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The Listening Composer Hardcover – June 11, 1990


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 202 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (June 11, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520069919
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520069916
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,030,046 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

George Perle is one of this country's most respected composers and critics, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in music and a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. His writings on twentieth-century music include the now-standard text Serial Composition and Atonality, Twelve-Tone Tonality, and The Operas of Alban Berg, all available from the University of California Press.

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By theta on May 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
As Perle himself explains, these lectures (separated into chapters here) were originally addressed to varying audiences. Some are easily understandable by the layman; others require technical knowledge of music theory. Some are deeply stimulating, and others are just fun, but all are well-worth reading. I find "The Martian Musicologists" especially amusing. Here Perle excoriates the dubious "set theory" of Allen Forte. The title of this lecture derives from an equally severe (and deservedly so) critique of Allen Forte's "method" by the brilliant musicologist Richard Taruskin.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mikhail Lewis on January 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
In his Bloch Lectures Perle argues that there is indeed a "new common practice" and that is is the "shared premise of the harmonic equivalence of inversionally symmetrical pitch-class relations," among composers such as Varese, Berg, Bartok, Schoenberg, Scriabin, Stravinsky, Webern, and himself.

He illustrates this tradition and its continuity with the common practice period through examples, such as Varese's Density 21.5 and Beethoven, which are analysed insightfully. Along the way he deals with some aesthetic and other issues. Great ideas for analysis or composition.
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