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1. Style and Idea: Selected Writings,
2. Schoenberg: Pierrot Lunaire (Cambridge
3. Arnold Schoenberg
4. Fundamentals of Musical Composition
5. Theory of Harmony: 100th Anniversary
6. Arnold Schoenberg's Journey
7. Structural Functions of Harmony
8. Preliminary Exercises in Counterpoint
9. Style and Idea
10. Arnold Schoenberg Correspondence
11. Music Theory And Analysis in the
12. Arnold Schoenberg: The Composer
13. Sprechstimme In Arnold Schoenberg's
14. A Schoenberg Reader: Documents
15. Coherence, Counterpoint, Instrumentation,
16. The Cambridge Companion to Schoenberg
18. Constructive Dissonance: Arnold
19. The Berg-Schoenberg Correspondence:
20. Arnold Schoenberg: Regards (French

1. Style and Idea: Selected Writings, 60th Anniversary Edition
by Arnold Schoenberg
Paperback: 570 Pages (2010-10-13)
list price: US$28.95 -- used & new: US$25.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0520266072
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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One of the most influential collections of music ever published, Style and Idea includes Schoenberg's writings about himself and his music as well as studies of many other composers and reflections on art and society. An interpretive essay by Joseph Auner, Chair and Professor of Music at Tufts University, augments this anniversary edition.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant articles from a master composer and teacher
I'm afraid that I am totally in love with the work of Arnold Schoenberg, so don't expect this review to be objective.I know that people have problems with his music, but it's never been a problem for me: works like the String Trio, A Survivor from Warsaw, Verklarte Nacht, the Kol Nidre and Moses and Aron have been some of the most rewarding and intense musical experiences of my life.I know that later composers such as Philip Glass and Steve Reich, who grew up with the legacy of twelve-tone music hanging over them, decisively rejected Schoenberg's work and decided to do something completely different, and in my opinion they were just plain wrong; the extreme banality and repetition in most of their music bears me out, I think.(I make an exception for Glass because some of his earlier stuff such as "Einstein on the Beach" has a fiery, rockish energy, but I have never had any time for Reich's twittering.)

So, OK, I love Schoenberg.Not only was he a great composer but he was also a fine writer.His literary legacy is sizable, and not all of it is of interest to people who aren't either musicians or fans of his work.Most of his work is pedagogical in intention.The unfinished textbooks "Fundamentals of Musical Composition" and "Structural Functions of Harmony" consist mostly of carefully chosen musical examples.The earlier "Theory of Harmony" is one of the few books of musical theory that can be read with pleasure by people who can't read music.

"Style and Idea" contains a rich selection of the shorter articles, some of which aren't all that short.The musical tradition that Schoenberg inherited and grappled with all his life was the Austro-German one.You won't find anything here about those flighty Italians.You will, however, read his highly influential "Brahms the Progressive", which did much to rehabilitate Brahms' music during a period when he was often unfavourably compared to his extravagantly inventive contemporary Richard Wagner.(Interesting that Schoenberg used to be regarded by conservative English music critics as a decadent offshoot of Wagner, when Schoenberg actually regarded Wagner with some ambivalence and was far more willing to admit his debt to Brahms' virtuoso craftsmanship.)

Elsewhere, there are fascinating articles on Schoenberg's own lifelong struggles as a musician, acute assessments of other composers and some bracingly acerbic pieces about attempts by composers such as Bartók to incorporate elements from folk music into the classical tradition, a tendency which Schoenberg was very much against.

This collection doesn't contain one of my favourite pieces of Schoenberg polemic: a letter Schoenberg wrote to Olin Downes, who was the music critic of the New York Times, after Downes had written a glibly dismissive review of a concert of music by Mahler.In a few brief paragraphs written in his slightly odd but always terrifyingly clear English, Schoenberg outlined the relationship between artists and critics once and for all time, asserting the primacy of the artist over the reviewer.Downes had written "Each to his taste..."Schoenberg crushingly replied that in his opinion, the concept of taste as applied to art was "the inferiority complex of the mediocre" and not to be confused with a serious assessment of the work in question.You can find it in Schoenberg's "Letters", an essential companion to this book.

Downes is forgotten; Schoenberg's music lives on.So do his words.I recommend this book as a present to any lover of good music.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Work of a Genius
Arnold Schoenberg is one of the most brilliant minds of the twentieth century, not just in the field of music. This is not only an excellent reference of some of his seminal writings, but it's also a great read for anyone who would like a better understanding of the musical landscape of the early 20th century through the eyes of a genius. His scholarship is just as beneficial to us as his compositions.

5-0 out of 5 stars one-of-a-kind
This book is nothing short of an institution in attidude,insight and understanding toward art.
Shoenberg was an amazing teacher,artist and musician. That book is definitely a keeper,and I have bought A LOT of textbooks about harmony,counterpoint,you name it.

But that one is really unique. It's like he's there sitting in front of you and REALLY dwelling into the profoundest thoughts about music,art,life.

His thoughts,ideas,reasonings,are always very,very insightful. Like no-one else.

He is always talking very seriously,but ,like a real master,what he talks about is always full of content and meaning. Always personal yet impersonal,and very ,very intelligent (the word 'very intelligent' hardly does him justice,really .).

At times his focused sarcasm makes me laugh too,I love his clear and truly remarkable reasoning.

For the ones that would not buy this book ONLY because they do not like his music,it is a prejudice that will prevent them to discover the causes of ignorance and will also miss the opportunity to achieve clarity onto subjects that very few,if any,would confront in the way that Arnold Shoenberg does.

Amazing and beautiful.
... Read more

2. Schoenberg: Pierrot Lunaire (Cambridge Music Handbooks)
by Jonathan Dunsby
Paperback: 108 Pages (1992-09-25)
list price: US$19.99 -- used & new: US$17.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521387159
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Pierrot lunaire (1912) is one of the most important music theater works ever written. This is the first guide in English to a work that continues to be performed, broadcast, and recorded worldwide. The book describes the artistic environment around the turn of the century from which Pierrot emerged, and discusses Schoenberg's working methods and intentions in composition. In a clear and imaginative description of the work itself, the author takes each of the twenty-one melodramas in turn, considering both the music and the narrative. The text of all twenty-one poems is provided in German and in a new English translation by Andrew Porter. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars well organized ideas about pierrot lunaire
I purchased this book for my music theory class. All explanation and analysis about Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire organized very cleary and eay to understand.

