The very famous “Riot” in the history of the arts broke out on the night of May 29th 1913, the premiere of Russian composer Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. The opening night with a full house of excited audience members at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris soon became a scandalous evening. Stravinsky’s collaborator was Serge Diaghilev, the director of the Ballets Russes who composed the ballet production. The duo was criticized for Stravinsky’s outrageous orchestration with high complexity in rhythmic texture and unstable tonality, Diaghilev’s choreography and the entirety of the primitive scenario. As Stravinsky’s music became hectic and complicated, Stravinsky was able to test the loyalty level of the audience, in order to see if they could accept the new musical changes. Due to his unique combination in the orchestration and choreography, Stravinsky was able to put pressure on to the audience’s ears and experiment their patience level.
Despite all the negativity in comments and the poor reaction that the audience members had, the Rite of Spring was innovative because very few composers after the post-romantic era used the techniques and the sense of advanced musical concepts portrayed in Stravinsky’s composition. To categorize what tools Stravinsky used to compose this work can be conceptualized with the use of these three musical concept of expressions of Nationalism with the use of folk tunes and traditional Russian characteristics, Modernism of the use of new concepts of rhythm, dynamic level and sense of tempo were radical, and Primitivism due to the use of musical elements and borrowings from non-western traditions. The Rite of Spring highlights both ancient and modern traditions. Stravinsky uses the three combinations of the Isms to show a unique and timeless composition.
To begin, with the use of ancient ethnic and cultural musical inspiration that Stravinsky demonstrates in his composition, is Nationalism that Stravinsky portrays in his work. In Richard Taruskin’s article he mentions how Stravinsky is known to not intentionally add footnotes or mention any sources of where his certain themes derive from. Furthermore, this method of his was done purposely so that he can prove that it does not matter where his sources come from as long as he can interpret them in a new way and put it into a new context.  The Russian School of Ballet
The Rite of Spring also does not serve as just a symphonic piece for orchestra but it was a revolutionary masterpiece that incorporated a new vision for contemporary art in the world of Ballet. The early ballets composed by Stravinsky during the years 1910 – 1914, which were commissions for Russian ballet impresario Sergei Diaghilev and the Ballet Russes, are arguably some of the most important works in his entire output. These works not only established Stravinsky’s dramatic style, but also his reputation as a significant composer of the 20th century with his own style. The ballets also exhibit traits of the strong influence of the orchestration training he received during college from his teacher and master of orchestra Rimsky-Korsakov. Additionally, these ballets were portraying the choreography of how Stravinsky’s use of pentatonic and whole-tone scales would be in the form of a dance. Though earlier compositions hinted at the dissonant tendencies used by Stravinsky such as bitonality and polytonality as well as the use of free dissonance and nonharmonic tones, it was The Rite of Spring (1913) that truly showcased the ultimate expansion of complex chromaticism that he would use throughout his career.32 The success of the early ballets such as The Firebird (1910), Petrushka (1911), and The Rite of Spring immediately made Stravinsky a household name, and French aristocratic backers and composers such as Debussy and Ravel instantly befriended him.By 1913, Stravinsky had moved to Paris, and after one final visit to St. Petersburg in October of that year, Stravinsky would not return to the city of his birth for nearly 50 years.
Specifically Taruskin states: “It is also notable that during his “Russian” period, from Le Sacre du Printemps onward, he seldom uses melodies of a closed form consisting of three or four lines but short motives of two or three measures and repeats them “a la ostinato”  These motives are prime characteristics of the Russian style but they derive from old Hungarian music for wind instruments and also in Arab peasant dances. Moreover, when Stravinsky entered St. Petersburg University in the fall of 1901 as a law student, but he also took private composition lessons with Rimsky-Korsakov. These studies led to the publication of some of his first works prior to the Rite of Spring such as the Sonata in F-sharp minor and his Symphony in E-flat (1905). These early works are mainly composed in the manner of Stravinsky’s own Russian predecessors and contemporaries including Tchaikovsky and Glazunov. The compositions of this period use Russian folk themes and exhibit strong nationalistic influences in their rhythmic and non-diatonic scale patterns. It is during this compositional period that Stravinsky began to develop creative ideas about how the elements of music could be used to their fullest potential, including harmonies such as the whole-tone and octatonic scales and rhythmic invention.
