[Smt-talk] The Concept of Appoggiatura

Nicolas Meeùs nicolas.meeus at paris-sorbonne.fr
Wed Oct 24 13:05:41 PDT 2012

Charles Kaufmann's exclamation that Donna quotes almost exactly reflects 
the answer of Breitkopf to Schenker in September 1905, when Schenker had 
proposed his /Harmonielehre/ (published in 1906 by Cotta). I don't think 
that particular harmony book was unneeded, though.

We, in France, are very much envious of the American situation, where 
teaching is done on textbooks. Even if we found publishers for our 
textbooks, they would be unable to sell them because we are not allowed 
to increase the financial charge on our students by requiring them to 
purchase textbooks. Such is the democratic view about university studies 
here -- a view that cannot be considered totally unjustified, though.

On the other hand, I wonder about some of the major American textbooks 
being published year after year in "new" versions that do not seem so 
different from the previous ones. I don't know whether that is forced by 
publishers upon authors: I presume both find in it their advantage.

At any rate, as we here in France are not in a situation to make money 
with our textbooks, we (some of us, at least) more easily feel free to 
publish them without costs on Internet. (And if you understand this as a 
hidden advertisement for the web sites under my signature, you are 
mistaken: the advertisement is by no means hidden ;-))

Nicolas Meeùs
Université Paris-Sorbonne

PS. Stephen, gaslight? Why not candlelight?

Le 24/10/2012 16:37, Stephen Jablonsky a écrit :
> Thank you Donna for reminding us of the universal and eternal problem 
> with theory textbooks. It has always been my contention that no one 
> ever learned music theory from a textbook. I have a library filled 
> with them and one is more brilliant than the next. I keep them in my 
> bookcase as reference materials but cannot imagine a beginner picking 
> one up and actually learning something new and significant. Each one 
> teaches their own curriculum.
> ***If you have 10 music theorists analyze the same piece, you will 
> have 10 different theories.
> Reading about music theory usually causes narcolepsy. The other 
> problem is that publishers force authors to make their books 
> encyclopedic so they weigh a ton and cost a fortune. Way back in the 
> olden days guys like Tchaikovsky and Rimsky wrote relatively short 
> guides and, as Donna points out, the rest was done orally in 
> conjunction with the study of scores, but that was before texting and 
> tweeting. Ah, for a return to the good old days--reading about 
> appoggiaturas by gaslight.
> On Oct 24, 2012, at 9:05 AM, Donna Doyle <donnadoyle at att.net 
> <mailto:donnadoyle at att.net>> wrote:
>> RE textbooks:
>> Around 20 yrs ago, Charles Kaufman, Mannes College Dean at the time, 
>> exclaimed, at the
>> publication of a new harmony text, "Does the world really need 
>> another harmony book?"
>> Not a few harmony texts work well for their author in the author's 
>> curriculum but fail when
>> used in another educational context. No text is universal. Some are 
>> astoundingly incorrect.
>> But almost each contains enough useable material.
>> Let's remember our profession's history--an essentially oral 
>> tradition supplemented with written materials.
>> Let's not be slaves to the written word! Yes, students need something 
>> to consult at home, and
>> why should each instructor reinvent the wheel, but, if the instructor 
>> is a sensitive, well-educated
>> musician, able to define and nuance things for his/her students and 
>> to encourage lively debate,
>> as you do, Dimitar, the students will gain. Isn't that the 
>> inestimable value of person-to-person/
>> classroom interaction?
>> Best,
>> Donna Doyle
>> Aaron Copland School of Music
>> Queens College
>> 65-30 Kissena Blvd.
>> Flushing, NY  11367
>> tele: 718-997-3819
>> fax:  718-997-3849
>> email:donna.doyle at qc.cuny.edu <mailto:donna.doyle at qc.cuny.edu>
>> email:donnadoyle at att.net <mailto:donnadoyle at att.net>
> Prof. Stephen Jablonsky, Ph.D.
> Music Department Chair
> The City College of New York
> 160 Convent Avenue S-72
> New York NY 10031
> (212) 650-7663
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