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As a composer, George Rochberg has played a leading role in bringing about a transformation of contemporary music through a reassessment of its relation to tonality, melody, and harmony. In The Aesthetics of Survival, the author addresses the legacy of modernism in music and its related effect on the cultural milieu, particularly its overemphasis on the abstract, rationalist thinking embraced by contemporary science, technology, and philosophy. Rochberg argues for the renewal of holistic values in order to ensure the survival of music as a humanly expressive art.
"An indispensable book for anyone who wishes to understand the sad and curious fate of music in the twentieth century."
"The writings of George Rochberg stand as a pinnacle from which our past and future can be viewed."
—Kansas City Star
"Rochberg presents the rare spectacle of a composer who has made his peace with tradition while maintaining a strikingly individual profile. He succeeds in transforming the sublime concepts of traditional music into contemporary language."