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Artists today are at a crossroads. With funding for the arts and humanities endowments perpetually under attack, and school districts all over the United States scrapping their art curricula altogether, the place of the arts in our civic future is uncertain to say the least. At the same time, faced with the problems of the modern world—from water shortages and grave health concerns to global climate change and the now constant threat of terrorism—one might question the urgency of this waning support for the arts. In the politically fraught world we live in, is the “felt” experience even something worth fighting for?

In this soul-searching collection of vignettes, Patrick Summers gives us an adamant, impassioned affirmative. Art, he argues, nurtures freedom of thought, and is more necessary now than ever before.

As artistic director of the Houston Grand Opera, Summers is well positioned to take stock of the limitations of the professional arts world—a world where the conversation revolves almost entirely around financial questions and whose reputation tends toward elitism—and to remind us of art’s fundamental relationship to joy and meaning. Offering a vehement defense of long-form arts in a world with a short attention span, Summers argues that art is spiritual, and that music in particular has the ability to ask spiritual questions, to inspire cathartic pathos, and to express spiritual truths. Summers guides us through his personal encounters with art and music in disparate places, from Houston’s Rothko Chapel to a music classroom in rural China, and reflects on musical works he has conducted all over the world. Assessing the growing canon of new operas performed in American opera houses today, he calls for musical artists to be innovative and brave as opera continues to reinvent itself.

