Victoria BondPhoto courtesy Victoria Bond Out of the Serial Box The question, “Is serialism still relevant?” deserves attention. There was a time in the not-too-distant past when such a question would seem frivolous, when 12-tone was the accepted contemporary language, and anyone who wrote tonal music was considered hopelessly retarded. However, today we live in […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Victoria Bond, Erik Schaepers, Donald Erb, and Dan Welcher respond.
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 […]
Minimalism hit me in my teens like a bolt of fate. About 1972 (I was 16), Steve Achternacht on radio station WRR-FM in Dallas played Terry Riley’s In C on the air. His janglingly repetitive octave C’s started up (which we learned years later had been Steve Reich’s suggestion to hold the piece together), and I didn’t know how to react. This was crazy. All that pulsating repetition gave me a headache, every time I listened. But I kept listening anyway.