Henry Cowell: A Man Made of Music

Henry Cowell: A Man Made of Music

by Joel Sachs
     
 

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Joel Sachs offers the first complete biography of one of the most influential figures in twentieth-century American music. Henry Cowell, a major musical innovator of the first half of the century, left a rich body of compositions spanning a wide range of styles. But as Sachs shows, Cowell's legacy extends far beyond his music. He worked tirelessly to create… See more details below

Overview

Joel Sachs offers the first complete biography of one of the most influential figures in twentieth-century American music. Henry Cowell, a major musical innovator of the first half of the century, left a rich body of compositions spanning a wide range of styles. But as Sachs shows, Cowell's legacy extends far beyond his music. He worked tirelessly to create organizations such as the highly influential New Music Quarterly, New Music Recordings, and the Pan-American Association of Composers, through which great talents like Ruth Crawford Seeger and Charles Ives first became known in the US and abroad. As one of the first Western advocates for World Music, he used lectures, articles, and recordings to bring other musical cultures to myriad listeners and students including John Cage and Lou Harrison, who attributed their life work to Cowell's influence. Finally, Sachs describes the tragedy of Cowell's life--his guilty plea on a morals charge, which even the prosecutor felt was trivial, but brought him a sentence of 15 years in San Quentin, of which he served four.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Sachs leaves us thinking of Cowell as not just a great American musician but a great American, period." —Booklist

"Gorgeously written...Sachs sets a furious narrative tempo from the get-go, each page seemingly revealing a nugget of information that history was hitherto reluctant to divulge...This man made of music deserves this first biography and a revival too; let's hope Sach's book seals the deal." —Gramophone

"A magisterial biography...Essential." —Choice

"A more complete picture of these years than we could have hoped for. Henry Cowell is a compelling read, but it also offers a remarkable contribution to studies of American musical culture in the twentieth century...Sachs has offered both a captivating biography for the general reader interested in American music and an excellently documented version of the composer's life in which even a dedicated Cowell scholar is sure to find something new and of interest." —ARSC Journal

"Offers a rich discourse not only on the life of Henry Cowell (1897-1965), but also a commentary on the many prolific figures close to him...Joel Sachs has not only deftly navigated through an extraordinary amount of source material but also delivered a riveting account of Cowell the musician. This book will provide a rich resource for anyone with an interest in American music, ethnomusicology, music and politics, and music and society in the first half of the twentieth century. Henry Cowell: A Man Made of Music is an extraordinary contribution to the field." —Notes

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199939183
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
06/12/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
5 MB

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