Schoenberg and Stravinsky

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The effect of the World War I made a great impact in the establishment of the new compositional explorations.


Arnold Schoenberg and Igor Stravinsky thrived during this period and were greatly influenced by the aforementioned events.
Their works were regarded as under the 20th century musical style which is characterized by the extreme utilization of chromatics and dissonances. Both composers explored different compositional styles and their innovations fundamentally affected latter composers and shaped the course of 20th century music.
Their early works followed strict classical way. Examples of these are the string quartet composed by Schoenberg in 1897 and the Stravinsky's symphony in E major. In 1907, Arnold Schoenberg totally abandoned composing under the traditional tonal system. He proposed his new innovation the twelve tone system, a system which used tone rows as a basis of musical compositions (Lebrecht 63). This new twelve tone system is now regarded as a compositional style which is highly mathematically oriented.
However, this new compositional style introduced by Schoenberg brought about a division between the followers of the two composers. The group who favored the preservation of some type of tonality became adherents of Stravinsky, while those who adopted of the twelve tone system became the followers of Schoenberg.
Schoenberg used twelve tone system to their extreme while Stravinsky used a more diatonic and tonal idiom. Though they have a different perspective and compositional style, some of their works have some common characteristics. Their compositions both possess the style of neoclassicism, that is, music having transparency and clarity in the presence of dissonances. Examples of these are Schoenberg’s five piano pieces (Lebrecht 194), Op. 23 No. 1 and Stravinsky’s Histoire du soldat (Lebrecht 169). ...
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