Paul Creston, didactic autodidact


A winner of numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and the New York Music Critics’ Circle Award, Paul Creston was entirely self-taught as a composer.

Nevertheless, he was the author of three books on composition—Principles of rhythm (1964), Creative harmony (1970), and Rational metrical notation (1979)—and contributed many articles to various musical periodicals; he wrote the first three, on dance, when he was only 17 years old.

This according to “Creston, Paul” by Neil Butterworth (Dictionary of American classical composers, 2nd ed. [2005] pp. 100–101); this resource is one of many included in RILM music encyclopedias, an ever-expanding full-text compilation of reference works.

Today is Creston’s 110th birthday! Below, the opening of his Concertino for marimba and orchestra (1940).

1 Comment

Filed under 20th- and 21st-century music

One response to “Paul Creston, didactic autodidact

  1. Pingback: Paul Creston, didactic autodidact — Bibliolore | I Write The Music

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