Blackwood, Easley

Blackwood, Easley

▪ American composer
born April 21, 1933, Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.

      American composer whose music combined rhapsodic and romantic passion with chromatic materials and modified serial techniques. Besides composing for standard ensembles and instruments, he also composed for electronic instruments.

      Blackwood was a piano prodigy, playing Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's first piano concerto in concerts with the Indianapolis Symphony when he was 14. He studied composition with Olivier Messiaen at the Berkshire Music Center in Tanglewood, Massachusetts (1948–50); with Bernard Heiden at Indiana University (1949–51); with Paul Hindemith (Hindemith, Paul) at Yale University (B.A., 1953; M.A., 1954); and with Nadia Boulanger (Boulanger, Nadia) in France (1954–56). He taught at the University of Chicago (Chicago, University of) from 1958.

      Blackwood's first symphony, which won a Koussevitzky Music Foundation prize, premiered in 1958 and attracted attention with its Mahler-like romantic swells, logical construction, and fluid tonality. His first string quartet received its premiere in the same year. Subsequent works included Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra (1964), composed in tribute to Hindemith; piano, flute, and violin concertos; chamber works including two sonatas for violin and piano; and four more symphonies noted for increased mastery of rhythms and dissonant harmonies, while retaining their dramatic qualities. In 1972 he composed the multimedia opera Four Letter Scenes from Gulliver using equal tempered 12-, 15-, 16-, and 23-tone scales; a synthesizer was required to perform his score. He went on to experiment with 13- to 24-note scales and compose 12 Microtonal Études for synthesizer (1982). He also recorded piano sonatas of Charles Ives and Aaron Copland and wrote the treatise The Structure of Recognizable Diatonic Tunings (1986).

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  • Easley Blackwood, Jr. — Easley Blackwood, (born April 21, 1933), the son of Easley Blackwood Sr., is a professor of music, a concert pianist, a composer of music, some using unusual tunings, and the author of books on music theory, including his research into the… …   Wikipedia

  • Easley Blackwood — may refer to:*Easley Blackwood Sr. (1903 1992), invented the Blackwood convention used in bidding in contract bridge *Easley Blackwood Jr. (born 1933), his son, professor of music, concert pianist, and composer, son of the above …   Wikipedia

  • Easley Blackwood, Sr. — Easley R. Blackwood (June 25, 1903 March 27, 1992), the father of Easley Blackwood Jr., invented the Blackwood convention used in bidding in contract bridge. From 1968 to 1971 he was executive secretary of the American Contract Bridge League.… …   Wikipedia

  • Blackwood (surname) — Family name name =Blackwood image size= caption= pronunciation = meaning = region = language =English related names = footnotes = Blackwood is a locational Scottish surname meaning black wood . [cite web… …   Wikipedia

  • Blackwood convention — The Blackwood convention is a popular bidding convention in contract bridge that was developed by Easley Blackwood Sr. It is used to explore the partnership s possession of aces, kings and (in some cases) the queen of trumps, in order to judge… …   Wikipedia

  • Blackwood Convention — Contract Bridge A system of cue bidding to reach slams, invented by Easley Blackwood …   The official rules of card games glossary

  • blackwood convention — ˈblak.ˌwu̇d noun Usage: usually capitalized B Etymology: after Easley F. Blackwood, 20th century American who devised it : a bidding method used in reaching slam contracts in contract bridge and consisting of the use of four no trump as an asking …   Useful english dictionary

  • Microtonal music — Composer Charles Ives chose the chord above as good possibility for a fundamental chord in the quarter tone scale, akin not to the tonic but to the major chord of traditional tonality.(Boatright 1971, 8 9)   …   Wikipedia

  • bridge — bridge1 bridgeable, adj. bridgeless, adj. bridgelike, adj. /brij/, n., v., bridged, bridging, adj. n. 1. a structure spanning and providing passage over a river, chasm, road, or the like. 2. a connecting, transitional, or intermediate route or… …   Universalium

  • symphony — /sim feuh nee/, n., pl. symphonies. 1. Music. a. an elaborate instrumental composition in three or more movements, similar in form to a sonata but written for an orchestra and usually of far grander proportions and more varied elements. b. an… …   Universalium

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