Maximum Clarity and Other Writings on Music

Gilmore, Bob and Johnston, Ben (2006) Maximum Clarity and Other Writings on Music. University of Illinois Press, USA. ISBN 0-252-03098-2

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Abstract / Summary

This book is a collection of writings on music by the distinguished American composer Ben Johnston (b.1926), comprising over fifty texts. Gilmore proposed the book idea to Johnston and the University of Illinois Press, and worked closely with Johnston throughout. Gilmore was responsible for the collating, selecting and editing of the texts, and wrote the 1000-word Introduction, a Chronology of Johnston’s life, (pp xxv-xxxviii) and a Discography (pp 267-269). It is only the second book to be devoted to Johnston’s music. The first, Heidi Von Gunden’s ‘The Music of Ben Johnston’, is an analytical monograph on his compositions whereas, in contrast, ‘Maximum Clarity and Other Writings on Music’ is an edited and annotated collection of primary sources. Its four sections contain Johnston’s writings on music theory, musical aesthetics and culture, other composers, and programme notes to selected compositions. Its primary intention was to make a contribution to the still modest body of available literature on microtonal music theory, which is one of Gilmore’s own specialisms. In terms of his previous research, this book is a logical follow-up to his biography of composer Harry Partch (Yale University Press, 1998), who was Johnston’s principal teacher. Work on the book was supported by research funding for travel from Dartington College of Arts, and a publication subvention was given by San Jose State University, California. In 2007, the book was awarded a Deems Taylor Award by ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) for “works of excellence on American music”.

Item Type: Book
ISBN: 0-252-03098-2
Depositing User: Ex Falmouth Staff
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2014 11:43
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2017 16:03


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