Jonathan Steele.

William Schuman's literature and materials approach: a historical precedent for comprehensive musicianship online

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Copyright 1988


Jonathan Edward Steele


I would like to express my gratitude for the guidance
and encouragement given by my major professor, Dr. John
White, throughout my program of study at the University of
Florida and particularly during the writing of this

I am also grateful for the helpful and precise
assistance provided by my committee members in their review
of my work. Their many hours of work are greatly

I owe a debt of gratitude to Clearwater Christian
College for the substantial assistance and encouragement
given to me in my doctoral studies.

Most of all, I am thankful for my wife, Bea. Without
her unending love, patience, and support, I would not have
finished this task.






Statement of the Problem 1

Objectives 5

Background 6

The Juilliard School 6

The Literature and Materials Approach .... 8

History of the Comprehensive Musicianship

Approach 11

The Young Composers Project . 11

The Contemporary Music Project and

Comprehensive Musicianship 17

Background on William Schuman 22

Biography 22

Philosophy 38

Musical Output 41


Scholarly Research 46

Bibliographies 47

Periodical Literature 48

Biographies 52


Preliminary Study 54

Interview With William Schuman 54

Interview With Michael White 56

Interview Protocol 58

Other Interviews 59

Follow-up Study 60



The Literature and Materials Approach (L and M) . . 62

Origins 62

Summary of Schuman's educational views .... 69

Implementation 71

Materials 73

Teaching Fellows Program 84

Comprehensive Musicianship (CM) 87

Origins 87

Support of CM from Educational Philosophy . . 94

Implementation 101

Philosophical Connections Between the Two

Movements 115

Current Adaptation of the Literature and Materials

Approach at Juilliard 120

Differences 121

Similarities 127


APPENDIX A - Outline for Literature and Materials I . . 136

APPENDIX B - Outline for Literature and Materials II . . 140

APPENDIX C - Outline for Literature and Materials III . 142

APPENDIX D - Graduate Standing Qualification Exam . . . 145

APPENDIX E - Discography of William Schuman's Music . . 147




Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School

of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the

Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy



Jonathan Steele

December 1988

Chairman: Dr. John White
Major Department: Music

During his tenure as president of the Juilliard School
of Music (October 1, 1945 to December 31, 1961), William
Schuman restructured the school in several significant ways.
The most significant pedagogical contribution was his
revision of the curriculum used for Music Theory instruc-
tion. The new curriculum was designated the "Literature and
Materials" approach, because it was based upon an orienta-
tion to music itself as a source of information about
compositional practices rather than textbooks and other
writings about music. It was a philosophy and an approach
for the mastery of musicianship rather than a method or
system of instruction. The intent of this curriculum was to
remove the bias created by the imposition of "a priori"
rules upon the analysis of music, thus allowing a fuller
understanding of all style periods, including twentieth-
century music.

Comprehensive Musicianship is another approach which
bore a strong similarity to William Schuman's Literature and
Materials approach. This concept came about in the sixties
as a result of a Ford Foundation grant for the study of arts
in the United States. The Ford Foundation became interested
in this project as a result of exploratory conferences which
they sponsored .

The Ford grant was appropriated first for the Young
Composers Project of 1959. In this project, young composers
were placed in public schools for renewable one-year terms
to compose original works for school bands, choruses, and
orchestras. Additional grants came from the Ford Foundation
through the year 1974 to fund subsequent movements which
arose out of the Young Composers Project, including the
Composers in Public Schools Program, the Contemporary Music
Project, and the Institutes for Music in Contemporary
Education. Out of these programs came the definition of a
"new" approach to musicianship training known as
Comprehensive Musicianship.

This dissertation documents William Schuman's early
development of the Literature and Materials approach, his
implementation of this program at Juilliard, some associa-
tions of the program with the origins of the Contemporary
Music Project of the sixties, and a comparison of the
Literature and Materials approach at Juilliard to the
Comprehensive Musicianship movement in music education.




