This book undertakes two related tasks: to provide effective procedures and techniques for the analysis of contemporary tone-structures, and to demonstrate the application of those procedures and techniques in a number of intensive analyses. It is not a chronological or biographical survey of contemporary music, nor does it set forth a philosophy or a psychology of music. Nevertheless, a point of view toward all these areas is implicit throughout, for I believe that it is indeed a timid soul (and an unrealistic one) that tries to isolate a study, no matter how systematic and rigorous it claims to be, out of fear that it might trespass on neighboring fields of inquiry.
The complete scores to all but three of the works analyzed (the three extended works) are included, which considerably facilitates reading the book. A further aid is provided by the analytic sketches, which constitute a visual means for comprehending structure, a means which is often more direct and more valuable than the verbal commentary.
As for the selection of the works analyzed, the three longer compositions, Stravinsky Petrouchka, Bartók Fourth String Quartet, and Schoenberg Phantasy for Violin with Piano Accompaniment, were chosen because they met the following requirements: (1) Their composers have exerted considerable influence on the contemporary movement, and (2) each work is representative of its composers mature creative powers. The . . .