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This book is about how music "in a key" is composed. Further, it is about how such music was composed when it was no longer compulsory to do so, starting a few years before the First World War. In an eclectic journey through the history of compositional technique, Daniel Harrison contends that the tonal system did not simply die out with the dawn of twentieth century, but continued to supplement newer techniques as a compelling means of musical organization, even into current times. Well-known art music composers such as Bartok, Hindemith, Prokofiev, and Messiaen are represented alongside composers whose work moves outside the standard boundaries of art music: Leonard Bernstein, Murice Duruflé, Frank Martin, Xiaoyong Chen. Along the way, the book attends to military bugle calls, a trailer before a movie feature, a recomposition of a famous piece by Arnold Schoenberg, and the music of Neil Diamond, David Shire, and Brian Wilson.



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