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The Music of Conlon Nancarrow [Hardcover]

Kyle Gann
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Jan. 26 1996 Music in the Twentieth Century (Book 7)
Conlon Nancarrow has written the most rhythmically complex music the world has ever known, so complex that it can only be realized on a mechanical player piano. Yet Nancarrow's whirlwinds of notes, sometimes as many as eighty per second, are jazzy and infectiously joyous. The music he composed in almost complete isolation from 1940 on has only recently achieved international fame, and this is the first book to cover in detail Nancarrow's life and compositional achievements. The book includes analysis of sixty-five works and previously unpublished biographical information.

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"Kyle Gann's brilliant and authoritative study....Gann's study convincingly defines the field of inquiry for a composer whose full stature is only now becomming clear." Philip Rupprecht, I.S.A.M. Newsletter

Book Description

Conlon Nancarrow has written the most rhythmically complex music the world has ever known, so complex that it can only be realised on a mechanical player piano. Yet Nancarrow's whirlwinds of notes, sometimes as many as 80 per second are jazzy and infectiously joyous. The music he composed in almost complete isolation from 1940 has achieved international fame only recently, and this is the first book detailing his life and compositional achievements. It includes analysis of 65 works and previously unpublished biographical information.

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Compared to the musical traditions of Africa, India, and Indonesia, European classical music has always been rhythmically limited. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Format:Hardcover
Conlon Nancarrow was a creative genious. Although quite possibly the most rhythmically complex and original music ever composed in its time, his music sounds pleasant enough to appeal to those who have no (vested) interest in the science of music. In addition to introducing the man behind the music, this book provides a thorough and accurate analysis of the numerous rhythmic/melodic devices first used by Nancarrow. I believe many of the concepts (such as the hypermeasure) presented in this book point toward the inevitable future of World Art Music. Reading this book has inspired numerous of my own compositions, as well as rhythm etudes which have liberated my sense of meter as a jazz improviser. This book is essential reading not only for Nancarrow enthusiasts, but also for those searching for new directions to explore, and those interested in the convergence of Western Art Music and World Music (such as North Indian classical).
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential for anyone serious about new musical resources Dec 11 1999
By "bluesman@mailcity.com" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Conlon Nancarrow was a creative genious. Although quite possibly the most rhythmically complex and original music ever composed in its time, his music sounds pleasant enough to appeal to those who have no (vested) interest in the science of music. In addition to introducing the man behind the music, this book provides a thorough and accurate analysis of the numerous rhythmic/melodic devices first used by Nancarrow. I believe many of the concepts (such as the hypermeasure) presented in this book point toward the inevitable future of World Art Music. Reading this book has inspired numerous of my own compositions, as well as rhythm etudes which have liberated my sense of meter as a jazz improviser. This book is essential reading not only for Nancarrow enthusiasts, but also for those searching for new directions to explore, and those interested in the convergence of Western Art Music and World Music (such as North Indian classical).
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