Henry Cowell

Author: Joel Sachs
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190227923
Format: PDF, ePub
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Joel Sachs offers the first complete biography of one of the most influential figures in twentieth-century American music. Henry Cowell, a major musical innovator of the first half of the century, left a rich body of compositions spanning a wide range of styles. But as Sachs shows, Cowell's legacy extends far beyond his music. He worked tirelessly to create organizations such as the highly influential New Music Quarterly, New Music Recordings, and the Pan-American Association of Composers, through which great talents like Ruth Crawford Seeger and Charles Ives first became known in the US and abroad. As one of the first Western advocates for World Music, he used lectures, articles, and recordings to bring other musical cultures to myriad listeners and students including John Cage and Lou Harrison, who attributed their life work to Cowell's influence. Finally, Sachs describes the tragedy of Cowell's life, being sentenced to fifteen years in San Quentin -- of which he served four -- after pleading guilty to a morals charge that even the prosecutor felt was trivial. Providing a wealth of insight into Cowell's ideas and philosophy, Joel Sachs lays out a much-needed perspective on one of the giants of twentieth-century American music.

The Wind Band Music of Henry Cowell

Author: Jeremy S. Brown
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351239244
Format: PDF
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The Wind Band Music of Henry Cowell studies the compositions for wind band by twentieth-century composer Henry Cowell, a significant and prolific figure in American fine art music from 1914-1965. The composer is noteworthy and controversial because of his radical early works, his interest in non-Western musics, and his retrogressive mature style—along with notoriety for his imprisonment in San Quentin on a morals charge. Eleven chapters are organized both topically and chronologically. An introduction, conclusion, series of eight appendices, bibliography, and discography complete this comprehensive study, along with an audio playlist of representative works, hosted on the CMS website.

Henry Cowell

Author: Joel Sachs
Publisher: OUP USA
ISBN: 0195108957
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Henry Cowell: A Man Made of Music is the first complete biography of one of the most innovative figures in twentieth-century American music. It explores in detail the complexities and impact of his life, work, and teachings.

Essential Cowell

Author: Henry Cowell
Publisher: McPherson & Company
ISBN:
Format: PDF, Mobi
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This volume presents, for the first time, a generous selection from the more than 200 essays and articles written by one of the most original American composers and musical theorists of the twentieth century. There are articles on harmony, melody, notation and music history, essays on vocal innovation, folk music, and the intersection of music with other arts; reviews of concerts and recordings by contemporaries; notes on several of his own worked, and several pieces on his life and experiences as a composer.

New Musical Resources

Author: Henry Cowell
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521499743
Format: PDF, Docs
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Since its original publication in 1930, Henry Cowell's New Musical Resources has become recognized as one of the few seminal technical studies to be written by a twentieth-century composer. In 1971, Virgil Thomson hailed it as "a classic." For this new edition, David Nicholls has provided an explanatory essay and annotations to Cowell's text. The essay traces the sources for the book and attempts to place Cowell's theories in the broader context of musical modernism.

The Rest Is Noise

Author: Alex Ross
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 9781429932882
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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The scandal over modern music has not died down. While paintings by Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock sell for a hundred million dollars or more, shocking musical works from Stravinsky's Rite of Spring onward still send ripples of unease through audiences. At the same time, the influence of modern music can be felt everywhere. Avant-garde sounds populate the soundtracks of Hollywood thrillers. Minimalist music has had a huge effect on rock, pop, and dance music from the Velvet Underground onward. Alex Ross, the brilliant music critic for The New Yorker, shines a bright light on this secret world, and shows how it has pervaded every corner of twentieth century life. The Rest Is Noise takes the reader inside the labyrinth of modern sound. It tells of maverick personalities who have resisted the cult of the classical past, struggled against the indifference of a wide public, and defied the will of dictators. Whether they have charmed audiences with the purest beauty or battered them with the purest noise, composers have always been exuberantly of the present, defying the stereotype of classical music as a dying art. Ross, in this sweeping and dramatic narrative, takes us from Vienna before the First World War to Paris in the twenties, from Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia to downtown New York in the sixties and seventies. We follow the rise of mass culture and mass politics, of dramatic new technologies, of hot and cold wars, of experiments, revolutions, riots, and friendships forged and broken. In the tradition of Simon Schama's The Embarrassment of Riches and Louis Menand's The Metaphysical Club, the end result is not so much a history of twentieth-century music as a history of the twentieth century through its music.