5-0 out of 5 stars Mandatory for Schoenbergians
As many who admire a lot of so-called "difficult" music know, the more you listen, the more you hear. If a work is really inspired and intelligently composed, any open-minded listener can come to appreciate it. After 90+ years, most who care about 20th century music would probably agree that PIERROT LUNAIRE has stood the test of time. It's mesmerizing, beautiful, frightening, all at the same time. Certainly it's challenging too, but what really good music is not?

Jonathan Dunsby had done a service to Schoenberg with this straightforward analysis of PIERROT. Plenty of background information is provided (although more on Albertine Zehme and the early performances of the piece would have been useful). Musical analysis is not forbiddingly technical. Anyone who can read music should be able to follow Dunsby's lead with a score. Those who don't read music should be able to hear what the author points out in precise prose.

It is important to cover as many aspects of PIERROT as possible: because the piece itself is brief and because Schoenberg carefully chose and set each poem. Dunsby treats each melodrama as a separate entity, but he also relates each one to the whole. It is also commendable that he discusses much of PIERROT in terms of melody. The composer was in the process of inventing a new kind of melody and he started an exploratory process that still continues today. Over and over again, Dunsby points out the kaleidoscopic melodic and instrumental variety of this fascinating musical landmark. PIERROT is not an important "museum piece", but an engaging masterpiece that lives on in performance today.

5-0 out of 5 stars A book for every classical musician
Jonathan Dunsby has helped to demystify the difficult and complicated issues surrounding this Schoenberg masterwork.The included English translation by Andrew Porter is excellent, and, by the way, can be heardwith the German version (yes, both the English and the German on the samerecording!) on Bridge BCD 9032 with Lucy Shelton and the Da Capo ChamberPlayers.Dunsby gives a detailed history of the work itself and the modernexpressionist era that surrounds it, and a very useful interpretive andintentionally incomplete analysis of each of the twenty-one melodramas thatwill help the performer or the listener gain a better understanding of thework that shaped contemporary classical music.This is not for the faintof heart!Both Schoenberg and Pierrot are very complex, so be prepared todig into specialized terminology and subject matter. ... Read more

3. Arnold Schoenberg
by Charles Rosen
Paperback: 128 Pages (1996-09-01)
list price: US$17.00 -- used & new: US$12.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0226726436
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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In this lucid, revealing book, award-winning pianist and scholar Charles Rosen sheds light on the elusive music of Arnold Schoenberg and his challenge to conventional musical forms. Rosen argues that Schoenberg's music, with its atonality and dissonance, possesses a rare balance of form and emotion, making it, according to Rosen, "the most expressive music ever written." Concise and accessible, this book will appeal to fans, non-fans, and scholars of Schoenberg, and to those who have yet to be introduced to the works of one of the greatest composers of the twentieth century.

"Arnold Schoenberg is one of the most brilliant monographs ever to be published on any composer, let alone the most difficult master of the present age. . . . Indispensable to anyone seeking to understand the crucial musical ideas of the first three decades."—Robert Craft, New York Review of Books

"What Mr. Rosen does far better than one could reasonably expect in so concise a book is not only elucidate Schoenberg's composing techniques and artistic philosophy but to place them in history."—Donal Henahan, New York Times Book Review

"For the novice and the knowledgeable, Mr. Rosen's book is very important reading, either as an introduction to the master or as a stimulus to rethinking our opinions of him. Mr. Rosen's accomplishment is enviable."—Joel Sachs, Musical Quarterly
... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great one evening overview of Schoenberg
This book is short enough, and briskly paced enough, to be read in one evening.Mr. Rosen is a very erudite musician; I've found all his writings interesting.Here, he provides a basic overview of Schoenberg's musical accomplishments, primarily for nonmusician readers.Because Schoenberg's music is so closely bound to its musical predecessors, the book also gives a very good succinct overview of the development of tonal usage from Beethoven through Wagner.One comes away realizing how, in many ways, Schoenberg was a deeply traditional composer, extremely conservative in much of his outlook while breaking fascinating new ground in the area of pitch relationships.

Although intended for a general audience, Mr. Rosen assumes the ability to read music and a basic level of musical literacy -- what a chromatic scale is, what a tonic-dominant relationship is, etc.For readers lacking even the rudiments of technical musical knowledge, I suspect the book would be hard going.

5-0 out of 5 stars a useful hanbook to one of the milestones of 20th century music
Sometimes it's the simplest of observations which make the most long lasting impression.I've always been struck by Rosen's assertion that in 'pierrot lunaire' (or any number of his pieces)it wouldn't make make a huge amount of difference if the instrumental parts were transposed in such a way that the vertical relationships would be altered.Rosen notes that it would be more detrimental if the dynamic markings were altered, affecting the delicate interplay of textures.

5-0 out of 5 stars A short, satisfying read!
Every book I've ever read by Charles Rosen and has deeply affected my view of the topic, and this little book is no exception.There isn't much biography in this book, it is strictly music criticism, focusing on the 'victory' of Schoenberg as well as his two students Webern and Berg.
This book went a long way in helping me to understand the aesthetics of serialism.I don't think a nonmusician would find much use in it, but I think anyone who is a musician at all and has experienced Schoenberg's music will be able to get a lot out of it.

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent mix of bio and musicology
seeing that this is such a small book (barely 100 pages of text), i was surprised at the depth of this book. as one reviewer wrote, it does not get into specifics about his life ('journeys' by allen shawn is good for that), but it gets into enough. i was especially pleased with the musical analysis of schoenberg's music that was presented here, which those who understand music can appreciate; such is left out of many musical biographies that i have read, and that is why i appreciate it here. it does lend a tremendous assistance in understanding his music, and his working philosophy. (that said, though, it might mean that this isnt the book for you if you dont want to get into theory; again, shawn's book is an excellent alternative then.)in fact, after reading this, i started to read schoenberg's writings on music theory, which ifound enlightening.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best starting and ending point for Schoenberg
Robert Craft was on the money in his description of this monograph as "one of the most brilliant ever to be published on any composer, letalone the most difficult master of the present age." Stripping awayany unnecessary biographical details, Mr. Rosen gives a surprisingly deepand insightful chronicle (for so short a book) of both the music ofSchoenberg and that of his contemporaries. Whatever path serialism was tofollow after Schoenberg, his own personal reasons for creating it areelucidated here more clearly and with greater historical insight thananywhere else that I am aware of. It has been popular of late to denigrateSerialism,implicating Schoenberg in some of the excesses of hisfollowers. This has always seemed to stem from some fundamentalmisunderstandings about just what it was Schoenberg was setting out to dowhen he created his twelve-tone system. This work should be mandatoryreading for those revanchist musicians and neo-tonalists who practice asort of musical revisionism in their assessments of Schoenberg'swork--indeed, for anyone who is interested in gaining insight into acomposer of unquestionable genius. ... Read more

