Lou Harrison

Author: Leta E. Miller and Fredric Lieberman
An innovator's life, works, and place in the history of twentieth-century American music
Cloth – $44
978-0-252-03120-5
eBook – $19.95
978-0-252-09192-6
Publication Date
Cloth: 07/03/2006
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About the Book

Music's inclusivity--its potential to unite cultures, disciplines, and individuals--defined the life and career of Lou Harrison (1917-2003). Beyond studying with avant-garde titans such as Henry Cowell and Arnold Schoenberg, he conducted Charles Ives's Pulitzer Prize-winning Third Symphony, staged high-profile percussion concerts with John Cage, and achieved fame for his distinctive blending of cultures--from the Chinese opera, Indonesian gamelan, and the music of Native Americans to modernist dissonant counterpoint.Leta E. Miller and Fredric Lieberman take readers into Harrison's rich world of cross-fertilization through an exploration of his outspoken stance on pacifism, gay rights, ecology, and respect for minorities--all major influences on his musical works. Though Harrison was sometimes accused by contemporaries of "cultural appropriation," Miller and Lieberman make it clear why musicians and scholars alike now laud him as an imaginative pioneer for his integration of Asian and Western musics. They also delve into Harrison's work in the development of the percussion ensemble, his use of found and invented instruments, and his explorations of alternative tuning systems. An accompanying compact disc of representative recordings allows readers to examine Harrison's compositions in further detail.

About the Author

Leta E. Miller and Fredric Lieberman are professors of music at the University of California, Santa Cruz. They are coauthors of Composing a World: Lou Harrison, Musical Wayfarer

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Reviews

"A loving, but not uncritical, introduction to the man and his music."--TLS

"Concise, well-written biography. . . . Recommended."--Choice

"Leta Miller and Fredric Lieberman have . . . created the ideal introduction to the composer and his music."--Music and Letters