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.
"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]
First Published: 10 Jul 2012
13 Digit ISBN: 9781580464130
Size: 9 x 6
Imprint: University of Rochester Press
Series: Eastman Studies in Music
BIC Class: AV
Details updated on 19 May 2013
- 1 Introduction by Jeremy Gill
- 2 The Morphology of Musical Language
- 3 Diatonic Asymmetry, Enharmonic Spelling, and Multidirectionality
- 4 Intimations of Circularity: Embryonic Circular Sets
- 5 More Evolved Circular Sets
- 6 Fully Evolved Circular Sets
- 7 The Harmonic Envelope
- 8 The Harmonic Field
- 9 The Tonal Field
- 10 The Shadow of Futurity
- 11 A New Circle of Fifths
- 12 Afterword
- 13 George Rochberg Archives
- 14 Celebrating George Rochberg's Eightieth Year
- 15 Notes
- 16 Bibliography
- 17 Index