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  • Avant-Garde

    Avant-Garde music is commonly referred too as experimental music, and the terms were actually coined by a composer named John Cage in the year 1955. It was created as a term to describe any and all music that challenged the accepted status or standing of what music was supposed to be. The term experimental has been used to label artists like Christian Wolff, Meredith Monk, John Cage, Earle Brown, Morton Feldman, Malcolm Goldstein, Philip Glass, among quite a few others. It even was used to describe the works of European artists whom were apart of the avant-garde scene, such as Pierre Boulez and Karlheinz Stockhausen.

    The genre carries a strong traditional sense, rooted within Western art music. Focus was laid heavily on certain aspects of the music, such as historical legacy, the technical intricacy and the intention of the composer, among a few other key features. Experimental music though, as a genre came to draw its inspiration from outside the Western sources from time to time, at points using other media for influence, and the practitioners of experimental music were not always technically professional in every sense, but most were still not only trained in their work, but also very deft.

    There are many techniques used in the scene, varying between different artists and composers. There are a number of methods that have been used called “extended techniques” in which the way an artist plays his or her instrument is regarded as unique and sometimes unorthodox. The inclusion of sounds that would not be found in music is another technique used by some artists, such as the sound of a door slamming or a trash can. Some performers completely ignore the ordinary controls of volume, pitch and duration of their instrument, making their sound entirely unique.

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