Henry Dixon Cowell was an American composer, music theorist, pianist, teacher, publisher, . of his output—important works from this era include The Banshee ( ), requiring numerous playing methods such as pizzicato and longitudinal. Henry Cowell () was an American composer, teacher and pianist. He was a part of the avante-garde movement in music at the turn. Henry Cowell’s The Banshee an audience sits in the dark facing a grand piano on a brightly lit stage. The piano’s lid angles upward, the keyboard waits for.

Author: Bar Sarn
Country: French Guiana
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Personal Growth
Published (Last): 13 August 2007
Pages: 73
PDF File Size: 13.17 Mb
ePub File Size: 13.4 Mb
ISBN: 537-5-50207-521-5
Downloads: 10568
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Nizshura

Interpreters of the piece are invited to simultaneously perform two or even three versions of the same movement on multiple pianos. Conlon Nancarrowfor instance, would refer to it years later as having “the most influence of anything I’ve ever read in music. He also had a life-long interest in world music which he shared with his wife, ethnomusicologist Sidney Robertson Cowell.

Musical Musings: Cowell – The Banshee

The Piano Music of Henry Cowell. Streams Videos All Posts. While receiving no formal musical education and little schooling of any kind beyond his mother’s home tutelagehe began to compose in his mid-teens. Cowell’s compositional output became strikingly more conservative soon after his release from San Quentin, with simpler rhythms and a more traditional harmonic language. Rainy Day Relaxation Road Trip. Views Read Edit View history. Cowell had contributed to the Eiffel Tower project at the behest of Cage, who was not alone in lending support to his friend and former teacher.

Submit Your Photo Title. In other projects Wikimedia Commons. Growing up on the West Coast, he had been exposed to a great deal of what is now known as ” world music “; along with Irish airs and dances, he encountered music from China, Japan, and Tahiti. In a Guggenheim fellowship enabled Cowell to go to Berlin to study comparative musicology the predecessor to ethnomusicology with Erich von Hornbostel.

In the Ritournelle Larghetto and Trio for the dance piece Marriage at the Eiffel Towerperforming in Seattle, he explored what he called “elastic” form.


In the late s and early to mid-’20s, Henry Cowell made a study of extended techniques and sounds available on the piano, and incorporated these in a series of short compositions. His contribution to the world of music was summed up by Virgil Thomsonwriting in the early s: Although all the notes are indicated and the piece is in rough ABA form with specific tempo instructions, these are not easily perceived by the listener, who hears only an eerie, otherworldly shrieking and wailing.

Henry Cowell was a radical American composer whose inventive techniques changed American music and influenced a generation of composers including his former student John Cage. The world’s first electronic rhythm machinewith a photoreceptor-based sound production system proposed by Cowell not a theremin -like system, as some sources incorrectly stateit could produce up to sixteen different rhythmic patterns simultaneously, complete with optional syncopation.

Kevin Spacey, wearing a “Retired since ” hat, delivers pizza to paparazzi. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Piano Music issued in Post content or file description.

Add to this massive production his long and influential career as a pedagogue, and Henry Cowell’s achievement becomes impressive indeed.

Its next concert, in Aprilfocused on the U. Focusing on the variety of innovative rhythmic and harmonic concepts he used in his compositions and others that were still entirely speculativeit would have a powerful effect on the American musical avant-garde for decades after.

Ironically, Cowell claims that the title came after the composition was finished.

Search Results

It requires the performer to use both forearms to play massive secundal chords cowll calls for keys to be held down without sounding to extend and intensify its dissonant cluster overtones. Share on facebook twitter tumblr. Piano Music banshfe, written in and revised inassert that each phrase of Anger Dance “may be repeated many times, depending on how angry the player is able to feel.

Jazz Latin New Age. No keys are pushed; the player moves hands and fingers both across the strings horizontally and along them vertically, generating eerie overtones as the strings resonate without a damper, and shifting timbres in disturbing ways.


The Banshee, for piano strings, HC 405

Before the publication of the first issue, he solicited contributions from a then-obscure composer who would become one of his closest friends, Charles Ives.

No other composer of our time has produced a body of works so radical and so normal, so penetrating and so comprehensive. Cowell’s endeavors with string piano techniques were the primary inspiration for John Cage ‘s development of the prepared piano.

Cowell biographer Michael Hicks describes the work as one of Cowell’s “most prescient” and “proto-minimalist” p. Instrumental, Chamber and Vocal Music, Vol. Discussion of this nomination can be found on the talk page. Another novel method advanced by Cowell, in pieces such as Aeolian Harp ca. Drinking Hanging Out In Love.

Would we think this music is scary without being reminded of a wailing spirit who steals your soul when you die? Classical music is full of references to the macabre: Romantic Evening Sex All Themes.

For instrumentation details, see Percussion Ensemble Music — Facebook Twitter Tumblr Reddit. In Cowell founded the periodical New Music Quarterlywhich would publish many significant new scores under his editorship, both by the ultra-modernists and many others, including Ernst Bacon, Otto LueningPaul Bowlesand Aaron Copland.

Artists Henry Cowell Tricks or Treats. His father, with whom he maintained contact, introduced him to the Irish music that would be a touchstone for Cowell throughout his career. As was so often the case with him, Cowell returned to The Banshee inrearranging it for piano and orchestra as the first movement of his Irish Suite.

In he recorded searching, vivid performances of twenty of his seminal piano pieces for a Folkways album. Please download one of our supported browsers. Today they are the Bible of the young and still, to the conservatives, “advanced.