Henry Cowell: A Man Made of Music

ISBN : 9780190227920

Joel Sachs
640 ページ
169 x 234 mm

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, being sentenced to fifteen years in San Quentin - of which he served four - after pleading guilty to a morals charge that even the prosecutor felt was trivial. Providing a wealth of insight into Cowell's ideas and philosophy, Joel Sachs lays out a much-needed perspective on one of the giants of twentieth-century American music.


Prologue: Of the Three Ladies, Henry, and Some Others
Part I - Child to Man
Chapter 1: Clarissa and Harry
Chapter 2: Henry
Chapter 3: Years of Voyage
Chapter 4: The Turning Point
Chapter 5: The Expanding Circle
Chapter 6: Bi-Coastal Life
Chapter 6: Genesis of a Theoretical System
Chapter 8: Henry Goes to War
Chapter 9: Marketing Henry
Part II - International Ultramodernist Virtuoso
Chapter 10: The Trio
Chapter 11: Conquering Europe, First Attempt (1923)
Chapter 12: Attacking the American Market
Chapter 13: Europe Again (1926)
Chapter 14: Making It in America, Scene 2
Chapter 15: Europe, Third Installment (1929)
Chapter 16: New Musical Resources
Chapter 17: New Projects and Old (1929-1931)
Part III - The Frenetic Years
Chapter 18: Looking beyond Europe from Berlin
Chapter 19: American Interlude
Chapter 20: Berlin Again
Chapter 21: The End of Virtuosity
Chapter 22: The New Technologies
Chapter 23: Collapsing Dreams
Chapter 24: American Composition or Americanist Music
Chapter 25: Surveying the Larger Musical World
Chapter 26: Music and Politics
Chapter 27: Henry and His Circle
Chapter 28: A Doomed Romance
Chapter 29: Compositions of 1929-1936
Chapter 30: Thirty-Nine
Part IV - Four Endless Years
Chapter 31: Life Stops
Chapter 32: The Hearing
Chapter 33: Arriving and Adjusting: The First Summer
Chapter 34: The Second Day of Reckoning
Chapter 35: Living With It
Chapter 36: Living With It (continued)
Chapter 37: The Melody Book and Other Ideas
Chapter 38: Toward the Exit
Part V - Life Resumes
Chapter 39: The First Six Months
Chapter 40: First Turning Point
Chapter 41: Problem Solved
Chapter 42: End of an Era
Chapter 43: The War Effort
Chapter 44: Old Friendships Renewed
Chapter 45: Figs
Chapter 46: A Settled Life
Chapter 47: Simplicity
Chapter 48: Collaborations and an Ives Biography
Chapter 49: Europe Again
Part VI - World Traveler
Chapter 50: The Big Trip
Chapter 51: Iran, I
Chapter 52: India
Chapter 53: Iran, II
Chapter 54: Change of Plans
Chapter 55: A New Radicalism, 1957-1961
Chapter 56: Asia Again
Chapter 57: Years of Honor, 1961-63
Chapter 58: The Cold War Again
Chapter 59: Home Again, 1963-1964
Chapter 60: Finale
Chapter 61: Who Was Henry Cowell?
Selective Bibliography


Joel Sachs is Professor of Music History, Chamber Music, and New Music Performance at The Juilliard School, where he conducts the New Juilliard Ensemble.