Apologia: Encyclopaedia of Contemporary Composers (1992)

I believe that Schoenberg’s intellectual crusade to abolish melody, harmony and rhythm dealt a near death-blow to the inspired creation of meaningful new music in the second half of the twentieth-century. I believe that all great music evolves from the critical assimilation of all available tradition, and secondly by attention to the popular current tonal innovations of the day.

I believe in the alchemical transmutation of material of Jung and not the ivory-tower attempt at language-creation which derives at second-hand from Wagner’s view of the artist as ersatz-God. I believe, with Plato, that the composer’s function is to try to balance and reconcile the conflicting elements of society within his music, and that by doing so in an accessible and comprehensible language he may then hope to have the vision to uplift and inspire society at large. I believe that the composer can only achieve this function by working with humility as a cratftsman responding to the requirements of the day: that is, as William Blake said’ ‘Eternity is in love with the productions of time’. My own music is melodic, harmonic, contrapuntal, rhythmic, hopefully inspirational and hopefully non-elitist. (Howard Blake)

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