Top 100 Composers: Earle Brown

I don't know when I 1st heard the music of Earle Brown but it would've been no later than early to mid 1974 when I got the mind-boggling "Music Before Revolution" boxset that featured his work along with that of John Cage, Morton Feldman, Toshi Ichiyanagi, & Christian Wolff - all of them being on this "Top 100 Composers" list. As has been pointed out by Cage &., probably, others, while Brown, Cage, Feldman, David Tudor, & Wolff have been lumped together as the "New York School", their music is very different from each other's.

That difference being duly noted, I do find that they often have in common a kind of 'discombobulatedness' that seems to please me to no end. Instead of having the components of their pieces necessarily 'flow' in a melodic way things tend to 'bounce' more. Brown's might be the 'bounciest'.

When I started created these "Top 100 Composers" webpages it was my primary intention to just list the composers. I hadn't really intended to get into any more depth than that. Then it seemed 'necessary' to at least list the pieces by each composer that I've heard, the pieces that I have recordings of in my vast collection. Listing those without even a small introductory note seemed inadequate. Not providing any images seemed inadequate. Ideally, every composer page would have images of every recording I have by them & of at least the front of every score I have by them.

I haven't gotten that far yet & I doubt that I ever will. Even creating individual pages at all is too time-consuming &, yes, I probably have better things to do. & what about these introductory paragraphs? They tend to be very superficial, writing something of more substance could take weeks. SO, if I have something already written, as I do for Cage & Xenakis, I'll add that. Otherwise, people like Brown will have to be neglected somewhat.

Sometimes I think of the avant-garde as something that showed possibilities that were then too much for those who followed them in time. It's as if we're living in a post-avant-garde now where very few new ideas are to be heard. Maybe I'm exaggerating, maybe that's not true at all, but when I hear Brown's work from the '50s & '60s I hear a musical revolution in progress that I rarely hear from more recent work. - November 14, 2017 note from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE


"Three Pieces" - 1951 - 3:00

"Music for Violin, Cello, & Piano" - 1952 - 3:10

from "Folio" (1952-1953):

"October 1952"

"November 1952" - 1952 - 1:24

"December 1952" - 1952 - 6:16

"MM - 87"

"MM - 135 March 1953"

"Music for "Trio for 5 Dancers" June 1953"


"Perspectives" - 1952 - 3:28

"25 Pages" - 1953 - 9:01

"Octet 1, for 8 loudspeakers" - 1953 - 3:31

"Forgotten Piece" c. 1954 - 7:29

"Four Systems" - 1954 - 3:36

"Music for Cello & Piano" - 1954-1955 - 9:31

"Hodograph I" - 1959

"Available Forms I (for chamber ensemble)" - 1961 - 8:50

"Novara" - 1962 - 13:09

"Times Five" - 1963 - 15:07

"Corroboree" - 1964 - 11:36

"Nine Rare Bits, for one or two harpsichords" - 1965 - 6:05

"String Quartet" - 1965 - 11:53

"Small Pieces for large chorus" - 1973 - 6:30

"Summer Suite '95" - 1995 - 21:18

"6/12/95" - :26

"No Horns At All" - 1:44

"6/14/95" - 2:30

"Untitled 0" - :26

"Untitled 02" - :57

"6/30/95" - 1:54

"Template 1" - 1:09

"Segment 2" - :38

"July 5" - 4:42

"July 6" 2:25

"Segment 3A" - :56

"July 14" - :56

"August 1" - 1:25









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