AMERICAN MUSIC SERIES                                                                 105 a-d


Milton Babbitt

With Vivian Perlis

Juilliard School New York, New York

January 25, 1983




Cassette Side a                                                                                         pp. 1-24


Piece written for student orchestra -- demarcation between juvenalia and serious works -- confidential work for government -- teaching music and mathematics at Princeton during War -- move to Washington -- seven year hiatus from music -- beginning to compose again after War -- writing film scores and musical comedy -- commissioning of Second Quartet -- private study with Roger Sessions -- offer to teach at Princeton rescinded -- Music Department at Princeton -- Sessions' move to Berkeley -- Sessions' second marriage -- Sessions' First Piano Sonata -- relationship to Roger Sessions -- Ivy League story and composers -- Sessions' return to Princeton -- music in the universities -- difficulty of not writing music during war -- war experiences -- process of composition.


Cassette Side b                                                                                                     pp. 24-48


Deadlines for commissions -- writing for friends without payment -- lack of rehearsal time for new pieces -- emphasis on performance and competition in music schools -- performance of Copland work -- current compositions -- mathematics and composing -- effect of article, "Who Cares If You Listen" -- interview in  High Fidelity re: Copland -- Composers' Collective in the '30s -- Hans Eisler -- Schoenberg and Martin Bernstein -- transference of mainstream of development of contemporary music to United States from Europe by emigrés -- study with Sessions -- music theory -- proliferation of composers -- influence of uncle -- NYU in the '30s.


Cassette Side c                                                                                                       pp. 49-72


Intellectual debate representing democracy, communism, fascism, socialism -- I.A. Richards -- Clifford Odets, Irwin Shaw -- Sessions in this political climate -- Mark Brunswick, Goddard Lieberson -- Bartok at Columbia -- going abroad in 1952 -- Copland/ Sessions letters -- Nadia Boulanger -- David Diamond -- Copland/Sessions relationship-teaching and composing -- contrast between composers and other academicians -- hardships of a life in music -- mathematics and music -- listening to music -- antagonism of orchestral players to composers -- publishing -- Ives.


Cassette Side d                                                                                                      pp. 72-85


Sessions' students in the '30s -- contemporary performance groups -- -

disappearance of composers active in the '30s -- disposition of manuscripts -- ideas

 for future works -- The Hit of the Bed -- John Hollander -- electronics -- Showcase

 concert in Washington.



Milton Babbitt

with Ingram Marshall

Juilliard School

New York, N.Y.

December 12, 2000




Side i:                                                                                                                                               pp. 1-26


Left to Our Own Devices--Images for Saxophone and Tape--Violin Concerto: composed but never realized--publishers--working with RCA synthesizer--problems of live performance--performers in the sixties and seventies and at present--computers--ensemble difficulties in his music--tempo--Canonical Form--Tableau--dynamics--dynamics in Solo Reqiuem--Bethany Beardslee--Harvey Sollberger--preference for female voices in his output--Tenor and Six Instruments--Two Sonnets for Baritone and Instruments--Helen Forrest--involvement with pop music--Phonemena--Philomel--his musical language--misrepresentation of twelve-tone music--lack of knowledge of who Schoenberg was--Andrew Wiles--what is a “good listener”--lack of interest in contemporary music among the community of intellectuals--John Hollander--Vladimir Ussachevsky--The Head of the Bed--Phonemena--poets and literary people--Vision and Prayer on poetry of Dylan Thomas--John Berryman--Stravinsky.


Side j:                                                                                                                                               pp. 26-53


More on Stravinsky--Paul Horgan’s book on Stravinsky--anecdote about Stravinsky--Charles Wuorinen--Stravinksy and younger composers--Schoenberg--Stravinsky’s Sermon, Narrative, and Prayer--Stravinsky’s interest in twelve-tone music--Stravinsky and teaching--David Diamond--Babbitt’s teaching and Princeton--his Ph.D. thesis--Ph.D. for composers--honorary degree--teaching at Juilliard--other composers at Juilliard--students at Juilliard and Princeton--some Babbitt students: Donald Martino, Jim Randall--Perspectives of New Music--Peter Westergaard--Steven Sondheim--Words About Music--First Piano Concerto--Second Piano Concerto--Relata II--difficulty of getting tapes of performances--cancelled summer concerts at the Museum of Modern Art--James Levine--Transfigured Notes--Second Concerto--Levine’s arrangement with Deutsche Grammaphon to record American works--Group for Contemporary Music--Arthur Weisberg--New Music Consort--Speculum Musicae--Parnassus--David Diamond--John Cage--Composition for Four Instruments--Cage piece using conch shells.


Side k:                                                                                                                                           pp. 53-70


Relationships with European composers--Boulez--Franz Xaver Ohnesorg--teaching at Darmstadt--Relata I--working in England at Schott--Musica Nova--honorary degree from University in Glasgow--book Musical Composition in the Twentieth Century by A. Whittall--Paul Griffiths’ book--universities and composers--Robert Morris--Mel Powell--Benny Goodman--Powell’s Two-Piano Concerto--Babbitt’s family--his family’s support of his music--walking in New York--Louis Alter’s Manhattan Serenade--future of American serious music.