The “Isms” and The Progressive Acts of The Piece
Moreover, Stravinsky’s musical influence of the ancient traditions of borrowing musical ideas and themes are continued per Andre Schaeffner in his biography on Igor Stravinsky. The striking opening of the bassoon solo melody in The Rite of Spring was taken from the anthology of Lithuanian folk songs.  The folk songs from the ancient times of Lithuania and and Russian time represents how Stravinsky was able to incorporate those themes in a new context. Moreover, with the complex use of tonal variation and patterns, he incorporates the simplicity of using scales and having them in a context where having modes and basic whole-tone scales be the basis of his music. Specifically, Mullins states: “Since its early use by Russian pioneer Mikhail Glinka, the whole-tone scale is “now viewed as an integral part of the Russian nationalist arsenal”, and is incorporated in many ways in Stravinsky’s works. Moreover, Mary Woodside discusses how the use of Glinka’s whole-tone scale is a prime tool that Stravinsky incorporates and utilizes to emphasize how he incorporates his background and culture without making it seem like it was original but instead made it his own with also not using the whole-tone how it would traditionally be used. 
Only Stravinsky’s level of imagination could depict the scenario for each section throughout the piece that also lead to a technical innovation. Stravinsky maintained the tradition of what was used in the Romantic era. Many composers during that time were using their nationality as a trademark to their composition. Stravinsky was a composer that still did not forget his roots and was able to incorporate majority of his Russian background into motivic material throughout The Rite of Spring. The creation of how it all started is recorded in the facsimile of the sketchbook for the Rite of Spring.Moreover, aside from having all the Folk-Russian tunes be apparent in the Rite of Spring, composer Jean-Michel Defaye utilizes the tool of incorporating the similar style of Stravinsky how he mixes the folk-tunes to his own composition for the Trombone piece. Mullins describes “ In A la Maniere de Stravinsky, Jean-Michel Defaye utilizes the whole-tone scale in the introductory material as a type of vague harmonic bridge. A melodic interjection of “propulsive sevenths” in measures 5-7 is followed by the first five pitches of a whole-tone scale (Ex.20).
Example 20. Whole-Tone – Defaye, À la Manière de Stravinsky, mm. 4-8.
In this example, the composer portrays the whole-scale technique similar to what Stravinsky would have approached when composing his music. The accents also emphasize the edgy whole steps in the pitches to have the sound be extra distinct to the listeners.
Although, previously stated that Stravinsky does not necessarily credit all the material he uses from the ancient times, he can learn and adapt to that tradition of music and make it his own, it is all about inspiration and how deeply connected he was with the tradition. In the sketchbook, Taruskin talks about the Russian song called the Nu-Ka Kumuska which is a Semitzkoe, which is associated with the Thursday before Trinity. This specific folk-tune was attached to his sketchbook to show the relevance to this composition and the traditional ceremony. This tune also had a spiritual dance routine that is referred to as the “Round Dance” that shows in the introduction of the composition and by the dancers. In Example 1:
In Example 1, we see that the main khorovod dance tune might believably be an origin from the Nu-ka kumuska. Also, here in these excerpts we can see that already tempo and notational value is simple yet with the short value of the notes it gives a dance-like feel and also the time signature. Stravinsky really made it his own with doing slight changes of the notation of how it originally was sixteen notes but he made them into grace-note notations. With the grace-note values, the music seems to be more upbeat and exciting with that articulation. Furthermore, Igor Stravinsky’s melodies often use of grace note ornamentation emphasizes the use of pentatonic scales and has a strong resemblance with the correlation of using scales. For example, the duet between E-Flat and B-Flat clarinets in the opening of “Spring Rounds” in the Rite of Spring is a prime indication of how he use’s the grace notes that similarly resembles a pentatonic passage.
Example 19. Ornamentation – Stravinsky, The Rite of Spring, “Spring Rounds“, mm. 1- 6.
