SOUND PATTERNS

A Structural Examination of Tonality, Vocabulary, Texture,
Sonorities, and Time Organization in Western Art Music

by PHILLIP MAGNUSON

MICROCOSMS

Chapter 51. Neo-romanticism

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Chapter 41.
Impressionism
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Chapter 42.
Primitivism
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Chapter 43.
Neo-classicism
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Chapter 44.
Expressionism
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Chapter 45.
Serialism
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Chapter 46.
Jazz
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Chapter 47.
Indeterminism
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Chapter 48.
Texturalism
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Chapter 49.
Minimalism
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Chapter 50.
Electronicism
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Chapter 52.
Eclecticism

NEO-ROMANTICISM: an appeal to the 19th century

ImageMax Ernst:
Attirement of the Bride
Ernst presents a romantic subject, a bride preparing for a wedding, but places her in a bizarre context. 1940

51.1 BACKGROUND

The term NEO-ROMANTICISM can be applied two ways: to represent the 19th century Romantic tradition as it transformed itself in the first half of the century, or to represent the "re-invention" of the Romantic tradition in the second half.

Pre-1950:

As stated in the introduction of Microcosms, some of the great Romantic composers continued to work through a portion of the 20th century, but fundamentally maintained the use of elements from the Common Practice Period. Other composers, generally the younger generation, found ways to build on the Romantic tradition with some of the new "experiments" of the 20th century. The decision as to which composers belong on the list in the Introduction of Microcosms and those who belong on the list below could be open to great debate.

Post-1950:

After the experiment-filled 1960's (as seen with Indeterminism, Texturalism, and Minimalism), there was a shift by many composers towards a musical language similar to that of the late 19th century. There is a strong sense of tonality and lyricism in this music, but it can be chromatic and dissonant. Like Neo-classicism, this music is not just simple imitation of an earlier style, but it is Romanticism filtered and processed through the microcosms of the 20th century. We can hear polytonality, exotic scale patterns, planing, as well as other devices which clearly label it "modern".

51.2 COMPOSERS ASSOCIATED WITH NEO-ROMANTICISM (pre-1950)

51.3 COMPOSERS ASSOCIATED WITH NEO-ROMANTICISM (post-1950)

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