In this Book

Lou Harrison
summary

American composer Lou Harrison (1917–2003) is perhaps best known for challenging the traditional musical establishment along with his contemporaries and close colleagues: composers John Cage, Aaron Copland, Virgil Thomson, and Leonard Bernstein; Living Theater founder, Judith Malina; and choreographer, Merce Cunningham. Today, musicians from Bang on a Can to Björk are indebted to the cultural hybrids Harrison pioneered half a century ago. His explorations of new tonalities at a time when the rest of the avant garde considered such interests heretical set the stage for minimalism and musical post-modernism. His propulsive rhythms and ground-breaking use of percussion have inspired choreographers from Merce Cunningham to Mark Morris, and he is considered the godfather of the so-called "world music" phenomenon that has invigorated Western music with global sounds over the past two decades.

In this biography, authors Bill Alves and Brett Campbell trace Harrison's life and career from the diverse streets of San Francisco, where he studied with music experimentalist Henry Cowell and Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg, and where he discovered his love for all things non-traditional (Beat poetry, parties, and men); to the competitive performance industry in New York, where he subsequently launched his career as a composer, conducted Charles Ives's Third Symphony at Carnegie Hall (winning the elder composer a Pulitzer Prize), and experienced a devastating mental breakdown; to the experimental arts institution of Black Mountain College where he was involved in the first "happenings" with Cage, Cunningham, and others; and finally, back to California, where he would become a strong voice in human rights and environmental campaigns and compose some of the most eclectic pieces of his career.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Half Title, Frontispiece, Title Page, Copyright, Quotation
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Foreword: Hail, Lou!
  2. Mark Morris
  3. pp. ix-x
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  1. Preface: Lou’s World
  2. pp. xi-xiv
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xv-xvi
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  1. Part 1: Oregon Trails
  2. pp. 1-2
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  1. 1. The Silver Court (1917–1934)
  2. pp. 3-12
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  1. Part 2: The Vast Acreage
  2. pp. 13-16
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  1. 2. A Wonderful Whirligig (1935–1936)
  2. pp. 17-23
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  1. 3. The Ultramodernist (1935–1936)
  2. pp. 24-35
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  1. 4. The Grand Manner (1936–1937)
  2. pp. 36-45
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  1. 5. Changing World (1937–1938)
  2. pp. 46-52
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  1. 6. Double Music (1938–1939)
  2. pp. 53-61
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  1. 7. Drums Along the Pacific (1939–1941)
  2. pp. 62-71
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  1. 8. Into the Labyrinth (1941–1942)
  2. pp. 72-77
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  1. 9. Western Dance (1942–1943)
  2. pp. 78-88
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  1. Part 3: A Hell of a Town
  2. pp. 89-90
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  1. 10. The Lonesome Isle (1943–1945)
  2. pp. 91-101
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  1. 11. New York Waltzes (1945–1946)
  2. pp. 102-111
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  1. 12. Praises for the Archangel (1946)
  2. pp. 112-123
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  1. 13. Day of Ascension (1946–1947)
  2. pp. 124-130
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  1. 14. Tears of the Angel (1947–1948)
  2. pp. 131-138
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  1. 15. The Perilous Chapel (1948–1949)
  2. pp. 139-146
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  1. 16. Pastorales (1949–1950)
  2. pp. 147-154
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  1. 17. The White Goddess (1951)
  2. pp. 155-162
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  1. 18. A Great Playground (1951–1952)
  2. pp. 163-174
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  1. 19. Lake Eden (1952–1953)
  2. pp. 175-206
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  1. Part 4: Full Circle
  2. pp. 207-208
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  1. 20. A Paradise Garden of Delights (1953–1955)
  2. pp. 209-222
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  1. 21. Free Style (1955–1957)
  2. pp. 223-233
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  1. 22. Wild Rights (1957–1961)
  2. pp. 234-248
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  1. Part 5: Pacifica
  2. pp. 249-250
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  1. 23. The Human Music (1961)
  2. pp. 251-261
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  1. 24. Pacific Rounds (1962–1963)
  2. pp. 262-271
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  1. 25. The Family of the Court (1963–1966)
  2. pp. 272-284
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  1. 26. Stars Upon His Face (1967–1969)
  2. pp. 285-299
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  1. 27. Young Caesar and Old Granddad (1969–1974)
  2. pp. 300-313
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  1. 28. Elegies (1973–1975)
  2. pp. 314-322
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  1. Part 6: The Great Melody
  2. pp. 323-326
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  1. 29. Golden Rain (1975–1977)
  2. pp. 327-340
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  1. 30. Playing Together (1977–1979)
  2. pp. 341-351
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  1. 31. Showers of Beauty (1978–1982)
  2. pp. 352-364
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  1. 32. Paradisal Music (1982–1984)
  2. pp. 365-373
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  1. 33. Stampede (1984–1987)
  2. pp. 374-387
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  1. 34. New Moon (1986–1990)
  2. pp. 388-399
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  1. 35. Book Music (1991–1995)
  2. pp. 400-406
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  1. 36. An Eden of Music and Mountains (1995–1997)
  2. pp. 407-420
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  1. 37. Asian Artistry (1997–2002)
  2. pp. 421-435
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  1. 38. White Ashes (2003)
  2. pp. 436-444
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  1. Appendix A: Glossary of Musical Terms
  2. pp. 445-454
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  1. Appendix B: List of Harrison’s Compositions
  2. pp. 455-466
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 467-534
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 535-554
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 555-584
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  1. About the Authors
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