History is full of greats;
men and women that 
have forged ahead and helped develop a new
and different style of living, creating or leading. George Washington
was one of the great founders of our country. Leonardo da Vinci
was a great artist and inventor. Shakespeare was the great poet
and writer of Elizabethan England. And the three great composers
of the early 20th century were Arnold Schöenberg, Igor Stravinsky
and Béla Bartók.
Béla Bartók was very
influenced by the folk music of his homeland.
In 1904, he started collecting Hungarian, Slovakian, and Romanian
folk songs from singers and performers. The songs and melodies
that he collected inspired Bartók and were integrated into
his own interesting and new compositions. His one act opera, Bluebeard's
Castle, is based mostly on Hungarian peasant music. By the early
1920's, Bartók's influences expanded to include Schöenberg
and Stravinsky's works, and his music started to be more atonal.
In 1919, he wrote The Miraculous Mandarin, which did not
premiere, however, until 1926 because of the controversy due to
the subject matter of the piece. At the end of the 1920's, however,
Bartók's music started to sound more neoclassical.His
Music for String, Percussion, and Celeste (1936) demonstrates
this. Written in the style of a Baroque suite, Music for String,
Percussion, and Celeste, with the first movement being slow
and alternating from fast to slow to fast in the three following
movements.  This
piece also introduced the slap bass, which became known as the
Bartók pizzicato. 
While he was writing his Music for String, Percussion,
and Celeste he was also working on his Mikrokosmos,
a 6 volume set of piano and compositional techniques. In each
of the six volumes he included Hungarian scales and folk music.
 His most famous work, and most loved by musicians,
is the Concerto for Orchestra (1942-1943). The second movement
of the piece, "The Game of the Pairs", has trumpet,
bassoon, clarinet, and other instruments duets written in strange
intervals. For example, the clarinet parts were written a 7th
apart, while the trumpets were written a 2nd apart. In the third
movement, "The Interrupted Intermezzo", Bartók
pokes fun at Shastakovich's 
7th Symphony, showing that it is sometimes good to have a sense
of humor in the music world! 
A close contemporary of Bartók, born just
one year after Bartók's birth, Igor Stravinsky, was also
influenced by folk motifs from his homeland. 
The use of Russian folk songs and folk tales are present in several
of his works. Through his connections with his teacher, Rimsky-Korsakov,
he  met Sergei
Diaghalev, the impresario of the Ballets Russes. Stravinsky soon
found himself writing ballets for the famous ballet company centered
in Paris. His first piece for the ballet, L' Oiseau de Fue
(The Firebird) (1909-1910) used the octatonic scale and on
rhythms  and
was based on Russian folksongs. The Firebird helped to
create a new style for ballet. 
The most famous work of Stravinsky's is his Rite of Spring
(1911-1913). This piece was received very poorly in at its premiere.
 Its rhythmic
complexity and strange dissonances were something that audiences
were not used to hearing at that time.
 Stravinsky's works were always new and inventive.
He never seemed to write the same style twice. His compositions
differ so much from one another that it is sometimes hard to tell
that you are hearing a Stravinsky piece at all. His style and
techniques also influenced several other 20th century composers.
Les Noces (The Wedding) (1914-1923) was the basis for Orff's
Carmina Burana. 
Several of Stravinsky's pieces were influenced by other composers
as well. 
Joplin's ragtime music was the inspiration for Ragtime
for 11 Instruments, and Pulcinella was written in honor
of Giovanni Pergolesi.
The most important composer of the early 20th
century, Arnold Schöenberg, was born in Vienna on September
13, 1874.  He
started composing when he was very young and before he had any
real formal study.
Schöenberg was the founder for the 2nd Viennese School. 
His first compositions had some influences from composers such
as Wagner and Brahms. Verklarte Nacht (1899), a string
sextet, was one of his earlier works that gave him fame among
the Viennese people. 
While in Vienna, Schöenberg took on two students, Anton Webern
and Alban Berg. Webern and Berg became two important composers
in the 20th century. By applying Schöenberg's teachings,
Berg's Wozzeck and Webern's creation of Klangfarbenmelodie
led the change from atonal music to the use of the 12-tone system.