4. Fundamentals of Musical Composition
by Arnold Schoenberg
Paperback: 240 Pages (1999-03-15)
list price: US$21.95 -- used & new: US$15.74
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0571196586
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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A reissue of a classic that represents the culmination of over 40 years in Schoenberg's life devoted to the teaching of musical principles to students and composers in Europe and America. For his classes, he developed a manner of presentation in which "every technical matter is discussed in a very fundamental way, so that at the same time it is both simple and thorough". This book can be used for analysis as well as for composition. On the one hand, it has the practical objective of introducing students to the process of composing in a systematic way, from the smallest to the largest forms; on the other hand, the author analyzes in detail, with numerous illustrations, those particular sections in the works of the masters which relate to the compositional problem under discussion. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Fundamental and Fun Mental Read
Shoenberg's group of essays reads easily, and has a coherence that gives purpose to his subject matter.The work is a happy marriage of his technical content in "Style and Idea" and his earlier tonal works.

In fact, and by that I mean my opinionated observation, these essays are written as though in the form of an extended requiem.Organized into twenty movements, my 20th Century musical hero begins "lightly" by discussing the concept of form.He then plays through motive constructions, melodic connections, and the different parts of form, keeping all his instruction neatly connected.At times, it seemed like I could hear music flowing out of his words, paragraphs, and punctuation.This book is more than a course for music student and/or composer; it is a flavorful experience for all five senses, unless you are unfortunate enough to have received a previous owner's toilet read.

4-0 out of 5 stars I think Schoenberg might be part Vulcan...
I don't particularly like Schoenberg's music, but I think he does quite well in this book, which primarily covers musical form ranging from the tiniest motif to the complete sonata. He goes into detail about how each part of a piece is structured from ever smaller elements down to the phrase and the motifs within it. Over all, it really does cover the fundamentals of musical composition well.

The book covers a number of common musical forms in classical music, including minuets, scherzos, theme-and-variation, and the sonata-allegro form. I was somewhat dissappointed to see that important forms like the concerto and the tone poem were not covered, and it should be noted that Schoenberg focuses mainly on form in this book rather than harmony.

However, the approach presented in the book strikes me as somewhat contrived and mechanical and I find it hard to believe that Beethoven thought to himself "hmm, maybe I should invert the motif in measure 2 and repeat it at a different interval in measure 3". Other than that, though, it is mostly quite useful, though certainly not light reading.

4-0 out of 5 stars Designed as a text for student composers wanting to learn the basics of musical form
Schoenberg worked on this text as part of his work with students at UCLA.He worked on it until his death in 1951 and had revised it several times.It is meant for students of composition rather than general music students studying form.The terminology is often Schoenberg's own and he, of course, has many interesting and strongly held views and approaches.It is not a text on twelve-tone composition, but of traditional and classic forms.

It was written in English rather than Shoenberg's native German, but he had the help of this volume's editor, Gerald Strang.In this edition, many of Schoenberg's specially composed examples were replaced by examples from the literature and the proprietary examples moved to the volume "Structural Functions of Harmony".This is meant to serve as a very fundamental discussion of these matters for students who are thinking about becoming composers.

4-0 out of 5 stars One of the best works on musical forms
Arnold Schoemberg clearly demonstrates, through examples taken frombaroque, classical and romantical pieces, the stuctural aspect of music;its small units, such as subjects, themes and phrases are explained in richdetail; the musical forms, like the minuet, rondo and sonata are also shownin full detail, allowing every music student to make contact with basic andadvanced composition techniques. However, this is not for begginers, sinceadvanced theory and harmony is required for full understanding. LikeSchoemberg's"Theory of Harmony", this book doesn't containmaterial on twelve-tone composition and its specific forms, unfortunately.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent introductory material about musical form.
This is an excellent book for musicians interested in dabbling in composition. It defines the basic terminology frequently used in composition and discusses the common forms: scherzo, theme and variations, rondo, and sonata-allegro. One of the most important things about this book is probably that it does not focus upon the theoretical aspect of music at all. Experience in harmonic structure is not necessary to read this book, although ability to read music is. Most examples are excerpts from common pre-20th century composers such as Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, etc. This book is an essential to any musician's library. Even performers can benefit by understanding the forms common in standard repertoire. However, for someone specifically looking for information about harmonic theory, this book provides very little useful information. ... Read more

5. Theory of Harmony: 100th Anniversary Edition
by Arnold Schoenberg
Paperback: 472 Pages (2010-10-13)
list price: US$34.95 -- used & new: US$29.56
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0520266080
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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A new critical foreword by Walter Frisch, H. Harold Gumm/Harry and Albert von Tilzer Professor of Music at Columbia University, expands this centennial edition. Frisch puts Schoenberg's masterpiece into historical and ideological context, delineating the connections between music, theory, art, science, and architecture in turn-of-the century Austro-German culture. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (25)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Very Different Type of Harmony Book
This was the second Harmony book I ever studied.Since then I have read, skimmed, studied and torn apart over a dozen harmony books and this remains, by far, my favorite.When I read reviews here I see many that are a little misleading so I will do things a little differently.

This book is NOT or should Not be used for:

1. Popular music.This is a book about classical harmony and uses that nomenclature, not popular or jazz nomenclature.I think some people read the name Schoenberg and think "radical" which translates to "rock" in their minds.Wrong on both counts.

2.A reference book.If you don't remember the different types of augmented sixth chords look them up in Piston but not here - this is not a very good reference book.

3.A book that shows how the old masters did it.There are no examples on how others applied this "theory".Schoenberg wants his students to use their own ears to figure it out.

4.A book on atonality, 12-tone, serial, etc.No, this book is about tonal harmony.By the end of the book it is hitting the late Romantic pretty heavily but it is still mainly within the mainstream of common practice harmony.

So what is this book?

It is a book by one of last century's greatest composers on how to compose.It is about how notes and chords go together.It was written in a very different style to try to make the student hear the relationships, to think about what was happening.