Statement of the Problem

Interest in the subject of the Literature and Materials
of William Schuman and its relationship to the Contemporary
Music Project came about initially as a result of a study of
each of those subjects in graduate classes in Current Trends
in Music Education and in Twentieth-Century Styles. In
these classes it was apparent that there was a relationship
between the essence of Schuman' s educational philosophy and
the goals of the Contemporary Music Project, but that there
was little indication of any correlation in the materials
published on the two subjects. Further study verified this
initial conjecture.

William Schuman became the president of the Juilliard
School on October 1, 1945. During his first year as presi-
dent he was already putting into effect educational reforms
which would reach beyond the scope of the school itself.
His most notable reform was the new approach to the instruc-
tion of music theory known as the Literature and Materials

Trends in music education in the United States often
originate in college music departments, schools of music,


and conservatories of music. When a new approach to musical

study is introduced in higher education, it has an effect on

the students and graduates of that institution, who often

become practitioners of the new method. It also has a

rippling effect into other developments in music instruction

depending upon the influence and stature of that institution

in our society.

The Literature and Materials approach played a major

role in a national change of thought among music educators

concerning how music should be taught at the college level.

The idea of an integrated approach to the study of music had

been discussed by some. In the post-war period of the late

1940 's there was an atmosphere of experimentation in many

areas, including music. Therefore, it is not surprising to

note that both composers and teachers of composition were

challenging traditions. It was only natural that the idea

of combining elements of music in the teaching of music

theory would be one of the proposed changes. In a 1946

article in Music Educators Journal , Neil Daniels said,

In short, the harmony course is becoming a course
in music appreciation as well as a course in
certain well-defined skills and techniques in the
manipulation of rhythmic and tonal concept. . . .
The traditional harmony course is undergoing a
vast reshaping. . . . Counterpoint and harmony
cannot be thought of apart from one another. Even
in strict counterpoint one must think of the
vertical relations of the melodic lines. Harmony
and counterpoint are just different ways of

viewing tone relations and should be taught
together in that sense.

In a 1959 article describing Schuman's Literature and

Materials program, Frederick Kintzer said,

To those of us who have grown up under the old
routine of three or more isolated courses which
comprised the music major's daily dozen, these
proposals make sense. The former manner of
teaching music fundamentals lacked continuity as
the student was moved from technique to technique
and from room to room on successive hours of the
school day. Not only did the system suffer from
lack of integration, but techniques were most
frequently presented in abstract concepts and
exercises . 2

Kintzer said that another leader in the new, integrated
style of teaching music was Howard A. Murphy, a professor of
music education at Teacher's College, Columbia University,
New York. To illustrate this, Kintzer makes reference to a
statement that Murphy used in the foreword to a solo piano
analyzed edition to Beethoven's symphonies (1938), where
Murphy said, "The greatest teacher of music, either aesthet-
ically or technically, is music" 3 .

Kintzer described a new textbook written by Murphy and
published in 1951 that followed the integrated and musical
approach to the study of theory. He said that this was one
of many results of the "impetus of the dramatic Juilliard

^•Neil M. Daniels, "The Junior College Curriculum," Music
Educators Journal , January-February 1946, p. 26.

2 Frederick C. Kintzer, "Integrated Music Fundamentals
for the College Freshman," Music Educators Journal ,
February-March 1959, p. 73.

3 Ibid., p. 73.

announcement" of the L and M program. The thesis of
Murphy's text was "to teach the art of music, not theory,
for the enrichment of life, through the stimulation of
creativity and the clarification of insights for the perfor-
mer and listener" 4

According to W. McNeil Lowry, a staff member of the
Ford Foundation Humanities and Arts program and an associate
of Schuman, the idea of an integrated approach to the
teaching of musicianship was "in the air" and was being
discussed before it was established at Juilliard. Lowry was
responsible for the Contemporary Music Project as it was
funded by the Ford Foundation. This project became yet
another effort toward an integrated approach to the teaching
of music theory.

