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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Avant-garde music is a term used to characterize music which is thought to be ahead of its time, i.e. containing innovative elements or fusing different genres.

Historically speaking, musicologists primarily use the term "avant-garde music" for the radical, post-1945 tendencies of a modernist style in several genres of art music[1] after the death of Anton Webern in 1945.[2] In the 1950s the term avant-garde music was mostly associated with serial music.[1]

Today the term may be used to refer to any other post-1945 tendency of modernist music not definable as experimental music, though sometimes including a type of experimental music characterized by the rejection of tonality.[2]

See also


  1. ^ a b Griffiths, Paul, "Modern Music: The Avant Garde since 1945" in Music Educators Journal, Vol. 68, No. 4 (Dec., 1981), pp. 63-64
  2. ^ a b Du Noyer, Paul (ed.) (2003), "Contemporary" in the Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music. Flame Tree.p.272. ISBN 1-9040-4170-1

Simple English

and Ugo Piatti, Intonarumori, 1913]]

Avant-garde music, or experimental music, is a type of music that is meant to push the boundaries of "what music is." It started in the 1940s and 1950s after World War II. Some famous avant-garde composers were John Cage, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Henry Cowell.


Examples of avant-garde songs

4' 33"

This was a song written by John Cage that is 4 minutes and 33 seconds of complete silence. It is meant to make the audience listen to the sounds around them.

Revolution 9

This is a song by the popular English rock band The Beatles. It appeared on their album The Beatles, also known as The White Album (released in 1968.) "Revolution 9" is over 8 minutes of random sounds, and someone repeatedly saying "number 9...number 9...number 9...number 9..." It was mostly the work of John Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono.

Hey Foxymophandlemama, That's Me

This is a song by the American grunge band Pearl Jam. It is the last song on their third album Vitalogy, released in 1994. It is over seven minutes long. It is made up of conversations between mental patients in asylums, and psychiatrists, with distorted bass guitar and drums laid over them.


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