At first read this seems like a very strict cook book for chord patterns with some off the wall philosophy thrown in.That is totally wrong.

Here is how you have to approach the book - take every example and every exercise and play them on the piano.After you've done it a few times you can put them in the sequencer, but believe me, you gain a fuller understanding playing with your own two hands so do that first.Do all of the exercises in all keys.Listen very carefully.That is the reason he starts at such a simple and strict level to give your ear a chance to learn how to play the game.

The idea is that by the time you have completed the book you can recognize what chords are being connected, particularly if the music you are listening to presently exists only in your head.

All of the philosophy is part of it.You may not agree with him on many of the points but you should still try to understand what he is saying.Put the book down and think about.If you disagree, what are your thoughts?Even if you agree, try to push the ideas in a different direction.

A composer must think about music.A composer can't just learn by following some simple cookbook methods.Arnold Schoenberg tried to make his students hear the music and think about itthis great book on harmony.

4-0 out of 5 stars Be nice to Schoenberg
I am astounded by what some people are saying about this book, even the people who give it good reviews and praise Schoenberg's brilliance say that as a textbook on tonal harmony (not atonal harmony as some might presume) this book really does fail.I emphatically disagree on a number of accounts!First, this was written to be used as a textbook and people should keep that in mind when reading it.You are reading it to learn things that presumably you do not know.Second, Schoenberg takes a very compositional approach to teaching Harmony, which in my opinion is great for numerous reasons, chiefly because you actually get to apply the rules/principles in a meaningful way, which aids memorization and enjoyment.Prior to buying this book I had purchased Kostka's and Payne's "Tonal Harmony" which is as dull as can be, as they make you do numerous exercises which are of little value and even littler enjoyment.Furthermore, they introduce too much too fast.What I mean by this is that they teach you piles of stuff and then have you apply as much of it as possible to as few cases as possible.Schoenberg takes a different tact by having the student make their own exercises, to which he provides some basic guidelines, and for every new concept introduced a new exercise is required.By forcing you to make your own assignments you really internalize the information and it becomes more than just facts (e.g. this chord is constructed in this manner, that chord is constructed in that manner). You get the sense with Schoenberg that you are studying composition as opposed to just theory.

However, there is one drawback to Schoenberg's text, it is excessively wordy and there is a lot of needless philosophizing in it (that is why I give this edition 4 stars).However, there are editions of the book that "trim all the fat" so to speak.I found a copy at my school's library and it is an absolute gem. It gets right to the point and if you are lucky you can find a copy on some online used bookstores.This shortened edition was translated by Robert D.W. Adams and was published by the Philosophical Library, New York, 1948; it is 336 pages and has officially become my Bible.

5-0 out of 5 stars Harmony course for musicians
Schoenberg's Harmonielehre (Theory of Harmony) was written for, and intended for use by, composition students in university-level conservatory classes.It is likely to be as hard going for anyone without several years prior music study as would be, say, a college calculus class for someone who had never had high school math.This book assumes you are already a musician, already familiar with the classical tradition from Palestrina through the early 20th century, and already familiar with the basic ideas in harmony and counterpoint.

For those with the musical background to appreciate it, Schoenberg's writing about harmony is interesting and insightful.Not everyone will agree with all of the "philosophical" or "scientific" theories he weaves into his theory of tone relationships.(I put those words in quotation marks because Schoenberg is clearly no scientist, nor philosopher.)However, there is no doubt he is one of the deepest musical thinkers available to learn from.Borrowing his ears through this book is useful not only in sharpening one's own set of compositional tools, but more generally for understanding any piece of serious music.

Shorter essays in his "Style and Idea" -- a book covering a broad range of topics -- give a flavor of what to expect from this much fuller treatment of harmony.

Beginning students interested in learning the fundamentals of harmony cannot do better than Piston's "Harmony."

5-0 out of 5 stars Theory of Harmony
Thanks for a great price on a book I had been searching for.Schoenberg writes in a style that is intelligent, creative and often humorous - but above all, thorough.The thing I appreciate most is the explanation of why this is learned, and why that rule is presented, but emphasizing every step of the way that the point is not the rules (which seldom remain the same).

I took music theory in college, and never became enraptured with the mysteries of music through it - rather, I became disillusioned and a little bored.This is the first time, through careful reading and discussion with a friend, that I have begun to understand musical concepts on a deeper level, and it has inspired me to dig deeper - to listen better.My musical education, by the time I complete the reading of this book, will have increased by a substantial measure.

I'm enjoying the study of this book immensely.

5-0 out of 5 stars Theory of Harmony
While having studied theory of harmony according to the conventional rules I found Schoenberg's Theory of Harmony quite refreshing and renewing. Throughout all the chapters there is his philosophical and often critical tone on (for him) previous works on the subject. His approach is very straightforward and he doesn't shun rather sharp remarks towards previous authors.
His comprehensive treatment of subjects like modulation and choral harmonization is a welcome filling of the gap in my theoretical baggage concerning these matters. An indispensible book for composers and actually any musician. ... Read more

6. Arnold Schoenberg's Journey
by Allen Shawn
Paperback: 368 Pages (2003-05-30)
list price: US$24.50 -- used & new: US$22.05
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0674011015
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Proposing that Arnold Schoenberg has been more discussed than heard, more tolerated than loved, Allen Shawn puts aside ultimate judgments about Schoenberg's place in music history to explore the composer's fascinating world in a series of linked essays--"soundings"--that are both searching and wonderfully suggestive. Approaching Schoenberg primarily from the listener's point of view, Shawn plunges into the details of some of Schoenberg's works while at the same time providing a broad overview of his involvements in music, painting, and the history through which he lived. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent book
Even if you don't read music, there is much to be gained from this book.The author's admiration for
Schoenberg is evident and contagious.He is able to describe the music in ways that make you want to go put on
a CD immediately.There are many intelligent insights, both musical and biographical.The writing style is lively and graceful.The chapter entitled 'On Being Short' could stand alone in a literary journal.

5-0 out of 5 stars i like this book
This marvellous book evoked the sense of excitement/bemusement at encountering Schoenberg's music for the first time but also prompted me to investigate works which in the past i'd not given sufficent attention.
Here's a few scattered quotes of what he has to say about 'Die Gluckliche Hand':
'that the representation of the unattainable is embodied in music that is itself dense and tangled is no accident.Although it is beautifully imagined and so headlong in its progress that it seems shorter than it is......yet it is precise in its intricacy,and the orchestration is lush and full of colour' pg.158

The moments of analyis are always free of technical jargon and i like the attention given to Schoenberg's painting as a means of illumination.Altogether a compelling read and well illustrated.

