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Metamorphosis in MusicThe Compositions of György Ligeti in the 1950s and 1960s$
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Benjamin R. Levy

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199381999

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199381999.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Metamorphosis in Music

Benjamin R. Levy

Oxford University Press

Ligeti’s belief that “technique and imagination influence one another in a constant interchange” guided his development through the 1950s and 60s. The introduction explains the book’s methodology, which uses sketch study to look at this creative interchange, placing analytical observations alongside Ligeti’s written statements in their historical context. Rather than aiming for “definitive” analyses, this book aims for parallel discoveries in the composer’s prose, sketches, and finished scores, which augment one another and lead to an enriched appreciation of these already multifaceted works. The introduction also previews many of the historical developments discussed in the following chapters, including the influences of modernist and postmodernist trends in composition on the developments in rhythm, pitch, and timbre that became characteristic of Ligeti during these years.

Keywords:   technique and imagination, historically informed music analysis, sketch studies, creative process, modernism, postmodernism

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