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Reflections of an American Composer$
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Arthur Berger

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780520232518

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520232518.001.0001

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New Linguistic Modes and the New Theory

New Linguistic Modes and the New Theory

(p.173) 14 New Linguistic Modes and the New Theory
Reflections of an American Composer

Arthur Berger

University of California Press

This chapter presents a faithful account of the musical thought that was present in the 1960s. It reflect the diverse ways in which some of the composers were searching for a new theoretical approach, motivated by a profound reaction against the attempts at explanation and the inflexible definitions that had been allowed to achieve the sanctity of divine law through the sheer inertia of almost everyone concerned with music. One can consider concept and percept as distinct from each other. The chapter examines the confusion between theorizing and creating instilled fear in “intuitive” composers, because they could think only in terms of one type of behavior arrogating the place of the other. It also put the practice of music criticism or of any writing on music in constant danger of being made too much of—that is, of being, used as an excuse to get rid of frustrated creative drives.

Keywords:   Perspectives of New Music, composers, music criticism, musical thought, concept, percept

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