Hey everyone, I just got through reading some interesting books and I was wondering what some of your favorites in the composition/theoretical world were.

The two I finished were the two volumes of the Schillenger System of Music Composition and the book "Reinventing the Past" which discusses the way various 20th century composers (primarily Schoenberg and Stravinsky, with some observations on Bartok as well) dealt with the looming tradition of Common Practice Music and how they were able to not only stich themselves into the fabric of music history, but also re-define how we look at older composers (the whole "true geniuses influence those that came before them" thing).

What about you guys?
Igor Stravinsky's Poetics of Music is complete genius and I think a must read for anyone interested in composing music worth listening to. It's a transcription of six lectures he gave to a class at Oxford/Cambridge I don't remember which, on the poetics of music and consists basically of his philosophy on what a composer should be and music in general.

The English translation (the lectures were initially in French, and there is only one translation that I know of) doesn't seem great as the language is very 19th century, flowery style, but the ideas are solid. Plus he slams Wagner so who wouldn't want to read it.
i'll have to check them out, particularly stravinsky, he has such a great way of putting things!

it's not very modern at all, but charles rosen's the romantic generation is quite interesting, although (the clue is in the title!) it's main focus is on schubert, schumann, chopin etc. but it's quite interesting!

there's some really good book we used in college, but i can't remember the name of it for the life o me....
Quote by Sean0913
The Schillinger method is quite "secretive" and a bit controversial and it seems that few people really understand it, or are qualified to teach. Am I correct?



Well, the Schillinger method is more of a means of motivic exploration, it examines pretty much every single way a single motive can be developed and extended, thus allowing the composer to extend a single idea in every direction possible, so he is left with a vast pool of different (though connected motivically) materials to use in the composition.

That being said, I am reading the "method" (written by Schillenger himself) without any external teachers, and am finding it pretty easy to digest.
Art of the Fugue

no words needed

...modes and scales are still useless.

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