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Malcolm MacDonald

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195172010

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195172010.001.0001

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Heart and Brain

Heart and Brain

(p.88) Chapter Five Heart and Brain

Malcolm MacDonald

Oxford University Press

Teaching, communicating, helping students to think about music and sharing with them an inexhaustible fund of knowledge, the thinking of a lifetime, his sheer passionate love of music, seem to have been as necessary to Schoenberg as breathing. And there was plenty of laughter in his classes. A certain passionate self-confidence and enthusiasm seem to have been Schoenberg’s chief character traits in early life. He was not just a composer, teacher, theorist, and conductor; he was also at least an original painter, a poet, a considerable artist in prose—even an inventor. He proposed a new notation for chromatic music which reduced the number of ledger lines and dispensed with accidentals. The closer one becomes acquainted with his paradoxical personality, the more admirable and curiously attractive it seems, in spite of all. And if this is true of the letters, it is even truer of the music, for the paradoxes make the music live.

Keywords:   Alma Mahler, Schoenberg’s teaching, UCLA, Die Jakobsleiter

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