This book is a moving credo elucidating Summers’s belief that the arts, especially music, help us to understand our own humanity as intellectual, aesthetic, and ultimately spiritual.
What is rhetorical music? In The Pathetick Musician, Bruce Haynes and Geoffrey Burgess illustrate the vital place of rhetoric and eloquent expression in the creation and performance of Baroque music. Through engaging explorations of the cantatas of J.S. Bach, the authors explode the conventional notion of historical authenticity in music, proposing adventurous new directions to reinvigorate the performance of early music in the modern setting. Along the way, Haynes and Burgess investigate intersections between music and oratory, dance, gesture, poetry, painting and sculpture, and offer insights into figural elaboration, articulation, nuance and temporality. Aimed primarily at performers of Baroque music, the book situates the study of performance practice in a broader cultural context, and as much as an invaluable resource for advanced study, it contains a wealth of information that pertains directly to anyone working in the field of early music. Based on a draft sketched by celebrated Baroque oboist and early music scholar Bruce Haynes before his death in 2011, The Pathetick Musician is the fruit of the combined wisdom of two musicians renowned equally for their contributions as performers and scholars. Drawing on an impressive array of Classical treatises on oratory, musical autographs and performance accounts, it is an essential companion to Haynes' controversial The End of Early Music. Geoffrey Burgess has taken up the broader claims of Haynes' philosophy to create a practical, accessible text that will be stimulating for all musicians interested in the rediscovery of early music. With copious musical examples, contemporaneous works of art, and a companion website with supplementary audio recordings, The Pathetick Musician is an invaluable resource for all interested in exploring new expressive possibilities in the performance and study of Baroque music.
A provocative re-examination of a major romantic composer, Rethinking Schumann provides fresh approaches to Schumann's oeuvre and its reception from the perspectives of literature, visual arts, cultural history, performance studies, dance, and film. Traditionally, research has focused on biographical links between the composer and his music, encouraging the assumption that Schumann was solitary, divorced from reality, and frequently associated with "untimeliness." These eighteen new essays argue from a multitude of perspectives that Schumann was in fact very much a man of his time, informed not only by music but also the culture and society around him. The book further reveals that the composer's reputation has been shaped significantly by, for example, changes in attitudes towards German romanticism and its history, and recent developments in musical scholarship and performance. Rethinking Schumann takes into account cultural and social-institutional frameworks, engages with ongoing and new issues of reception and historiography, and offers fresh music-analytical insights. As a whole, the essays assemble a portrait of the artist that reflects the different ways in which Schumann has been understood and misunderstood over the past two hundred years. The volume is, in short, a timely reassessment of this ultimately non-untimely figure's legacy. While the essays consider some of Schumann's most famous music (Dichterliebe, Kinderszenen and the Piano Quintet), they also provide crucial adjustment to judgments against the composer's later works by explaining their musical features not as the result of diminishing creative capacity but as reflections of the political and social situations of mid-nineteenth-century German culture and technological developments. Schumann is revealed to have been a musician engaged by and responsive to his surroundings, whose reputation was formed to a great extent by popular culture, both in his own lifetime as he responded to particular poets and painters, and later, as his life and works were responded to by subsequent generations.
Even as orchestras, performers, enthusiasts, and critics across the nation--and across the globe--celebrate the one-hundredth anniversary of his birth, George Gershwin (1898-1937) remains one of America's most popular yet least appreciated composers. True, he is loved and revered for his wonderful popular songs, a few instrumental works, and the majestic opera Porgy and Bess. But most of his music is virtually unknown; hundreds of compositions, Broadway show tunes, and even several large and important instrumental works are gradually disappearing with the generations that first heard them. The Gershwin Style: New Looks at the Music of George Gershwin is a bold new work that stands in opposition to this disappearance. It is also a fresh collection of essays that promises to make a key contribution to American music research. Editor Wayne Schneider has corralled some of the leading authorities of Gershwin's efforts--renowned experts and authors who have researched his music for years if not decades--and sets their work alongside articles by scholars who come to Gershwin for the first time from backgrounds in American music or popular music in general. The notable contributors include Wayne D. Shirley, Charles Hamm, Edward Jablonski, and Artis Wodehouse (who has transcribed nearly all of Gershwin's piano performances). No one who surveys the American musical landscape can doubt Gershwin's enduring popularity or profound influence, but his critical standing among today's serious music scholars is much less certain. As Schneider points out in his Introduction, there have been many biographies of Gershwin but comparatively few studies of his music in and of itself. Covering both the "popular" and "classical" extremes of Gershwin's output, as well as the many and subtle points in between, this book reevaluates the music of an American original from several enlightening perspectives. This is a book with much to offer any student or scholar of American music--while some essays explore new methods of measuring Gershwin's abilities as a composer, others draw on hitherto unavailable musical and archival sources to make arguments previously unthinkable. The essays gathered here, most of which were written especially for this volume, thus address a number of important research topics, among them biography, source studies, music analysis, performance practice, and questions of interpretation and reception. The contributions also reflect the wide diversity of contemporary thinking regarding the logic, legacy, and lure of Gershwin's music.
William Boyce: A Tercentenary Sourcebook and Compendium is published in celebration of the three-hundreth anniversary of the birth in 1711 of England’s leading eighteenth-century composer. It is the first book to be devoted to a musician who more than any of his contemporaries carried the flag in the broadest sense for English music during a period that was inevitably dominated by the towering figure of Handel, who was then resident in London. By the late 19th century, however, Boyce had become generally known only as a composer of anthems and the national song, ‘Hearts of Oak,’ and as the editor of a monumental historical anthology of English anthems, Cathedral Music, which was still in use at that time. The emergent ‘Baroque revival’ led to a gradual broadening of awareness of Boyce from the 1890s onwards. Yet it was only following the initiatives inspired by the bicentenary of his death in 1979 that a significantly wider public appreciation of the quality and range of his achievements came about.

Previously neglected works were revived, new recordings made, scholarly articles written, and new editions of his music began to be published.

This book brings together diplomatic transcriptions of all the most significant contemporary documents relevant to Boyce’s personal and family life, his career as a composer, editor, theorist, teacher, conductor, Master of the King’s Music, and the reception history of his music. They are accompanied by critical commentaries whenever necessary. The range of sources drawn on includes memoirs, histories, diaries, letters, poems, concert programmes and related press reports, chapel royal, court and parish archives, prefaces to Boyce’s own publications of his music and those edited by others, advertisements for performances of his works and related press reports, details of his subscriptions to musical and literary works, and materials that throw light on his character and professional relationships with the poets, playwrights, churchmen and other musicians with whom he collaborated within the vibrant, burgeoning, and sometimes colourful, English musical culture of his time.

The book’s ‘Catalogue of Works’ constitutes the first comprehensive listing of Boyce’s musical output to have been published, and the select, historical ‘Discography’ is the first catalogue of recordings to have been devoted to the composer’s works.

