A Composer's World (Hindemith, Paul)

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Sheet Music


Softcover Edition

PDF scanned by Sallen112
Sallen112 (2016/4/30)

Publisher. Info. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1952.
Reprinted New York: Doubleday Anchor Books, Inc., 1961.
Misc. Notes 600 dpi. Page size is 4 x 6.5 inches.
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General Information

Work Title A Composer's World
Alternative. Title A Composer's World: Horizons and Limitations (English Title)
Komponist in seiner Welt. Weiten und Grenzen (German Title)
Composer Hindemith, Paul
I-Catalogue NumberI-Cat. No. None [force assignment]
Movements/SectionsMov'ts/Sec's 11 chapters
  • Preface (by Author)
1. The Philosophical Approach
2. Perceiving Music Intellectually
3. Perceiving Music Emotionally
4. Musical Inspiration
5. Means of Production
6. Technique and Style
7. Performers
8. Some Thoughts on Instruments
9. Education
10. Business Matters
11. Environment
Year/Date of CompositionY/D of Comp. 1949 (October-November) in New Haven and Boston [English Version]
1949 fall, six lectures delivered at Harvard University [English Version]
1951 (July), Book form [English Version]
1959 (Spring-Summer) [German Version]
First Publication. 1952 – Cambridge: Harvard University Press [English Version]
1959 – Mainz: Schott [German Version]
Librettist Author
Language English, German (translation by author)
Composer Time PeriodComp. Period Modern
Piece Style Modern

Navigation etc.

English Version

  • Excerpts from the book were printed under various titles in various newspapers and journals, no doubt at the instigation of either Schott or Harvard University Press. The section on "musical vision" in Chapter 4 was much reproduced, for instance, most notably as "Kräfte und Verlauf der musikalischen Komposition," Universitas 7 (1952): 935-38; "Das Wunder der musikalischen Schöpfung," Die Musikwoche 13 (1953): 163-66; and "How Music Happens," Saturday Review 34, no.52 (29 December 1951): 29, 31-32. This list makes no claim to completeness. The translations for the first two excerpts are uncredited.
-Paul Hindemith: A Research and Information Guide
  • A reworking of the "Musical Inspiration" material served as as the composer's inaugural lecture as professor of musicology in Zürich; an abridgement (by Hindemith of the second half of that lecture was published in the Neue Züricher Zeitung of 28 November 1951.
-Paul Hindemith: A Research and Information Guide
  • Some measure of the work's canonical status in twentieth-century musical aesthetics can be found in the reproduction of excerpts in various anthologies, most notably Contemporary Composers on Contemporary Music, ed. Elliott Schwartz and Barney Childs (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1967; expanded edition New York: DaCapo, 1998), which reproduces with introductory commentary, excerpts from chapter 6 and 9 (on pp.80-98 of both editions); Composers on Modern Musical Culture, ed. Bryan R. Simms (New York: Schirmer Books, 1999), which reproduces, with introductory commentary, the entire chapter 4 (on pp.128-42); and Modernism and Music, ed. Daniel Albright (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004), which reproduces, with introductory commentary, excerpts from chapters 3-6 and 8 (pp.60-63 and 355-59).
-Paul Hindemith: A Research and Information Guide

German Version

  • Hindemith subsequently prepared a German translation, with slight expansion and modification of the text: Komponist in seiner Welt. Weiten und Grenzen
-Paul Hindemith: A Research and Information Guide
  • One excerpt doubtless related to the German publication is "Von der musikalischen Vision," Programmheft der Wiener Konzerthaudgesellschaft, November 1960. One of the additions to the German edition was subsequently translated into English: Briner, Andres. "A New Comment on Tonality by Paul Hindemith." Journal of Music Theory 5, No.1 (April 1961): 109-12 (item 334). Review of German translation/revision: Andres Briner, Schweizerische Musikzeitung 101, No.3 (May-June 1961): 58-60 (item 335).
-Paul Hindemith: A Research and Information Guide