Tonality in Modern Music

Tonality in Modern Music

Tonality in Modern Music

Tonality in Modern Music

Excerpt

The following study was written within a few months. But its content developed as the result of almost a lifetime's search. Thus a few words about the idea which motivated the search may be justified.

This book is meant as a plea and stimulation for that part of the contemporary compositional endeavour which is outspokenly "modern" in style, perhaps even radically modern, yet at the same time attempts to retain and renew the vitality of expression and human appeal that always characterized great music. In this sense the book may find itself somewhat in opposition to compositional manifestations derived from the concept of atonality and some techniques affiliated with it. But it will also, and perhaps even more strongly, be in opposition to those contrary tendencies that seek a solution in aesthetic eclecticism, in the necessarily futile attempt to fill old shells with artistic life. Instead, the book will set up an artistic goal of its own, neither tied to the rigidity of a new structural scheme, nor directed towards musical formations of the past. Though, therefore, the impulse behind the following deductions is an aesthetic and spiritual one, the presentation of this impulse may often inevitably assume a technical character. However, the reader will understand that the technical terms are merely formulations through which in the musician's vernacular the artistic and human ideas, which are the real issue in this study, can be more accurately described.

There is still one point which should be stressed from the outset, in order to avoid any misunderstanding. Although it is the purpose of this study to describe the evolution of certain principles in contemporary music, the following presentation will have to use works of individual composers to demonstrate these principles. Yet it should be understood that these composers are not introduced and discussed for their own sake as it were, that is, in order to evaluate their general artistic achievement, but only in so . . .

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