Milton Babbitt: Words about Music
Many consider Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Milton Babbitt to be the preeminent figure in post-World War II American music. Beyond the extraordinary power of his music, he is also, as he says, "somewhat known as a talker." In fact, he is renowned as an energetic teacher and inspired lecturer.
In 1983 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Babbitt presented a concise summary of his most essential musical insights in a series of lectures and seminars. These are gathered here, presenting for the first time in book form a comprehensive overview of the subjects that have formed the core of his teaching for the past forty years.
Babbitt's central concern in these lectures is the twelve-tone tradition with which he is so closely identified. His discussion of this tradition ranges from close consideration of specific compositional problems to frank evaluation of his own position in that tradition. In his characteristically penetrating way, Babbitt discusses the most controversial issues in twentieth-century music, from serialism and atonality to the responsibility of the listener and the place of music in the university.
Until now, few have had direct exposure to Babbitt's ideas. In Madison, he spoke to a variety of audiences and, because of the pedagogical context, his presentation was direct and explanatory. This volume preserves the dazzling constructions and spontaneous excitement of his spoken language.
At the time of publication, Milton Babbitt was William Shubael Conant Professor of Music Emeritus at Princeton University. He has been showered with awards during his long and distinguished career, including the Pulitzer Prize (1982) and a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship (1986). He was a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Chapter FiveProfessional Theorists and Their Influence 121
Chapter TwoContextual Counterpoint
Chapter ThreeLargeScale Harmonic Organization
Chapter FourQuestions of Partitioning
The relationships between trichords and hexachords Various partionings of
Chapter 6The Unlikely Survival of Serious Music
The intellectual and social reorientation of music in this century as a result of com
Other editions - View all
absolutely associations Bach bass beginning Berg canon chorale chord chromatic hexachord circle of fifths clarinet collection combinatorial complement composers composition contextual contrapuntal counterpoint course create aggregates David Lewin defined dyads Erpf exactly example 4-1 fermata Fourth Quartet functional going happens harmony hear hexachord in example hierarchization idea index number interval intervallic look major seconds maps mean measure Milton Babbitt minor third motive never note-against-note Notice notion obviously Opus ordering original hexachord parallelism particular piano pitch classes pitch dyads play precompositional problem regard relationship retrograde inversion Schoenberg Schoenbergian second hexachord sense simply six notes Stravinsky structure symmetrical Symphony talk tell tetrachords theme theorists theory there's third tonal music tones tonic total chromatic transposed transpositional level triad trichord Tristan chord tritone twelve pitch classes twelve-tone piece twelve-tone set verticals violin voice Waring's problem Webern word write wrote