Henry Dixon Cowell was an American composer, music theorist, pianist, teacher, publisher, . of his output—important works from this era include The Banshee ( ), requiring numerous playing methods such as pizzicato and longitudinal. Henry Cowell’s The Banshee an audience sits in the dark facing a grand piano on a brightly lit stage. The piano’s lid angles upward, the keyboard waits for. Henry Cowell. Publisher: AMP. The Banshee (). Publisher. Associated Music Publishers Inc. Category. Solo Keyboard(s). Year Composed.

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Today they are the Bible of the young and still, to the conservatives, “advanced. Cowell soon returned to California, where he had become involved with a theosophical community, Halcyonled by the Irish poet John Varianwho fueled Cowell’s interest in Irish folk culture and mythology.

Cowell was elected to the American Institute of Arts and Letters in His contribution to the world of music was summed up by Virgil Thomsonwriting in the early s: The liner notes to the Folkways Henry Cowell: After his parents’ divorce inhe was raised by his mother, Clarissa Dixonauthor of the early feminist novel Janet and Her Dear Phebe.

In he recorded searching, vivid performances of twenty of his seminal piano pieces for a Folkways album. Thd the break in his friendship with Ives, Cowell, in collaboration with his wife, wrote the first major study of Ives’s music and provided crucial support to Harrison as his former pupil championed the Ives rediscovery. Cowell’s endeavors with string piano techniques were the primary inspiration for John Cage ‘s development of the prepared piano.

The Banshee, for piano strings, HC 405

But in his own recording, Cowell expresses a torment, through jagged tempi and ambivalent dynamics all clearly purposefulthat renders Anger Dance very different in character from the work of the American minimalists.

Soon, however, the Rhythmicon henrt be virtually forgotten, remaining so until the s, when progressive pop music producer Joe Meek experimented with its rhythmic concept.

He observes, however, that Cowell in his own recording of the piece reiterates certain phrases beyond the specified number. Facebook Twitter Tumblr Reddit. Musician, bnshee, music theoristimpresario.


Henry Cowell’s music covers a wider range in both expression and technique than that of any other living composer. Submit Your Photo Title. There the quote is datedbut no source is provided.

One of these, The Ckwellhas become one of the composer’s best-known works; it also manifests Cowell ‘s longstanding interest in Irish mythology.

Henry Cowell – Wikipedia

His father, with whom he maintained contact, banshew him to the Irish music that would be a touchstone for Cowell throughout his career. In the late s and early to mid-’20s, Henry Cowell made a study of extended techniques and sounds available on the piano, and incorporated these in a series of short compositions. Post content or file description. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Henry Cowell – The Banshee () – Music Sales Classical

Share on facebook twitter tumblr. Often, composers represent these moments with dark timbres, minor keys, sad languishing melodies, or grotesqueries of dance. Cowell resumed teaching— Burt BacharachJ. Two players are required, one standing at the piano’s bansee and the other holding down the damper pedal throughout. Would we think this music is scary without being reminded of a wailing spirit who steals your soul when you die?

Its next concert, in Aprilfocused on the U. Another novel method advanced by Cowell, in pieces such tne Aeolian Harp ca. The music, written an octave higher than it sounds, requires the player standing at the crook to stroke and pluck the interior strings in one of 12 specified ways using either the flat of the hand, the fingernails, or the flesh of the fingers.

Henry Cowell

Although all the notes are indicated and the piece is in rough ABA form with specific tempo instructions, these are not easily perceived by the listener, who hears only an eerie, otherworldly shrieking and wailing. In other projects Wikimedia Commons.

Many of the scores published in Cowell’s journal were made even more widely available as performances of them were issued by the record label he established inNew Music Recordings. Despite the pardon—which allowed him to work at the Office of War Information, creating radio ehnry for broadcast overseas—arrest, incarceration, and attendant notoriety had a devastating effect on Cowell. Piano Music issued in From the New World: After initially denying the allegation, under cowll he admitted not only to it but to additional sex acts with the teenager and his male friends.


Please enable JavaScript in your browser to use the site fully. This page was last edited on 2 Decemberat He died in in Shady, New Yorkafter a series of illnesses.

Cowell as a young man. Cowell biographer Michael Hicks describes the work as one of Cowell’s “most prescient” and “proto-minimalist” p. Discussion of this nomination can be found on the talk page.

Ironically, Cowell claims that the title came after the composition was finished. The world’s first electronic rhythm machinewith a photoreceptor-based sound production system proposed by Cowell not a theremin -like system, as some sources incorrectly stateit could produce up to sixteen different rhythmic patterns simultaneously, complete with optional syncopation.

Cowell’s cause had been taken up by composers and musicians around the country, although a few, including Ives, broke contact with him. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. By the summer ofCowell was writing truly individualistic works, including the insistently repetitive Anger Dance originally Mad Dance. He built on his substantial oeuvre of chamber music, with pieces hte as the Adagio for Cello and Thunder Stick that explored unusual instrumentation and others that were even more progressive: He had been radical politically, too, before.

The programme contains archive recordings of Cowell talking about his music and approach to composition. These bansjee experiences helped form his unusually eclectic musical outlook, exemplified by his famous statement “I want to live in the whole world of music.

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