Drawing on previously unpublished sources, this groundbreaking biography of Robert Schumann sheds new light on the great composer's life and work. With the rigorous research of a scholar and the eloquent prose of a novelist, Judith Chernaik takes us into Schumann's nineteenth-century Romantic milieu, where he wore many "masks" that gave voice to each corner of his soul. The son of a book publisher, he infused his pieces with literary ideas. He was passionately original but worshipped the past: Bach and Beethoven, Shakespeare and Byron. He believed in artistic freedom but struggled with constraints of form. His courtship and marriage to the brilliant pianist Clara Wieck--against her father's wishes--is one of the great musical love stories of all time. Chernaik freshly explores his troubled relations with fellow composers Mendelssohn and Chopin, and the full medical diary--long withheld--from the Endenich asylum where he spent his final years enables her to look anew at the mystery of his early death. By turns tragic and transcendent, Schumann shows how this extraordinary artist turned his tumultuous life into music that speaks directly--and timelessly--to the heart.
We're all familiar with the image of a fierce and scowling Beethoven, struggling doggedly to overcome his rapidly progressing deafness. That Beethoven continued to play and compose for more than a decade after he lost his hearing is often seen as an act of superhuman heroism. But the truth is that Beethoven's response to his deafness was entirely human. And by demystifying what he did, we can learn a great deal about Beethoven's music. Perhaps no one is better positioned to help us do so than Robin Wallace, who not only has dedicated his life to the music of Beethoven but also has close personal experience with deafness. One day, at the age of forty-four, Wallace's late wife, Barbara, found she couldn't hear out of her right ear--the result of radiation administered to treat a brain tumor early in life. Three years later, she lost hearing in her left ear as well. Over the eight and a half years that remained of her life, despite receiving a cochlear implant, Barbara didn't overcome her deafness or ever function again like a hearing person. Wallace shows here that Beethoven didn't do those things, either. Rather than heroically overcoming his deafness, as we're commonly led to believe, Beethoven accomplished something even more difficult and challenging: he adapted to his hearing loss and changed the way he interacted with music, revealing important aspects of its very nature in the process. Creating music became for Beethoven a visual and physical process, emanating from visual cues and from instruments that moved and vibrated. His deafness may have slowed him down, but it also led to works of unsurpassed profundity. Wallace tells the story of Beethoven's creative life from the inside out, interweaving it with his and Barbara's experience to reveal aspects that only living with deafness could open up. The resulting insights make Beethoven and his music more accessible, and help us see how a disability can enhance human wholeness and flourishing.
The year 1917 was unlike any other in American history, or in the history of American music. The United States entered World War I, jazz burst onto the national scene, and the German musicians who dominated classical music were forced from the stage. As the year progressed, New Orleans nativesNick LaRocca and Freddie Keppard popularized the new genre of jazz, a style that suited the frantic mood of the era. African-American bandleader James Reese Europe accepted the challenge of making the band of the Fifteenth New York Infantry into the best military band in the country. Orchestralconductors Walter Damrosch and Karl Muck met the public demand for classical music while also responding to new calls for patriotic music. Violinist Fritz Kreisler, pianist Olga Samaroff, and contralto Ernestine Schumann-Heink gave American audiences the best of Old-World musical traditions whilewalking a tightrope of suspicion because of their German sympathies. Before the end of the year, the careers of these eight musicians would be upended, and music in America would never be the same.Making Music American recounts the musical events of this tumultuous year month by month from New Year's Eve 1916 to New Year's Day 1918. As the story unfolds, the lives of these eight musicians intersect in surprising ways, illuminating the transformation of American attitudes toward music bothEuropean and American. In this unsettled time, no one was safe from suspicion, but America's passion for music made the rewards high for those who could balance musical skill with diplomatic savvy.
A theory of the soundtrack is concerned with what belongs to the soundtrack, how a soundtrack is effectively organized, how its status in a multimedia object affects the nature of the object, the tools available for its analysis, and the interpretive regime that the theory mandates fordetermining the meaning, sense, and structure that sound and music bring to film and other audiovisual media. Beyond that, a theory may also delineate the range of possible uses of sound and music, classify the types of relations that films have used for image and sound, identify the centralproblems, and reflect on and describe effective uses of sound in film.This book summarizes and critiques major theories of the soundtrack from roughly 1929 until today. Rather than providing an exhaustive historical survey, it sketches out the range of theoretical approaches that have been applied to the soundtrack since the commercial introduction of the sound film.The basic theoretical framework of each approach is presented, taking into account the explicit and implicit claims about the soundtrack and its relation to other theories. The organization is both chronological and topical, the former in that the chapters move steadily from early film theorythrough models of the classical system to more recent critical theories; the latter in that the chapters highlight central issues for each generation: the problem of film itself, then of image and sound, of adequate analytical-descriptive models, and finally of critical-interpretative models.