Schuman 's Literature and Materials approach, although
it represents neither the first discussion of the idea nor
the last application of its principles, nevertheless stands
alone as the first major implementation of the integrated
approach with any degree of continuing success at an insti-
tution of higher learning.

The prominence of Juilliard was unquestionably enhanced
by the reforms of William Schuman during his tenure as
president of the school. The school's prominence as a major
influence in arts education certainly paved the way for the

Howard A. Murphy and Edwin J. Stringham, Creative
Harmony and Musicianship (New York: Prentice-Hall, 1951), p.
xi , cited in Kintzer, "Integrated Music Fundamentals," p. 73.

subsequent reception of the Comprehensive Musicianship idea
as a national movement which arose out of the Contemporary
Music Project. The materials that document the Contemporary
Music Project of the sixties do not make reference to
William Schuman or his Literature and Materials approach as
a precedent in the history of their movement. Very little
mention is even made of the existence of the Literature and
Materials approach, although it is identical in concept to
Comprehensive Musicianship.

The purpose of this paper is two-fold: 1) to trace the
factors which influenced Schuman 's development of the
concept of Literature and Materials through a survey of his
life, musical output, and philosophy; and 2) to document
the similarity of the Literature and Materials approach as
implemented at Juilliard to the subsequent approach of
Comprehensive Musicianship. The sources for this documenta-
tion will be published materials from the Contemporary Music
Project, existing literature about William Schuman and the
Juilliard School, personal interviews with Schuman himself
and with key individuals at Juilliard and in the
Contemporary Music Project.

The Juilliard School

The Juilliard School was originally two schools: The
Institute for Musical Art and the Juilliard Graduate School.
The Institute for Musical Art was founded in 1905 by Dr.
Frank Damrosch with financial backing from James Loeb .
Damrosch, the institute's first director, was a godson of
Franz Liszt and the brother of the famous conductor, Walter
Damrosch. He had been the head of music education for New
York City's public schools. His plan was to establish a
music academy that would rival European conservatories so
that gifted American students could receive high quality
training without having to go abroad. The expected first-
year enrollment was about 100 students, but actual enroll-
ment reached nearly 500.

The Juilliard Graduate School was founded in 1924 with
a legacy from Augustus D. Juilliard. Juilliard had been a
music-lover, opera-benefactor, and textile manufacturer.
When he died, he wanted to contribute to musical life in New
York. His estate set aside 13 million dollars for the
establishment of the Juilliard Musical Foundation in 1920.
In 1924, these funds were offered to the Metropolitan Opera,
but were considered by them to be unnecessary since their
economic situation was solid at that time. As William

5 Juilliard (New York: The Juilliard School, 1987), p.

Schuman related in a personal interview conducted during
this study, "Juilliard's money was turned down by the
Metropolitan Opera because they didn't want it. They didn't
need it in those days, they thought." The trustees then
decided to create a graduate school of music which would
provide advanced education to persons of outstanding ability
on a tuition-free basis.

In 1926, the Juilliard Musical Foundation took over the
Institute for Musical Art. The trustees desired that
neither school would lose its identity. In 1927, the
trustees formed a corporation with a Board of Directors to
operate under the name of Juilliard School of Music. The
distinguished Columbia University professor, John Erskine,
became the first president of the new corporation, with
Ernest Hutcheson serving as Dean of the Graduate School , and
Frank Damrosch as Dean of the Institute for Musical Art.

Erskine continued as president until 1937 when he was
succeeded by Ernest Hutcheson. Hutcheson served from 1937
until William Schuman 1 s installation in 1945.

The two schools differed in that anyone who could
afford to pay the fee could attend the Institute for Musical
Art, but the Juilliard Graduate School was more exclusive.
Admission was highly competitive. One of Schuman 's first
reforms was the amalgamation of the schools into one; a

6 George Dickey, "The Founding of Juilliard," The
Juilliard Review Annual , 1963-1964, p. 19.

task which he described in my interview with him as being
"very, very difficult to do." The name of Juilliard School
of Music then was applied to the institution, and the use of
separate titles was discontinued.

