An Introduction to Twentieth Century Music

By Peter S. Hansen | Go to book overview

the problem of change in musical style. "One hears a good deal, these days," he said, "of the developing 'dehumanization' of music and the other arts. . . . This is all very well. and not without plausibility; but we are speaking of a movement that is widespread among the younger composers of Europe, that has begun to take root in the United States, and that above all is in constant development and evolution. Many ideas are being tested, and many are quickly discarded. If we regard certain manifestations with raised eyebrows, that is our privilege as members of an older generation, as it is always our privilege to point out flaws in logic. But if it is also our prerogative to insist on the primacy of the creative imagination, and to minimize the decisive importance of theoretical speculation, we are at the same time obliged to abide by our own premises, and look towards artistic results rather than towards the ideas by which these are rationalized. By the same token it is well to remember that art, considered on the most objective level, reflects the attitudes of the individuals that produce it. The danger of dehumanization is a real and patent one, and the individual can, and certainly should, resist any dehumanizing tendency with all his strength. But this cannot, and must not, blind us to the claims of whatever is genuinely new and vital in the arts, or, once more cause us to forget that it is the product, not the process, that is of real importance and that the creative imagination, at its most vital, has revealed itself through many and often surprising channels. There is no reason to believe that it will not continue to do so, as long as creative vitality--which for musicians means above all the intense love of music--continues to persist."11


SUGGESTED READINGS

One of best sources of information on electronic music of various kinds is a periodical Die Reihe, published in an English translation by Theodore Presser Company, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania (in association with Universal Edition, Vienna.) The first issue (German, 1955; English, 1958) was devoted to electronic music and contained articles by many of the composers closely associated with the movement. The third issue, called Musical Craftsmanship (German, 1957; English,

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An Introduction to Twentieth Century Music
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Epigraph iii
  • Title Page iv
  • List of Illustrations vi
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • Part One - 1900-1914 1
  • Chapter I - Nineteenth Century Background 3
  • Suggested Readings 9
  • Chapter II - Paris 11
  • Chapter III - Paris: Other Composers 33
  • Suggested Readings 52
  • Chapter IV - Germany and Austria 53
  • Suggested Readings 74
  • Chapter V - Music in America 75
  • Chapter VI - Experiments in Music 87
  • Part Two - 1914-1945 105
  • Chapter VII - Paris After World War I 107
  • Chapter VIII - Les Trois 125
  • Chapter IX - Stravinsky 151
  • Chapter X - Schoenberg 175
  • Chapter XI - Berg and Webern 197
  • Suggested Readings 218
  • Chapter XII - Bartók 223
  • Suggested Reading 238
  • Chapter XIII - Hindemith 249
  • Suggested Reading 265
  • Chapter XIV - Soviet Russia 267
  • Suggested Reading 287
  • Chapter XV - England 289
  • Suggested Reading 303
  • Chapter XVI - Music in America 305
  • Suggested Reading 337
  • Part III - 1945-1960 343
  • Chapter XVII - New Directions 345
  • Suggested Reading 357
  • References 359
  • Composers 365
  • Index 367
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