Over three decades, Paul Griffiths's survey has remained the definitive study of music since the Second World War; this fully revised and updated edition re-establishes Modern Music and After as the preeminent introduction to the music of our time. The disruptions of the war, and the struggles of the ensuing peace, were reflected in the music of the time: in Pierre Boulez's radical reformation of compositional technique and in John Cage's development of zen music; in Milton Babbitt's settling of the serial system and in Dmitry Shostakovich's unsettling symphonies; in Karlheinz Stockhausen's development of electronic music and in Luigi Nono's pursuit of the universally human, in Iannis Xenakis's view of music as sounding mathematics and in Luciano Berio's consideration of it as language. The initiatives of these composers and their contemporaries opened prospects that haven't yet stopped unfolding. This constant expansion of musical thinking since 1945 has left us with no singular history of music; Griffiths's study accordingly follows several different paths, showing how and why they converge and diverge. This new edition of Modern Music and After discusses not only the music of the fifteen years that have passed since the previous edition, but also the recent explosion of scholarly interest in the latter half of the twentieth century. In particular, the book has been expanded to incorporate the variety of responses to the modernist impasse experienced by composers of the 1980s and 1990s. Griffiths then moves the book into the twenty-first century as he examines such highly influential composers as Helmut Lachenmann and Salvatore Sciarrino. For its breadth, wealth of detail, and characteristic wit and clarity, the third edition of Modern Music and After is required reading for the student and the enquiring listener.
Today, Claude Debussy's position as a central figure in twentieth-century concert music is secure, and scholarship has long taken for granted the enduring musical and aesthetic contributions of his compositions. Yet this was not always the case. Unknown to many concert-goers and music scholars is the fact that for years after his death, Debussy's musical aesthetic was perceived as outmoded, decadent, and even harmful for French music. In Debussy's Legacy and the Construction of Reputation, Marianne Wheeldon examines the vicissitudes of the composer's posthumous reception in the 1920s and 30s, and analyzes the confluence of factors that helped to overturn the initial backlash against his music. Rather than viewing Debussy's artistic greatness as the cause of his enduring legacy, she considers it instead as an effect, tracing the manifold processes that shaped how his music was received and how its aesthetic worth was consolidated. Speaking to readers both within and beyond the domain of French music and culture, Debussy's Legacy and the Construction of Reputation enters into dialogue with research in the sociology of reputation and commemoration, examining the collective nature of the processes of artistic consecration. By analyzing the cultural forces that came to bear on the formation of Debussy's legacy, Wheeldon contributes to a greater understanding of the inter-war period--the cultural politics, debates, and issues that confronted musicians in 1920s and 30s Paris--and offers a musicological perspective on the subject of reputation building, to date underrepresented in recent writings on reputation and commemoration in the humanities. Debussy's Legacy and the Construction of Reputation is an important new study, groundbreaking in its methodology and in its approach to musical influence and cultural consecration.
Tempesta is a term coined in this book applying to music that exhibits agitated or violent characteristics in order to evoke terror and chaos, involving ideas like rapid scale passages, driving rhythmic figurations, strong accents, full textures, and robust instrumentation including prominent brass and timpani. Music of this type was used for storm scenes, which in operas of the 17th and 18th centuries are almost invariably of supernatural origin, and other frightening experiences such as pursuit, madness, and rage.

This ‘stormy’ music formed the ingredients of a particular style in the later 18th century that scholars in recent decades have referred to as Sturm und Drang, implying a relationship to German literature which I believe is unhelpful and misleading. Haydn’s so-called Sturm und Drang symphonies exhibit characteristics that are no different to his depictions of storms in his operas and sacred music, and there is no evidence of Haydn suffering some kind of personal crisis, or even of him responding to the ‘spirit of the age’. He was simply exploring the expressive possibilities of the style for dramatic/rhetorical effect. Scholars have been dissatisfied with the term for some time, but no-one has previously suggested an alternative. The term tempesta therefore applies to all manifestations of this kind of music, a label that acknowledges the ‘stormy’ origins of the style, but which also recognizes that it functions as a counterpart to ombra.