In all of the books about rock music, relatively few focus on the purely musical dimensions of the style: dimensions of harmony and melody, tonality and scale, rhythm and meter, phrase structure and form, and emotional expression. The Musical Language of Rock puts forth a new, comprehensivetheoretical framework for the study of rock music by addressing each of these aspects. Eastman music theorist and cognition researcher David Temperley brings together a conventional music-analytic approach with statistical corpus analysis to offer an innovative and insightful approach to the genre.With examples from across a broadly defined rock idiom encompassing everything from the Beatles to Deep Purple, Michael Jackson to Bonnie Raitt, The Musical Language of Rock shows how rock musicians exploit musical parameters to achieve aesthetic and expressive goals - for example, the manipulationof expectation and surprise, the communication of such oppositions as continuity/closure and tension/relaxation, and the expression of emotional states. A major innovation of the book is a three-dimensional model of musical expression-representing valence, energy, and tension-which proves to be apowerful tool for characterizing songs and also for tracing expressive shifts within them. The book includes many musical examples, with sound clips available on the book's website. The Musical Language of Rock presents new insights on the powerful musical mechanisms which have made rock a hallmarkof our contemporary musical landscape.
In November 1838, Frédéric Chopin, George Sand, and her two children sailed to Majorca to escape the Parisian winter. They settled in an abandoned monastery at Valldemossa in the mountains above Palma where Chopin finished what would eventually be recognized as one of the great and revolutionary works of musical Romanticism: his twenty-four Preludes. There was scarcely a decent piano on the island (these were still early days in the evolution of the modern instrument), so Chopin worked on a small pianino made by a local craftsman, Juan Bauza, which remained in their monastic cell for seventy years after he and Sand had left.Chopin's Piano traces the history of Chopin's twenty-four Preludes through the instruments on which they were played, the pianists who interpreted them, and the traditions they came to represent. Yet it begins and ends with the Majorcan pianino, which assumed an astonishing cultural potency during the Second World War as it became, for the Nazis, a symbol of the man and music they were determined to appropriate as their own.After Chopin, the unexpected hero of Chopin's Piano is the great keyboard player Wanda Landowska, who rescued the pianino from Valldemossa in 1913, and who would later become one of the most influential artistic figures of the twentieth century. Paul Kildea shows how her story--a compelling account based for the first time on her private papers--resonates with Chopin's, simultaneously distilling part of the cultural and political history of mid-twentieth century Europe and the United States. After Landowska's flight to America from Paris, which the Germans would occupy only days later, her possessions--including her rare music manuscripts and beloved keyboards--were seized by the Nazis. Only some of these belongings survived the war; those that did were recovered by the Allied armies' Monuments Men and restituted to Landowska's house in France.In scintillating prose, and with an eye for exquisite detail, Kildea beautifully interweaves these narratives, which comprise a journey through musical Romanticism--one that illuminates how art is transmitted, interpreted, and appropriated between generations.
The Relentless Pursuit of Tone: Timbre in Popular Music assembles a broad spectrum of contemporary perspectives on how "sound" functions in an equally wide array of popular music. Ranging from the twang of country banjoes and the sheen of hip-hop strings to the crunch of amplified guitars andthe thump of subwoofers on the dance floor, this volume bridges the gap between timbre, our name for the purely acoustic characteristics of sound waves, and tone, an emergent musical construct that straddles the borderline between the perceptual and the political.Essays engage with the entire history of popular music as recorded sound, from the 1930s to the present day, under four large categories. "Genre" asks how sonic signatures define musical identities and publics; "Voice" considers the most naturalized musical instrument, the human voice, as racial andgendered signifier, as property or likeness, and as raw material for algorithmic perfection through software; "Instrument" tells stories of the way some iconic pop music machines - guitars, strings, synthesizers - got (or lost) their distinctive sounds; "Production" then puts it all together, askingstructural questions about what happens in a recording studio, what is produced (sonic cartoons? rockist authenticity? empty space?) and what it all might mean.
