Paul Hindemith's Philosophy of Tonality and Form
Lamm, Matthew Robert
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Paul Hindemith’s musical and theoretical writings have been misunderstood and underappreciated by a large number of modern musicians. In the same way that J.S. Bach’s oeuvre was not fully understood or valued until decades after his death, Hindemith’s music has suffered a similar fate. This essay draws a historical parallel between the circumstances surrounding both Bach’s and Hindemith’s personal lives, their musical output, and their overarching philosophical concerns. A general discussion of Hindemith’s early music is followed by a more detailed discussion and analysis of both published versions of his Das Marienleben song cycle. Utilizing passages from and analyses of Hindemith’s The Craft of Musical Composition, Trumpet Sonata, and Tuba Sonata, in addition to Hindemith’s published lectures, letters, and speeches, this essay will explain Hindemith’s mature compositional philosophy and detail how it evolved over the course of his lifetime.