Bibliography from Eastman Classes in the 1970s

I recently rediscovered an old bibliography on notecards from my student days and converted it into this list. The books were recommended reading during my years at Eastman in the mid-1970s. In particular, the books on aesthetics were recommended by my composition professor Warren Benson. Many of these books are still interesting, although they may be hard to find. I've linked to Amazon with an affiliate link when I could find the book there.

I should have read most of these books, but I don't remember how many I actually read. While making this new list, I was inspired to get Archibald MacLeish's Poetry and Experience from my local library; it inspired me with a wonderfully rational view into the truth expressed by poetry. When I write for percussion, I still use my copy of Brindle's Contemporary Percussion. I have Gardner Read's Music Notation, although I'm more likely to look at Kurt Stone's more recent Music Notation in the Twentieth Century (1980). I see that there is an updated edition of Gardner Read's book. I should check it out.

Topics   Horn   Music Theory and Composition:   Aesthetics   Art   Biography   Essay   Notation   Orchestration    Survey   Theory


Author Title Comments Originally Published Edition
Farkas Philip The Art of French Horn Playing Practical manual 1956 Updated in 1995.
Gregory Robin The Horn Instrument history and present models. Playing technique. 1961
Karstadt Georg Lasst lustig die Hörner erschallen! In German. A “short history of hunting music”. History and treatment of horn by composers through hunting calls. Pictures and examples. 1964
Morley-Pegge R. The French horn Evolution of technique, players, odd items of interest. Some highly complex technical info. Good historical view. 1973 Updated 1978?
Schuller Gunther Horn Technique Practical problems 1962 2nd edition 1992.
Yancich Milan A practical guide to French horn playing 1971

Music Theory and Composition


On my notecards, I noted that all but the first were recommended by my composition professor Warren Benson.

Author Title Comments Originally Published Edition
Barzun Jacques Darwin Marx Wagner Ideology and influence on musical aesthetics 1941 Univ of Chicago Press, 1981. Also, Reprint Barzun Press 2007.
Cary Joyce Art and Reality Doubleday Anchor book. 1958 Facsimile edition.
Cummings E.E. Six Nonlectures Atheneum (publisher) 1953 Harvard Univ. Press edition, 1991.
Hofmann Hans Search for the Real MIT Press. 1967 MIT Press
MacLeish Archibald Poetry and Experience Peregrine (publisher) 1964 Penguin paperback.
Rilke Rainer Maria Letters to a Young Poet 1929
Roethke Theodore On the Poet and his Craft 1965 Univ of Washington Press
Thomas Dylan Quite Early One Morning New Direction Paperback 1954 Out of print?


Author Title Comments Originally Published Edition
Winternitz Emmanuel Musical instruments and their Symbolism in Western Art By the curator of instruments at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A collection of essays on the style and purpose of instruments in Medieval and Renaissance art. 1967 Yale Univ Press, reprint 1979.


Author Title Comments Originally Published Edition
Barraque Jean Debussy French and English edition published 1994. 1962
Barzun Jacques Berlioz and the Romantic century 1950 Revised several times, including 1969, 1982
Craft Robert Chronicle of a Friendship About Stravinsky in the last decades of his life, by his closest colleague and friend 2nd edition 1994
Geiringer Karl Brahms, his life and work 1947 Revised 1974; paperback 1984
Libman Lillian And music at the close About Stravinsky at the end of his life, by his secretary. 1972
Lockspeiser Edward Debussy 1963
Moldenhauer & Irvine Hans & Demar Anton Webern: Perspectives Essays 1966
Myers R. Erik Satie 1968
Newman Ernest The Unconscious Beethoven An essay in musical psychology. 1927 New edition in 1970
Newman Ernest Hugo Wolf 1907 Newly printed reproduction in paperback 2012
Redlich H.F. Bruckner and Mahler Lives and discussion of works. Appendices, calendar and list of works 1955 1963
Redlich H.F. Alban Berg: the man and his music 1957
Sokoloff Alice Hunt Cosima Wagner: Extraordinary Daughter of Franz Liszt 1969
White Eric Walter Stravinsky: The Composer and his Works 2nd edition 1984
Wildgans Friedrich Anton Webern 1967


Author Title Comments Originally Published Edition
Cage John Silence Gives the best idea of his work and theories. 1961 50th anniversary edition
Cage John A Year From Monday Occasionally mentions music. 1967


Author Title Comments Originally Published Edition
Cage John Notations Examples from many manuscripts with composers’ comments 1969 Expensive book priced for collectors
Karkoschka Erhard Notation in new music: A critical guide to interpretation and realisation In German, Das Scriftbild der Neuen Musik. Examples, many contemporary scores explained English edition 1972
Read Gardner Music Notation: A Manual of Modern Practice Encyclopedic reference on standard practice. Includes some contemporary symbols. Revised 1972; New edition 1999


Author Title Comments Originally Published Edition
Brindle Reginald Smith Contemporary Percussion I still refer to this comprehensive book. 1970 Expensive book now
Leibowitz R. Thinking for Orchestra Orchestration class textbook. 1960 Expensive book now


Author Title Comments Originally Published Edition
Austin W.W. Music in the 20th Century from Debussy through Stravinsky Extensive annotated bibligraphy 1966 New edition 1980
Grout Donald A History of Western Music The textbook for my 1970s music history class. Online comments say it has gotten really good over the many editions, with companion audio material. 9th edition 2014
Hayes William, editor 20th Century Views of Music History Essays? (not found online)
Salzman Eric 20th Century Music: an Introduction Info on American music and music since 1950 1967 4th edition 2001
Schwarz & Childs Elliot & Barney Contemporary Composers on Contemporary Music Essays Reprinted or new edition 2009. Kindle edition
Sternfeld F.W., editor Music in the Modern Age Praegger (publisher) 1973
Yates Peter Twentieth Century Music 1967


Author Title Comments Originally Published Edition
Brindle Reginald Smith Serial Composition The techniques for using series to make a musical composition. An Amazon commenter writes “I would read it in conjunction with Perle's "Serial Composition and Atonality" and Wuorinen's "Simple Composition" to get a fuller picture. I would add Rahn's "Basic Atonal Theory" Forte's "The Structure of Atonal Music" if you can get your hands on a copy.” 1968
Persichetti Vincent 20th Century Harmony Technical chord formation. List of works as examples. 1961
Piston Walter Harmony Traditional harmony through chromatically altered chords. 5th edition adds chapters on post-common-practice harmony.. 1941 5th edition 1987
Schoenberg Arnold Fundamentals of Composition 1967 Reissued 1999
Ulehla Ludmilla Contemporary Harmony I noted in 1974: “Boring coverage of early 20th century harmonic techniques.” Available online at Amazon and as a PDF on Scribd, Also covered in outline form at I found the outline valuable; I should revisit the book. 1966 Edition published in 2015