John Cage

Category : Arts, Music
John Cage

Photo: FAD website. Web. 24 Oct 2014. Even after his death, John Cage remains a controversial figure. Famously challenging the very notion of what

Aaron Copland

Category : Arts, Music
Aaron Copland

American composer Aaron Copland (1900 – 1990). Photo by Erich Auerbach/Getty Images. Source: buffalo.edu Web 22 Oct 2014.   Aaron Copland was one of

Sally Bick, “In the Tradition of Dissent: Music at the New School for Social Research, 1926-33”

Category : Arts, Music

In his 2002 Reflections of an American Composer, Arthur Berger recalls that during the 1920s and 1930s, the musical landscape in New York appeared desolate for American art composers who found themselves “truly underground.” Among such bleak conditions, Berger identifies one bright oasis, isolated from New York’s mainstream concert scene: a place where one could not only hear and discuss the music of important American modernist composers, but also meet them.1 Berger’s oasis was the New School for Social Research, a small private educational institution tucked away in the bohemian community of Greenwich Village.

Source: Journal of the American Musicological Society 66.1 (2013): 129-190

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John Cage, “Experimental Music”

Category : Arts, Music

Formerly, whenever anyone said the music I presented was experimental, I objected. It seemed to me that composers knew what they were doing, and that the experiments that had been made had taken place prior to the finished works, just as sketches are made before paintings and rehearsals precede performances. But, giving the matter further thought, I realized that there is ordinarily an essential difference between making a piece of music and hearing one. A composer knows his work as a woodsman knows a path he has traced and retraced, while a listener is confronted by the same work as one is in the woods by a plant he has never seen before.

Source: Music Teachers National Association, Convention Address (Chicago, 1957)

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Aaron Copland, “How We Listen”

Category : Arts, Music

We all listen to music according to our separate capacities. But, for the sake of analysis, the whole listening process may become clearer if we break it up into its component parts, so to speak. In a certain sense we all listen to music on three separate planes. For lack of a better terminology, one might name these: (1) the sensuous plane, (2) the expressive plane, (3) the sheerly musical plane. The only advantage to be gained from mechanically splitting up the listening process into these hypothetical planes is the clearer view to be had of the way in which we listen.

Source: Aaron Copland: A Reader (NY: Routledge, 2004): 3-7

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The Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences: Music

Category : Music

Music and Musicology. Music and Language. To increase the understanding of the social function of music it is necessary first to examine the relation of music to language. Both music and language employ sound as their medium. Both communicate something from a sound maker to a sound hearer. This “something” is, in all the higher as well as in most so-called primitive cultures, an elaborately stylized selection of sound material which as assumed by both the makers and the hearers of the sound to have communicable content and social value.

Source: The Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences, Vol VIII (NY:Macmillan, 1930-35): 143-165

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