Making Music Modern
New York in the 1920s
By (author) Carol J. Oja
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Making Music Modern by Carol J. Oja
Book DescriptionNew York City witnessed a dazzling burst of creativity in the 1920s. In this pathbreaking study, Carol J. Oja explores this artistic renaissance from the perspective of composers of classical and modern music, who along with writers, painters, and jazz musicians, were at the heart of early modernism in America. She also illustrates how the aesthetic attitudes and institutional structures from the 1920s left a deep imprint on the arts over the 20th century. Aaron Copland, George Gershwin, Ruth Crawford Seeger, Virgil Thomson, William Grant Still, Edgard Varese, Henry Cowell, Carl Ruggles, Marion Bauer, Dane Rudhyar-these were the leaders of a talented new generation of American composers whose efforts made New York City the center of new music in the country. They founded composer societies-such as the International Composers' Guild, the League of Composers, the Pan American Association, and the Copland-Sessions Concerts-to promote the performance of their music, and they nimbly negotiated cultural boundaries, aiming for recognition in Western Europe as much as at home. They showed exceptional skill at marketing their work. Drawing on extensive archival material-including interviews, correspondence, popular periodicals, and little-known music manuscripts-Oja provides a new perspective on the period and a compelling collective portrait of the figures, puncturing many longstanding myths. American composers active in New York during the 1920s are explored in relation to the "Machine Age" and American Dada; the impact of spirituality on American dissonance; the crucial, behind-the-scenes role of women as patrons and promoters of modernist music; cross-currents between jazz and concert music; the critical reception of modernist music (especially in the writings of Carl Van Vechten and Paul Rosenfeld); and the international impulse behind neoclassicism. The book also examines the persistent biases of the time, particularly anti-Semitisim, gender stereotyping, and longstanding racial attitudes.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780195058499
(242mm x 163mm x 37mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press Inc
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Publish Date: 1-Sep-2000
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Carol J. Oja
Bernstein Meets Broadway, Paperback (August 2016)
With an innovative historical framework, Carol J. Oja explores the emergence during World War II of Leonard Bernstein, Jerome Robbins, Betty Comden, and Adolph Green.
Aaron Copland and His World, Paperback (August 2005)
Reassesses the legacy of one of America's best-loved composers at a pivotal moment. This collection of essays explores the stages of cultural change on which Aaron Copland's long life (1900 to 1990) unfolded. It critiques Copland's work in these shifting contexts.
Making Music Modern, Paperback (January 2003)» View all books by Carol J. Oja
This title sets the growth of American musical composition against parallel developments in American culture, provides a guide for understanding the music, and explores how the notion of the concert tradition, as inherited from Western Europe, was challenged and revitalized through contact with American popular song, jazz, and non-Western musics.
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Author Biography - Carol J. Oja
Carol Oja is William Powell Mason Professor of Music at Harvard University. She is co-editor of Aaron Copland and his World, as well as author of Colin McPhee: Composer in Two Worlds, which won the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award, and American Music Recordings: A Discography of U.S. Composers.
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