The possible drawbacks are minor:
for my liking,there are too many references to Robert Craft, and i don't understand what Shawn means when he describes Wagner as being earthbound in comparison with early Schoenberg(the prelude to Parsifal being one of the most weightless pieces of music i know).Also,i have a special affection for that most ravishing of choral works 'Friede auf Erden' op.13 so was sad to find no reference to this little gem.

But please,go out and buy this book.It's got just the right tone of voice.Supplement with Rosen's more dense but equally thoughtful book.

4-0 out of 5 stars An attempt at a more "superficial treatment" of Schoenberg...
Schoenberg's music gets treated at times like no more than a necessary intellectual evil: "Ok! Ok! Tonal centers aren't the only musical expressive form! We get it! Now can we please get back to beautiful life-affirming melodies and harmonies?!?!" The music often gets treated from only a theoretical viewpoint, and many people read about Schoenberg, or worse, read opinions about his music, before really experiencing the music itself. In this sense the music doesn't get a chance to live and breathe on its own without an angorra-thick layer of theory and sometimes obscure and opaque musicology heaped over it. The author of this book states this idea very eloquently in the introduction: "...it is not entirely in a spirit of facetiousness that I have said to friends that I feel perhaps Schoenberg's work deserves a more superficial treatment than it has hitherto received." This theme runs throughout the book, and the reader actually has a chance to get to know Schoenberg's biography and how that biography potentially related to his music without being subjected to stifling theory.

The book as a whole is made up of short chapters some of which contain mostly biography and others of which contain mostly descriptions and reflections on some of Schoenberg's major works (there are chapters completely dedicated to the following works: Verklärte Nacht, Gurre-Lieder, Brettl-Lieder (from Schoenberg's suprising tenure with Berlin cabarets in 1901-1902), Five Pieces For Orchestra, Erwartung, Pierrot Lunaire, Die glückliche Hand, Moses Und Aron, and the String Trio). This book doesn't just cover his music, though. One chapter gets devoted to his very literary treatise on harmony, "Harmonielehre". Another chapter discusses Schoenberg's paintings (some of which Gustave Mahler purchased to help support his financially struggling colleague). Two interesting later chapters deal with his propensity to create games and practical inventions, and even a reflection on being short (a trait that the author confesses to share; Schoenberg himself was under 5'4" which ranks him heightwise beneath Napolean).

Some of the most fascinating biographical episodes involve the audience and critical reactions to Schoenberg's works (at a performance of Pierrot Lunaire an audience member supposedly pointed at Schoenberg and yelled "Shoot him! Shoot him!" other concerts prompted his friends to shield him from projectiles thrown by the audience, or to evacuate him from the theater, and many performances were literally shouted down - the vocalist at the premiere of his Second String Quartet apparently left the stage in tears). An entire chapter also gets dedicated to Schoenberg's twelve-tone technique (often derogatorily subsumed as "overly intellectualist"); a technique he followed in his later works (most notably in "Music for a Film Scene", Op. 34, and the famous Piano Concerto, Op. 42).

Schoenberg also lived through major world events: World War I (in which he took a part) and World War II (which forced him to flee Germany and Austria in the rising tide of 1930s Anti-Semitism; "Ode To Napolean Bonaparte", Op. 41, stands as Schoenberg's musical lashing out at Hitler's tyranny). He also tried to help Jews in europe during Hitler's rise; he took anti-semitism as a given (one could arguably make the depressingly bizarre claim that anti-semitism was almost "fashionable" in the early part of the twentieth-century) and advocated a Jewish homeland.

Schoenberg's skills as a teacher (his most reliable source of income throughout his life) receives notice here, too. His pedogogical style apparently didn't encourage devoteeism. Some of his most famous students included Alban Berg, Anton Webern, and John Cage. All followed their own distinct directions following Schoenberg's instruction.

This book brings Schoenberg to life for those who know little about him. Those who have not heard any of Schoenberg's music should seek it out before reading this book. After all, the message of this book relates to finding meaning through active listening to, not intellectualizing about, the music of Schoenberg. Some passages might get a little thick for those with no musical background. And some contain actual musical notation. Nonetheless, a music theory background is not required to read or even to enjoy this book (though admittedly it would be helpful). The book overall opens up the expressive possibilities of Schoenberg's music to those whose spines curl at the mere mention of his name.

5-0 out of 5 stars a wonderful, sympathetic view
Allen Shawn's book is clearly a labor of love.This is remarkable, given that Schoenberg is notoriously difficult to love!I strongly recommend the book to anyone interested in one of the most influential composers of all time.Shawn is a composer, and presents careful treatments of several major compositions, complete with excerpts from the scores.He includes some fascinating biographical information, but the focus is the music.Schoenberg pioneered "atonal" music in the years right around 1910 parallel to Kandinsky's pioneering abstract painting, and in fact the two were friends and collaborators.Here is an amazing quote from Schoenberg:

"It has never been the purpose and effect of new art to suppress the old, its predecessor, certainly not to destroy it....The appearance of the new can far better be compared with the flowering of a tree:it is the natural growth of the tree of life.But if there were trees that had an interest in preventing the flowering, then they would surely call it revolution.And conservatives of winter would fight against each spring. ... Short memory and meager insight suffice to confuse growth with overthrow." (p. 141)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Composer, Great Book
I don't understand musical notation, but when Mr. Shawn goes into detail, his inspiration is transmitted to me, and I want to go hear the work.

Schoenberg is tough, true. But I hope people will read this book and see he was human and passionate.

It's really silly that I haven't had the opportunity to hear one of the greatest composer's music in concert. Will that change?

With more advocates such as Mr. Shawn, I can hope so. ... Read more

7. Structural Functions of Harmony
by Arnold Schoenberg
 Paperback: Pages (1954)

Asin: B001150GBQ
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (11)

2-0 out of 5 stars Garbage, waste of time
This is supposed to be a handbook on normal harmony. But Schoenberg wouldn't have been Schoenberg if he simply did the deed and went home: he had to prove to the world how brilliant he was and therefore totally unlike anyone else, which he routinely did by way of walking on his ears. In this book he renames everything into something else, and then you have no clue what he's talking about -- despite the fact that the subject matter is good old common-practice music theory.

