cover of book

"Maximum Clarity" and Other Writings on Music
by Ben Johnston
edited by Bob Gilmore
University of Illinois Press, 2022
Cloth: 978-0-252-03098-7 | Paper: 978-0-252-08671-7 | eISBN: 978-0-252-09157-5
Library of Congress Classification ML410.J67A25 2006
Dewey Decimal Classification 780

Described by New York Times critic John Rockwell as "one of the best non-famous composers this country has to offer," Ben Johnston reconceives familiar idioms--ranging from neoclassicism and serialism to jazz and southern hymnody--using just intonation. Johnston studied with Darius Milhaud, Harry Partch, and John Cage, and is best known for his String Quartet No. 4, a complex series of variations on Amazing Grace.

This collection spans forty years and brings together forty-one of Johnston's most important writings, including many rare and several previously unpublished selections. They include position papers, theoretical treatises, program notes, historical reflections, lectures, excerpts from interviews, and letters, and they cover a broad spectrum of concerns--from the technical exegesis of microtonality to the personal and the broadly humanistic. A discography of commercially available recordings of Johnston's music closes out the collection.

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