[Smt-talk] Text book on ballet music?

Kara Yoo Leaman karajyoo at gmail.com
Sun Oct 12 18:44:13 PDT 2014

Dear Paula,

I can think of a few books that may be helpful to you.  I'll begin with a
couple of the most musical/analytical.

Stephanie Jordan's *Moving Music: Dialogues with music in twentieth-century
ballet* (2000) has chapters on Balanchine and Ashton that provide
analytical discussions about selected pieces from their repertoire as well
as introductory chapters that deal with the problems of choreomusical

Roland Wiley's *Tchaikovsky's Ballets: Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty,
Nutcracker* (1985) might be a bit advanced in some parts for the non-major,
but you might pick pages that are more descriptive or historical than

Charles Joseph's *Stravinsky and Balanchine *(2002) is not only historical
but analytical in a way that might be more accessible to non-majors than
Wiley's book, but of course the repertoire is different.

Katherine Teck's *Music for the Dance: reflections on a collaborative
art* (1989)
has some wonderful interviews, quotes and accounts from choreographers,
musicians and dancers, many specifically from the ballet world.

Next, the *Cambridge Companion to Ballet* (2007) includes relevant essays
including one by Marian Smith on music in French 19th-century ballet.

For more on the Balanchine repertoire, Nancy Goldner's *Balanchine
Variations* (2008) and *More Balanchine Variations *(2011) include short
essays by Goldner on numerous works.  She pays attention to the music, but
the level of attention and level of detail vary widely.  It would be very
accessible to non-majors.

Finally, if you want to look through the writings of dance critics, Edwin
Denby was particularly musical and was an excellent follower of Balanchine
as well as others.  There are collections of his writings, including *Dancers,
Buildings and People in the Streets *(1965).  BH Haggin and Robert Garis
are also notably musical dance critics.

If others on the list have further suggestions, I also would be interested
to hear them.
Kara Yoo Leaman
Ph.D. candidate, Music Theory
Yale University

On Sun, Oct 12, 2014 at 2:22 PM, Jonathan Elkus <jbelkus at ucdavis.edu> wrote:

>  Dear Paula,
> Chapters of Constant Lambert's *Music Ho! *would provide some witty and
> worthwhile witness to the Diaghilev era.
> I'll follow this thread with much interest!
> Jon
> --
> Jonathan Elkus
> 33 Linda Avenue #1811
> Oakland, CA 94611jbelkus at ucdavis.edu 510.788.4524
> On 10/10/14 7:32 PM, Paula Telesco wrote:
> Hi,
>  Does anyone have any suggestions for a book that could be used as a text
> for a non-music-major course on music and ballet?
>  Thanks very much,
>  Paula
> * Dr. Paula J. Telesco Assoc. Prof. Music Theory Department of Music UMass
> Lowell 978-934-3870 <978-934-3870> *
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