My view is, every man faces many lifetimes' worth of learning even without walking on one's (and Mr Schoenberg's) ears: ars longa, vita brevis; therefore value your time and select ruthlessly -- if you need harmony, pick a good modern book written in human language and using standard terminology (very many choices; Piston is a good beginning).There is nothing rarefied or esoteric about harmony: it's not nuclear physics (it's not a scientific discipline, to begin with). It's not hermetic mysteries either. It's just a lot of heuristics based on what people tended to settle on over the centuries or writing music because the results sounded good to them. There's nothing conceptually hard here: if you read a decently written book on harmony, you will get it, no ifs and buts. And therefore Mr Schoenberg's literary obfuscations should follow his sonic oeuvre to the proverbial garbage heap of history. There's no reason the dead impostor's pretensions should cost the very living you unnecessary waste of effort. Triage is key here: this abstruse dribble doesn't make it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Structural Functions of Harmony by Schoenberg
Schoenberg's compositions are not at all among my favourites, but his interpretations of classical harmony
-are- among the best available.

4-0 out of 5 stars A nice supplementary book on harmony
This book will be difficult for those without a deep knowledge of how western harmony works.I think the other reviewer hit the nail on the head with his "masterclass" comparison.200 pages long, but I'm guessing (conservatively) that half of this book is musical examples.Slow reading and a piano or midi keyboard in front of you (or having a great "mind's ear") will help immensely.Good book if you're into music theory or are a composer looking to add some more tools to your shed.

4-0 out of 5 stars Schönberg mystique!
I took Composition and Double Counterpoint, Canon and
Fugue from Arnold Schönberg at UCLA in 1942.People associate him with the 12-tone theory and atonal music, whereas in his composition class he started on square one.
You began with a simple triad [three-note chord] and took it thru rhythmic variations, like a bugle call.Then you added a second chord. Later you added passing notes creating themes, which you eventually developed.
The text books for the class were the first volume of J. S. Bach's
Well-Tempered Clavichord and the first volume of Beethoven's Piano Sonatas.He would silently pace for a while and then fill the blackboards with musical notation [examples of the subject of the day].Two teaching assistants copied every note, and this materials was used in his later books on harmony and composition.
He loved my Germanic name, and would ask, "Wilhardt ZAHN, was denken Sei?"My noncommital answer would be, "Herr Professor, sehR InteRResant!"
One of his assistants and book editor was Gerald Strang who had taught me Diatonic and Chromatic Harmony and Counterpoint at Long Beach Junior College 1940-2.Gerry and I corresponded while I was in New Guinea and the Philippines, correcting and critiquing music I would submit.He was a master mentor and dear family friend.
While still at LBCC Gerry took me with him to a UCLA symposium to demonstrate a Schoenburg Harmonieleur Pianostück.It was in the 12-tone format, and I had to play it a thousand times before I knew when I had made an error.
I'm still not sure what that episode of musical development accomplished.
Gerry Strang and his avante-guarde cohorts would have jam sessions.The poor piano--they would do fist and arm clusters, and swirl metal pans on the exposed strings.Ah, modern music!
Willard F. Zahn, M. D.Long Beach, CA [...]

5-0 out of 5 stars New Revelations of Old Forms
Schoenberg writes from a traditional harmonic standpoint.But he is aware of the fact that the primary systems of analysis are very limited to these traditional sounds and harmonies.Therefore Schoenberg sets out to put into work a new system for harmonic analysis which will work fine on traditional harmonies as well as on newer, more outside progressions.He achieves all of this through his idea of regions within music, a specific idea with a broad goal.By leaving the intricacies of traditional harmonic analysis and widening his scope, Schoenberg presents a system we may all need to take a second look at. ... Read more

8. Preliminary Exercises in Counterpoint
by Arnold Schoenberg
Paperback: 246 Pages (1988-11)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$20.00
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Asin: 0571092756
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Book By Far On the Subject
This is really the only reliable book from which you can hope to study counterpoint, especially if you are like almost all Americans and don't have a counterpoint teacher.Since the study of counterpoint has never been commonly taught in American universities, few teachers can even correct your homework; nevertheless, Schoenberg, without a doubt the greatest musical autodidact of all time, not only gives you exercises in all the species, he shows you examples in which he has written counterpoints to several Cantus Firmuses (you only need a few for the entire course), and explains the strengths and weaknesses of each. So the student can not only learn on his own, he has the "classroom homework" remarks by the Master.

If you would like some free Cantus Firmus Worksheets, that you can print up and freely photocopy, and with which you may yourself get to work, you may download the booklet I have compiled from Schoenberg and Fux from my site at: [...]

4-0 out of 5 stars A serious pedagogical use of counterpoint to teach music through the late romantic period
I have always believed that studying counterpoint is an important aspect of a musical education and leads to a greater understanding of how serious music works than will the study of harmony.While harmonic awareness is quite useful and effective, it is counterpoint that provides the bedrock of great music for the past eight hundred years.Great musical works need the kind of horizontal structure that great voice leading provides.

That being said, species counterpoint is not a compositional process any more than slapping Roman numerals under vertical structures is.It is a pedagogical tool to provide the beginner with important insights about the materials they use in the works.And don't mistake Schoenberg for Fux or Zarlino or even Jeppesen.He uses the structure of species counterpoint to present his method, but has his own adaptations and extensions.Schoenberg is a teacher of modern students learning to compose music in the twentieth century.This is a contemporary method rather than a look back to, say, Palestrina as Jeppesen's book does (as great as that book is).

I like Schoenberg's use of all the C-cleffs to encourage students to develop the ability to read musical scores and transposing instruments.His demonstrations of counterpoint in composition and counterpoint without a cantus firmus are also very interesting and useful for students integrating the idea of counterpoint into real compositions.

Why this book isn't in print is beyond me.Here is a major work by one of the twentieth century's most important composers.Get it back in print and keep it available for serious students.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must havefor serious study in species counterpoint
In this book Schoenberghas u write out all the possibilities for each cantus firmus and then analyze them, which i feel is a very good approach so u can learn whats good,bad or acceptable when new problems are encountered . Also its in the major and minor format as opposed to the modal approach of Fux, Jeppensen etc. and, includes his concept of "monotonality" like in structural functions and theory of harmony. I found the modulations and neutralization very relevant because i also use that approach for harmonic progressions, modulations etc. which are in his harmony books. This book is a must have for any serious species counterpoint student as well as those who have strucural functions or theory of harmony and are interested in a new approach to species counterpoint.

