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Understanding Charles Seeger, Pioneer in American Musicology cover
  • ISBN: 9780252024931
  • ISBN10: 0252024931

Understanding Charles Seeger, Pioneer in American Musicology

by Bell Yung

  • List Price: $34.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Univ of Illinois Pr
  • Publish date: 10/01/1999
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A giant in the development of American musicology, Charles Seeger was a scholar-musician active in practically all areas of musical endeavor: performance, composition, theory, criticism, pedagogy, and musicology. This wide-ranging collection provides a historical context for Seeger's ideas by investigating his writings on music, musical research, and the responsibility of the musician and musicologist to society.

A passionate teacher who began at the University of California at Berkeley in 1912 and was active until his death at the age of ninety-two, Seeger was vitally interested in bridging the gap between academia and the world outside the ivory tower. He was also concerned with nurturing uniquely American musical forms and played a leadership role in the Composers Collective in New York in the 1930s.

A philosopher, builder, and social activist, Seeger was integral to the founding of such scholarly organizations as the American Musicological Society and the Society for Ethnomusicology. Indeed, his ideas about music and musicology, incorporating perspectives as diverse as physics, philosophy, and anthropology, set the stage for the rise of modern ethnomusicology.

Understanding Charles Seeger, Pioneer in American Musicology traces Seeger's advocacy of exploring alternatives to nineteenth-century European romantic musical style and his involvement with folk music research, including his initial dismissal and later acceptance of folk music as a positive social force. Contributors reassess the intellectual relationship between Seeger and his second wife, Ruth Crawford, and explore such issues as Seeger's concern with the role of music and the composer in a class society, his freeadaptation of Marxist notions of class and social change, and his eclectic philosophy and theories about music, its operation, and its place in society.

By presenting new perspectives on Seeger's life and work, focusing particularly on his early writings, Understanding Charles Seeger, Pioneer in American Musicology provides a unique perspective on intellectual history in America in the twentieth century.

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