- Impressionistic - A term derived from one of Monet's works - Impression, Sunrise. In music it is applied to works of early 20th century composers such as Debussy. Debussy rejected the rules of tonality and created music that is pleasing to the ears as impressionist paintings are appealing to the eyes. This resulted in music that was relaxed, almost dreamlike.
- 12-tone System - A term mainly attributed to Arnold Schoenberg. Schoenberg wanted to eliminate the tonal center and developed a technique called 12-tone system wherein all the 12 notes of the octave are of equal importance. The 12 notes are placed in a specific order called a "tone-row" or "tone-series," and no note is repeated within a row. This evoked music that felt anxious and unresolved.
- Neoclassical - A term applied to the music of early 20th century composers like Stravinsky which reflects 18th century music. Stravinsky's works, particularly after the highly acclaimed The Rite of Spring, did not emphasize tonality but felt restrained. Stravinsky was discovered by Sergei Diaghilev, the producer of the Ballet Rouse. His earlier works reflected influences from Debussy,;/qt/dissonance.htm]dissonance and irregular rhythmic patterns.
- Alban Berg - Austrian composer who adapted the atonal style, also referred to as the classicist of modern music.
- Anton von Webern - Austrian composer belonging to the 12-tone Viennese school.
- Jean Sibelius- Finnish composer, conductor and teacher especially known for his orchestral works and symphonies.
- Edward Elgar - English composer, who, according to Richard Strauss, was the "first English progressive musician".
- Ralph Vaughan Williams - English composer of nationalistic music.
- Bela Bartok - Hungarian composer and renowned ethnomusicologist.
- Ernest Bloch - Swiss composer of spiritual music.
- Charles Ives - The first known composer of polytonal pieces.