains Non-Western elements. Therefore 20th Century Music shows its rebellion from Romantic era –and any other era in fact- and earns itself the name ‘The Modern era “ and a new importance through this movement in the history. In addition, with the modernist movement, music obtained more interest as a subject that it never had before.
“I wanted from music a freedom which it possesses perhaps to a greater degree than any other art, not being tied to a more or less exact reproduction of Nature but to the mysterious correspondences between Nature and Imagination”
Claude Debussy (1902)
Roughly from the 1900’s, the music started to obtain a big role in people’s life with its new aspects and it was not only made to please the listeners but carried meanings about life itself. With the modernist movement emotions other than love, anger and joy has started to be portrayed more securely and concisely. Composers like Claude Debussy, Igor Stravinsky and Arnold Schoenberg are very well known supporters of the Modern era with the pieces they composed.
Claude Debussy, the composer who was considered by many as the dominant figure of the translation from Romantic era to Modern era, born in 22 August 1962 and died at 25 March 1918 in Paris. With his first piano lessons, his teachers discovered his unusual talent of ‘playing out of the boundaries.’ After his dream, becoming a piano virtuoso sink, he leaned more on to his composing skills.
At 1889, he attended the Paris International Exposition, where he discovered the wondrous colours of Asian music that picked up his interest. He was also fascinated by the pieces composed by the Russian composers Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Alexander Borodin, therefore he was lured in to the folk music of Russia soon after.
In later years following his graduation, after composing his ‘Suite Bergamasque’ for piano, he found himself in the impressionist art movement with fellow composers -like Maurice Ravel- because of the link French music had with the paintings of Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Van Gogh and other modern, like-minded artists, even though he stated that he never felt connected to the movement with the words,