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Contents

Music in the Late Twentieth Century

ANOTHER COLD WAR

Chapter:
CHAPTER 3 The Apex
Source:
MUSIC IN THE LATE TWENTIETH CENTURY
Author(s):
Richard Taruskin

The reader has perhaps already noticed that Babbitt achieved these impressive feats of logical construction a bit earlier than the monuments of Darmstadt “total serialism” described in chapter 1. They were all on paper before Messiaen wrote his Mode de valeurs, to say nothing of Boulez's Structures or Stockhausen's Kreuzspiel. But with the exception of the Composition for Four Instruments, issued in 1949 in manuscript facsimile by New Music Edition, a shoestring, composer-staffed periodical (founded by Henry Cowell in 1925 and edited at the time by Elliott Carter), Babbitt's breakthrough compositions languished for years, along with his dissertation, in obscurity. Neither his music nor his theoretical writings became generally available for discussion—and potential influence—until the mid-1950s or later. The Three Compositions for Piano, historically the earliest work to serialize durations, did not see the light of day until 1957, a full decade after they were written. Babbitt had to stand by and see himself “scooped” by composers he regarded as his intellectual inferiors—a hard fate for a musician dedicated to modernism in its strongest ideological form, with its perpetual race to the patent office.

Citation (MLA):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 3 The Apex." The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford University Press. New York, USA. n.d. Web. 23 Nov. 2014. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume5/actrade-9780195384857-div1-003009.xml>.
Citation (APA):
Taruskin, R. (n.d.). Chapter 3 The Apex. In Oxford University Press, Music in the Late Twentieth Century. New York, USA. Retrieved 23 Nov. 2014, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume5/actrade-9780195384857-div1-003009.xml
Citation (Chicago):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 3 The Apex." In Music in the Late Twentieth Century, Oxford University Press. (New York, USA, n.d.). Retrieved 23 Nov. 2014, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume5/actrade-9780195384857-div1-003009.xml
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