Music: Reaction

In 1913 dapper, wiry Russian Igor Stravinsky scandalized conservative audiences with a boisterous, cacophonous ballet, Le Sacre du Printemps, in which the time-honored conventions of melodic form often gave way to an ingenious concatenation of non-musical sounds. Four years previously a morose, bald-pated Viennese named Arnold Schönberg had issued his Five Pieces for Orchestra and Three Piano Pieces to a musical world already slightly deafened by the acrid harmonies of his previous works. Composer Schönberg's two opuses were the first examples of systematic "atonality." To Composer Schönberg the laws by which notes...

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