Schuman is also responsible for the establishment of
the Literature and Materials program, The Juilliard Review
journal, the Juilliard String Quartet, and the Dance
Division during his time as president. In 1962, when
Schuman began his service as president of the new Lincoln
Center, he was responsible for the successful negotiations
of the terms by which the Juilliard School would join the
Lincoln Center as its resident school.

Peter Mennin succeeded William Schuman as president of
Juilliard in 1962. He established the Drama Division in
1968. During that year, the name of the school was short-
ened to The Juilliard School to reflect the inclusion of the
disciplines of music, drama, and dance. The move to the
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts was completed under
his presidency in 1969. Upon his death 1983, Peter Mennin
was succeeded as president by Joseph Polisi, who still holds
that office at the time of this study. 7
The Literature and Materials Approach

Within a year after Schuman assumed the Presidency of
Juilliard in 1945, he totally revamped the theory department
with sweeping changes in curriculum. The changes

7 Juilliard , p . 15

represented a new approach and philosophy rather than a
method of instruction. Indeed, the very lack of method or
regimentation is one of its hallmarks. It is an emphasis on
the study of the music itself, rather than a study of books
and methods about the music. Since this represented a
radical departure from past traditions, changes in faculty
personnel were inevitable as well. The essential flexi-
bility could be handled by versatile musician-teachers but
often proved to be beyond the reach of teachers competent in
traditional approaches.

When Schuman came to the school he interviewed each of
the existing music theory teachers to explain the new
approach to them. He described it to me as follows:

I asked them whether they felt capable of teaching
this way and practically none of them said they
could. So I told the board that the best people
to teach this were composers who knew how to
teach, because the composer's training related to
every aspect of music and the composer was taught
to look at music as a whole and you start with the
whole body, not the parts of the body.

Schuman found it necessary to hire many new members of

the faculty for the Literature and Materials department who

would have a particular knowledge and interest in the

language of music. The resultant group included Vincent

Persichetti, Peter Mennin, William Bergsma, Richard Franko

Goldman, Robert Ward, Judson Ehrbar , Irwin Freundlich,

Vittorio Giannini, Roger Goeb, Frederick Hart, Julius

Herford, Robert Hufstader, Frederick Jacobi , Sergius Kagen,


Norman Lloyd, Robert Tangeman, and Bernard Wagenaar 8 While

no one was terminated by the new administration, some of

them were not able to make the adjustment and decided to

leave Juilliard.

Securing quality personnel to teach in the L and M

department has always been a challenge at Juilliard because

of the super-human demands placed upon the teachers. A

faculty member in L and M must be an active composer, an

effective communicator, and a skillful performer on an

instrument. While this is not an easy task, it is not

unlike the challenge that exists at any school which

attempts the current effort toward a so-called integrated

approach toward the teaching of lower-division music theory.

John D. White, Music Theory Coordinator of The University of

Florida Music Department and author of Guidelines for

College Teaching of Music Theory , describes it as follows:

Perhaps the ideal theory teacher is a unique
combination of theorist, composer, performer, and
historian; for the integration of these musical
disciplines is a major objective of the lower-
division theory courses.

A few pages later, he continues his description of teacher

qualifications :

The ideal theory teacher, then, at least for the
integrated approach, is a kind of Renaissance
person with a balanced perspective — an

8 William Schuman, "On Teaching the Literature and
Materials of Music," The Musical Quarterly 34 (1948), p. 159

9 John D. White, Guidelines for College Teaching of
Music Theory (London: Scarecrow, 1981), p. vi .


accomplished and experienced performer who in
addition to being a skillful composer is comfort-
able singing and at the keyboard; has a good
knowledge of music literature and history; and
possesses the communicative skills, perceptivity,
and other attributes of a fine teacher. 10

History of the Comprehensive Musicianship Approach

The Comprehensive Musicianship approach was the out-
growth of an exploratory program sponsored by the Ford
Foundation to study humanities and the arts in the United
States. The activities of program were centered around two
main projects: the Young Composers Project and the
Contemporary Music Project.

