Author Archives: James Reel

Shelf Life: How Musical Reference Materials Treat American Composers

The two leading English-language reference works on composers of classical music, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, brought out new, vastly expanded editions in 2001. Nearby library shelves are sagging with smaller, more specialized recent books offering information on American composers living and dead. An unprecedented amount […]

Dirty Dozens: A HyperHistory of Serialism

James Reel Originally, Retrograded, Inverted, and Retrograded & InvertedSerial permutations by Amanda MacBlane A fad diet called serialism swept the American academy some 40 years ago. It promised to shed the fat of Romanticism, loosen the gristle of Futurism, tone the flab of Impressionism. Serialism was scientific, developed and refined by the leading minds of […]