Stravinsky’s ear for instruments

Dromey, Christopher ORCID logoORCID: (2020) Stravinsky’s ear for instruments. In: Stravinsky in Context. Griffiths, Graham, ed. Composers in Context . Cambridge University Press, pp. 170-178. ISBN 9781108422192, e-ISBN 9781108381086, e-ISBN 9781108390262. [Book Section] (doi:10.1017/9781108381086.024)

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Do you remember the first time you heard the music of Igor Stravinsky? Or modernist music? My own teenage introduction to both was Ragtime (1917–18), our music teacher helping us join the dots between its particular strand of twentieth-century classical music and Scott Joplin’s evergreen rag, ‘The Entertainer’ (1902), which the pianists among us would struggle to play.1 Looking back, the muffled giggling which Ragtime provoked was due as much to the jolting introduction of its faint and weird-sounding cimbalom as to the relentless discontinuities that shape its phrasing, melody and timbre. To hear Stravinsky repeatedly is to understand how these innovations relate to one another, but the shock of having to process his music for the first time was real and literally physical. Here were strange folk- and jazz-inspired sounds, far removed from the Classical and Romantic orchestras that had framed our expectations of so-called classical music until that point. Ragtime’s sound was, and remains, quite alien

Item Type: Book Section
Research Areas: A. > School of Media and Performing Arts > Performing Arts > Music group
Item ID: 28757
Notes on copyright: This material has been published in revised form in Stravinsky in Context edited by Graham Griffiths This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution or re-use. © Cambridge University Press, 2021
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Depositing User: Dr Chris Dromey
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2020 16:17
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 18:06

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