[Smt-talk] Theory impacting performance

Steven Rosenhaus srosenhaus at earthlink.net
Wed Jul 4 19:40:33 PDT 2012

"We are all theorists" pretty much hits the metaphorical nail on the  

I've long lamented the switch to hiring folks with theory-only degrees  
to teach music theory at the expense of composers, who more often than  
not know the practical application of what is being discussed. And a  
theorist who composes is not the same as a composer who can explain  
theory/analyze music.

Perhaps I'm over-generalizing....


On Jul 4, 2012, at 5:27 PM, Charles J. Smith wrote:

> Likewise, a performer's claim NOT to have been influenced by theory  
> or theorists doesn't prove very much, one way or the other, either.
> On this matter, I highly recommend Peter Westergaard's wonderful  
> paper, given at the Theory exploratory session of the CMS national  
> meeting in DC, 1976, and later published in their Symposium, "What  
> Theorists Do"—something everybody in this crazy profession of ours  
> ought to read and reread regularly.
> Contents might be summarized as "We are all theorists" or perhaps  
> "If you're a musician, or even just a listener, you're a theorist— 
> whether you think you are or not". (Of course, summary is no  
> substitute for reading the paper...which I think I'm going to do as  
> soon as I can find my copy—it's been too long...)

Dr. Steven L. Rosenhaus
E-mail: srosenhaus at earthlink.net
URL: https://files.nyu.edu/slr3/public/

Link to "Writing Musical Theater" by Allen Cohen and Steven L.  

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