The Music of Conlon Nancarrow

Author: Kyle Gann
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521028078
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Conlon Nancarrow has written the most rhythmically complex music the world has ever known, so complex that it can only be realized on a mechanical player piano. Yet Nancarrow's whirlwinds of notes, sometimes as many as eighty per second, are jazzy and infectiously joyous. The music he composed in almost complete isolation from 1940 on has only recently achieved international fame, and this is the first book to cover in detail Nancarrow's life and compositional achievements. The book includes analysis of sixty-five works and previously unpublished biographical information.

Grainger the Modernist

Author: Suzanne Robinson
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN: 1472420241
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Unaccountably, Percy Grainger has remained on the margins of both American music history and twentieth-century modernism. This volume reveals the well-known composer of popular gems to be a self-described ‘hyper-modernist’ who composed works of uncompromising dissonance, challenged the conventions of folk song collection and adaptation, re-visioned the modern orchestra, experimented with ‘ego-less’ composition and designed electronic machines intended to supersede human application. Grainger was far from being a self-sufficient maverick working in isolation. Through contact with innovators such as Ferrucio Busoni, Léon Theremin and Henry Cowell; promotion of the music of modern French and Spanish schools; appreciation of vernacular, jazz and folk musics; as well as with the study and transcription of non-Western music; he contested received ideas and proposed many radical new approaches. By reappraising Grainger’s social and historical connectedness and exploring the variety of aspects of modernity seen in his activities in the British, American and Australian contexts, the authors create a profile of a composer, propagandist and visionary whose modernist aesthetic paralleled that of the most advanced composers of his day, and, in some cases, anticipated their practical experiments.

Making Music Modern

Author: Carol J. Oja
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 0195162579
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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New York City witnessed a dazzling burst of creativity in the 1920s. In this pathbreaking study, Carol J. Oja explores this artistic renaissance from the perspective of composers of classical and modern music, who along with writers, painters, and jazz musicians, were at the heart of early modernism in America. She also illustrates how the aesthetic attitudes and institutional structures from the 1920s left a deep imprint on the arts over the 20th century. Aaron Copland, George Gershwin, Ruth Crawford Seeger, Virgil Thomson, William Grant Still, Edgar Varèse, Henry Cowell, Leo Ornstein, Marion Bauer, George Antheil-these were the leaders of a talented new generation of American composers whose efforts made New York City the center of new music in the country. They founded composer societies--such as the International Composers' Guild, the League of Composers, the Pan American Association, and the Copland-Sessions Concerts--to promote the performance of their music, and they nimbly negotiated cultural boundaries, aiming for recognition in Western Europe as much as at home. They showed exceptional skill at marketing their work. Drawing on extensive archival material--including interviews, correspondence, popular periodicals, and little-known music manuscripts--Oja provides a new perspective on the period and a compelling collective portrait of the figures, puncturing many longstanding myths. American composers active in New York during the 1920s are explored in relation to the "Machine Age" and American Dada; the impact of spirituality on American dissonance; the crucial, behind-the-scenes role of women as patrons and promoters of modernist music; cross-currents between jazz and concert music; the critical reception of modernist music (especially in the writings of Carl Van Vechten and Paul Rosenfeld); and the international impulse behind neoclassicism. The book also examines the persistent biases of the time, particularly anti-Semitisim, gender stereotyping, and longstanding racial attitudes.

Lou Harrison

Author: Leta E. Miller
Publisher:
ISBN:
Format: PDF
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Music's inclusivity--its potential to unite cultures, disciplines, and individuals--defined the life and career of Lou Harrison (1917-2003). Beyond studying with leading composers of the avant-garde such as Henry Cowell and Arnold Schoenberg, conducting Charles Ives's Pulitzer Prize-winning Third Symphony, and staging high-profile percussion concerts with John Cage, Harrison has achieved fame for his distinctive blending of cultures--from the Chinese opera, Indonesian gamelan, and the music of Native Americans to modernist dissonant counterpoint. Miller and Lieberman also pull readers into Harrison's rich world of cross-fertilization through an exploration of his outspoken stance on pacifism, gay rights, ecology, and respect for minorities--all of which directly impacted his musical works. Though Harrison was sometimes accused by contemporaries of "cultural appropriation," Miller and Lieberman's brisk study makes it clear why he is now lauded as an imaginative pioneer for his integration of Asian and Western musics, as well as for his work in the development of the percussion ensemble, his use of found and invented instruments, and his explorations of alternative tuning systems. Harrison's compositions are examined in detail through reference to an accompanying CD of representative recordings.