[Smt-talk] Theorists and Scientists

Ninov, Dimitar N dn16 at txstate.edu
Sun Jul 8 07:52:20 PDT 2012

Dear Prof. Morse,

I could not agree more with what you wrote in your last letter. The one part of the 20th century music that has a very limited audience and flatters itself with the name of "Avant-garde" created an army of theorists who had to serve it.
Paradoxically, in our theory IV undergraduate classes, instead of teaching the music of those who influenced 20th century music the most: Stravinsky, Bartok, Honegger, Hindemith, Prokofiev, Shostakovitch, Orff and others - our curricula is wasting our students' time by making them fill in the matrix or stacking pitches vertically to find the "order". Instead of showing how modal interchange expands the possibilities of tonality, and how rhythm, mode and chromaticism influence harmony and create contemporary language of music, we are investigating suspicious theories that "enlighten" us how the music of those who have no audience works.

False curriculum, false approach, in favor of a false cause. Why impose that on our students? Because for many theorists this is the only thing they can teach with "success".

Best regards,

Dimitar Ninov

Dr. Dimitar Ninov, Lecturer
School of Music
Texas State University
601 University Drive
San Marcos, Texas 78666

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