Neoclassical Pioneers: Neoclassicism Before Stravinsky

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Corah, Breanna
Digital Commons @ DU
Before Stravinsky; Neoclassical Music; Neoclassicism; Music
thesis / dissertation description
For a century and a half composers have been inspired by the classic works of composers from the Baroque and Classical periods. Composers who returned to the sounds and structures of the classics and used them as a model were called neoclassicists and created a new genre of music often identified as neoclassicism. It is commonly understood that the composer Igor Stravinsky and his contemporaries created this genre of music in the 1920s. However, Stravinsky would not have been able to promote this genre of music without the initial efforts of pioneer composers. In fact, composers were experimenting with neoclassicism even in the late 1800s and through the 1910s. Some of these composers include Edvard Grieg, Maurice Ravel, and Jean Sibelius. The neoclassicism genre spans a wider time frame than usually understood, and would not have become a genre in the 1920s without these pioneer composers.