5-0 out of 5 stars Traditional counterpoint theory
This book is for practice traditional counterpiont. It contains "neuralization" concept that are not appear in other text. Sheonberg suggest systemic practice method that isefficient. ... Read more

9. Style and Idea
by Arnold Schoenberg
Paperback: 236 Pages (1950-01-01)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$14.40
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Asin: 0806530952
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10. Arnold Schoenberg Correspondence
by Egbert M. Ennulat
 Hardcover: 340 Pages (1991-06-28)
list price: US$76.95 -- used & new: US$39.99
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Asin: 0810824523
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Editorial Review

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Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) WAS one of the greatest composers of the twentieth century, was also talented in art and many other subjects, as his publications and correspondence show. This book of his selected unpublished correspondence written between 1903 and 1950 includes the responses of the addressees, giving a vivid picture of the historical controversies between the composer and other major figures in the field. Each of the correspondences, with pioneering musicologist Guido Adler, eminent critic Olin Downes, and cello virtuosi Pablo Casals and Emanuel Feuermann, is presented in separate chapters with introductory comments. The letters are reprinted unaltered in the original languages and in English translation. ... Read more

11. Music Theory And Analysis in the Writings of Arnold Schoenberg (1874–1951)
by Norton Dudeque
Hardcover: 274 Pages (2006-01)
list price: US$120.00 -- used & new: US$94.09
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Asin: 0754641392
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Arnold Schoenberg's theory of music has been much discussed but his approach to music theory needs a new historical and theoretical assessment in order to provide a clearer understanding of his contributions to music theory and analysis. Norton Dudeque's achievement in this book involves the synthesis of Schoenberg's theoretical ideas from the whole of the composer's working life, including material only published well after his death. The book discusses Schoenberg's rejection of his German music theory heritage and past approaches to music-theory pedagogy, the need for looking at musical structures differently and to avoid aesthetic and stylistic issues. Dudeque provides a unique understanding of the systematization of Schoenberg's tonal-harmonic theory, thematic/motivic-development theory and the links with contemporary and past music theories. The book is complemented by a special section that explores the practical application of the theoretical material already discussed. The focus of this section is on Schoenberg's analytical practice, and the author's response to it.Norton Dudeque therefore provides a comprehensive understanding of Schoenberg's thinking on tonal harmony, motive and form that has hitherto not been attempted. ... Read more

12. Arnold Schoenberg: The Composer as Jew (Clarendon Paperbacks)
by Alexander L. Ringer
 Paperback: 288 Pages (1993-05-20)
list price: US$24.00
Isbn: 0198163541
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Though nominally a Protestant from his official conversion in 1898 to his demonstrative return to Judaism in 1933, Schoenberg proudly retained his Jewish identity all his life and endured the inevitable consequences as the quintessentially Jewish composer of his time. Ringer's sympathetic and perceptive study throws new light on both the esthetic and political ramifications of Schoenberg's spiritual commitment in the tragic historical context of Central European Jewry's ultimate rise and destruction. ... Read more

13. Sprechstimme In Arnold Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire: A Study of Vocal Performance Practice
by Aidan Soder
Hardcover: 120 Pages (2008-04-30)
list price: US$99.95 -- used & new: US$99.82
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Asin: 0773451781
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14. A Schoenberg Reader: Documents of a life
by Joseph Auner
Hardcover: 460 Pages (2003-10-01)
list price: US$60.00 -- used & new: US$42.68
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Asin: 0300095406
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Arnold Schoenberg's close involvement with many of the principal developments of twentieth-century music, most importantly the break with tonality and the creation of twelve-tone composition, generated controversy from the time of his earliest works to the present day. This authoritative new collection of Schoenberg's essays, letters, literary writings, musical sketches, paintings, and drawings offers fresh insights into the composer's life, work, and thought.The documents, many previously unpublished or untranslated, reveal the relationships between various aspects of Schoenberg's activities in composition, music theory, criticism, painting, performance, and teaching. They also show the significance of events in his personal and family life, his evolving Jewish identity, his political concerns, and his close interactions with such figures as Gustav and Alma Mahler, Alban Berg, Wassily Kandinsky, and Thomas Mann. Extensive commentary by Joseph Auner places the documents and materials in context and traces important themes throughout Schoenberg's career from turn-of-century Vienna to Weimar Berlin to nineteen-fifties Los Angeles. ... Read more

15. Coherence, Counterpoint, Instrumentation, Instruction in Form (Zusammenhang, Kontrapunkt, Instrumentation, Formenlehre)
by Arnold Schoenberg
Hardcover: 135 Pages (1993-06-01)
list price: US$55.00
Isbn: 0803242301
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Only Stravinsky can claim as much credit as Schoenberg for the most dramatic innovations in twentieth-century music. Inventor of the twelve-tone row, explorer of atonality and the hexachord, composer of tone poems, songs, and chamber music, and chief spokesman for the Vienna Circle, Schoenberg has become ever more influential as his successors have come to understand him.
Fuller understanding has been delayed because many of his writings have not yet been edited or published. This volume collects four short works, each concentrated on a key issue in composition. Written in 1917, but altered and augmented many times in later years, the manuscripts edited and translated in this volume have never been published before.
Their importance can permit no further delay since they present Schoenberg's thinking well after the publication in 1911 of Harmonielehre, his revolutionary theoretical book. The later texts provide numerous prospects for enhancing the study and appreciation of Schoenberg's compositions and theories.
Also a painter, Schoenberg enjoyed the friendship of Kandinsky and the Berlin expressionists. This volume includes a frontispiece reproducing one of Schoenberg's paintings.
... Read more

16. The Cambridge Companion to Schoenberg (Cambridge Companions to Music)
Paperback: 346 Pages (2010-06-14)
list price: US$31.99 -- used & new: US$26.99
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Asin: 0521690862
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Arnold Schoenberg - composer, theorist, teacher, painter, and one of the most important and controversial figures in twentieth-century music. This Companion presents engaging essays by leading scholars on Schoenberg's central works, writings, and ideas over his long life in Vienna, Berlin, and Los Angeles. Challenging monolithic views of the composer as an isolated elitist, the volume demonstrates that what has kept Schoenberg and his music interesting and provocative was his profound engagement with the musical traditions he inherited and transformed, with the broad range of musical and artistic developments during his lifetime he critiqued and incorporated, and with the fundamental cultural, social, and political disruptions through which he lived. The book provides introductions to Schoenberg's most important works, and to his groundbreaking innovations including his twelve-tone compositions. Chapters also examine Schoenberg's lasting influence on other composers and writers over the last century. ... Read more

