Critical and Historical Essays: Lectures Delivered at Columbia University

Critical and Historical Essays: Lectures Delivered at Columbia University

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Critical and Historical Essays: Lectures Delivered at Columbia University

Critical and Historical Essays: Lectures Delivered at Columbia University

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Excerpt

The present work places before the public a phase of the professional activity of Edward MacDowell quite different from that through which his name became a household word in musical circles, that is, his work as a composer. In the chapters that follow we become acquainted with him in the capacity of a writer on phases of the history and æsthetics of music.

It was in 1896 that the authorities of Columbia University offered to him the newly created Chair of Music, for which he had been strongly recommended as one of the leading composers of America. After much thought he accepted the position, and entered upon his duties with the hope of accomplishing much for his art in the favorable environment which he fully expected to find. The aim of the instruction, as he planned it, was: "First, to teach music scientifically and technically, with a view to training musicians who shall be competent to teach and compose. Second, to treat music historically and æsthetically as an element of liberal culture." In carrying out his plans he conducted a course, which, while "outlining the purely technical side of music," was intended to give a "general idea of music from its historical and æsthetic side." Supplementing this, as an advanced course, he also gave one which took up the development of musical forms, piano music, modern orchestration and symphonic . . .

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