[Smt-talk] Metamorphosis

Gregory Karl gregkarl at frontier.com
Thu May 16 19:25:39 PDT 2013

Hi Michael,

If I remember correctly, this article uses the Urpflanze as its prime  
example of bad science. It may cite some useful sources:

David L. Montgomery , "The Myth of Organicism: From Bad Science to  
Great Art," The Musical Quarterly, 75 (1991)

Ruth Solie's "The Living Work: Organicism and Musical  
Analysis," (19th-Century Music 4 (1980)) might have some good leads.  
It's been a while; I just don't remember.

Bye now,
Greg Karl
Jay NY

On May 16, 2013, at 10:31 AM, Michael Morse wrote:

> Dear Folks,
>   I've been at least tangentially intrigued by the influence of  
> Goethe on musicians and music theory for quite a while. Anton  
> Webern's letter to his friends Josef Humplik and Hildegard Jone  
> about the conception of his  Variations for Orchestra explicitly  
> ties that work to Goethe's Urpflanze notion. And I recently read a  
> critical but very respectful study by Helmholtz of the contemporary  
> status, ca. 1860, of Goethe's scientific ideas. It made me wonder;  
> has anyone tried to synthesize the scattered but clearly  
> considerable influence of Goethe's scientific ideas on music theory  
> and practice? Are there studies you can recommend about particular  
> musicians or theorists? Finally, has anyone here ever been involved  
> with this set of issues?
> Thx,
> Michael Morse
> Trent University
> Peterborough, Oshawa
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