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"The Pulse of Life Today": Borrowing in Johanna Beyer's String Quartet No. 2

"The Pulse of Life Today": Borrowing in Johanna Beyer's String Quartet No. 2 r a CHel l um SDe N “The Pulse of l ife Today”: b orrowing in Johanna b eyer ’s String Quartet No. 2 In may 1936 and may 1937 Johanna magdalena beyer attended two concerts in midtown manhattan that would include the largest num- ber of performances of her works to occur during her lifetime. a pro- foundly important venue for composers during the Depression, the WPa - affiliated Composers’ For um Concerts showcased new pieces by contemporary composers, as well as a postconcert discussion session during which audience members asked the featured composers ques- tions about their music. During beyer ’s postconcert discussions, some audience members questioned her compositional intentions, a few of them even launching vitriolic attacks against her works. In response to criticisms that her music was too dissonant and cacophonous, beyer staunchly retorted, “I think that this modern life is so noisy, so intri- cate, and so complicated that one just can’t explain it anymore with one simple tone and melody. o ne must simply go on and bang like the rest of the world.” The last two decades have seen a steady increase of scholarship on beyer (1888–1944) as scholars have continued to http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Music University of Illinois Press

"The Pulse of Life Today": Borrowing in Johanna Beyer's String Quartet No. 2

American Music , Volume 35 (3) – Jan 3, 2018

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Publisher
University of Illinois Press
ISSN
1945-2349

Abstract

r a CHel l um SDe N “The Pulse of l ife Today”: b orrowing in Johanna b eyer ’s String Quartet No. 2 In may 1936 and may 1937 Johanna magdalena beyer attended two concerts in midtown manhattan that would include the largest num- ber of performances of her works to occur during her lifetime. a pro- foundly important venue for composers during the Depression, the WPa - affiliated Composers’ For um Concerts showcased new pieces by contemporary composers, as well as a postconcert discussion session during which audience members asked the featured composers ques- tions about their music. During beyer ’s postconcert discussions, some audience members questioned her compositional intentions, a few of them even launching vitriolic attacks against her works. In response to criticisms that her music was too dissonant and cacophonous, beyer staunchly retorted, “I think that this modern life is so noisy, so intri- cate, and so complicated that one just can’t explain it anymore with one simple tone and melody. o ne must simply go on and bang like the rest of the world.” The last two decades have seen a steady increase of scholarship on beyer (1888–1944) as scholars have continued to

Journal

American MusicUniversity of Illinois Press

Published: Jan 3, 2018

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