SEARCH RESULTS FOR: Olivier Messiaen
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(O-lev-ya’ Mes-se-an’) 1908–92 French composer Messiaen’s music is unmistakably personal, drawn from a wide range of interests rather than influences. A church organist from his twenties, he was aware of the ‘church modes’ (scales used in Western music before the development of the key system) and investigated other modes, including rhythmic ones. He studied Asian and ancient Greek ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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1908–92, French One of France’s greatest twentieth-century composers, Messiaen began writing at the age of seven, and studied at the Paris Conservatoire from the age of 11 under the tutelage of Paul Dukas, Maurice Emmanuel and Marcel Dupré. In 1931 he became the organist at L’Eglise de la Trinité, where he remained until his death. As a ...

Source: Definitive Opera Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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The history of musical instruments has always been very closely linked to the history of music itself. New musical styles often come about because new instruments become available, or improvements to existing ones are made. Improvements to the design of the piano in the 1770s, for instance, led to its adoption by composers such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart ...

Source: The Illustrated Complete Musical Instruments Handbook, general editor Lucien Jenkins
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Keyboard percussion instruments include the western xylophone, marimba, vibraphone and glockenspiel, the log xylophones and marimbas of Africa and Central America, and the barred instruments played in the Indonesian gamelan. The orchestral xylophone, marimba and glockenspiel have thin wooden or metal rectangular bars laid out like a chromatic piano keyboard. The back row of bars – ...

Source: The Illustrated Complete Musical Instruments Handbook, general editor Lucien Jenkins
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The ondes martenot (‘martenot waves’) was invented in 1928 by French inventor and cellist, Maurice Martenot. Martenot had met his Russian counterpart, Leon Theremin, in 1923 and the two of them had discussed possible improvements to Theremin’s eponymous instrument. In fact, Martenot’s instrument was patented under the name Perfectionnements aux instruments de musique électriques (‘improvements to electronic ...

Source: The Illustrated Complete Musical Instruments Handbook, general editor Lucien Jenkins
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b. 1960, British George Benjamin is known as a composer who takes his time. His teachers included Olivier Messiaen, who compared his student with Mozart, but Benjamin has always taken time over his work, often taking a number of years to complete works of a few minutes. His first full-scale opera, Written on Skin, became ...

Source: Definitive Opera Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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(Jan Kär’-lo Me-nôt’-te) 1911–2007 Italian-American composer The best of Menotti’s stage works combine something of the melodic appeal of Puccini and his successors with a dramatic punch that is Menotti’s own, but owes something to the American musical. His macabre The Medium (1946) and the chilling The Consul (1950), about refugees attempting to escape an unnamed country, have both ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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1911–2007, Italian One of the most important opera composers during the 1950s, Menotti had already written two operas by the time he entered the Milan Conservatory aged 13, and he would go on to write 23 more. He later moved to America and studied at the Curtis Institute, where he met his lifelong companion and inspiration, ...

Source: Definitive Opera Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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(Zhan Bar-ra’-ke) 1928–73 French composer A pupil of Olivier Messiaen (1908–92), Barraqué was profoundly affected by his relationship with Michel Foucault. He also shared many of Boulez’s concerns and believed in the necessity of serial technique, but did not follow the general trend of the 1950s into total serialism. Barraqué’s vision of music was far grander and he shared Ludwig ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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1865–1935, French A contemporary of Debussy and Ravel who joined the French Wagnerian movement, Dukas is primarily known for his orchestral fantasy L’apprenti sorcier (‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’, 1897), memorably featured in Disney’s animated feature Fantasia. He was a perfectionist who spent years rewriting his partially written works. Two of Dukas’ operas remained unfinished: the Wagner-inspired Horn et Riemenhild (1892) ...

Source: Definitive Opera Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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The Contemporary era can be dated back to Anton Webern’s death in September 1945. Webern’s influence on the generation of post-Second World War composers means that much of the music from the 1950s sounds more modern than music from the last 20 years. Composers such as Karlheinz Stockhausen (b. 1928) and Pierre Boulez (b. 1925) extended the 12-note, or serial ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music, general editor Paul Du Noyer
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In order to put Western classical music into a global and historical context, one must survey the music of ancient civilizations as well as the traditions of the non-Western world. From what is known of this music it was – and is – performed in a vast range of cultural environments and with many functions other than for entertainment in ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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In the twentieth century, Paris regained its place as the centre of musical innovation, especially in the years either side of World War I. In the late nineteenth century, Debussy’s influential musical innovations and explicitly anti-Wagnerian stance made Paris the centre of post-Wagnerian modernity. This was confirmed in the early modern period by the arrival of Serge Diaghilev ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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Messiaen’s creative personality and influence as a teacher were fundamental to the development of new music in Europe after 1945. He was Debussy’s natural successor, taking the French master’s innovative approach to harmony and rhythm to a new plane, while sharing his openness to the music of other cultures. Although by the late 1940s the main elements of Messiaen’s ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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Gamelan is an orchestral tradition in Java and Bali, where every instrument – various gongs and drums – is a member of the percussion family. The tradition emphasizes respect for the instruments and cooperation between the players. In 1887, the Paris Conservatoire acquired a gamelan. In 1889, Debussy went to the Paris Exhibition, where he heard the ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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