Does the World have a Sound

29 Essays on music and people

The title refers to a saying often heard in the 60s. That in order to deserve its name new music must truthfully reflect the sound of the world. Whether it's nice or not.


  • Apollo and Dionysus - Witold Lutoslawski 
  • Madness in the method - Peter Maxwell Davies 
  • Faith and wonder - Per Nørgård and Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen 
  • Per Nørgård's worldview 
  • Performance problems 
  • To whome belong the songs that we sing? 
  • A mirror in a mirror 
  • Music and the falling of the walls 
  • The clockworks of music – and in-between 
  • Some confessions of a teacher animal 
  • To gather oneself
  • The magic of numbers - or Bach's secret 
  • Fantastique - Hector Berlioz and the orchestra 
  • The last Puritan? - Johannes Brahms 
  • An honorable death? - Tchaikovsky and the independence of myths 
  • What happened to Bruckner?  
  • Greatness and convenience - Richard Strauss 
  • "This vague impressionism" - Claude Debussy 
  • Double natures - Rued Langgaard and Carl Nielsen 
  • Music as a hostage - Stravinsky and the Philosopher 
  • The uprising against the sounds - Charles Ives 
  • The third man - Henry Cowell 
  • The Composer as a carpenter - Harry Partch 
  • The third dimension of music - Conlon Nancarrow 
  • Time, silence and infinity - George Crumb 
  • Conversation in Elysium - Morton Feldman 
  • The fullness of time - Bernd Alois Zimmermann 
  • The impossible possibility of beauty - Luigi Nono 
  • The starmap of melodies - Claude Vivier
2000, 284 pages