Irving Berlin: The Influence Of Modernism In Modern Music

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The influence of modernism was not only in the arts, but also well evident in the musical world. Modernism truly influenced the music of the time; it evolved from the late romantic and impressionist periods as a result of the experimental efforts of modern composers such as Irving Berlin. Modern composers experimented with new and unusual harmonies. They developed an entirely new system of melody and harmony that was known as surrealism. Modernism branched off from well versed and organized music full of boundaries to an extremely random style of music that had no rules and limitless potential. Modern music randomly picked musical materials and joined them all in a stream of conscious much like a cluster of thoughts, with no organization.
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Though Berlin 's lack of formal training seemed like a disadvantage it truly was quite the contrary, it help him develop a unique musical style by playing only on the “black keys which was the only keys he knew how to play”(Student), and help him develop his unique style of surrealism that truly defined him as a modernist composer and singer. But to take full advantage of all the harmonies the piano had to offer, he used a special “transposing keyboard”(Student) which was a new technology that let people who only played well in certain keys use familiar fingerings to play in other keys. Most of his early songs were written in the key of “F-sharp”(Student), but, by using a transposing keyboard, Berlin was able to compose in various keys. Berlin incorporated technological in his music and did not cast it away, but rather used it to his advantage to help develop his unique style of music that was unimagined at the time and truly sparked a revolution in music. The revolution that Irving Berlin started truly launched the modern music to its height and set in the spotlight where upon it left in everlasting impacted on future generations and truly changed the way they saw music. And no other person distinctly displays the influence of modernism and that of Irving Berlin in his music then Terry

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