Cover image for Music of the twentieth century : style and structure
Music of the twentieth century : style and structure
Simms, Bryan R.
Personal Author:
Second edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Schirmer Books ; London : Prentice Hall International, [1996]

Physical Description:
xvii, 435 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Tonality in transition -- Harmonic and motivic associations and the "emancipation of dissonance" -- Triadic harmony, diatonic collections, and tonality -- Serialism -- Rhythm and meter -- Orchestration, tone color, and texture -- Avant-garde composition in Germany and Austria -- Avant-Garde composition in France and Russia -- Musical nationalism -- Neoclassicism in France, Germany, and England -- Neoclassicism and populism in American music -- Experimental music in America -- The revival of the avant-garde -- Indeterminacy -- Electronic music -- Eclecticism -- Recent music in Europe and America.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML197 .S585 1996 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



MUSIC OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY provides an effective introduction to modern music using clear, comprehensive language. The author weaves together history, theory, and analysis to bring to life both the stylistic evolution of music since 1900 and the new principles by which this music is organized.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Smith (Univ. of Southern California) surveys the whole of art music in the West during the past hundred years. The original edition of this work appeared in 1986; the author has revised and extended it to include not only very recent music but also some midcentury music omitted the first time. The opening section examines those musical elements in which the 20th century differs most obviously from the 19th, e.g., tonality, rhythm, orchestration. In each case, Simms recounts the transitions in clear, stepwise fashion. His description of musical serialism is particularly valuable and may be as lucid as any in print. In the rest of the book, the century's music is split into 11 trends or currents. Under these headings the author discusses individual composers and their works. In its new, revised form the book covers nearly the same ground as Robert Morgan's Twentieth-Century Music (1991). Since score anthologies are available for both books, either could also be used as an introductory text for music students. However, whereas Morgan's larger and more difficult work is perhaps best reserved for graduate students, Simm's effort is perfectly suited to undergraduates, and it may be recommended to all college libraries. B. J. Murray University of Alabama

Table of Contents

Part 1 Structural Principles and Compositional Materials of Twentieth-Century Music
1 Tonality in Transition
2 Harmonic and Motivic Associations and the "Emancipation of Dissonance"
3 Triadic Harmony, Diatonic Collections, and Tonality
4 Serialism
5 Rhythm and Meter
6 Orchestration, Tone Color, and Texture
Part 2 Music from 1900 to 1945
7 Avant-Garde Composition in Germany and Austria
8 Avant-Garde Composition in France and Russia
9 Musical Nationalism
10 Neoclassicism in France, Germany, and England
11 Neoclassicism and Populism in American Music
12 Experimental Music in America
Part 3 Music from 1945 to the Present
13 The Revival of the Avant-Garde
14 Indeterminacy
15 Electronic Music
16 Ecleticism
17 Recent Music in Europe and America