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Oral Presentation Essay

  • Submitted by: jairo678
  • on August 28, 2013
  • Category: Arts and Music
  • Length: 671 words

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Below is an essay on "Oral Presentation" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Oral Presentation
Lou Harrison was one of the great composers of the twentieth century--a pioneer in the use of

alternate tunings, world music influences, and new instruments. Born in 1917 in Portland

Oregon, he spent much of his youth moving around Northern California before settling in San

Francisco. There he studied with the modernist pioneer of American Music, Henry Cowell, and,

while still in his twenties, composed extensively for dance and percussion. He befriended

another of Cowell's students, John Cage, and the two of them established the first concert

series devoted to new music for percussion. They composed extensively for these concerts,

including their still popular collaboration Double Music. In 1942, Harrison moved to Los Angeles

to study with the famous Arnold Schoenberg at UCLA. Steeped in the atonal avant garde of

Schoenberg's school, he moved to New York the following year, where he made a name for

himself not only as a composer, but also as a critic under the tutelage of composer/writer Virgil


Harrison also worked at editing the scores of American composer Charles Ives and conducted

the first performance of Ives's Third Symphony (which won Ives the Pulitzer Prize). Harrison

also published a study of the music of atonal composer Carl Ruggles, and the influence of

Ruggles and Schoenberg comes through in works such as Harrison's Symphony on G and his

opera Rapunzel. However, the stress and noise of New York led to a nervous breakdown in

1947. To help his friend recover, Cage recommended him to Black Mountain College in rural
North Carolina, where the quiet and idyllic setting proved conducive to studies in Harrison's

new interests, Asian music and tuning.

In 1953, he moved back to California and (then) rural Aptos, where he resided for the rest of his

life. Despite his relative isolation from the music world, in the 1950s Harrison completed a


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