Contemporary Classical Music


I’ll put this one back up. It wasn’t super active on the old forum but it was all goodness

I saw this guy talk about his composition technique last month, he’s a very simple guy, straight-forward and he relies on old-school musical sensibility. His work for voices was his focus at the moment

this piece is for orchestra, and a little bit of electro-acoustic treatment

six voices and a piano

and a trio piece




Nice! Music with clear ideas that makes you listen!

Listening to Guignol right now and subtle echo and panning effects take what appear to be a live concert to a higher level

You can’t sit in a chair and listen to musicians sitting in chairs and have it sound like this. I close my eyes and feel like I’m on a bungee chord swinging through the concert hall.

Subtle… but Thrilling! :ghost:


Definitely Classical… definitely not Contemporary.

But it does beg the question… when did “Contemporary” start? :thinking:

Would love to know why you picked this piece… other than its staggering prowess and beauty?


Very pretty piece… don’t know that I woul label it Classical… it does have a connection to Minimalism ala Reich, Adams or Glass… but the rhythmic style is nearly Bluegrass! Play those same notes on Banjo and Guitar and it’s a Barn Burner!

I’m not knocking it… it’s a beautiful piece of music… and yes… I’ve been proudly listening to A Prarie Home Companion since 1974!

Thank you for sharing…


Cause it’s not a big name


I think contemporary is basically post WWII
but it’s true, we’ve been contemporary for a while now. The tipping point was probably when composers started working outside harmony and rhythm and orchestral music started getting experimental (and unpopular)


That’s a good explanation and a useful metric. Dates get messy and the willingness of composers to get experimental AND intentionally dismiss popularity as meaningful is key.

After all … Beethoven was highly experimental when it came to form and phrasing and he even touched on atonality in his “Grosse Fuge”ße_Fuge but he was desperate to publish and though pushing limits, worked tirelessly to be popular.

Then there is Charles Ives: an American insurance salesman from the 1800’s who wrote highly experimental music and was almost completely unknown until his music was discovered 50 years later. Let’s just call him a notable exception… date wise. BUT! Check this out.

How does that even exist in 1906? Oh well … so he is an Exception and an Enigma (pun intended!)

So back to defining “Contemporary Classical”… yes … I like WW II-ish; that certainly is about the time audiences started to catch on and listen. DONE!

Then there is the term “Classical” … technically the “Classical Period” covers mid 1700 to mid 1800: but I believe the intent of this thread is referring to European style Academic as opposed to popular, folk, or other music.

This is going to be a great thread! Thank you @Lug for elevating us! :clap::clap::clap:


If you wanna talk precursors, check out the crazy webern


So awesome!

To me … Webern is one of the few composers who could make music using Schoenberg’s 12 tone techniques. Not a fan of Schoenberg… Webern I admire.

So the Bagatelles were written in 1913… (gotta love that google!) what a crazy time… so much promise… so much fascism. Soon would come the horror of WW I followed by Dada and Surrealism…Webern was channeling this coming Zeitgeist.

I haven’t listened to the Six Bagatelles for maybe 40 years. Thank you for bringing me there!


So… forging ahead to well into the “Contemporary” period… here is a piece from 1960 that will make the hair stand up on the back of your neck!


yeah I don’t like serialism too much either. Webern is also a master in composing with timbre. His string quartets are all about alternance of pizzicato, harmonics, different placements of the bow. And dynamics. You could analyze his work without even talking about the actual notes the instruments play.


Well said… and fascinating :thinking:

Someone once pointed out to me that there are enough pieces for prepared piano, hitting the piano singing into the piano etc. (not to mention Cage’s 4:33) that you could have a career as concert pianist and never touch the keys :musical_keyboard:





Beautiful! What a gem! Thank you for sharing…


Interesting point about the willingness of composers to experiment and dismiss popularity as a meaningful metric. The mention of Beethoven’s experimentation and desire for popularity despite pushing boundaries is a great example. Charles Ives also stands out as an exception to the norm in his time. The 4-string banjo , often associated with folk and traditional music, adds an intriguing layer to the discussion of experimental music and popularity.