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The Music of James Tenney

The Music of James Tenney

Volume 1: Contexts and Paradigms

by Robert Wannamaker

Published by: University of Illinois Press

336 pages, 178.00 x 254.00 x 0.00 mm

  • ISBN: 9780252043673
  • Published: June 2021


Parsing the works of the experimental music pioneer Robert Wannamaker's monumental two-volume study explores the influential music and ideas of American composer, theorist, writer, performer, and educator James Tenney. Delving into the whole of Tenney's far-ranging oeuvre, Wannamaker provides in-depth, aurally grounded analyses of works linked to the artist's revolutionary theories of musical form, timbre, and harmonic perception. Volume 1, Contexts and Paradigms, chronologically surveys Tenney's creative development and output. Wannamaker begins each section with biographical, aesthetic, and technical context that illuminates a distinct period in Tenney's career. From there, he analyzes a small number of pieces that illuminate the concerns, characteristics, and techniques that emerged in Tenney's music during that time. Wannamaker supplements the text with musical examples, graphs, and diagrams while also drawing on unpublished material and newly available primary sources to flesh out each work and the ideas that shaped it.A landmark in experimental music scholarship, The Music of James Tenney is a first-of-its-kind consideration of the experimental music titan and his work.