The Expressionist movement was strongest in Germany just after the First World War. At this time there was a strong feeling of discontent over living conditions and restrictions imposed by the Treaty of Versailles.
Works in the expressionist style tend to make us feel a little uncomfortable at times. The movement developed in both art and music.

Features of Expressionist music:
  • Expressionist music is atonal .
  • Each piece usually confines itself to expressing one intense emotion .
  • Composers make full use of the range of an instrument .
  • Timbre is felt to be as important as melody.