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An Introduction to the Music of Milton Babbitt Hardcover – October 31, 1994

5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This book provides a helpful introduction to twelve-tone music in general without the use of technical jargon."--Music Educators Journal

About the Author

Andrew Mead is Professor of Music at the University of Michigan. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Princeton Legacy Library
  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (October 31, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691033145
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691033143
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #842,858 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As we gaze over the vast edifice of dodecaphonic music this side of the Atlantic we find a number of profound creations, Stefan Wolpe, Ralph Shapey, Donald Martino, Charles Wuorinen, Ezra Simms, and of course Milton Babbitt. There is a premonition, a harbinger which had marked Babbitt's life, being the first American to welcome Arnold Schoenberg as he arrived from exile,escaping the darkest pages of European history with the then popularity of the fascists in Europe and some cults within the USA,as Father Cooglan, and then Senator McCarthy and Roy Cohn's dithyrambic Purges of left minded American workers.
Andrew Mead does an admirable job, tracing the vast diapasonal musical creations of Babbitt.
Mead admirably divides Babbitt's creativity into useful periods, ones marked with a penchant for theoretical discursis,an elan for the pure structural and durational devices his inventive mind had. It all begins with Schoenberg's evolutionary 12 Tone language,which Babbitt had devloped into further functional divisions of the almost Kabballah like power of the number 12. His Composition for Four Instruments, Flute, Clarinet, Violin and Cello was a primary achievement, although rhythmically tthis period was marked by a persistent provincialism of the parameter of rhythm.It wasb't until the Second String Quartet where such tactile parametric freedoms begin to reveal themselves in an effulgence language.. With the Third creative period Mead identifies here the years 1961 to 1980 we impart ourselves in stil greater expansive dimensions.
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Format: Hardcover
I have always admired Milton Babbitt's work, not least for the subtle beauties of his often misunderstood music -- misunderstood only by those who are not up to the challenge of this demanding, olympean music! Andrew Mead's Introduction is exactly what it claims to be, an introduction--but then how could it be otherwise, considering the vast scope of Babbitt's astounding technique--and a very clear and well written one at that. Most important, Mead clarifies the musical responses and exigencies which brought about this impressive technique in very readable english. The bibliography at the end of the book is also excellent, listing some very important articles in the study of twelve tone music theory. Also recommended is Milton Babbitt's own, very readable, "Words About Music".
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