This is a deliberately provocative book crossing many disciplinary boundaries and locating music and art education within a context of contemporary social and political problems in a time of growing disruption and authoritarianism. Intended firstly for music teacher educators, practicing music teachers, and graduate and undergraduate music education majors, the book also speaks to arts and media studies teachers, parents, or others interested in exploring how composing, performing, improvising, conducting, listening, dancing, teaching, learning, or engaging in music or education criticism are all political acts because fundamentally concerned with social values and thus inseparable from power and politics. Among the book's central themes are the danger of democratic deconsolidation in the West and how music education can help counter that threat through the fostering of democratic citizens who are aware of music's ubiquity in their lives and its many roles in shaping public opinion and notions of truth, and for better or for worse! The arts can obviously be used for ill, but as George Orwell demonstrated in his own work, they can also be employed in defense of democracy as modes of political thought and action affording opportunities for the revitalization of society through its re-imagining.
In The Race of Sound Nina Sun Eidsheim traces the ways in which sonic attributes that might seem natural, such as the voice and its qualities, are socially produced. Eidsheim illustrates how listeners measure race through sound and locate racial subjectivities in vocal timbre--the color or tone of a voice. Eidsheim examines singers Marian Anderson, Billie Holiday, and Jimmy Scott as well as the vocal synthesis technology Vocaloid to show how listeners carry a series of assumptions about the nature of the voice and to whom it belongs. Outlining how the voice is linked to ideas of racial essentialism and authenticity, Eidsheim untangles the relationship between race, gender, vocal technique, and timbre while addressing an undertheorized space of racial and ethnic performance. In so doing, she advances our knowledge of the cultural-historical formation of the timbral politics of difference and the ways that comprehending voice remains central to understanding human experience, all the while advocating for a form of listening that would allow us to hear singers in a self-reflexive, denaturalized way.
In The Indispensable Composers, Tommasini offers his own personal guide to the canon - and what greatness really means in classical music. What does it mean to be canonical now? Who gets to say? And do we have enough perspective on the 20th century to even begin assessing it? Tommasini shares impressions from performances he has heard or given, or moments when his own biography proves revealing. As he argues for his particular pantheon of indispensable composers, Anthony Tommasini provides a masterclass in what to listen for and how to understand what music does to us.
ANew York Times Book ReviewEditors' Choice. TheSunday Times(U.K.) Classical Music Book of 2018 and one ofThe Economist's Best Books of 2018. "A magisterial portrait." --Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim,The New York Times Book Review A landmark biography of the Polish composer by a leading authority on Chopin and his time Based on ten years of research and a vast cache of primary sources located in archives in Warsaw, Paris, London, New York, and Washington, D.C., Alan Walker's monumentalFryderyk Chopin: A Life and Times is the most comprehensive biography of the great Polish composer to appear in English in more than a century. Walker's work is a corrective biography, intended to dispel the many myths and legends that continue to surround Chopin.Fryderyk Chopin is an intimate look into a dramatic life; of particular focus are Chopin's childhood and youth in Poland, which are brought into line with the latest scholarly findings, and Chopin's romantic life with George Sand, with whom he lived for nine years. Comprehensive and engaging, and written in highly readable prose, the biography wears its scholarship lightly: this is a book suited as much for the professional pianist as it is for the casual music lover. Just as he did in his definitive biography of Liszt, Walker illuminates Chopin and his music with unprecedented clarity in this magisterial biography, bringing to life one of the nineteenth century's most confounding, beloved, and legendary artists.
Spirituals performed by jubilee troupes became a sensation in post-Civil War America. First brought to the stage by choral ensembles like the Fisk Jubilee Singers, spirituals anchored a wide range of late nineteenth-century entertainments, including minstrelsy, variety, and plays by both black and white companies. In the first book-length treatment of postbellum spirituals in theatrical entertainments, Sandra Jean Graham mines a trove of resources to chart the spiritual's journey from the private lives of slaves to the concert stage. Graham navigates the conflicting agendas of those who, in adapting spirituals for their own ends, sold conceptions of racial identity to their patrons. In so doing they lay the foundation for a black entertainment industry whose artistic, financial, and cultural practices extended into the twentieth century. A companion website contains jubilee troupe personnel, recordings, and profiles of 85 jubilee groups. Please go to: http://www.press.uillinois.edu/books/graham/spirituals/