THEORY OF HARMONY

For nature is also beautiful, even when we do not understand her, and where she seems to us unordered.
— Arnold Schoenberg
 
Schoenberg.jpeg
 

2016 starts with a challenging read, and one that I’ve put off for some time. 

When I was researching this book, I discovered that one of his students wrote an alternate condensed version, removing all of Schoenberg’s colorful rants and emotionally-charged discourse on musical aesthetic. In other words, he removed the good stuff. This book was originally published in 1911, at the same time Einstein was working on The Theory of Relativity. I can’t help but draw the parallel as this being somewhat of a musical equivalent. The musical unifying theory of everything, though I'm sure Schoenberg would have plenty to say about that description. This book is expansive and imaginative and unlike anything that had come before it in musical literature.  Schoenberg comprehensively presents the prevalent rules/theories while exposing the often flawed foundations and contradictions upon which they were built.  He spends an equal portion of his time discussing the things that are unexplainable to those that are explainable, and for that reason I cherish this book.