View From Eastman: Good News, Bad News, Hopeful News, a Challenge

James UndercoflerPhoto by Laurie Beck Tarver [Ed. Note: This article, originally given as the 2000 Convocation Address at the Eastman School of Music, is reprinted with the permission of the author from the Spring 2001 edition of Eastman Notes.] The good news is that people are participating in music more than ever. And we have […]

View From the West: The Next Big Thing

Dean SuzukiPhoto by Ryan Suzuki We appear to be due for a new musical style to make itself known. It has been a long time since the last ‘big thing’ in music, and I have been waiting for the next big thing to come down the pike, whatever it might be. Major upheavals in musical […]

View From the East: Abstract Atonality

Greg Sandow A while ago I annoyed some readers by comparing atonal music to abstract art. I’d thought that the comparison was a cliché in conversations about 20th-century culture, but the readers I annoyed didn’t see it that way. They thought I’d called atonal music a dirty name, as if I’d said atonal music was […]

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 […]

Not Just for Breakfast Anymore?

Frank J. OteriPhoto by Melissa Richard As a high school student, my favorite subject after music was probably math. So, as soon as I learned about serial music and its mathematical underpinnings, I was intrigued. I spent the better part of my senior year mulling over the 12-tone score of Alban Berg’s Lulu and when […]

Milton Babbitt: A Discussion in 12 Parts

Milton Babbitt Photo courtesty Milton Babbitt At the Juilliard School of Music October 16, 2001—3:00-5:00 p.m. Videotaped and Transcribed by Amanda MacBlane Conservatories, New Music, and that term “Classical Music” The Lure of Technology Responding to Attacks on Serialism Rap Music Popular Standards On People’s Attachments to Music The Economics of New Music Baseball and […]

48-hour Work Scheduled for Internet Performance

Left to right William Duckworth, Jon Child, Nora FarrellPhoto courtesy Monroe Street Over 100 artists and composers are lined up to perform live as part of a 48-hour continuous webcast, the crowning moment thus far of composer William Duckworth‘s Cathedral 2001 project. This festival of music on the Internet, which will run November 30 through […]