Spring 2020 catalog cover

The Penn Press list for spring 2020 includes hardcover releases, first-time paperbacks, and ebook editions intended for scholars, students, and serious general readers worldwide. Click here to explore our forthcoming books, grouped by subject area.

Ernst Kurth as Theorist and Analyst

Lee A. Rothfarb

264 pages | 7 x 10 | 160 illus.
Ebook 2016 | ISBN 9781512806267 | Buy from De Gruyter $79.95 | €69.95 | £70.50
This book is available under special arrangement from our European publishing partner De Gruyter.
An Anniversary Collection volume

Ernst Kurth as Theorist and Analyst is the first book length study devoted to the writings of one of this century's most important music theorists. In contrast to previous discussions, Lee A. Rothfarb's study explains Kurth's theories in light of his analyses of specific musical examples.

Unlike many of his contemporaries, Kurth approached music primarily from a cognitive rather than a purely technical viewpoint. In a unique kind of experiential analysis, he examined the psychological foundations of counterpoint, harmony, and form, and considered the affective, as opposed to solely structural or syntactic, effects of melody, chord, interval, and tone.

The introduction provides a biographical sketch of Kurth, based on archival research and personal interview with his widow, son, and many of his doctoral students. Rothfarb also discusses the intellectual currents of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, both musical and nonmusical, which shaped Kurth's outlook. Eight chapters summarize the main ideas of Grundlagen des linearen Kontrapunkts and Romantische Harmonik and show the directions Kurth took in his later works, Bruckner and Musikpsychologie. A final chapter identified his influence on several of his well-known contemporaries.

Ernst Kurth as Theorist and Analyst will interest music theorists, musicologists, and advanced students of music theory.

Lee A. Rothfarb is Professor of Music Theory at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

View your shopping cart | Browse Penn Press titles in | Join our mailing list