Stravinsky is introducing modern traditions of musical writing through his composition. The technique he incorporates in The Rite of Spring deals with frequent meter-change with the time signature, rhythmic value, the unstable tonality and structure. Stravinsky steps away from the mainstream romantic style of writing and shows the audience a new interpretation of taking the orchestral composition and adding real-life quality to the themes and helps bring out the nature and beauty of the work.
Beginning with Stravinsky’s use of tonality in his music he likes to stick to the traditional triad and dominant chords and also the use of diminished seventh chords, however, he does not use them in a traditional context how most composers would have approached it. Stravinsky likes to manipulate their traditional use, but into a revitalized experiment. Stravinsky uses the fusion of chords such as in Example 2:
In Example 2, the images of 5a and 5b, the chords are similar in context but are different in many ways. The second chord is built of a C dominant seventh and holds over the Eb and the C# from the first beat. Also, the last chord which is the same as the first V7 chord has added augmented sixth elements in pitch content which is distributed differently.
The little changes of what and which notes tie over, or their enharmonic note equivalence, makes the simple chord fusions unique. The way Stravinsky is able to specifically incorporate all these chords together makes his music much more interesting and different for this new genre of music. The little fluctuations of the harmonic structure of the piece gives a huge change in what the composer is trying to come across. In my opinion, Stravinsky could clearly distinguish and set the mood and character of the piece in its modernistic.
Categorizing what tools Stravinsky used to compose in a Modernism approach Moreover, Stravinsky’s input to the Ism of Modernism was with the use of dancers that was premiered with the orchestra together. Serge Diaghilev, was able to add a unique dance number to this production. The use of dancers especially during that time would not have been such a controversial concept, however because the costume, actual choreography, and nudity caused quite the chaos in the audiences reaction. This is modern because it shows a whole new light in the purity and natural art is viewed. The unique combination, in our modern eyes, was not the same view people had back in the early 19th century. The audience believed that outrageous costume and nudity that was involved was too different to what they were used to seeing. The performance style on the night it premiered would be immensely different from how people would perform it today. The piece it-self is concurring many of the new techniques and musical styles within the orchestration part and also the choreography of how raw the performance was can all differ in that way.
Robert Fink discusses how the performance of the Rite of Spring differs from when it first premiered in France and how conductors are majorly adding many romantic influences into the piece. Fink mentions “The extension of authentic performance practice to modernist music does seem historically (and commercially) inevitable, and The Rite of Spring is a particularly tempting target.” He also mentions, “The visionary claim of the early music movement that there is such a thing as “authenticity” in musical performance, and that it can be found through a simple congruence of linked imperatives”  In a way, I do agree that it is most definitely important to respect the composers original style and transcription in the piece. When Stravinsky first debuted the work, no one really knows how exactly he took the tempo, or how he stylized everything. When this piece is performed in modern day, many influences that conductors have and performers is this romanticized style and the character of the piece is lost. To have a composer to write something that would sound normal in our time now is interesting to see how conductors and performers have a different view on how to perform this modernized work.
Moreover, the more detailed modernized musical notation is in the rhythms and use of instrumentation in the composition. In Robert Fink’s article, they analyze and explore Stravinsky’s use of tempo markings and rhythmic values that have been quite innovational. For example, the premier of the Rite of Spring was not a perfect performance because the highly technical parts were overshadowed by the dramatic effect. Fink talks about the “Danse Sacrale” movement in the composition lead to a more detailed example of how expressive tempo modifications are adjusted within that final movement. Also, Stravinsky was very well known to be the composer that many interesting and unique way of notating complicated rhythms and also using the tool of switching meter constantly within just phrases.