Tempesta contributed enormously to the continued popularity of operas on supernatural subjects, and quickly migrated towards sacred music and even instrumental music, where it became part of the topical discourse. The music does not merely represent the supernatural, it instills an emotional response in the listener. Awe and terror had already been identified as sources of the sublime, notably by Edmund Burke (predating the German literary Sturm und Drang), and the latter half of the century saw the rise of Gothic literature. The supernatural remained popular in theaters and opera houses, and special music that could produce an emotional response of such magnitude was a powerful tool in the composer’s expressive armory.
“Delightfully sophisticated . . . the only music history that can be savored, muscatel in hand, in the green shade of a beach umbrella” (John Simon, The Hudson Review).

R. J. Stove’s A Student’s Guide to Music History is a concise account, written for the intelligent lay reader, of classical music’s development from the early Middle Ages onwards. Beginning with a discussion of Hildegard von Bingen, a twelfth-century German nun and composer, and the origins of plainchant, Stove’s narrative recounts the rise (and ever-increasing complexity) of harmony during the medieval world, the differences between secular and sacred music, the glories of the contrapuntal style, and the origins of opera. Stove then relates the achievements of the high baroque period, the very different idioms that prevailed during the late eighteenth century, and the emergence of Romanticism, with its emphasis upon the artist-hero. With the late nineteenth century came a growing emphasis on musical patriotism, writes Stove, especially in Spain, Hungary, Russia, Bohemia, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and the United States. A final section discusses the trends that have characterized music since 1945.

Stove’s guide also singles out eminent composers for special coverage, including Palestrina, Monteverdi, Handel, Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Wagner, Verdi, Brahms, Debussy, Richard Strauss, Sibelius, and Messiaen. As a brief orientation to the history and contours of classical music, A Student’s Guide to Music History is an unparalleled resource.
From the "War on Hippies" to the Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle, the story of Modern Lovers is a high octane tale of Brutalist architecture, rock 'n' roll ambition and the struggle for identity in a changing world. One of punk rock's foundational documents, the archetype for indie obsession and all but disowned by its author, The Modern Lovers was an album doomed by its own coolness from day one. Powered by the two-chord wonder “Roadrunner” and its proclamation that “I'm in love with rock 'n' roll,”The Modern Lovers is the essential document of American alienation, an escape route from the cultural wasteland of postwar suburbia. The Modern Lovers is the bridge connecting the Velvet Underground and the Sex Pistols; they were peers of the New York Dolls and friends with Gram Parsons and they would splinter into Talking Heads, The Cars, and The Real Kids.

But The Modern Lovers was never meant to be an album. A collection of demos, recorded in fits and starts as Jonathan Richman and his band negotiate modernity and the music industry. It is a collection of songs about a city and a society in flux, grappling with ancient corruptions and bright-eyed idealism. Richman observes a city all but abandoned by adults, ravaged by white flight and urban renewal, veering towards anarchy as old world social moors collide with new attitudes. It is a city stands in stark contrast to the the ranchstyle bedroom community where he was raised. All of these conflicts are churned through Richman's intellectual acuity and emotional unrest to create one of the 20th century's most enduring documents of post-adolescent malaise.
Musical Receptions of Greek Antiquity: From the Romantic Era to Modernism is a rich contribution to a topic of increasing scholarly interest, namely, the impact of Greek antiquity on modern culture, with a particular focus on music of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This collection of essays offers a more comprehensive interdisciplinary examination of music’s interaction with Greek antiquity since the nineteenth century than has been attempted so far, analysing its connotations and repercussions. The volume sheds light on a number of hitherto underexplored case studies, and revisits and reassesses some well-known instances.

Through scrutiny of a wide range of cases that extend from the Romantic era to experimentations of the second half of the twentieth century, the collection illuminates how the engagement with and interpretation of elements of ancient Greek culture in and through music reflect the specific historical, cultural and social contexts in which they took place. In analysing the multiple ways in which Greek antiquity inspired Western art music since the nineteenth century, the volume takes advantage of current interdisciplinary developments in musicology, as well as research on reception across various fields, including musicology, Slavic studies, modern Greek studies, Classics, and film studies. By encompassing a wide variety of case studies on repertories at the margins of the Western European art music tradition, while not excluding some central European ones, this volume broadens the focus of an increasingly rich field of research in significant ways.

