Sunday, 14 April 2024






Many of the key figures of the high modern movement are alive, or only recently deceased and there is also still an extremely active core of composers, performers and listeners who continue to advance the ideas and forms of Modernism. Elliot Carter is still active, for example, as is Lukas Foss. While high modernist schools of composing, such as serialism are no longer as rhetorically central, the contemporary period is beginning the process of sorting through the modern corpus, looking for works which will have repertory value.

Modernism is also present as surface or trope in works of a large range of composers, as atonality has lost much of its ability to terrorize listeners, and even film scores use sections of music clearly rooted in modernist musical language. Active modernist composers include Harrison Birtwistle, Alexander Goehr, Judith Weir, Thomas Adès, Magnus Lindberg and Gunther Schuller.

Many people have criticized musical modernism, including George Rochberg and Fred Lerdahl. Stanley Cavell (1976, p.187) describes the "burden of modernism" as caused by a situation wherein the "procedures and problems it now seems necessary to composers to employ and confront to make a work of art at all themselves insure that their work will not be comprehensible to an audience."

Brian Ferneyhough coined the neologism "too-muchness" to describe the excess of information contained in music exhibiting the New Complexity. Arved Ashby compares the information conveyed when "Modernism Goes to the Movies" (2004) with the failure to communicate attributed to modernist music by Lerdahl and others and concludes that "the tendency to fault modernist music [for being non-syntactical] would seem, then, to stem from interrelated desires to limit the powers of music in general and to prevent it from keeping pace with the sociogenetic, media-related tendencies of recent decades."

Modernist movements include expansion to common practice tonality, such as Debussy, Strauss, Mahler, the young Schoenberg, and the polytonality of Darius Milhaud, Paul Hindemith, and Charles Ives. Alternatives to common practice include the twelve tone technique of the older Arnold Schoenberg and pupils, the serialism of Milton Babbitt and Pierre Boulez, as well as the high dissonance of Carl Ruggles, Ruth Crawford-Seeger, and Charles Seeger's dissonant counterpoint and Henry Cowell's tone clusters.


James MacMillan: The Gospel of Post-modernism - site:
Detailed examination of his life, Catholicism, synthesizing old and new music, and the power of his art to transform. By Daniel Jaffé.

The Future of Cities: The Absurdity of Modernism - site:
An interview with Krier by Nikos Salingaros.

Modernism/Modernity - site:
"Concentrating on the period extending roughly between 1860 to the present,M/M focuses systematically on the methodological, archival,and theoretical exigencies particular to modernism.It encourages an interdisiplinary approach linking music, literature,architecture, the visual arts ..."

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969) - site:
Brief biography, bibliography and works of the German-born architect, teacher and philosopher of International Modernism, provided by Great Buildings Online.

Richard Neutra (1892-1970) - site:
Biography of the Vienna-born architect associated with southern California modernism, from Great Buildings Online.

Leonard Fox Rare Books - site:
Books and portfolios from a variety of periods and schools including Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Cubism, Contemporary, Modernism, Seccessionism, Pop Art and Surrealism. New York dealer.

Ideas Have Consequences - site:
Excerpt from Weaver's seminal 1948 work about modernism and the decline of the West.

Catholic Insight - site:
Articles refuting Protestantism, feminism, modernism, adventism. There is a debates section. Searchable.

Salander-O'Reilly Galleries - site:
Exhibiting and managing fine art spanning from Renaissance to present-day, with a focus on American Modernism, Nineteenth Century European and contemporary.

Zabriskie Gallery - site:
Specializing in Dada and Surrealism, American Modernism, photography, and contemporary art.


Egne hjemmesider


contact: post @ | ©2006