Book Review: Australian Music and Modernism, 1960-1975

Katherine Firth, The University of Melbourne

Michael Hooper, Australian Music and Modernism, 1960-1975 (Bloomsbury Academic, 2019)

Australian Music and Modernism, 1960-1975, the new monograph by Michael Hooper (University of New South Wales), is a rather more specific intervention into the field than the title might suggest. Rather than providing a survey of Australian modernist music during a period of exciting development and diversity, the book reconsiders the late twentieth-century formation of a view of ‘Australian’ serialist music and the continuously evolving reputation of five male composers: Peter Sculthorpe, Nigel Butterley, Richard Meale, Don Banks, and David Lumsdaine. Hooper’s book corrects a celebratory and nationalist model of these composers’ music that emerged in the late 1980s. 

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