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Performance, Technology, and Politics

Title: Performance, Technology, and Politics: Hermann Scherchen's Aesthetics of Modern Music.
Name(s): Hutchison, Dennis C., author
Van Glahn, Denise, professor directing dissertation
Clendinning, Jane Piper, outside committee member
Brewer, Charles E., committee member
Kite-Powell, Jeffrey, committee member
College of Music, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2003
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This study is an examination of European modernism based on the activities and writings of Hermann Scherchen (1891-1966). Scherchen is known today as a conductor and champion of modern music, but he was also an orchestra builder, a founder of journals, a radio pioneer, and an electro-acoustics researcher. He directed the premieres of nearly one hundred fifty works, including those by Schoenberg, Webern, Berg, Stravinsky, Křenek, Hindemith, Weill, Varèse, Hartmann, Nono, and Xenakis. Scherchen was also an important interpreter of Mahler's symphonies and of Bach's Kunst der Fuge. He was a proponent of an objective approach to conducting, emphasized the acoustical nature of music, and aimed at illuminating the details of the musical work. Under difficult economic conditions, Scherchen cultivated the Grotrian-Steinweg Orchestra in the early 1920s and the "Musica Viva" Orchestra in the 1930s. Scherchen founded the music journals Melos and Musica Viva, wrote an important book on conducting, the Lehrbuch des Dirigierens, and published articles on Schoenberg's Pierrot lunaire and Beethoven's Grosse Fuge. Scherchen did important pioneering work in Radio in Königsberg from 1928 to 1931 and in Zürich from 1945 to 1950. In 1954, he founded an electro-acoustic studio in Gravesano, Switzerland. This institute conducted research in hall acoustics, instrument design, compositional technique, psychoacoustics, sociology, recording and sound transmission, and television and film. The results of their inquiries were published in the journal Gravesaner Blätter. Scherchen's life intersected directly with the major political events of the last century. He experienced the events of the 1917 Russian Revolution and the German November Revolution of 1918; he led workers choruses and went into exile when the Nazis seized power in 1933 and, in 1950, was a victim of the Cold War. Given the breadth of his activities and experiences, Scherchen presents a unique means to understanding the musical culture of his times.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-3384 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the School of Music in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2003.
Date of Defense: March 26, 2003.
Keywords: The Gravesano Electro-Acoustic Institute, Worker Choruses, Conducting
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Denise Von Glahn, Professor Directing Dissertation; Jane Piper Clendinning, Outside Committee Member; Charles E. Brewer, Committee Member; Jeffrey Kite-Powell, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Music
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

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Hutchison, D. C. (2003). Performance, Technology, and Politics: Hermann Scherchen's Aesthetics of Modern Music. Retrieved from