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Look Inside Twelve-Tone Music in America

Twelve-Tone Music in America

$29.99 (G)

Part of Music in the Twentieth Century

  • Date Published: May 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107637313

$ 29.99 (G)
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About the Authors
  • Most histories of American music have ignored the presence of twelve-tone music before and during the Second World War, and virtually all have ignored its presence after 1970, even though so many major composers continued (and continue) to compose serially. This book provides a comprehensive history of twelve-tone music in America, and compels a revised picture of American music since 1925 as a dynamic steady-state within which twelve-tone serialism has long been, and still remains, a persistent presence: a vigorous and unbroken tradition for more than eighty years. Straus outlines how, instead of a rigid orthodoxy, American twelve-tone music is actually a flexible, loosely-knit cultural practice. The book provides close readings of thirty-seven American twelve-tone works by composers including Copland, Babbitt, Stravinsky and Carter, among many others, who represent a typically American diversity of background and life circumstances, and strips away the many myths surrounding twelve-tone music in America.

    • Provides a revisionist history of this controversial and often misunderstood repertoire of music
    • Analyzes thirty-seven pieces of twelve-tone music which have been carefully chosen to represent a wide range of dates, places of origin, religion, race and gender
    • Sees American twelve-tone music as flexible and highly individual, placing it in a large theoretical and historical context
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "A worth-while introduction to American twelve-tonality."
    --The Opera Journal

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107637313
    • length: 326 pages
    • dimensions: 244 x 170 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.52kg
    • contains: 79 music examples
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction
    Part I. Thirty-Seven Ways to Write a Twelve-Tone Serial Piece:
    1. 'Ultra-modern' composers
    2. European immigrants
    3. Postwar pioneers
    4. An older generation (composers born before 1920)
    5. Some serial neoclassicists, tonalists, jazzers, and minimalists
    6. A middle generation (composers born 1920–40)
    7. A younger generation (composers born after 1940)
    Part II. American Twelve-Tone Serialism in Context:
    8. The composition of twelve-tone music in America
    9. The history of twelve-tone music in America
    10. The reception of twelve-tone music in America
    11. Conclusion.

  • Author

    Joseph N. Straus, City University of New York
    Joseph N. Straus is Distinguished Professor in the Music Department, Graduate Center, City University of New York.

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