Eric Salzman: Composer, Author, Music Theater Innovator



The New Music Theater: Seeing the Voice, Hearing the Body

Cover of The New Music Theater

By Eric Salzman and Thomas Dési
Published by Oxford University Press

The first comprehensive account in English of modern music theater, written by two of the leading practitioners in the field.

Alternatives to grand opera and the popular musical can be traced at least as far back as the 1912 premiere of Schoenberg’s “Pierrot Lunaire.” Yet this ongoing history has never been properly sorted out, its complex ideas and philosophy as well as musical and theatrical achievements never brought fully to light. The New Music Theater is the first comprehensive attempt in English to cover this still-emerging art form in its widest range. This book provides a wealth of examples and descriptions not only of the works themselves, but of the concepts, ideas, and trends that have gone into the evolution of what may be the most central performance art form of the post-modern world. Authors Salzman and Dési consider the subject of music theatre from a social as well as artistic point of view, exploring how theatre works in culture, and how music works in the theatre. Illuminating their discussion with illustrations from current artists and their works, The New Music Theater both describes where we have been and points the way to the future of this all-encompassing art form.

Twentieth Century Music (Fourth Edition)

Cover of Twentieth Century Music

By Eric Salzman
Published by Prentice Hall

Offering complete, accurate coverage in a tightly condensed, simple format, this comprehensive exploration of modern music (to 1998) deals primarily with the music itself and musical ideas. It puts the whole century in a unified concept, helping readers make sense out of the heterogeneity. It explains the overall development of 20th century music in relation to the past and to two big cycles of contemporary music; and encompasses classical and experimental traditions as well as popular elements, media, multi-media, and theater.

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Making Changes: A Practical Guide to Vernacular Harmony

Cover of Making Changes

By Eric Salzman and Michael Sahl
Published by Schirmer Books

American popular musicians who want to learn something about harmony have been able to find only learned treatises and classical texts that, at their best, help prepare them for a gig in a provincial German town circa 1760. What has been almost totally unavailable is useful knowledge about the vernacular harmony contemporary musicians actually use, as opposed to what European musicians used 200 years ago. This is the book that changes all this for every musician, composer, or arranger (student or professional) who wishes to work in the American vernacular tradition. All that is required is a reading knowledge of music and a playing knowledge of piano (preferably) or guitar. With countless musical examples, underlined by a running text, Salzman and Sahl introduce the reader to the rich harmonic tradition that is an amalgam of elements from black and white folk music, gospel, ragtime, blues and jazz and that, in the process, illuminates various popualr styles. The invaluable information contained in this book could only be acquired previously by years of imitation, memorization and practice.

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ERIC SALZMAN (1933-2017): A Dynamic Voice in Twentieth Century Music and Beyond, by Dr. Scott Bradley Joiner, Artistic Executor to the Estate of Eric Salzman. Download (PDF)

Speaking in Tongues or Why Should Eclectic be a Bad Word?, Theater Magazine (Yale Drama School & Duke University Press)
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Body Language: Dancing With Wildfire or The Natural History of Social Dance
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The Making of La Prière du Loup
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More than Andante: Some Thoughts on the Language of Music
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The Most Beautiful Bird Song
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Review of Three Books about Sondheim and the Hollywood Musical
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