Henry Cowell (1897-1965)

Three pieces by Cowell:

The Tides of Manaunaun (1917) – first use of the Tone Cluster.


Aeolian Harp (1923)


The Banshee (1925)


Here are Cowell’s comments about these pieces:

[audio:] [audio:] [audio:]

Some insights into the performance of these pieces:

Q1. In what way are these works (and Cage’s works for prepared piano) subverting musical order?

hint: think of it in terms of what is considered musical material (that with which we make music), the piano as a symbol of musical evolution  (from bach onwards…), the tonal system and traditional form.

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