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Christian Wolff$
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Michael Hicks and Christian Asplund

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037061

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037061.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
Christian Wolff
Author(s):

Michael Hicks

Christian Asplund

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252037061.003.0008

This introductory chapter is an overview of Christian Wolff's music and how it tends to defy academic analysis. In an academic musical culture such things must be easily systematized and categorized, Wolff's music constantly defies attempts at arriving at neat analyses of his work. If Wolff has a method of composing it is to overturn methods from piece to piece. The constancy is change—often radical change even in the vocabulary of a single work. The restlessness of his imagination prevents him from settling into a Wolff “style,” or clearly recognizable idiom—except that he favors epigrammatic utterances, even blunt statements, though often as gentle as spare. The chapter also delves briefly into Wolff's life and career, highlighting and debunking the perceived contrasts between Wolff the man and his artistry.

Keywords:   Christian Wolff, academic musical culture, music, musical compositions, academic analysis

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