This page lists the readings assigned in the textbook and auxiliary sources, plus a few lecture outlines.

Textbook: Buy at Amazon Morgan, Robert. Twentieth-Century Music. New York, NY: W. W. Norton, 1991. ISBN: 9780393952728.

Several other assigned readings are in [Strunk v.7]: Buy at Amazon Morgan, Robert, ed. Strunk's Source Readings in Music History: 20th Century. Vol. 7. New York, NY: W. W. Norton, 1997. ISBN: 9780393967005.


Part 1: European Music Before WWII

Composers and ideas which gained in importance before 1939 or at least 1945. Some works studied will be from as late as 1956 but in "older" styles.

1 Introduction.

Antecedents and the State of Music, 1899. The "Long Nineteenth Century." 1900-1960: The Big Questions.

Morgan. "The Nineteenth-Century Musical Background," "Europe at the Turn of the Century," and (skim) "R. Strauss." pp. 1-8, 11-17, and 28-35.
2 Stravinsky Throws Down the Gauntlet

Morgan. "New Tonalities: Stravinsky." pp. 89-103.

Buy at Amazon Stravinksy, Igor. "Comments," and "Reviews of the First Performance." In Music in the Western World. Edited by P. Weiss and R. Taruskin. New York, NY: Schirmer, 1984. ISBN: 9780028729008.

Buy at Amazon ———. "Dissonance." From Poetics of Music. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 1993. ISBN: 9780674678569. (Excerpts)

Buy at Amazon Kelly, Thomas Forrest. "Igor Stravinsky, Le sacre du printemps: Thursday, May 29, 1913, 8:45pm." In First Nights. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2001. ISBN: 9780300091052.

3 Bartok

Morgan. "On Bartók." pp. 103-110 and 179-186.

Morgan. "On Ravel." pp. 124-27.

Bartók, Béla. "The Influence of Peasant Music on Modern Music." and "The Relation of Folk Song to the Development of Art Music of Our Time." In [Strunk v.7].

You must attempt one of these two readings, but don't worry if you don't get through them:

  • 1. An easy introduction to analyzing Bartók: Bachmann, Tibor and Peter J. Bachmann. "An Analysis of Béla Bartók’s Music through Fibonaccian Numbers and the Golden Mean." Musical Quarterly 65.1 (1979), pp. 72-78 (read 72-top of 77). Their work is based on Ernő Lendvai, Béla Bartók: an analysis of his music (London, Kahn and Averill, 1971).
  • 2. For those wanting to go deeper, a heavier introduction: Leo Treitler, "Re: Harmonic Procedure in the 'Fourth Quartet' of Béla Bartók." Journal of Music Theory 3.2 (Nov. 1959), pp. 292-98.
4 German Music between the Wars (And a Little Before and After...)

Morgan. "The Influence of Politics: Germany: Hindemith and Weill." pp. 220-35.

Hindemith, Paul. "Atonality and Polytonality." In The Craft of Musical Composition, trans. Arthur Mendel. New York, NY: Schott, 1984.

5 The Second Viennese School: Tonality and Atonality

Morgan. "Chapter III: The Atonal Revolution." pp. 62-88.

6 The Second Viennese School: Twelve-Tone Tonality

Morgan. "The Twelve-Tone System." pp. 187-219.

Schoenberg, Arnold. "Composition with Twelve Tones." In [Strunk v.7]. (Excerpts)

Buy at Amazon Webern, Anton, and Arnold Schoenberg. "The Limits of Compression." In Music in the Western World. Edited by P. Weiss and R. Taruskin. New York, NY: Schirmer, 1984. ISBN: 9780028729008.


Neoclassicism and Stravinsky (ca. 1920-1952)

First Unit Test

Morgan. "Prokofiev" and "Stravinsky." pp. 238­-41 and 160-79.
Optional but recommended: "Neo-Classicism and developments in France." pp. 159-68.

Buy at Amazon Griffiths, Paul. Igor Stravinsky, The Rake's Progress. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1982. ISBN: 9780521237468.

Part 2: American Music Before WWII
8 Introduction; Antecedents

Buy at Amazon Crawford, Richard. An Introduction to America's Music. New York, NY: W. W. Norton, 2000. ISBN: 9780393974096. (Excerpts)

9 Charles Ives

Morgan. pp. 137-148.

Ives, Charles. "Music and Its Future." In [Strunk v.7].

Buy at Amazon ———. Selected Writings. In Music in the Western World. Edited by P. Weiss and R. Taruskin New York, NY: Schirmer, 1984, pp. 423-26. ISBN: 9780028729008.

Thoreau, Henry David. Walden. Chapter 1, essentially the first 20 pages or so. (Excerpts) (Download a copy of Walden from Project Gutenberg.)

Buy at Amazon Block, Geoffrey. Ives: Concord Sonata. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1996. ISBN: 9780521498210.

