NPR logo The 20th and 21st Centuries

The 20th and 21st Centuries

The music written in the mid-20th and early 21st centuries has not always been easy to listen to. While striving to create what they consider pure art, many contemporary composers have never even found an audience.

Detail from The Oxford History of Western Music, Volume V Oxford University Press hide caption

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Oxford University Press

But there are composers working today who are commercially successful, use topical subject matter and take advantage of modern technology. In the final installment of our series on the five pivotal moments in the history of Western music, Richard Taruskin discusses the current era of music.

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