 Unknown Binding: Pages (1965)

Asin: B0041CUXAU
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18. Constructive Dissonance: Arnold Schoenberg and the Transformations of Twentieth-Century Culture
Hardcover: 242 Pages (1997-05-27)
list price: US$50.00
Isbn: 0520203143
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) is a pivotal figure ofmusicalmodernism. The "father of serialism" has influenced nearly every majorcomposerof this century, and the idea of Schoenberg, now wild-eyed radical, nowembattled moralist, now lonely prophet, is woven into the mythos ofmodern art.What is more, the sites of his professional activityfin de sicleVienna, theBerlin of the Weimar Republic, and his "exile to paradise" in LosAngelesbringhome the representative quality of his life and works, which bearwitness tosome of the defining experiences of our time. This collection by leading Schoenberg scholars is an interdisciplinaryexamination of the historical, aesthetic, and intellectual issues thatformedSchoenberg's creative persona and continue to influence our response tothemodernist legacy of the first half of this century. The book's firstsection,"Contexts," investigates Schoenberg's sense of ethnic, religious, andculturalidentity. The second section, "Creations," focuses on specific works andtheinterplay between creative impulse and aesthetic articulation. The finalsection, "Connections," addresses the relationship of Schoenberg'slegacy topresent-day thought and practice. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

2-0 out of 5 stars doesn't fulfill the promise of the title...
This is a collection of academic papers from a conference held at the University of Southern California in 1991.Unfortunately they are mainly of no interest beyond specialists, and the book certainly does not live up to its ambitious and intriguing subtitle.It might more accurately have been called "Schoenberg and the Transformations of Musicological Hermeneutics."

The papers are divided into three sections -- Contexts, which looks at how Schoenberg was affected by his social context, Creations, which examines specific aspects of Schoenberg's music, and Connections, which looks at what effect Schoenberg had on the world.The third section is where "Transformations of 20th Century Culture" might be identified -- how Schoenberg's atonality and serialism, revolutionary or purist or neoclassicist ideas affected modern culture -- but this is totally absent.Instead we have insular examinations of Schoenberg from a postmodern standpoint.Disappointing and dull.

The one excellent essay, by Leon Botstein, founding director of the Arnold Schoenberg Institute, is a fascinating look at Schoenberg's position in avant-garde intellectual circles in Vienna.Botstein describes two rival factions, one centered on Gustav Klimt, and one centered on Karl Kraus.Schoenberg was active in the Kraus circle, which "believed in art as a profound instrument of ethical and moral transformation," saw that "modernism needed to be a critique of culture," and advocated "truth-telling" as opposed to what it saw as the other faction's "facile bohemianism."

Given Adorno's advocacy of Schoenberg, and given the retreat of much postmodernism into moral relativism and facile bohemianism, a book that truly addressed the effect of Schoenberg and the Second Vienna School on 20th century culture would be well worth reading! ... Read more

19. The Berg-Schoenberg Correspondence: Selected Letters
Paperback: 528 Pages (1987-10-01)
list price: US$30.00 -- used & new: US$23.22
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Asin: 0393336395
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Few figures have influenced 20th-century music as much as Arnold Schoenberg and Alban Berg. Their letters, one of the most important sources of information about the background to their music, are here published for the first time. The editors have transcribed, translated and annotated more than 800 letters and from this vast body of material have selected 370 that reflect the lives and times of these two great composers. The letters reveal much about the relationship between Berg and Schoenberg: first as pupil and teacher, then as friends and finally, after the premier of Wozzeck, as colleagues and peers. They also shed light on the reasons for Schoenberg's move to Berlin in 1911, the intrigue behind the early demise of the Society for Private Musical Performance, and Schoenberg's feigned indifference to the success of Wozzeck. Schoenberg describes his first years in America and the correspondence ends with Berg's death in 1935. The letters are fully annotated and supplemented with appendices, facsimiles and many photographs. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Money, schedules, and sniping
This is a thick book containing a selection of letters between Berg and Schoenberg.Berg wrote several letters for each reply from Schoenberg, so this book sheds more light on Berg and his personality than on Schoenberg.There is very little substantive discussion of musical matters in these letters.Overwhelmingly, they concern mundane issues:money worries, rehearsal schedules and performer selections, "thank you's" for gifts received, and such.Nevertheless, they are surprisingly engaging reading.Through these letters, one sees Berg grow from an obsequious student wasting away his time in 'dreaming' (as Schoenberg eventually chides him), to an internationally acclaimed composer (following the immediate success of 'Wozzeck').

A few gripes about this book:(1) Extensive footnotes are provided identifying every last minor person mentioned in every letter and providing other ephemeral detail, but not enough information is given tying the letters to the authors' biographies and the rest of their circles.For example, a pivotal moment in Berg and Schoenberg's relationship came when Schoenberg finally offered Berg the informal "du" to replace the formal German "Sie."It would have been interesting to know some surrounding facts, such as when/whether Schoenberg and Webern entered the "du" phase of their friendship, and in general how wide Schoenberg's circle of "du friends" was.Contextual information like this is seldom provided anywhere in this book.(2) In the few places where Berg or Schoenberg included a musical example in a letter, these are reproduced as copies from the original.These copies are seldom legible, despite being key parts of the book.(3)A useful table converting Austian currency into dollars and pounds is provided -- especially helpful since so many of the letter are about money.However, since Schoenberg was living in Germany, not Austria, for much of the period covered by this correspondence, the lack of a comparable table for the German mark leaves a gap.(4) Although the editors claim not to have left out or cut anything in the correspondence concerning musical matters, in fact discussions about music editorial matters (e.g., fixing errors in various scores) are abbreviated considerably.

In general, only those with a fairly deep interest in the Second Viennese School will be interested in this book.However, since the letters are provided only in translation, and with much material cut, I suspect this is not a book to appeal to scholars. ... Read more

20. Arnold Schoenberg: Regards (French Edition)
by Arnold Schoenberg
Paperback: 144 Pages (1995-09-30)
-- used & new: US$59.99
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Asin: 287900229X
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