Intimate Music: A History of the Idea of Chamber Music

By Neil Minturn; Micheal J. Budds | Go to book overview

PREFACE
From the Author

Work on this project involved me in cultural analysis and film theory as well as music theory—my field of expertise. The Band’s music and musicianship guaranteed that the music theory research would be gratifying and comfortable. Situating The Band in American culture and thinking about The Last Waltz qua film were new enterprises for me. Of course, studying sources on film and culture has been invaluable. At least equally valuable, however, was a visit I made to Woodstock and Saugerties, New York, near the beginning of this adventure. On 29 September 2000, I spent a lovely afternoon and evening with Garth Hudson and his wife Maud. We began by talking about music and about The Band, and Garth generously demonstrated and discussed blues piano. Later that evening during dinner, our discussion touched on the history of jazz as well. I was fortunate to be able to stay with friends in the area, and the next day many others showed up to visit and to make basil pesto, a collective operation. There was no central authority, but soon people were cleaning basil outside and blending and storing it in the kitchen. I could not help but reflect on the cooperation and intimacy of our culinary project and its relation to The Band and the era in which it emerged.

Like the pesto preparation, this book is the result of a collective operation. I had several helpful discussions with my Canadian colleague, Les Black. I appreciate both his gentleness in reminding me that Canadian and American cultures are different and his insight into those differences. Natalie Giboney at Freelance Permissions helped me secure permissions and saved me untold grief. My friends in upstate New York have been Band fans forever. Two of them I will mention specifically: I stayed with Suzanne Pollard and Cliff Shock in September 2000; Bob Beyfuss, botanist extraordinaire, shared with me some of his personal ginseng stash, which I was able then to share with Garth.

This book is being published by The College Music Society, which has also been generous in helping me with travel funds and permission fees. My editor, Michael Budds, has constantly prodded and demanded, read with a brutally sharp and critical eye, and encouraged me at every step. His efforts have improved this book in ways I could not foresee.

Most importantly, I have benefited from the support, patience, and understanding of my family—Barbara, Hannah, and Eric. They have stood by me when my work pulled me away from them more than it should have. The problems and shortcomings that have eluded these people are my responsibility alone.

Neil Minturn
Columbia, Missouri

-vii-

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