The Young Composers Project . In 1957, the Ford
Foundation began the sponsorship of a series of conferences
in which participants examined the place of arts and humani-
ties in the national scene. W. McNeil Lowry was head of the
Humanities and the Arts Program for the foundation which
organized these conferences. He described the program in a
telephone interview. American artists were called upon to
offer suggestions for improving the appreciation of the arts
in the United States. For a period of 18 months, Lowry and
representatives of the Foundation went into 185 communities
to talk to everyone they could find in the arts. The
original title of this survey was, "Economic and Social
Study of the Status of the Artist and His Institution in the
United States." Despite the implications of this title, the

10 Ibid. , p. 7.


focus was centered on the artists, on professional music,

and not on education. The following quote from a 1958 Ford

Foundation report previews the program:

With the assistance of artists, heads of artistic
institutions, critics, and community patrons, the
Foundation has undertaken a long-term study of the
economic and social position of the arts and the
artist in the United States. The first phase has
been an inventory of points on which information
is to be gathered. The Foundation this year held
two national conferences to catalogue major
questions in music, fine arts, the theater, and
creative writing. In addition, the Foundation
staff has consulted critics and working artists in
New York and about eighty other communities, and
has also visited parallel artistic institutions in
Europe. The first stage of data collection is
being carried out with the help of social scien-
tists experienced in surveys. Analysis and
evaluation will not begin for at least another

year . x x

At one of these conferences, Norman Dello Joio present-
ed the idea of placing young composers in public secondary
schools. According to Lowry, Dello Joio's initial idea came
from music history of 200 or 300 years ago when composers
wrote for an immediate audience. Young composers in those
days were employed to write music for public consumption.
They not only wrote music, but they also performed it. In
the case of the church musician, it might be an original
cantata for the choir or a prelude for the organ. Dello
Joio suggested that if modern young composers could be
placed in environments where their work and creativity could
be developed during the formative stage of their careers,

11 "Humanities and the Arts," Ford Foundation Annual
Report , (Oct. 1, 1957 to Sept. 30, 1958), p. 35.

they would also have a positive influence on a significant
source of the musical life of the nation. The most natural
place for this to occur would be the public schools.

The idea was put into operation as the Young Composers
Project with an initial grant from the Ford Foundation of
$200,000. This was administered by the Ford Foundation in
cooperation with the National Music Council through a Joint
Committee with Norman Dello Joio serving as chairman. This
Joint Committee had two subcommittees: one for the selec-
tion of composers and one for the selection of school
systems in which they would work. Members of the first
composer selection committee were Oliver Daniel, Vittorio
Giannini, Thor Johnson, Peter Mennin, and Douglas Moore,
with Howard Hanson serving as an ex-officio member. Members
of the first school system selection committee were Jacob
Avshalomov, Vanett Lawler, George Howerton, Wiley
Housewright, Robert Marvel, James Neilson, Ralph Rush, and
Howard Hanson, an ex-officio member. 2 Most of the music
educators who had been involved in the early administration
of the program were active members in the Music Educators
National Conference (MENC), an organization which would
later take a more prominent role in administering it. °

12 Howard Hanson, "Report on the Ford Foundation -
National Music Council Project to Place Young Composers in
Secondary Public School Systems," National Music Council
Bulletin , Vol. 19, No. 3 (Spring 1959), pp. 3-4.

13 Contemporary Music Project, Comprehensive
Musicianship: An Anthology of Evolving Thought (Washington:

1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Online LibraryJonathan SteeleWilliam Schuman's literature and materials approach: a historical precedent for comprehensive musicianship → online text (page 1 of 10)