Musicology and Performance

Paul Henry Lang; Edited by Alfred Mann and George J. Buelow

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Arriving in the United States at age twenty-seven, Hungarian-born Paul Henry Lang (1901-1991) went on to exert a powerful influence on musical life and scholarship in his adopted country for more than six decades. As professor of musicology at Columbia University, editor of the Musical Quarterly, a founder of the American Musicological Society, and chief music critic of the New York Herald Tribune, Lang became one of Americas foremost musical scholars and commentators. This anthology of his previously uncollected writings includes essays written throughout his career on a full array of musical subjects, as well as unpublished chapters of the book on performance practice that he was writing at the time of his death.

Lang was concerned above all with safeguarding the purity of musical knowledge as reflected in both scholarship and performance. Whether addressing his fellow musicologists or the general public, he expressed a broadly humanistic conception of musicology in his erudite and entertaining writings on such diverse subjects as Bach and Handel, the historical veracity of the film Amadeus, Marxist theory and music, and the controversial issue of
authenticity in performance.

Alfred Mann is professor emeritus of musicology at the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester. George J. Buelow is professor of musicology at Indiana University.

"Lang's fascinating, brilliantly formulated, and often argumentative essays, no matter whether dealing with musical scholarship as such, great composers, modern music and musical phenomena, or controversial stands on performance practice, present a deliberate antithesis to musicological research papers. Hence, their primary value lies much less in the scholarly detail than in the blend of a formidable musical and cultural-historical knowledge with the articulation of a boundless passion for individual musicological style."—Christoph Wolff, from the Foreword

"Lang applies to issues of music and musicology in the second half of the twentieth century a sweeping outlook and genius for remarkably durable generalizations that characterize his earlier Music in Western Civilization. His eloquent plea for compromise in performing early music may upset some enthusiasts of 'authenticity' but is backed by solid good sense and a firm command of the historical context."—Claude V. Palisca, Lucy G. Moses Professor Emermitus of Music, Yale University

ISBN: 9780300068054
Publication Date: August 25, 1997
272 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4