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Fundamentals of Musical Composition Paperback – 15 Mar 1999

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (15 Mar. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571196586
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571196586
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 1.8 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 67,783 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

The essential book on composition from one of the great composers of the twentieth century.

About the Author

Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) was an Austrian composer, later moving to the United States, and was leader of the Second Viennese School. In the 1920s, Schoenberg developed the twelve-tone technique, and his approach, both in terms of harmony and development, is among the major landmarks of twentieth-century musical thought. The extraordinary scope of Schoenberg's intelligence, and the often prophetic character of his insights, make his writings on music an indispensable source for anyone interested in the complex history of twentieth-century music.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 54 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 26 Oct. 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is an extremely useful introduction to the techniques of musical composition. It does presuppose a degree of technical knowledge and its usefulness would be improved if it made clear at the outset what level of ability at music theory the student is assumed to have. Nevertheless, Schoenberg's treatment is detailed and thorough, and it contains many helpful examples from musical literature to illustrate points under discussion. I feel that this book is best read alongside other works on musical technique so as to ensure that each section is thoroughly understood. When studied in this way the knowledge and practice gained are invaluable, and I would recommend this book to anyone with a creative instinct.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By nwc on 4 Jun. 2012
Format: Paperback
Schoenberg put this book together from the lessons he gave to American students who hadn't had the academic background in Music that he was used to from his students in Europe. In other words, it's a handbook in composition (and analysis) for intelligent people who want an introduction to the composition styles of the 18th & 19th Century German masters.

It's not intended as a guaranteed method of producing original masterpieces, (still less "How to Write Twelve-Tone Music") but to show the student composer how these composers put their Music together: how to come to grips with phrasing, cadence, and structure. It's a great book and has been invaluable to me for pastiche work for the past thirty-four years!
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By J. J. Rowley on 6 Feb. 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is brilliant for looking at how to compose, written by a great composer of the 20th Century. He taught in the USA and wrote a variety of books the seminal one being his 1911 book on Theory of Harmony where he set out his 12 tone theory. Recommended reading for all serious music scholars at university. One I refer to often.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 23 Feb. 2009
Format: Paperback
as with any other textbook written by Schoenberg,this book educates the aspiring musician on technical,philosophical and practical aspects of music.
Contrary to what someone else wrote in some reviews,this book presupposes that the student knows solidly all the foundations of harmony. It's not a book for 'dabbling' in composition,it's a book for composers in the making. It requires careful study and review. An excellent book by a great teacher and innovator of music.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is overly wordy and repetitive. Schoenberg attempts to articulate the 'fundamentals of musical composition', but unfortunately fails to deliver. I managed to finish reading the whole book but it was hard going! Sorry Schoenberg, I disagree with some of what you have written, compositions don't just magically appear as an entire entity before a composers eyes, most composers need to work and rework their material in order to refine it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A fantastic book, in excellent condition. It arrived promptly, and has been of great use to me. Written in a coherent, easily understandable manner, with clear and well organised examples, Shonberg's book is a handy guide through the form and analysis of music, as well as its composition.
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