Read Style and Idea: Selected Writings, 60th Anniversary Edition by Arnold Schoenberg Free Online
Book Title: Style and Idea: Selected Writings, 60th Anniversary Edition|
The author of the book: Arnold Schoenberg
Edition: University of California Press
Date of issue: October 13th 2010
ISBN 13: 9780520266070
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 324 KB
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Reader ratings: 3.5
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This collection of essays by Arnold Schoenberg is not exactly a fun or completely pleasurable read, but it is very illuminating and very worthwhile for anyone interested in modern music. Schoenberg was very intelligent and had a truly impressive understanding of music and ability to convey his analysis of various works. His prose style is not always beautiful, but it is always clear and expresses his ideas well. And at times, especially when responding to critics, Schoenberg can produce a withering sarcasm that is subtly amusing.
Reading Style and Idea all at one go did give me the advantage of understanding what was truly important and even crucial to Schoenberg, through seeing which ideas came up repeatedly, across many years and many subjects. He was concerned above all with the clear conveying of a musical idea. He really believed that he had, in his twelve-tone compositional technique, discovered the next logical step in the development of Western art music and that he had thus secured the future of music. Perhaps at times he seems a little too sure of its centrality. He had extremely exacting and high standards for music and musicians (especially composers). I very much admired his intellect and insight.
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Read information about the authorHe was an Austrian composer, associated with the expressionist movement in German poetry and art, and leader of the Second Viennese School. He used the spelling Schönberg until after his move to the United States in 1934 (Steinberg 1995, 463), whereupon he altered it to Schoenberg "in deference to American practice" (Foss 1951, 401), though one writer claims he made the change a year earlier (Ross 2007, 45).
Schoenberg's approach, both in terms of harmony and development, is among the major landmarks of 20th-century musical thought; at least three generations of composers in the European and American traditions have consciously extended his thinking or, in some cases, passionately reacted against it. During the rise of the Nazi Party in Austria, his music was labeled, alongside jazz, as degenerate art.
Schoenberg was widely known early in his career for his success in simultaneously extending the traditionally opposed German Romantic styles of Brahms and Wagner. Later, his name would come to personify pioneering innovations in atonality that would become the most polemical feature of 20th-century art music. In the 1920s, Schoenberg developed the twelve-tone technique, a widely influential compositional method of manipulating an ordered series of all twelve notes in the chromatic scale. He also coined the term developing variation, and was the first modern composer to embrace ways of developing motifs without resorting to the dominance of a centralized melodic idea.
Schoenberg was also a painter, an important music theorist, and an influential teacher of composition; his students included Alban Berg, Anton Webern, Hanns Eisler, Egon Wellesz, and later John Cage, Lou Harrison, Earl Kim, and many other prominent musicians. Many of Schoenberg's practices, including the formalization of compositional method, and his habit of openly inviting audiences to think analytically, are echoed in avant-garde musical thought throughout the 20th century. His often polemical views of music history and aesthetics were crucial to many of the 20th century's significant musicologists and critics, including Theodor Adorno, Charles Rosen, and Carl Dahlhaus. His thought also had a considerable influence on the pianists Rudolf Serkin, Artur Schnabel, and Eduard Steuermann, and, later, Glenn Gould.
Schoenberg's archival legacy is collected at the Arnold Schönberg Center in Vienna.