In this third example, Stravinsky reminded himself in his 1948 score to beat the passage in an easy alla breve, writing in the metrically incorrect pulse of two half notes per bar. At or below the written tempo of quarter notes = 50, beating four eighth notes to the bar is just possible, if one wants a heavy, stomping effect; but two beats to the bar implies a faster, lighter feel, like the bouncy half note = 60-62 Stravinsky demonstrates in his 1960 Columbia recording. This is not necessarily a modernistic view of how Stravinsky incorporates his use of rhythmical passages, however, the fact that he thinks about every little detail when it comes to metrical thinking. His mind and way of thinking is innovative in the sense that no other composers his time most likely did not think of the different effects of the tempo markings. Stravinsky’s piece is hard to conduct with the constant meter change but on top of that he was able to think about the different style tempo changings can do to a compositional work. Also, in Pieter Van den Toorn’s 2005 article Stravinsky, Adorno, and the Art of Displacement, states that “Much of what is characteristic of Igor Stravinsky’s music may be defined rhythmically in terms of displacement, shifts in the metrical alignment of repeated motives, themes, and chords.” Francis Routh describes two approaches to this. In the first, “The addition of small pulse-units to, or their subtraction from, the regular and expected phrase-shape leads to delayed or anticipated accentuation, or syncopation against the beat, or to the clash of contrasted rhythmic patterns.” The second is through the juxtaposition of patterns to make an unequal rhythmic phrase.The Recreation of Primitivism, a new idealization of borrowed musical elements
Moreover, Stravinsky’s use of atonality and dissonance strikes attention to the listeners especially because the audience members were not used to it. Not only were the notation of the notes highly chromatic but also has a wide range from low to high pitches. In this example, it was the revised first edition of The Rite of Spring in 1929:
This excerpt is a great example with showing both the highly innovative rhythmical passages that goes from 3/4 time, 2/4 time, 5/16 time, and 4/16 time. Not only is this passage hard for musicians to quickly adapt and change to the pulse and duration of the measures but the conductor has to make sure everyone is in sync and that it does not fall apart. Also, in this passage it is also demonstrating the modern way of jumping to different dynamic levels and stresses on notes and phrases. All these modernized contributions in the musical work goes against the traditional style of music after the post-romantic era. Furthermore, not only does Stravinsky’s music can be seen as an established approach to primitivism but also a new centralization to neoclassicism. He incorporates the transition from both isms and Szabo emphasizes how Stravinsky’s transition to a neoclassical style was achieved by a deliberate reinvention of classical forms as well as an expansion and development of internal harmonic and thematic relationships. With all of Stravinsky’s stylistic and creative writing and the pure organize writing he combines with folk tunes and having a modern twist gives his music that much more depth. For an example, Szabo discusses how In the Russian period works, such as Le sacre du printemps, the predominant functions of form and counterpoint were dictated by the needs of external elements such as relation to literary sources, pre-established storylines, and staging requirements. The large-scale formal structure of Le sacre du printemps was functionally set in tableau form, and different areas started and finished often abruptly in order to change scene. Stravinsky, knew that the elements he incorporated in his music was set in a way that he wanted to have in his music. Also, there is an emaple from his score where in the movement of the “The Augurs of Spring” the section had a an interesting figure where this four mote motif that has a unique short motif has a lot of depth and presence in the movement that stands out and is unique to the ear. Another part of his music that makes his music a neoclassicism category is due to the style of counterpoint in Stravinsky’s earliest works and is best described as layers of ostinato and many stacks of complex harmonic writing.
