"MAXIMUM CLARITY" AND OTHER WRITINGS ON MUSIC
Described by New York Times critic John Rockwell as “one of the best non-famous composers this country has to offer,” Ben Johnston reconceives familiar idioms--ranging from jazz to Southern hymns--using just intonation. Johnston studied with Darius Milhaud, Harry Partch, and John Cage, and is best known for his String Quartet No. 4, a complex series of variations on Amazing Grace. This volume reveals he is also a truly literate composer, who writes and speaks about music with eloquence and charm. “Maximum Clarity” and Other Writings on Music spans forty years and brings together forty-one of Johnston’s most important writings, including many rare and several previously unpublished selections. They include position papers, theoretical treatises, program notes, historical reflections, lectures, excerpts from interviews, and letters, and they cover a broad spectrum of concerns--from the technical exegesis of microtonality to the personal and the broadly humanistic. The volume concludes with a discography of all commercially available recordings of Johnston’s music.
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acoustical adjacency ratios aesthetic American artistic audience avant-garde basic Ben Johnston Cage’s Carmilla century chord chromatic chromatic scale complex composers composition consonance consonance and dissonance context culture cycles cyclic deﬁnite derived diatonic diatonic scale difﬁcult dissonance duration electronic emotional ensemble equal temperament European extended just intonation ﬁnd ﬁrst ﬁxed ﬂat harmonic Harry Partch inﬂection inﬂuence instruments intervals John Cage Johnston kind La Monte Young lattice listener major third mathematical means melodic metrical Microtonal Piano minor movement music theory musicians notation notes octave one’s orchestra organization overtone series patterns perception perfect ﬁfth perfect fourth performance pitch relations pitch system possible practice prime number problem proportional Pythagorean ratio scale Records reﬂects relationships rhythm rhythmic scalar order Schoenberg serial signiﬁcance Sonata sound speciﬁc String Quartet sufﬁciently symbol syntonic comma techniques tempo tion tonal tone tonic tradition triad triadic tuning twelve-tone University of Illinois vibration Western music