Daniel Harrison

in Pieces of Tradition

Published in print July 2016 | ISBN: 9780190244460
Published online June 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780190244484 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Music Theory


Show Summary Details


Cultural contexts for the starting conditions of contemporary are explored, with a particular focus on the responses of composers who finished their training and entered the profession just as its practices were changing radically, around 1910. Their situation is analyzed according to Edward Hall’s definition of high- and low-context cultures, Kenneth Burke’s concept of “piety,” and the psychological stress of “choice anxiety.” These lead to behaviors that can be read in musical compositions according to a few heuristic binaries: (1) attitudes to historical practice (ironic, sincere); (2) preferences about appeal (popular, rarefied); and (3) identification with communities (local, global). Essays on compositions by Shostakovich, Hindemith, Bernstein, Wilson, Chen, Martin, Barber, Shire, and Prokofiev illustrate pertinent analytic techniques.

Keywords: Dmitri Shostakovich; Paul Hindemith; Leonard Bernstein; Brian Wilson; Xiaoyong Chen; Frank Martin; Samuel Barber; David Shire; Sergei Prokofiev; Early Modernism in Music; Kenneth Burke

Chapter.  18218 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content. subscribe or login to access all content.