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Project director: Kyle Gann
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FB-52910-07

Kyle Eugene Gann
Bard College (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504-9800)

American Music After 1980 - Trends, Ideas, Meanings, Analyses

I am writing a book on developments in American music since minimalism, covering the period from 1978 to the present. Relying on hundreds of unpublished scores ranging from artrock to the Bang on a Can festival, I will chart the perilous course composers born in the 1940s and ‘50s have navigated between their training in serialism - perceptually fascinating but arguably elitist and increasingly irrelevant - and their vernacular culture in pop music, which they have embraced in sympathy without imitating directly. In the 1980s and ‘90s, tonality returned, but rhythm took on a whole new complexity, springing forward from the multitempo conceptions of Henry Cowell and Conlon Nancarrow. This music is long overdue for public explication.

Project fields:
Music History and Criticism

Program:
Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2007 – 12/31/2007