10 Ruth Crawford Seeger and Other American Modernists

Buy at Amazon Tick, Judith. Ruth Crawford Seeger: A Composer's Search for American Music. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1997. ISBN: 9780195065091.

Buy at Amazon Straus, Joseph. The Music of Ruth Crawford Seeger. Cambridge University Press, 1995. ISBN: 9780521416467.

11 The "Art-Scientists": Cowell, Antheil, Varese

Morgan. pp. 295-302.

Buy at Amazon Cowell, Henry. New Musical Resources. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1996. ISBN: 9780521499743.

Buy at Amazon Antheil, George. Bad Boy of Music. New York, NY: Samuel French, Inc. 1990. ISBN: 9780573606045.

12 Still, Gershwin (And Bernstein)

Still, William Grant. "Horizons Unlimited." In [Strunk v.7].

Wilson, Olly. "The Black American Composer." In [Strunk v.7].

Buy at Amazon Schiff, David. Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1997. ISBN: 9780521559539.

13 Aaron Copland (Guest Lecture) Morgan. pp. 282-92.

Virgil Thomson

Second Unit Test

Buy at Amazon Tommasini, Anthony. Virgil Thomson: composer on the aisle. New York, NY: W. W. Norton, 1998. ISBN: 9780393318586.

Buy at Amazon Watson, Steven. Prepare for Saints: Gertrude Stein, Virgil Thomson, and the Mainstreaming of American Modernism. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1995. ISBN: 9780520223530.

Part 3: Music During and After WWII
15 The Continued Tonal Tradition I: Britten and Barber

Morgan. pp. 270-78 (includes Walton); optional: pp. 128-37 (earlier English composers, includes Vaughn Williams and Holst).

Buy at Amazon Seymour, Claire. The Operas of Benjamin Britten. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell & Brewer, Ltd., 2004. ISBN: 9780851158655

Buy at Amazon Felsenfeld, Daniel. Britten and Barber: Their Lives and their Music. Pompton Plains, NJ: Amadeus Press, 2005. ISBN: 9781574671087.

16 The Continued Tonal Tradition II: Shostakovich

Morgan. pp. 244-50.

Shostakovich, Dmitri. "Testimony." In [Strunk v.7].

Buy at Amazon Fay, Laurel. Shostakovich: A Life. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2005. ISBN: 9780195182514. (Excerpts)

17 Oliver Messiaen

Morgan. pp. 333-45.

Buy at Amazon Rischin, Rebecca. For the End of Time: The Story of the Messiaen Quartet. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2003. ISBN: 9780801441363.

Buy at Amazon Pople, Anthony. Messiaen, Quatuor pour la fin du temps. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1998. ISBN: 9780521585385.

18 Total Serialism 1: Babbittand Stockhausen

Morgan. "Serialism in Germany: Stockhausen," and "American Serialism." pp. 345-55.

Babbitt, Milton. "Who Cares if You Listen?" (1958) In [Strunk v.7].

Boulez, Pierre. "Schoenberg is Dead." The Score 6 (1952): 18-22.

19 Serialism 2: Nono and Stravinsky

Morgan. "Stravinsky and Serialism." pp. 355-58.

Guerrero, Jeannie Ma. "Serial Intervention in Nono's Ilcanto Sospeso." Music Theory Online 12.1 (February 2006).

20 Boulez, Carter and the Legacy of Serial Aesthetic

Morgan. 397-402.

Buy at Amazon Rosen, Charles. "The Performance of Contemporary Music: Carter's Double Concerto." In Critical Entertainments. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001. ISBN: 9780674006843.

21 Electronic Music

Morgan. pp. 306-14.

Rossolo, Luigi. "The Art of Noises." In [Strunk v.7].

Varèse, Edgard. "The Liberation of Sound." In [Strunk v.7].

Stockhausen, Karlheinz. "The Concept of Unity in Electronic Music." In [Strunk v.7].

22 Cage and Aleatory

Morgan. "Indeterminacy." pp. 359-364.

Eco, Umberto. "The Poetics of the Open Work." In [Strunk v.7]. (Excerpts)

Buy at Amazon Cage, John. Silence: Lectures and Writings. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan Unversity Press, 1961. ISBN: 9780819560285.

Buy at Amazon Samuels, Robert, ed. and tr. The Boulez-Cage Correspondence. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1993. ISBN: 9780521401449.


Aleatory 2: Open Form, New York School and Fluxus

(Bring Instruments Today!)

Morgan. "Indeterminacy." pp. 365-376.

Buy at Amazon Cage, John. Notations. New York, NY: Something Else Press, 1973. ISBN: 9780685148648.

Young, La Monte, and Jackson MacLow, eds. An Anthology of Chance Operations. 2nd ed. Bronx, NY: George Maciunas, 1970.

24 Nancarrow and Partch: Two American Originals

Morgan. pp. 302-6.

Partch, Harry. "Patterns of Music." In [Strunk v.7].

Buy at Amazon Gann, Kyle. The music of Conlon Nancarrow. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1996. ISBN: 9780521465342.