History and Historiography of Music: The Twentieth Century and the Second Vienna School by Alessandro Cusatelli – 30-hour module – CFA 3

Form: 30 hours
CFA: 3
Teacher: Alessandro Cusatelli 
Frequency: Every 2 weeks
Entry Requirements: None
Class size: 20 students
Places available: 10
Limitations: Open to all students of academic courses, excluding students of composition and film music.


  1. The aim of the program is the knowledge of the origins and motivations of the twentieth century music, its various paths, the historical evolution up to the serial principles of the second Vienna School. content
  2. Crisis of the tonal system; epigones and new voices, in the German panorama at the turn of the two centuries. Listening: R. Wagner: Tristan und Isolde; Richard Strauss: Salome; Rosenkavalier; Vier lezte Lieder; Gustav Mahler: fourth symphony; Kindertotenlieder.
  3. Twentieth-century albours in France. Impressionism and Symbolism: Debussy, Ravel, De Falla; the “group of the Six”.
  4. Listening: C. Debussy: Pelléas et Melisande; La mer; M. Ravel: The Alborada del Gracioso; M. De Falla: El Retablo de Mase Pedro; Milhaud: Le boeuf sur le toit; F. Poulenc: Stabat Mater; Honneger: Pacific 231
  5. Origins of the 20th century in Italy: Giacomo Puccini; the 80’s generation.
  6.  Listening: G. Puccini: Turandot; I. Pizzetti: The concert of the summer; O. Respighi: Fountains of Rome; F. Malipiero: Pauses of silence; A.Casella: String Concerto.
  7. First decades of the 1900s in the Soviet Union and in Eastern European countries.
  8. Listening: I. Strawinsky: Chant du rossignol; B.Bartok: Romanian Dances; Z. Koldaly: Psalmus Hungaricus; L. Janacek: String Quartet; K. Szymanowsky: The fountain of Arethusa; S. Prokoviev: Concerto in D major for violin and orchestra; D. Schostakovich: Quartet n. 8
  9. First decades of the 1900s in Great Britain and the United States. Listen: G. Holst: The Planets; C. Ives: Central park in the dark; The unanswered Question; A. Copland: Rodeo; B. Britten: Marine interludes.
  10. The Second Vienna School; practical principles of dodecaphonic and serial theory. Listen: A. Schoenberg: Verklaerte Nacht; Farben; A. Berg: Wozzek; A. Webern: Variations op. 27.


The exam consists of a questionnaire, including a practical realization of a short dodecaphonic piece.