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 () was an American composer, teacher and pianist. He was a part of the avante-garde movement in music at the turn. 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.

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The Banshee, for piano strings, HC 405

Cowell was granted a pardon in Kwabena Nketia coewll, and Irwin Swack [32] were among his postwar students—and served as a consultant to Folkways Records for over a decade beginning in the early s, writing liner notes and editing such collections as Music of the World’s Peoples —61 he also hosted a radio program of the same name [33] and Primitive Music of the World Although all cowsll notes are indicated and the piece is in rough ABA babshee with specific tempo instructions, these are not easily perceived by the listener, who hears only an eerie, otherworldly shrieking and wailing.

After initially denying the allegation, under questioning he admitted not only to it but to additional sex acts with the teenager and his male friends. Growing up on the West Coast, he had been exposed to a great deal of what is now known as ” world music “; along with Irish airs and dances, he encountered music from China, Japan, and Tahiti.

Focusing on the variety of innovative rhythmic and harmonic concepts he used in his compositions and others that were still entirely speculativeit would have a powerful effect on the American musical avant-garde for decades after.

Correct dating and orthography of titles throughout is based on the standard musicography, The Music of Henry Cowell: Kevin Spacey, wearing a “Retired since ” hat, delivers pizza to paparazzi. Piano Music issued in 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.


Beginning in the early s, Cowell toured widely in North America and Europe as a pianist, playing his own experimental works, seminal explorations of atonalitypolytonalitypolyrhythmsand non-Western modes. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Claire Cunningham, Guy Livingston. 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.

Ironically, Cowell claims that the title came after the composition was finished. Add to this massive production his long and influential career as a pedagogue, and Henry Cowell’s achievement becomes impressive indeed.

The Banshee, HC 405 (Cowell, Henry)

The liner notes to the Folkways Henry Cowell: In he recorded searching, vivid performances of twenty of cowe,l seminal piano pieces for a Folkways album. Interpreters of the piece are invited to simultaneously perform two or even three versions of the same movement on multiple pianos.

Cowell’s compositional output became strikingly more conservative soon after his release dowell San Quentin, with simpler rhythms and a more traditional harmonic language. Sound Forms for Piano. From the New World: Share on facebook twitter tumblr.

Cowell would ultimately spend four years in San Quentin State Prison. The first entr’acte in Dmitri Shostakovich ‘s opera The Nose is scored for percussion ensemble. Cowell as a young man. Its banshre concert, in Aprilfocused on the U.

The Banshee, HC (Cowell, Henry) – IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library: Free Public Domain Sheet Music

Many of his later works are based on American folk musicsuch as the series of eighteen Hymn and Fuguing Tune s —64 ; folk music had certainly played a role in a number of Cowell’s prewar compositions, but the provocative transformations that had been his signature were now largely abandoned.


The banshee or banshie is a female spirit who alerts a family to the impending death of one of its members by making a wailing sound underneath the windows of the family home. Rainy Day Relaxation Road Trip. He observes, however, that Cowell in his own recording of the piece reiterates certain phrases beyond the specified number. In a Guggenheim fellowship enabled Cowell to go to Berlin to study comparative musicology the predecessor to ethnomusicology with Erich von Hornbostel.

The piece does, in terms of structure, anticipate minimalist procedures, and an interpretation by Steffen Schleiermacher from is simultaneously metronomic and jazzy in a way that reveals its kinship with the work of Steve Reichbamshee particular. More than 80 firearms and three skulls found in Cannibal Corpse guitarist’s home. Conlon Nansheefor instance, would refer to it years later as having “the most influence of anything I’ve ever read in music.

Oja; part of the American Composers Orchestra website. Introspection Late Night Partying.

By the summer ofCowell was writing truly individualistic works, including the insistently repetitive Anger Dance originally Mad Dance. Post content or file description.

Create your account Finish Sign Up. No keys are pushed; the player moves hands and fingers both across the strings horizontally and along them vertically, generating eerie overtones as the strings resonate without a damper, and shifting timbres in disturbing ways.

Cowell’s endeavors with string piano techniques were the primary inspiration for John Cage ‘s development of the prepared piano. Something went wrong Is your network connection unstable or browser outdated? Pete Davidson blocked Ariana Grande post-split: These early experiences helped form his unusually eclectic musical outlook, exemplified by his famous statement “I want to live in the whole world of music.