An Introduction to Twentieth Century Music

By Peter S. Hansen | Go to book overview
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A composer's horizon cannot be far-reaching enough: his desire to know, to comprehend, must incite, inspire, and drench every phase of his works. HINDEMITH

Paul Hindemith has had an extraordinarily rich life in music, for there is scarcely a field he has not touched, from the most practical to the most theoretical. He performs on many instruments, ancient and modern, and plays the viola with the mastery of a great artist. A prolific composer of music of all dimensions and for many media, he is also a conductor who has led many of the world's great orchestras. As an inspiring teacher he has influenced a generation of composers, and his textbooks in basic musicianship and harmony are widely employed. Furthermore, he is a theorist in the real sense in that his elaborately developed theory of the relationship of tones is one of the few that is comprehensive enough to include complex contemporary styles along with the music of the past.

Hindemith has played many roles, and the public has thought of him successively as a brash young radical, a wild expressionist, an unfeeling neoclassicist, a mature, respected, neoromantic master, and finally, a reactionary. Each of these labels has been appropriate at one time or another.

He was born in Hanau, central Germany, and attended the Frankfurt Conservatory. He was a spectacularly


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An Introduction to Twentieth Century Music


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