Moreover, in another view and perspective from Chua’s source, he mentions how in the movement of the “Augurs” there is a significant chord remains particular in relative to the ostinato fragment of the example of the Db-Bb-Eb-Bb motion, it creates an illusion of depth and familiarizing with texture. There are also many juxtaposition characteristics within in the music that certainly is not familiar with the ear but Stravinsky brings it back enough to have it established and have the audience be familiar with the different motifs. To go beyond with how he incorporates old traditions as primitivism approach and still also see him in a neoclassicism genre Taruskin talks about how Much like Le sacre du printemps, Les Noces contains the use of Russian folk material to generate thematic content. Stravinsky’s interest in Russian and Georgian folk harmony occurred at the same time as much of his work on Les Noces. Going over how the examples used in his score, Stravinsky includes the lament that opens the first scene and a melody in scene four that is based on a song of Russian factory workers. Stravinsky also likes to incorporate the use of pitch class sets and he was very notorious to have those figures be used throughout his work and have these repeat throughout and have the same set be used in different context of the music. For an example, the pitch class set in the prime form of (025) is the basis of much of Les Noces. For example, the opening thematic statement, voiced by the soprano and based on this structure, is utilized through much of the work.Example of the pitch set from Les Noces:
Conclusion In conclusion, despite the controversy and chaos of Stravinsky’s premiere of The Rite of Spring, Stravinsky was able to be a successful composer after the post-romantic era due to his success of his work of the Rite of Spring. People may argue that his musical contributions in The Rite of Spring was just a series of failed experiments, however, with examples of how he was able to come up with these advanced musical ideas that are expanded and go above and beyond imagination, just that itself is already innovational. The new ideas lead to greater perspective on how musicians view music. The concept of adding old traditions and giving them an updated new and modern practice such as adding the unique dance choreography with the orchestra is different and not many composers ever successfully approached that path. The thought process of combining old traditional musical ideas with his own twist is a sign of how modernized his music was. His interpretation of all the mainstream techniques that were used in the romantic and earlier styles and ideas were all put into a whole new context that other composers would not have been able to demonstrate in their works. Stravinsky was able to take the risk of potentially getting his reputation ruined with the premiere of the Rite of Spring, but instead it is not viewed as a highly influential and innovational composition due to its many advanced artistic contributions he made to his work. Stravinsky was successfully able to open up a new direction in the music world for the next generation. I strongly think that Stravinsky’s music has so much value and significance that has influenced and inspired so many composers and even now in this generation many people are inspired by his music and his style of writing that it has become a trend and gateway to other approaches of writing great 21st century music.
Antokoletz, Elliott. “Review of Confronting Stravinsky: Man, Musician, and Modernist;Stravinsky Retrospectives.” Journal of the American Musicological Society, 41 (1988): 547–58.
Berg, Shelley Celia. “Le Sacre Du Printemps: The Dance Before Man.” American University, 1979 (Order No. 1313861).
Blitzstein, Marc. “Towards a New Form.” The Musical Quarterly 20 (2) (1934): 213–18.
Cacioppo, Curt. “Harmonie Behavior in ‘The Rite of Spring.’ College Music Symposium 32 Society (1992): 129–42.
Chung, Hee. “Igor Stravinsky’s Three Movements from Petrushka: An Analysis of Performance Practice.” Order No. 3048988, The Ohio State University, 2002.
Craft, Robert. “The Rite of Spring: Genesis of a Masterpiece.” Perspectives of New Music 5(1). Perspectives of New Music (1966): 20–36.
Fink, Robert. ‘Rigoroso (♪ = 126)’: ‘The Rite of Spring’ and the Forging of a Modernist Performing Style.” Journal of the American Musicological Society 52 (2) (1999): 299–362.
Karlinsky, Simon. Igor Stravinsky and Russian Preliterate Theater. Freedom from Violence and Lies:Essays on Russian Poetry and Music. Brighton, MA: Academic Studies Press, 2013.
Kielian-Gilbert, Marianne. “The Rhythms of Form: Correspondence and Analogy in Stravinsky’s Designs.” Music Theory Spectrum 9 (1987): 42–66.
Levitz, Tamara. Stravinsky and His World. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2013.
Morton, Lawrence. “Footnotes to Stravinsky Studies: ‘Le Sacre Du Printemps’.” Tempo, no. 128 (1979): 9-16.
Mullins, Dustin Kyle. “A Comparison of Rhythm, Articulation, and Harmony in Jean-Michel Defaye’s “Á La Manière De Stravinsky Pour Trombone Et Piano” to Common Compositional Strategies of Igor Stravinsky.”, University of North Texas, 2014 (Order No. 3727193).
Routh, Francis. Stravinsky. London: J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., 1975.
Smalley, Roger. “The Sketchbook of the Rite of Spring.” Tempo, no. 9 (1969): 2–13.
Szabo, Kyle. “The Evolution of Style in the Neoclassical Works of Stravinsky.” Order No. 3453859, James Madison University, 2011.
Straus, Joseph. “A Principle of Voice Leading in the Music of Stravinsky,” Music Theory Spectrum Vol. 4 (Spring, 1982): 111.
Taruskin, Richard. “Russian Folk Melodies in “the Rite of Spring.” Journal of the American Musicological Society 33 (3) (1980): 501–43.
Van Den Toorn, Pieter C. “Stravinsky and the Octatonic: The Sounds of Stravinsky.” Music Theory Spectrum 25 (1) (2003): 167–202.
