Books from the Bard Music Festival

July 8, 2013

We are pleased to announce that The Leading Note now carries books in the Bard Music Festival Series.


Founded in 1990, the Bard Music Festival is an annual series of concerts and lectures held at Bard College in Annadale-on-Hudson, New York. Each year’s event focuses on the life and work of a single composer. Lectures are presented that give insight into the circumstances, experiences, cultural scene and political climate that informed the composer’s artistic output. Concerts accompanying these lectures provide attendees with a thorough exposure to the selected composer’s work.

Background: The festival is, at its core, a symposium for musicologists; the trend in this scholarly discipline, promoted by the American Musicological Society since the 1970s, is to focus on the cultural circumstances of music more than the theoretical aspects of its composition. This task was taken up by the Society for Music Theory, established in 1977, and marks the separation of musicology and music theory as separate academic disciplines.

Following the festival, Princeton University Press publishes a book featuring the essays presented that year. Each book gets a standardized title: “[Composer name] and His World” (To date the festival has not featured the work of a woman; perhaps it is about time!).

There are currently 22 books in the series and The Leading Note has 11 of these in stock (as of this writing).

The composers featured include: Bartok, Beethoven, Berg, Brahms, Copland, Debussy, Dvorak, Elgar, Haydn, Ives, Janacek, Liszt, Mahler, Mendelssohn, Prokofiev, Saint-Saens, Schoenberg, Shostakovich, Sibelius, Richard Strauss, Stavinsky, and Wagner.

The Bard Music Festival Series offers serious music fans in-depth exposure to the worlds of composers. The collection of essays in each book is quite eclectic, offering engaging chapters for readers new to the composer and for serious fans looking for more scholarly analysis. Come check out our selection in store. Makes a great gift for your favourite music fan!

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