What happened to classical music? For centuries, composers created music that sang with beautiful melody and harmony. Then suddenly – just over a hundred years ago — a battle began for the very soul of music. This is the story of a revolution in sound — of how avant-garde composers broke from the melodic mainstream, and catapulted classical music from beauty into beyond.
Dr Ben Winters (Lecturer, Music Department), was academic consultant for the series, and is consultant for the Rest Is Noise Festival at the Southbank Centre throughout 2013.
Programme 1: Wrecking Ball. This first programme on the avant-garde revolution in 20th century music asks, “What happened to classical music?” It looks at the shift in the language and sound of music from the beautiful melodies and harmonies of the giants of classical music such as Mozart, Haydn and Brahms into the fragmented, abstract, discordant sound of the most radical composers of the new century – Schoenberg, Webern, Stravinsky and beyond.
Programme 2 : Free for all. In the second film in the series, we see how the freewheeling modernism that had shocked, scandalised and titillated audiences in the Twentieth Century’s first two decades comes under state control.
Programme 3: Easy Listening? In this last film in the series, the focus shifts to the United States in the post-war years of the 1950s and beyond. Beginning with arguably the most notorious work of 20th century classical music, John Cage’s ‘silent’ composition 4’33”.
Open Learn has extensive content in connection with the series subject areas including a new interactive called 20th Century Composers: making the connections, as well as information about hundreds of concerts and events taking place at London’s Southbank Centre in the year long festival “The Rest is Noise” in Partnership with The Open University.
For more information go to www.open.edu/openlearn/thesoundandthefury