A Dance of Polar Opposites

A Dance of Polar Opposites

The Continuing Transformation of Our Musical Language

George Rochberg

Edited by Jeremy Gill

Hardback
$85.00

University of Rochester Press

Overview

Overview

The renowned American composer George Rochberg (1918-2005) distilled a lifetime of insights about Western music across some three hundred years in A Dance of Polar Opposites: The Continuing Transformation of Our Musical Language.
In A Dance of Polar Opposites: The Continuing Transformation of Our Musical Language, the renowned American composer George Rochberg distilled a lifetime of insights about Western music across some three hundred years. Rochberg describes how the asymmetrical tonal language of the late eighteenth century--the era of Haydn and Mozart--evolved through the gradual incursion of symmetry into a system based on the juxtaposition of tonal and atonal, asymmetrical and symmetrical--as seen in notable composers such as Webern, Prokofiev, and Rochberg himself.

A Dance of Polar Opposites takes us inside the composer's studio, reveals how he assessed his and our musical past, and paints a picture of what he believed our musical future may be.

George Rochberg (1918-2005), one of the most respected composers and writers about music in the second half of the twentieth century, was a finalist twice for the Pulitzer Prize and longtime professor at University of Pennsylvania. His writings include The Aesthetics of Survival: A Composer's View of Twentieth-Century Music (which won the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award); the memoir Five Lines, Four Spaces; and a volume of letters.

Jeremy Gill was a student of George Rochberg and is a composer, conductor, and pianist.

Details

July 2012
1 black and white, 117 line illustrations
186 pages
9x6 in
Eastman Studies in Music
ISBN: 9781580464130
Format: Hardback
University of Rochester Press
BIC AVH, 2AB
BISAC MUS020000, MUS041000
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Related Titles

Table of Contents

Introduction by Jeremy Gill
The Morphology of Musical Language
Diatonic Asymmetry, Enharmonic Spelling, and Multidirectionality
Intimations of Circularity: Embryonic Circular Sets
More Evolved Circular Sets
Fully Evolved Circular Sets
The Harmonic Envelope
The Harmonic Field
The Tonal Field
The Shadow of Futurity
A New Circle of Fifths
Afterword
George Rochberg Archives
Celebrating George Rochberg's Eightieth Year
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Reviews

A fresh perspective on a still-fresh topic. . . . Gives musical scholarship a living and breathing pulse. . . . Invaluable to composers writing in the wake of the post-tonal era of music. . . . Would be a great addition to a variety of courses on twentieth-century music. . . . Easily belongs on the shelves of university libraries. MUSIC REFERENCE SERVICES QUARTERLY (Jacob Kohut) A Dance of Polar Opposites is (in this expertly edited version) by some way Rochberg's most efficiently organised and relevantly illustrated statement. MUSICAL TIMES (Arnold Whittall)

With this unique and stunning work, Rochberg opens the door for readers to look freshly at both tonal and atonal music of the past. It includes passionate views on masterworks from Mozart to Webern and should be a must read for any composer, music student, or lover of our art. --Norman Fischer, Herbert S. Autrey Professor of Cello, Rice University, and former cellist, Concord String Quartet

Compelling. . . . Rochberg's keen look at the past clearly lays a path for the future. CHOICE (J. J. Leary-Warsaw)

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