In the same way that music evolved during the Romantic period, 20th century music changed dramatically. Many composers started to rebel against traditions and compose music which was completely different. At the beginning of the 20th century, Arnold Schoenberg started a revolution by creating serialism. This modern period, rich in rhythmic and harmonic innovation, is not characterised by one overall style: instead, it is made up of a variety of styles and movements, like impressionism and minimalism. Maurice Ravel, Igor Stravinsky and Béla Bartok are some of the most important composers of the first half of the 20th century.
The second half of the 20th century was a challenging period: World War I and II massively impacted many composers who wrote music to reflect the horrors of these wars.
Today, contemporary music has developed alongside technological evolution, notably with the use of electronics.
Famous composers include George Gershwin, Pierre Boulez, Benjamin Britten and John Cage. Below is an example of Rhapsody in Blue by Gershwin: