Musical Experience of Composer, Performer, Listener by Roger Sessions

By Roger Sessions

One of America's premier modern composers, professor of track on the collage of California, Roger classes the following discusses the musical adventure of the composer, the performer, the listener. He believes this adventure to be shared, on during which all 3 individuals play important roles, and during this ebook he speaks particularly to the listener.

Mr. classes unearths that the artist-public relationships has been shifted to that of manufacturer and shopper in colossal enterprise. yet his respond to his personal query a couple of hazard to the way forward for song is either a problem and an expression of desire. a desirable little booklet that would be learn with excitement by means of humans in any respect degrees of musical education.

Originally released in 1950.

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193-204 r The Composer first idea that came to me for my first Piano Sonata, begun in 1927, was in the form of a complex chord preceded by a sharp but heavy up beat (ex. 4a). This chord rang through ~:~~ It:f t' I '(j perl. (4a ) my ear almost obsessively one day as I was walking in Pisa, Italy. The next day, or, in other words, when I sat down to work on the piece, I wrote the first phrase of the Allegro (ex. - -a C minor triad, in fact, and its complex sonority had given way to a motif of very syncopated rhythmic character.

It is characteristic, indeed, of the true composer that his music, while he is composing it, is constantly in his mind, always and everywhere, and that it is never a matter simply of a task accomplished during working hours, however regular these may be. The music derives whatever vitality and whatever depth it may possess partly from that very fact; for this means that the composer identifies himself with it, lives it to the fullest extent, and that in this way he gives to it his complete self, the sum and the best ·of his faculties, and not a detached part of them.

Is it the equivalent of any of these terms, and if so, why is not the more precise term used? Is this word "idea" rather a term loosely adopted to indicate the small-scale changes in (45 ) The Composer musical character or texture which may go into the making of a more complex rhythmic unit? If so, what is the criterion; what determines an "idea" as such, and where does it begin or end? I ask these questions because, in all simplicity, I do not know the answers to them. On another level, we frequently read in a certain type of criticism that in this or that piece of music "the development is superior to the intrinsic worth of the idea," or something of the sort.

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