Author: Gordon Root
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2016-09-29
Genre: Composition (Music)
Originally published in 1943, Models for Beginners in Composition represents one of Arnold Schoenberg's earliest attempts at reaching a broad American audience through his pedagogical ideas. The novelty of this book was its streamlined approach, basing all aspects of composition includingmotivic design, harmony, and the construction of themes on the two-measure phrase. This newly revised edition by Gordon Root incorporates many of Schoenberg's corrections to the original manuscript. It also includes a significant commentary elucidating the evolution of Schoenberg's pedagogicalapproach. In its function as a practical manual for the American classroom, Models for Beginners in Composition is unique among Schoenberg's texts. The current Commentary explores Schoenberg's experience as a teacher at UCLA while tracing the development of the two-measure phrase as the main component of hispedagogical method. It demonstrates the way in which Schoenberg simultaneously preserved and adapted European ideas about tonal theory and pedagogy when he came to America, a give and take that allowed for increased theoretical originality and scope. Models for Beginners in Composition established the two-measure phrase as one of the most significant of Schoenberg's contributions to American music education. This new edition, with Schoenberg's corrections and newly added commentary, allows readers to utilize and explore the text in greaterdepth. Students of composition, Schoenberg scholars, music theorists, and historians of music theory alike will no doubt welcome this new edition.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2018-10-25
Schoenberg's Correspondence with American Composers is the first edition of all known and available letters between Arnold Schoenberg and over seventy American composers written between 1915 and 1951, in English and English translation and with commentary. In six chronologically organized chapters, the correspondence first casts new light on Schoenberg's contacts with American composers before 1933, including correspondence with students and champions of his music (Israel Amter, James Francis Cooke, Henry Cowell, Edgar Varèse, and Adolph Weiss among others). The letters after 1933 show how Schoenberg gradually built a network of composer colleagues and friends, among them Mark Brunswick, Oscar Levant, Roger Sessions, Nicolas Slonimsky, Gerald Strang, with whom he discussed compositional ideas, specific musical works and writings, performances and the publication of his compositions. These letters also provide insight into his ideas about teaching in private settings, at the Malkin Conservatory and the University of California. The correspondence of his last years illuminates how the reception of Schoenberg's music in the United States was flourishing and how he attracted a growing number of disciples exploring twelve-tone composition. The book also qualifies the concept of and Schoenberg's association with the Second Viennese School. Schoenberg's Correspondence with American Composers not only illuminates a varied and vivid epistolary style, but clearly demonstrates Schoenberg's far-reaching connections in the American music world.
Author: Sabine Feisst
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2011-03-02
Arnold Schoenberg was a polarizing figure in twentieth century music, and his works and ideas have had considerable and lasting impact on Western musical life. A refugee from Nazi Europe, he spent an important part of his creative life in the United States (1933-1951), where he produced a rich variety of works and distinguished himself as an influential teacher. However, while his European career has received much scholarly attention, surprisingly little has been written about the genesis and context of his works composed in America, his interactions with Americans and other ?migr?s, and the substantial, complex, and fascinating performance and reception history of his music in this country. Author Sabine Feisst illuminates Schoenberg's legacy and sheds a corrective light on a variety of myths about his sojourn. Looking at the first American performances of his works and the dissemination of his ideas among American composers in the 1910s, 1920s and early 1930s, she convincingly debunks the myths surrounding Schoenberg's alleged isolation in the US. Whereas most previous accounts of his time in the US have portrayed him as unwilling to adapt to American culture, this book presents a more nuanced picture, revealing a Schoenberg who came to terms with his various national identities in his life and work. Feisst dispels lingering negative impressions about Schoenberg's teaching style by focusing on his methods themselves as well as on his powerful influence on such well-known students as John Cage, Lou Harrison, and Dika Newlin. Schoenberg's influence is not limited to those who followed immediately in his footsteps-a wide range of composers, from Stravinsky adherents to experimentalists to jazz and film composers, were equally indebted to Schoenberg, as were key figures in music theory like Milton Babbitt and David Lewin. In sum, Schoenberg's New World contributes to a new understanding of one of the most important pioneers of musical modernism.
Author: Marjorie Perloff
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 1994-08
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
When the great avant-gardist John Cage died, just short of his eightieth birthday in 1992, he was already the subject of dozens of interviews, memoirs, and discussions of his contribution to music, music theory, and performance practice. But Cage never thought of himself as only (or even primarily) a composer; he was a poet, a visual artist, a philosophical thinker, and an important cultural critic. John Cage: Composed in America is the first book-length work to address the "other" John Cage, a revisionist treatment of the way Cage himself has composed and been "composed" in America. Cage, as these original essays testify, is a contradictory figure. A disciple of Duchamp and Schoenberg, Satie and Joyce, he created compositions that undercut some of these artists' central principles and then attributed his own compositional theories to their "tradition." An American in the Emerson-Thoreau mold, he paradoxically won his biggest audience in Europe. A freewheeling, Californian artist, Cage was committed to a severe work ethic and a firm discipline, especially the discipline of Zen Buddhism. Following the text of Cage's lecture-poem "Overpopulation and Art," delivered at Stanford shortly before his death and published here for the first time, ten critics respond to the challenge of the complexity and contradiction exhibited in his varied work. In keeping with Cage's own interdisciplinarity, the critics approach that work from a variety of disciplines: philosophy (Daniel Herwitz, Gerald L. Bruns), biography and cultural history (Thomas S. Hines), game and chaos theory (N. Katherine Hayles), music culture (Jann Pasler), opera history (Herbert Lindenberger), literary and art criticism (Marjorie Perloff), cultural poetics (Gordana P. Crnkovic, Charles Junkerman), and poetic practice (Joan Retallack). But such labels are themselves confining: each of the essays sets up boundaries only to cross them at key points. The book thus represents, to use Cage's own phrase, a much needed "beginning with ideas."