 While teaching
in Vienna, Schöenberg wrote what was later to be called the
apotheosis of romanticism, Gurrelieder (1903). This
was one of the largest pieces for orchestra and choir. It contained
several mixed choruses, an 8-part male chorus, 5 solo voices,
and a sprecher, or speaker. This led into his more atonal phase
of composition. The emancipation of dissonance was a creation
of Schöenberg's that threw out all of the rules of composition.
 With the emancipation
of dissonance, he began to put emphasis on non-harmonic tones.
These non-harmonic tones seldom resolved and the triad stopped
being the sole reference for compositions.
Then, in 1912, Schöenberg premiered his chamber
work Pierrot Lunaire. This piece included eight different
instruments, but required only five players. Its unique instrumentation
and the use of Sprechstimme, or speak singing, made this piece
very different than anything that had been done before it.
From 1916-1921 Schöenberg stopped writing music. He instead
concentrated on writing his rules for the 12-tone system. This
system was a form of serial music that made every note in the
scale of equal value. To use the 12-tone system properly, every
note in the 12 note chromatic scale needed to be used before going
back and repeating any other note. This new technique shattered
the old thoughts of tonality and created an entirely new way of
thinking about music in the 20th century. 
All three of these composers forged ahead in their
musical styles and formed a new technique in music.Bartók's
Mikrokosmos, Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, and Schöenberg's
Pierrot Lunaire and 12-tone system made these three composers
the forerunners of 20th century music. 
1. Actually it would be
better to use a full colon (:) or dash (--)
2. Please use "who"
to refer to people. "That" is for things.
3. Nice lead-in
4.Very is a very informal word.
Don't use it in academic writing.
5. Is "sound" the
correct verb? Is it really something you can "hear,"
or is it more something you notice if you study it-in other
words, might "appear" be a better verb here?
6. This is an awkward sentence
and would be better broken into two sentences.
7. Did it invent it or just
introduce it? And is it just used by the basses the way it was
in jazz? Good place for a paragraph break here.
8. And the significance of this
10. So? Does this suggest that
it is significant?
11. Nice transition.
12. Too many pronouns. Better
say "Stravinsky" again in this sentence.
13. Huh? On rhythms?.
14. Be more specific. Did it
influence anyone? Who? New paragraph here.
15. So? So were lots of bad
pieces that aren't significant.
16. Then what happened?
17. Hmmm. Was it the basis or
simply "a strong influence." I don't think Orff said
to himself "I will base this piece on Les Noces."
18. Wait-you were saying that
he influenced others. Does it make him important to be influenced
by others? Perhaps you should stress that he was able to be
influenced by other and still write music that was distinctly
19. I wouldn't make this kind
of a statement until I had set up with some pretty strong arguments.
If you have done a good job showing how important Stravinsky
was, I will not want to believe that Schoenberg is as important,
20. If you start the paragraph
by stating that he was the most important, then everything that
follows must support that contention. The fact that he didn't
study doesn't make him important. Perhaps you should instead
suggest that, like George Washington or Leonardo DA Vinci, Schoenberg
followed a non-traditional path to reach the heights of his
21. Was he really a founder?
Was it really a school?
22. Why? Does this support your
23. But neither of those are
really 12-tone-they are atonal. Only later did they embrace
the 12-tone system.
24. Why are you out of chronological
order? The system came in the 1920's.
25. Did it throw them all out?
Was it a creation of his, or rather a term used to describe
the way he wrote atonal music?
26. How about the extreme avoidance
of any tonal references that exceeded even his previous efforts
in atonal music?
27. You know-I'm not so sure
it shattered tonality. I think his atonal music did that-I think
the system just codified the method of composing atonal music.
28. "A" new technique?
How about "new techniques?" How about you get more
specific about who was influenced by these techniques? You need
to defend your premise more effectively. More references to
specific composers and pieces of music and quotes from respected
authors. Then you can persuade me.
29. And now you need your conclusion-who
is the most important and why is he or she more important that