Walsh, Stephen. “Stravinsky, Igor.” Grove Music Online. Accessed October 18, 2013. White, Kathy Maria. “The Rite of Spring: A Rhythmic Perspective (Stravinsky).”, Washington University in St. Louis, 1987 (Order No. 8722479).
 Richard Taruskin, “Russian Folk Melodies in “the Rite of Spring,” Journal of the American Musicological Society 33,
(1980), p. 505.
 Walsh, Stravinsky, Igor.
 Walsh, The Music of Stravinsky, 17.
 Eric White, Stravinsky: The Composer and His Works (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966), 530.
Stanley Dale Krebs, “Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky, 1882–1971”, Russian Review 30, no. 3 (July 1971): 318.
 Taruskin, “Russian Folk Melodies in,” 510-11.
 Taruskin, “Russian Folk Melodies in,” 515.
 Stephen Walsh, “Stravinsky, Igor (Fyodorovich)”, Grove Music Online, October 18, 2013.
 George Ronald Drew, “A Study of Stravinsky’s Use of the Trombone in Selected Works” (MM thesis, University of North Texas, 1968), 14.
 Stephen Walsh, “Stravinsky, Igor (Fyodorovich)”, Grove Music Online, October 18, 2013.
 Taruskin, “Russian Folk Melodies in,” 525
 Mullins, Dustin Kyle, “A Comparison of Rhythm, Articulation, and Harmony in Jean-Michel Defaye’s “Á La Manière De Stravinsky Pour Trombone Et Piano” to Common Compositional Strategies of Igor Stravinsky,”(2014):36.
 Mary S. Woodside, “Leitmotiv in Russia: Glinka’s Use of the Whole-Tone Scale”, 19th Century Music 14, no. 1 (Summer 1990), 67.
 Taruskin, “Russian Folk Melodies in, “526.
 80 Mary S. Woodside, “Leitmotiv in Russia: Glinka’s Use of the Whole-Tone Scale”, 19th Century Music 14,
no. 1 (1990), 67.
 Woodside, “Leitmotiv in Russia,” 67.
 Taruskin, “Russian Folk Melodies in, “527.
 Taruskin, “Russian Folk Melodies in, “528.
 Taruskin, “Russian Folk Melodies in, “530.
 Simon McVeigh and Neal Peres Da Costa, “Ornaments and Ornamentation”, Grove Music Online, March 11, 2014.
Mullins, Dustin Kyle, “A Comparison of Rhythm, Articulation, and Harmony in Jean-Michel Defaye’s “Á La Manière De Stravinsky Pour Trombone Et Piano” to Common Compositional Strategies of Igor Stravinsky,”(2014):36.
 Mullins, “A Comparison of Rhythm”,33.
 Taruskin, “Russian Folk Melodies in, ” 532.
 Cacioppo, Curt. “Harmonie Behavior in “The Rite of Spring.” College Music Symposium 32 College Music Society (1992): 135.
 Fink, Robert.”Rigoroso (♪ = 126)”: “The Rite of Spring” and the Forging of a Modernist Performing Style.” Journal of the American Musicological Society 52(2) (1999): 312.
 Fink, “Rigoroso,” 320.
 Fink, “Rigoroso,” 322.
 Van den Toorn, Stravinsky, Adorno, and the Art of Displacement(2004):468.
 Routh, Francis, Stravinsky(1975): 78.
 Routh, 75.
 Fink, “Rigoroso,” 323.
Szabo, Kyle. “The Evolution of Style in the Neoclassical Works of Stravinsky.”, James Madison University, (2011):2.
 Szabo, “The Evolution of Style”, 3.
 Szabo, “The Evolution of Style”, 4.
 Szabo, “The Evolution of Style”, 4.
 Taruskin, “Russian Folk Melodies”, 502
 Taruskin, “Russian Folk Melodies,” 508.
 Joseph Straus, “A Principle of Voice Leading in the Music of Stravinsky,” Music Theory Spectrum Vol. 4 (Spring, 1982): 111.
 Joseph Straus, “A Principle of Voice Leading”, (1982): 111.
 Igor Stravinsky, Les Noces (Mineola: Dover Publications, 1998): 1.