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Volume 24

In the Fall, 1977 issue of Symposium, Jerrold Ross declared in his article entitled "The Performing Arts on Campus" that schools of music across the country have become "victims of our own success." His article addressed the matter of our establishing a home for the performing arts on campus, and…
An Essay on Word Painting1 Any meaningful attempt to appreciate a piece of vocal music must begin with its text, if it has one.2 Listener, analyst, critic and performer must all take the text as their starting point for the simple and obvious reason that that was where the composer…
The relationships between music history, music theory, and composition at times seem so tenuous today that it is easy to forget that those three areas of specialization have split off from one another only recently, and that the practice of one can hardly be carried out successfully without some interpenetration…
During the past decade several of Schoenberg's musical compositions have begun to take their places in the standard concert repertoire. Fine recorded performances have been made available of each of his mature works; and successful live performances of major works, such as Moses und Aron and the Variations for Orchestra,…
Dear Re: A Glimpse into the Six Songs of Rachmaninoff's Opus 38Written by Anne SimpsonSymposium Volume 24 Was Sergei's fondness for "Re" an affaire de coeur or an affaire de sentiments? It does not matter, for it brought to fruition six beauteous songs. In 1912 the population of greater Moscow…
If we celebrated 1962 as the centenary of Debussy's birth, then we might also remark that 1982 was another centenary, that of the first performance of his music.* On May 12, 1882, Debussy premiered the mélodies "Les Roses" and "Fête galante" with his benefactor Blanche Vasnier, and he performed the…
Since the present discussion deals with music, and since music deals with number as it relates to sound, mathematics must be discussed first.1 . . . . . Walter Odington, ca 1340 Definitions of musicology usually make reference to the use of scientific methods that the discipline, whatever its focus,…
O what music there will be in Chicago From Yankee Doodle thro' to Handel's Largo. The orchestras will play And the brass bands too, they say, For that great Columbian Fair at Chicago. We'll hear such melodies with grandest chords and harmonies When the singers gathered there shall raise their…
In view of the extensiveness of the commentary on Beethoven's music it is perhaps unusual that there exists a short passage in the opening movement of the first "Rasumovsky" Quartet (Op. 59, No. 1) which analysts have either avoided or have dealt with largely as an inexplicable oddity (see Ex.…
Antony Hopkins' recent popular introduction to Beethoven's symphonies focuses for a page or two on a short passage in the Fourth Symphony—measures 121-32 of the first movement.1 Hopkins shows how the passage is like a comparable one in the Fifth Symphony (first movement, measures 196ff.); he also explains its kinship…
Know the Score is a course in symphonic music offered in the greater St. Louis community for those who wish to become further acquainted with musical literature and performance, specifically the music and musicians of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. The classes for each of the sessions of the course…
While living in Vienna, probably during his tenure as Director of the Opera, Gustav Mahler sketched a Scherzo in C Minor and a Presto in F Major. These drafts do not match any of the movements in the ten known symphonies. They may constitute parts of a single work unknown…
Toward the beginning of this century, the German sociologist Max Weber had the opportunity to visit the United States. He later wrote about his American experience in a charming essay entitled Wissenschaft als Beruf (The Intellectual Profession as a Vocation; Berlin, 1919).1 Weber was a keen observer of social customs…
Music in the public schools is not expendable. During this period of tumultuous change in public education, we have been given no choice but to reconsider carefully and objectively all that we have been committed to throughout most of this century. It is incumbent upon us to face the difficult…
Tannhäuser is virtually unique in Wagner's output. If he did indeed make the oft-quoted remark ascribed to him by Cosima, "I still owe the world a Tannhäuser,"1 we can only assume that even in his last years, Wagner felt that this much-revised opera was fundamentally unfinished. From the beginning, Wagner…
The music of the twentieth century comprises a bewildering array of "isms," an abundance of individual styles, and an endless succession of "new techniques." From the impressionism of Debussy's La Mer, in 1905, to the minimalism of Steve Reich's Tehillim, in 1982, there is no single, direct road, but rather…
Where is musical composition today? Whatever happened to all the exuberant manifestos of the fifties and sixties? Whatever happened to the generation who so confidently condemned every preconceived notion regarding traditional musical structure? What are the problems and issues facing a young composer? We are no longer living in the…
The idea of this cosmic music maker had been with me as far back as I can remember, but it was during my sojourn in Paris that my eyes became really opened to the possibilities of this Pied Piper who strikes up the note of the times for mankind. And…
Historians usually have found sound reasons for defining historical periods as qualitatively different eras marked off by events that serve merely as benchmarks. They recognize that such events were most often symptoms rather than generators of change, that few if any of the witnesses of those events noticed changes in…
It is the nature of scientific inquiry to focus on the definable and to seek answers to questions which further refine these definitions. The lesson of history is perhaps in what we learn when we trace the path we have taken in these inquiries and when we display and understand…
Even before the plane I took to Paris touched ground three years ago, a seemingly negligible observation made me acutely aware of the difference in attitude taken by Europeans towards the serious music of their culture from that of Americans (and the type of musician and/or listener to which I…
The University of Wisconsin-River Falls, created over a century ago as a state-supported normal school, has progressed, like so many similar institutions, from state collegehood toward a designation as an "emerging" institution during the 1960s and, finally, toward presumed full "emergence" in the 1980s as a multi-purpose university. Acquired along…
Dear Catherine, Visiting America for the first time after having spent your childhood in Germany and the greater part of your adult life in England, you were predictably both disappointed and exhilarated by what you saw here. You were also often perplexed by some of our strange ways, the eagerness…
During the Nineteenth Century, composers used various means to experiment with and challenge the commonly accepted boundaries of tonality. Consequently, ambiguous tonalities frequently resulted during this period. Arnold Schoenberg1 refers to "floating" and "suspended" tonalities, the floating being those which vacillate between two or more keys, whereas the suspended tonalities…
Ugh! Why pink? As surely as commencement rolls around every year, this exclamation is heard at universities and colleges throughout the country. From faculty and graduates alike comes the question: "Why was pink chosen as the academic color for music?"1 The answer to the question is not a simple one…
Verdi and Wagner appeared, in my student days, to be a pair of giants on opposite banks of a river, glowering at one another across the operatic stream in a confusing paradox. The paradox was that while every book I read about opera gave all the gold stars to Wagner,…
It is only in recent studies of Byzantine music that composers of medieval Byzantine chant have been examined.1 Not unlike composers of Western medieval music such as Leonin, Perotin, and Machaut, little is known about most Byzantine musicians. Nevertheless, renowned Byzantine musicians and composers of the late Middle Ages did…