In the new wave of Japanese contemporary music, Akira Nishimura is the front-runner for the "heterophonic concept." Using droning melodic variations, Nishimura creates a spacious kind of zen spikiness that can either calm the soul or mystify the mind.
Nishimura exhibits a particular concern with t
The harmonic foundations on which Western music had rested since the Renaissance got a strong shaking in the earthquake that was Romanticism. Dissonant notes were sounded -- and left unresolved. In time, the need for a tonal center was questioned, and by the turn of the century, atonal music had arri
Stephen Sondheim earned his musical stripes alongside the best in the business: his first foray into creating a musical was as lyricist to Leonard Bernstein's composer for "West Side Story" (1957). After a second lyrical outing with Jules Styne's music for "Gypsy" (1959), Sondheim was ready to brave
Born in 1925 in Montbrison, France, Pierre Boulez attended university to study mathematics -- a subject that proved crucial to the theories that would serve as the foundation for his music. In 1943, he left math for his new calling, studying with Messiaen at the Paris Conservatoire until 1945. He pre