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Easy Listening?

Series about 20th century music shows how American composers re-invented the sound of classical music into a more simple form, bringing back harmonies and rhythms.

The series concludes with the focus shifting to the United States in the post-war years of the 1950s and beyond. Beginning with arguably the most notorious work of 20th century classical music, John Cage's 'silent' composition 4'33", it looks at how a series of maverick Americans re-invented the sound of classical music into a more simple form, bringing back harmonies and rhythms that made it increasingly popular with audiences across the world. It also examines how this music found its way into a spiritual realm, with the strain of pared-down religious composition that came to be known as 'holy minimalism'.

From the Maverick concert hall in Woodstock, New York to an Orthodox cathedral in Estonia to a car park in Peckham, south London, the story is told by a stellar line-up of contributors including Philip Glass, Steve Reich, John Adams, Arvo Pärt and John Tavener.

1 hour

Last on

Fri 11 Oct 2013 19:30

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Credits

Role Contributor
Director Ian MacMillan
Series Producer Ian MacMillan
Executive Producer Roy Ackerman

Broadcasts

Celebrate 20th Century music with The Open University

Celebrate 20th Century music with The Open University

Explore the world of 20th Century classical and avant-garde music