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Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Music Essay Sample

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Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Music Essay Sample

Music would forever be changed by the developments of the 20th and 21st centuries and through the invention of the internet, music has become a global median for all languages.

The twentieth and twenty-first centuries brought about major changes in the world of music as many people knew music up until then. For centuries before, music was mainly made up of instrumental music from stringed and wind instruments with the exception of Operas. With advancements in technology and culture many new genres of music developed along with an increased involvement of women in music. There was also an increased presence of vocals being used in the creation of music during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This had much to do with the change in culture as well as the advancements in technology and increased the variety of venues musical performers could play in. The new electronic instruments also developed during this time were a strong contributor in the large increase of different types of music created.

A large number of new musical genres were created during the 20th and 21st centuries. These include but are not limited to Jazz, Rock and Roll, Country, Blues, Folk, Pop, R&B, Rap, and Electronic. Many of these new genres are derivatives of earlier forms of music and many have sub genres underneath the main ones. This huge influx of new musical genres was due in part to the large numbers of immigrants entering the United States and the melding of different cultures into one another. The melding of cultures helped bring new ideas and some new musical inventions such as the electric guitar, bass guitar, drum kit, synthesizer, sampler, and keyboards to create fresh new melodies. It was through these freedoms and experimentation that musicians were able to express ideas that would change the way the world would view and hear music forever.

Music has evolved in the 20th and 21st centuries through contributions from men, women and even children to some extent. Although some music remained for men only such as the Jewish folk music known as Klezmer, many of the new genres of music during this time period involved woman performers.(Klezmer) Women had been writing music before the 20th century for decades, but it wasn’t until the 20th century that they finally begin to gain prominence and gain some recognition for their accomplishments. (Osborne) However, women still faced challenges in many aspects of music during the 20th and 21st centuries as they increased their roles in some of the newer musical genres, they like their women business world counterparts encountered more resistance and bias when trying to transcend more traditional genres such as classical music. (Osborne)

In a recent study by Allmendinger and Hackman, estimated the percentages of women represented in the orchestras of four countries. (Osborne) The study noted that the U.S. had the highest representation of women at 36%, followed by the U.K. at 30%, and 16% for East and West Germany. (Osborne) While in decades past the typical orchestra consisted typically of white males of European descent, today women are increasing their numbers with nearly half of all students currently at conservatories of music being women. (Osborne) Whether it is men or women controlling the orchestra, one thing is for certain: music will continuously evolve and change.

An increase in the use of vocal music lead to a dramatic increase in the different types of venues musicians performed at during the 20th and 21st centuries. Typically during the early 20th century, vocal music was only performed in half shell open stages like those found in theater and opera houses, but today there is a much larger variety of venues for musicians to play in from those that hold thousands to some that only hold a few dozen. Today it mainly depends on the popularity of the music and is ultimately up to the musician as to whether they prefer a large open stage with thousands of people or a small club type atmosphere where the people are closer and the musician feels more intimate and involved with the audience.

While the centuries before many venues were used for the primary purpose of the operas or symphony orchestras, most of today’s venues serve as multi-purpose event complexes. With the explosion of sports along with music during the 20th and 21st centuries, an arena or stadium may hold a basketball game one night and have a rhythm and blues concert on the next night. Many of these arenas and stadiums are setup for musical venues with lighting and acoustics already in place, the only thing that usually has to be done is to build up a stage and sell the tickets. The ability for these venues to hold thousands of people and the mass marketing available to musical performs today help create a cash flow that was never even dreamed of in the centuries of music before. Regardless of how the music is presented or how many spectators show up, the people always come to enjoy the creativity and skillfulness of those musicians who perform.

Along with math, music is one of the universal languages of the world. Though many people interpret music in different ways, we all listen to enjoy it, dance to it or just use the melody and rhythm to help us relax. As our world evolves and becomes more complex it would be safe to think that music will always be there in some form or another. Music is an art form and another unique way people express themselves. During the 20th and 21st centuries we have seen that uniqueness grow by leaps and bounds with the number of new genres that emerged. We can only imagine what the future holds in the world of music!

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