Tonality – or the feeling of key in music – achieved crisp theoretical definition in the early 20th century, even as the musical avant-garde pronounced it obsolete. The notion of a general collapse or loss of tonality, ca. 1910, remains influential within music historiography, and yet the textbook narrative sits uneasily with a continued flourishing of tonal music throughout the past century. Tonality, from an early 21st-century perspective, never did fade from cultural attention; but it remains a prismatic formation, defined as much by ideological-cultural valences as by its role in technical understandings of musical practice. Tonality 1900–1950: Concept and Practice
brings together new essays by 15 leading American and European scholars.
"One of the principal strengths of this frequently fascinating collection is its focusing of the question of how tonality could participate in early twentieth-century modernism. […] I find much to stimulate thought in virtually all of the contributions."
J.P.E. Harper-Scott, Music Analysis 33, 2014/3