This book takes the reader on a grand musical tour from its origins in prehistory to the twenty-first century. It describes its roles in culture and religion in ancient China and the Middle East and how it developed in the Mediterranean world of classical Greece and Rome. Andrew Gant considers the evolution of music in medieval Europe and looks at what led to the astonishing revolution of musical forms and genres that took place in the renaissance, first in Italy and then across the rest of Europe. He examines the ideas, composers and patrons behind the advent of the baroque and its evolution into the music of the classical and romantic periods. At the same time he explores developments in musical style and changes in forms, techniques and instrumentation, not only in music for the court and church but as sung in pubs, theatres, the streets, and at home. The final chapters describe the modernist revolutions personified by Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Bartok and Messiaen. They show how, with the advent of mass media, different forms of music - from pop, blues and musicals to classical, opera and jazz - along with music from places such as South America, Africa and the Far East, all began to influence each other in a series of percussive but productive collisions.The account ranges widely across time and space. It is authoritative, scholarly and consistently readable. It presents a series of coherent arguments, spiced with unexpected detail and anecdote. This a book, in short, for everyone interested in music.
The fictional Dr. Strabismus sets out to write a new comprehensive theory of music. But music's tendency to deconstruct itself combined with the complexities of postmodernism doom him to failure. This is the parable that frames The Sense of Music, a novel treatment of music theory that reinterprets the modern history of Western music in the terms of semiotics.

Based on the assumption that music cannot be described without reference to its meaning, Raymond Monelle proposes that works of the Western classical tradition be analyzed in terms of temporality, subjectivity, and topic theory. Critical of the abstract analysis of musical scores, Monelle argues that the score does not reveal music's sense. That sense--what a piece of music says and signifies--can be understood only with reference to history, culture, and the other arts. Thus, music is meaningful in that it signifies cultural temporalities and themes, from the traditional manly heroism of the hunt to military power to postmodern "polyvocality."


This theoretical innovation allows Monelle to describe how the Classical style of the eighteenth century--which he reads as a balance of lyric and progressive time--gave way to the Romantic need for emotional realism. He argues that irony and ambiguity subsequently eroded the domination of personal emotion in Western music as well as literature, killing the composer's subjectivity with that of the author. This leaves Dr. Strabismus suffering from the postmodern condition, and Raymond Monelle with an exciting, controversial new approach to understanding music and its history.

