1920`s Notes:

1920’s Notes:
Music and Dance:
Instead of harmonies based on the traditional eight-note scale, Arnold
Schoenberg proposed new musical arrangements based on twelve equally
valued notes. Musicians in the US were creating their own distinctive sound,
known as jazz. The 1920’s were known as the ‘golden age of jazz’. It was the
only art form to originate in the US. Jazz is a mixture of American folk songs,
West African rhythms, harmonies from European classical music, and work
songs from the days of slavery. Performing barefoot in a loose tunic, Isadora
Duncan changed people’s idea of dance and Martha Graham expanded on her
style turning dance into a striking new art form.
New Trends in Culture and Style:
The women got the right to vote. They began to wear lipstick openly. Their
skirts were above the ankle, but they made their skirts above the knee. They
chopped their hair to a ‘shingle bob’ and looked like a little boy would look.
WWI and its aftermath had disillusioned many of the period’s writers.
German novelists experimented with new literary techniques. In the late 1920’s
and the 1930’s, writers became interested in important social issues of the day.
Joyce’s psychological emphasis and his earthy language caused a storm of
protest, which led to a number of court battles over the publication of his novel.
Architecture and Popular Culture:
The 1920’s and 1930’s saw striking new designs in buildings and
furnishings. Walter Gropius founded the Bauhaus School of design in Weimar,
Germany. Instead of creating boxlike rooms, Wright reduced the number of walls
so that one room flowed into another. In the postwar era, Hollywood productions
dominated the movie screens of the world. During the 1930’s the public flocked
to movie theatres where for 10 cents they could escape the harsh realities of
hard economic times.
The Impact of Technology:
The automobile helped people travel, new highways to go more places.
The radio brought changes like telling everyone the same news. The advent of
packaged foods, refrigerators, vacuums, and electric irons made it easier for
everyone’s daily life.
Prohibition and Women’s Christian Temperance Union:
The prohibition or dry movement began in the 1840’s spearheaded by
piestic religious denominations. The WCTU had hundreds of thousands of
members, although it did not accept Catholic, Jewish, or African American
women. Nor would they accept women who weren’t born in North America.
Congress and the states, Taking effect in 1920, throughout the 20’s and 30’s: the
manufacturing, transporting, and drinking of alcohol was prohibited. The WCTU
was a major force in prohibition and was also influential in creating laws banning
prostitution and recreational drugs in the states.
Physics and Psychology:
In 1905 Einstein introduced theories that stated Newton’s view of the
universe that operated by universal laws. He said there are no absolutes in
measuring time and space and that the speed of light is constant. The physician
Sigmund Freud revolutionized people’s idea about how the human mind worked.
When he introduced his theories, many people ignored them but then later
accepted them.
After the 1920’s, Pablo Picasso and others wanted to change their style of
painting. Before the 1920’s people didn’t believe in different things out of the
ordinary – everything was traditional. Picasso’s masterpiece was a big turning
point for art and social groups because it was so unusual: it was something that
very closed minded people, who were coming out of the traditional/Victorian era,
needed to boost the development of socialism and people - to push the ‘norm’
and open their minds to new views and possibilities.