Home » Our Contemporary Composers - American Music in the Twentieth Century by John Tasker Howard
Our Contemporary Composers - American Music in the Twentieth Century John Tasker Howard

Our Contemporary Composers - American Music in the Twentieth Century

John Tasker Howard

Published March 1st 2007
ISBN : 9781406742749
Paperback
496 pages
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 About the Book 

JOHN TASKER HOWARD WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF ARTHUR MENDEL Our Contemporary Composers AMERICAN MUSIC IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY THOMAS Y. CROWELL COMPANY NEW YORK Howard Hanson Constant Champion of the American Composer See page 74. To R. H. H. PREFACEMoreJOHN TASKER HOWARD WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF ARTHUR MENDEL Our Contemporary Composers AMERICAN MUSIC IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY THOMAS Y. CROWELL COMPANY NEW YORK Howard Hanson Constant Champion of the American Composer See page 74. To R. H. H. PREFACE TEN years have passed since the appearance of the authors first book. Our American Music. That volume dealt with our historical development through three cen turies, and after treating o the background and the lives and works of our earliest and nineteenth-century composers, discussed the music of our contemporaries, to 1930. In the single decade since that time, so much of significance has taken place, so many new composers have appeared, viewpoints and conditions have changed so materially, that the need for a supplementary and companion volume has already become ap parent 5 for a book dealing exclusively with recent and present day American music and its composers in short, with OUR CONTEMPORARY COMPOSERS Anticipating this need, the author started work on such a volume several years ago, intending that it be ready for publica tion in 1938 or 1939. Illness delayed his progress, however, and although recovery is now complete, this incapacity was of such duration that it was thought wiser to seek aid in finishing the book, rather than to delay its completion and publication for too long a period. For this purpose the author sought the assistance of his friend and colleague, Mr. Arthur Mendel, who has borne a considerable share of the writing in the last four chapters, mostly from notes and material which the author himself had previously assembled. Through long association and through frequent consultation, Mr. Mendel is thoroughly acquaintedwith the authors viewpoints and opinions, and has been willing to present them rather than viii PREFACE his own. For this, as well as for his labors, the author extends his sincere thanks. In the matter of opinion, however, while the personal view point of the author is of course essential to any work that aims at discussion of trends and idiomatic tendencies, he has felt in many cases that his personal opinions should be supplemented by, and even subordinated to, the best critical attitude of the present day towards its own music. Hence, quotations from reviewers of the daily press are frequently inserted, particularly those following premiere performances of important works. The research worker of the future may have rare sport from learning how we have overpraised our then-forgotten composers, and derided and be littled our Mozarts and Wagners. As for the content of this book an earnest attempt has been made to render it as comprehensive as possible, to include all those who have made themselves known for works in the larger forms. With the exception of Charles T. Griffes, who was so in advance of his time that he belongs to the present day, it has seemed superfluous to include lengthy discussion of composers who had passed from the scene before Our American Music was written, and whose lives and works are fully treated in that volume. Consequently, such men as Edward MacDowell, Ho ratio Parker, and others, are mentioned only for their influence on more recent musicians. In the field of light music, the same is true with Victor Herbert and John Philip Sousa. It has also seemed unwise to lengthen these pages with detailed discussion of composers who are known exclusively orprincipally for shorter works songs, teaching pieces, etc. The American song and its composers are treated fully in such books as William Treat Uptons Art Song in America. Hence, such estimable writers as Oley Speaks, Geoffrey OHara, Wintter Watts, and others, are not represented here. Some of the Broadway song smiths are included, it is true, but in most cases for the effect their work is having on the nationalist expression of our sym phonists rather than for their actual songs...