Style — the distinctive manner of presentation, construction, and execution in any art — is a topic of primary importance in music history. This highly regarded text by noted musicologist Richard Crocker (University of California, Berkeley) takes a much-needed fresh look at the subject and attempts to reshape some basic ideas in the light of modern research. Seeking the reasons for stylistic change within the history of style itself (rather than in the history of men or of ideas), this enlightening account shows how music, growing out of its own past, has shaped its own development.
Professor Crocker's exceptionally clear and systematic presentation enables students to easily follow the evolution of Western musical style from Gregorian Chant (ca. 750) to the atonal music of the mid-20th century. The book stresses the continuity of basic musical principles over long periods of history, while it explores in detail moments of high stylistic achievement and the composers who exemplified them.
Drawing of the earliest written records, Crocker begins his description and analysis of Western music's changing style with a discussion of Frankish Gregorian Chant, laudes and melismas, and polyphony — the leading medium of musical development after 1150. The author traces the progression of new polyphonic forms from the Parisian motet of the 13th and 14th centuries through Italian song forms to the Franco-Flemish style of the 15th and 16th centuries. This sweeping survey then documents the emergence of the Classic Style after 1550, embodied in the music of such composers as Palestrina and Byrd, moves through new Italian dramatic styles (1600–1650) and on to the harmonic and polyphonic contributions of the 17th- and 18th-century masters.
With perception and insight, Crocker traces the creation of the German symphonic style, epitomized in the works of Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms, and deals with the parallel development of operatic style. An illuminating examination of new styles after 1900, including the serial music of Schoenberg, Webern, and Berg, concludes this exhaustive study.
Over 140 music examples complement Crocker's lucid text, and lists of Selected Study Materials for each chapter are given at the back of the book. This work will be welcomed by music students at all levels, music scholars, and the interested layman as well.
Few musical works loom as large in Western culture as Richard Wagner's four-part Ring of the Nibelung. In Finding an Ending, two eminent philosophers, Philip Kitcher and Richard Schacht, offer an illuminating look at this greatest of Wagner's achievements, focusing on its far-reaching and subtle exploration of problems of meanings and endings in this life and world. Kitcher and Schacht plunge the reader into the heart of Wagner's Ring, drawing out the philosophical and human significance of the text and the music. They show how different forms of love, freedom, heroism, authority, and judgment are explored and tested as it unfolds. As they journey across its sweeping musical-dramatic landscape, Kitcher and Schacht lead us to the central concern of the Ring--the problem of endowing life with genuine significance that can be enhanced rather than negated by its ending, if the right sort of ending can be found. The drama originates in Wotan's quest for a transformation of the primordial state of things into a world in which life can be lived more meaningfully. The authors trace the evolution of Wotan's efforts, the intricate problems he confronts, and his failures and defeats. But while the problem Wotan poses for himself proves to be insoluble as he conceives of it, they suggest that his very efforts and failures set the stage for the transformation of his problem, and for the only sort of resolution of it that may be humanly possible--to which it is not Siegfried but rather Brünnhilde who shows the way. The Ring's ending, with its passing of the gods above and destruction of the world below, might seem to be devastating; but Kitcher and Schacht see a kind of meaning in and through the ending revealed to us that is profoundly affirmative, and that has perhaps never been so powerfully and so beautifully expressed.
Why is classical music predominantly the preserve of the white middle classes? Contemporary associations between classical music and social class remain underexplored, with classical music primarily studied as a text rather than as a practice until recent years. In order to answer this question, this book outlines a new approach for a socio-cultural analysis of classical music, asking how musical institutions, practices, and aesthetics are shaped by wider conditions of economic inequality, and how music might enable and entrench such inequalities or work against them. This approach is put into practice through a richly detailed ethnography which locates classical music within one of the cultures that produces it - middle-class English youth - and foregrounds classical music as bodily practice of control and restraint. Drawing on the author's own background as a classical musician, this closely observed account examines youth orchestra and youth choir rehearsals as a space where young people learn the unspoken rules of this culture of weighty tradition and gendered control. It highlights how the middle-classes' habitual roles - boundary drawing around their protected spaces and reproducing their privilege through education - can be traced within the everyday spaces of classical music. These practices are camouflaged, however, by the ideology of 'autonomous art' that classical music carries. Rather than solely examining the social relations around the music, the book demonstrates how this reproductive work is facilitated by its very aesthetic, of 'controlled excitement', 'getting it right', precision, and detail. This book is of particular interest at the present moment, thanks to the worldwide proliferation of El Sistema-inspired programmes which teach classical music to children in disadvantaged areas. While such schemes demonstrate a resurgence in defending the value of classical music, there has been a lack of debate over the ways in which its socio-cultural heritage shapes its conventions today. This book locates these contestations within contemporary debates on class, gender and whiteness, making visible what is at stake in such programmes.
Appalachian Spring, with music by Aaron Copland and choreography by Martha Graham, counts among the best known American contributions to the global concert hall and stage. In the years since its premiere-as a dance work at the Library of Congress in 1944-it has become one of Copland's most widely performed scores, and the Martha Graham Dance Company still treats it as a signature work. Over the decades, the dance and the music have taken on a range of meanings that have transformed a wartime production into a seemingly timeless expression of American identity, both musically and visually. In this Oxford Keynotes volume, distinguished musicologist Annegret Fauser follows the work from its inception in the midst of World War II to its intersections with contemporary American culture, whether in the form of choreographic reinterpretations or musical ones, as by John Williams, in 2009, for the inauguration of President Barack Obama. A concise and lively introduction to the history of the work, its realization on stage, and its transformations over time, this volume combines deep archival research and cultural interpretations to recount the creation of Appalachian Spring as a collaboration between three creative giants of twentieth-century American art: Graham, Copland, and Isamu Noguchi. Building on past and current scholarship, Fauser critiques the myths that remain associated with the work and its history, including Copland's famous disclaimer that Appalachian Spring had nothing to do with the eponymous Southern mountain region. This simultaneous endeavor in both dance and music studies presents an incisive exploration this work, situating it in various contexts of collaborative and individual creation.
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