While some of the music created in the mid-20th and early 21st centuries has never found an audience, there are contemporary composers who have achieved both critical acclaim and commercial success. Musicologist Richard Taruskin discusses the current era of music.
After World War I, an entire generation of American composers went to Paris initiating a musical exchange of ideas between the U.S. and France. Oddly enough, it was in Paris, through the eyes of the French, that expatriate composers started to appreciate their American roots.
The music of Mikhail Glinka earned him credit for launching Russian nationalism. But his most famous opera, "A Life for the Tsar," is filled with the music of Poland, not Russia. Musicologist Richard Taruskin explores national identity in music.
In 1685, within a period of eight months, three master composers were born: Scarlatti, Handel and Bach. Although each was extremely influential, they worked in very different ways because of their contrasting demands. Richard Taruskin, discusses the divergent paths of these three men.
When European musical notation began in the 8th and 9th centuries, the Western world was already filled with music. Sacred chants and secular songs were rich with melody, rhythm and harmony. Richard Taruskin begins our chronicle with the early music of the church.