The Second Viennese School

GENINT 741.487

Osher (50+). This course surveys the avant-garde music that emerged in early 20th-century Vienna.


About this course:

The Second Viennese School refers to a modernist musical movement that introduced radical new concepts to Western music at the turn of the 20th century. This group of composers included Arnold Schoenberg and his pupils, Alban Berg and Anton Webern. All three composers would go on to develop techniques in musical composition that included intentional dissonance, atonality and serialism. The avant-garde turn towards dissonance and atonality, while familiar in many settings and venues today, may still be jarring to those listeners who are more accustomed to tonality that is often prevalent in most broadcasts and performances of classical music. In this course, we listen to the music of the Second Viennese School with the goal of finding a greater appreciation for music composed in the 20th century and beyond. As we listen to this music, we search for the paintings and poetry that inspired these composers and hear what the critics and philosophers said about these musical changes. We also explore their compositions within the context of the tumultuous changes and events of the early 20th century. This course will be recorded. Students will have access to videos for the duration of the course.

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