Musings gathers together the essays, speeches, liner notes, dictionary entries, and magazine articles of Gunther Schuller, one of the most important musical figures of the century. The writings in this collection cover such artists as Paul Whiteman, Duke Ellington, Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman, Sonny Rollins, Sarah Vaughan, Gil Evans. Schuller also writes about such topics as the "Third Stream," the art of conducting, the future of opera, and the need for broadening the audience for quality music. A marvelous introduction to the man and his experience, taste and erudition, Musings is essential reading for anyone interested in twentieth-century music.
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(229mm x 150mm x 18mm)
Da Capo Press Inc
Publisher: The Perseus Books Group
Country of Publication:
US Kirkus Review »
A tedious preachy collection of lectures, musical anthology biographical sketches and program notes, covering both classical and jazz, by the multifaceted musician, composer and music publisher. Schuller addresses his uninspired and blandly generalized voice to an unrelenting defense of the "balance of the old with the new, of the traditional with the experimental, of the expressive with the intellectual, of the need to communicate with the need to try the unheard, the unseen, the unproven." The result reads like the dull introductory lecture to an undergraduate liberal arts symposium. The author chastises everyone, from arrogant purists so addicted to 19th century musical traditions that they are blinded to modern musical innovations, to narrow-minded jazzmen ignorant of the great lessons available from their classical predecessors. He scolds dogmatic educators for their failure to stretch beyond 19th century preconceptions of musical education, thus creating lazy and inept modern musicians, and he berates current symphony conductors for failure to create "ideal" ensembles. He resents the "doomsayers" who gloomily predict the demise of "grand opera" and the symphony orchestra, and warns ominously of the "union" mentality which allows financial concerns to turn ensembles into business conglomerates, thus robbing them of "art." Schuller's self-righteous armchair analysis offers a longwinded, mundane manifesto of generalities. At one point he admits "I have no theories to advance or advocate here, no innovations to propagate or defend," which explains the weakness of this dull collection. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Gunther Schuller
Gunther Schuller is a conductor, composer, scholar, educator, writer, and music publisher. He is the author of several books on music, including Early Jazz: Its Roots and Musical Development, The Swing Era: The Development of Jazz, and The Compleat Conductor. He lives in Massachusetts.