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The Music of Toru Takemitsu (Music in the Twentieth Century) 1st Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0521026956
ISBN-10: 0521026954
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Frequently Bought Together

  • The Music of Toru Takemitsu (Music in the Twentieth Century)
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Editorial Reviews


"Burt's work is a model of modernistic clarity, it is limited in scope and chronological in organization; its parts are clearly articulated, and its language is translucent." CHOICE

Book Description

This book is the first complete study in English of the work of the best-known Japanese composer of the twentieth century. It is also the first book in this language to offer an in-depth analysis of his music. T^D-oru Takemitsu's works are increasingly popular with Western audiences and Peter Burt attempts for the first time to shed light on the hitherto rather secretive world of his working methods, as well as place him in context as heir to the rich tradition of Japanese composition in the twentieth century.

Product Details

  • Series: Music in the Twentieth Century (Book 14)
  • Paperback: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (November 2, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521026954
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521026956
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.6 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,337,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Peter Burt was born in London and studied music in the UK at the universities of York, London, and Durham, where he obtained his PhD with a dissertation on the music of Toru Takemitsu in 1998. Subsequently he travelled to Japan to research further materials for a book on the composer, published as 'The Music of Toru Takemitsu' in 2001, and has since published a number of articles on music in various periodicals. He currently divides his time between Vienna, where he is an associate lecturer for the Open University, and Mikulov na Moravě in the Czech Republic.

In recent years he has also occasionally devoted himself to the making of fictions, and published a set of short stories under the collective title 'Fables' in 2007. At the moment he is working on a sequel to the collection, called 'Confessions', planned for release in 2012.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Frank Rebro on July 19, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am something of a Toru Takemitsu freak. I've read every scrap of information about the man that I've gotten my eyes on, including "Confronting Silence" (a collection of his essays, translated to English), "A Memoir of Toru Takemitsu" written by his wife Asaka, "Creative Sources for the Music of Takemitsu" (a short, obscure and expensive book that I found in a university library - a charming little book but don't shell out for it) and a lot of miscellaneous articles. All I haven't checked out yet is "Toru Takemitsu: A Bio-Bibliography" by Siddons, seemingly a combination biography and manifesto of works. Point being, if there is a more complete book on Takemitsu's life and musical practices than Burt's "The Music of Toru Takemitsu", I like to think I would know about it. This is not to say Burt's book ends the need for more Takemitsu literature - I'm still waiting for a glorious huge coffee-table encyclopedia covering who I take to be one of the five best and most important composers of the 20th century. But everything in this book is good - the biographical information, including historical background context on how Western music was brought to Japan, is excellent and lively, and the musical analysis is extremely thorough, technical and packed with examples. Musicians who study this book can easily learn secrets and develop a 'Takemitsu style' in their playing.

Much of the book is fairly technical and not what most people would deem good bedtime reading, however, the last chapter is a wonderful loose rumination on Takemitsu's philosophies and standing as an artist. Here Burt addresses and deflects some of the common criticisms against Takemitsu, such as that his late music is repetitious, "soft", and bears resemblance to Messiaen & Debussy.
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