Back Home Components Scholarship and Research Volume 25

Volume 25

In 1933, the twentieth-century Russian composer Alexander Tcherepnin (1899-1977) arrived at a crucial time in his creative life: he was searching for a new direction or impetus for his composing. His own music had reached a kind of impasse where complexities (interpoint and nine-step scale)1 made composition a difficult task,…
A sound iterated, reiterated, then—(silence)—again: fixed, secure. A point in space? Possibly, but now merely a point. Call it "M3." COMMENTARY: "Major-3"? "Major" because slightly larger than its immanent assailant, "m3" ("minor-3"), that enters shortly. "3" in both cases because both are somehow the same; both are protagonist and antagonist;…
Do American musicologists and critics make ideology-free judgments? To what extent is such a thing possible or desirable? It is evident that art and music which clearly demonstrate social or political intent may be evaluated to advantage in those terms. But what of music which has traditionally been thought of…
Virtually everyone in my family is a musician, professional or amateur, and I was brought up with many American works in our daily music-making. No point was made of it particularly; it was simply assumed that American music was an equal, valuable, and pleasurable component of our musical lives. It…
In the last years of his life, Johann Sebastian Bach engaged himself in three projects which set forth the intricate laws of counterpoint. The Musical Offering, The Art of the Fugue, and the Goldberg Variations were thus created to exemplify in musical form the technique of what Bach saw as…
When George Frideric Handel was buried in Westminster Abbey in 1759, three thousand people attended the ceremony, and the press of the day reminded its readers that "Handel was to music what Mr. Pope was in poetry."1 During 1985, the three hundredth year of Handel's birth, an exploration of the…
In the course of preparing the introduction to the Pierpont Morgan Library facsimile of Mozart's C-major Piano Concerto, K. 467 (to be published by Dover), I faced for the Nth time the definitely sticky problem of mounting tiny cutouts of musical staves to form a musical example. Very small examplets…
Without question, specialized university courses on women composers have served and continue to serve vital purposes. Most importantly, they introduce a corpus of excellent music to advanced students, many of whom will become teachers and may share their new awareness. Furthermore, specialized courses challenge, among advanced students, threadbare habits of…
The twin issues of motivation and leadership strategy are among the most significant and relevant concerns in music pedagogy. Yet, the average music teacher has, at best, only a passing acquaintance with the body of research and data available in these areas. Those who have studied the psychology of music…
The development of contemporary uses for music in therapy is generally attributed to the twentieth century or even the late nineteenth century; however, a text on the subject was published in 1729. The book, Medicina Musica, or, a Mechanical Essay on the Effects of Singing, Musick, and Dancing on Human…
Traditional Italian tempo indications (tempo terminology) create great uncertainty for the performer, and contemporary performance practice bears witness to this problem. One can hear different artists play the same composition at various tempi, and evidently, each of them sincerely believes he correctly understands the tempo direction of the composer. Discrepancies…
One of the most marvelous descriptions of the scandalous reception which greeted the 1913 premiere of Stravinsky's Le Sacre du printemps was that of the critic van Vechten who, completely caught up in the excitement of the moment, neglected to notice that the young man standing behind him was beating…
Innumerable history textbooks record Napoleon's 1799 overthrow of the French Government. Five years would elapse before historians could begin to record Admiral Horatio Nelson's victory at the western entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar, a British victory over the French fleet which, of course, gave England undisputed control of the…