[Smt-talk] Criteria for Old and New

Ninov, Dimitar N dn16 at txstate.edu
Thu Mar 7 14:42:59 PST 2013

Dear Colleagues,

I agree with Mr. Chaloux. Schenker is what he is, and his theory does have the right to exist and inspire musicians who like it. 

The problem is that it has been forcefully imposed almost everywhere and has become a mandatory portal for shaping the mentality of every theory student in the United States. This cult also has hidden tides that wash away alternative concepts and create a barrier before prospective publications whose premises are openly non-Schenkerian. Another big flaw is the deliberate neglect of a number of older American harmony textbooks based on non-Schenkerian approach. In some cases, the realization that someone does not consider Schenkerian theory as a serious musical discipline is enough to make an eternal enemy out of this person. 

But it does not have to be this way. I want to believe that the theory community is large enough to welcome diversity, and that musicians who deal with harmony in a practical manner (composers, arrangers, improvisers, creative theorists who play the piano and develop their own materials) know better. 

Many thanks to all who participated in this thread.

With best wishes,


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

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