The Leonard Bernstein Collection, ca. 1920-1989

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Professor Lenny
Essay by Joseph Horowitz

(Article reprinted with permission from The New York Review of Books (external link). Copyright © 1993 NYREV, Inc.)

Article Notes

  1. For a history of the music appreciation movement, see my Understanding Toscanini—How He Became an American Culture-God and Helped Create a New Audience for Old Music (Knopf, 1987), pp. 189-213. I am also indebted to Paul DiMaggio, of Princeton University, for sharing with me his perusal of music-educational materials. (Return to text)
  2. Published as "The Absorption of Race Elements into American Music" in Bernstein's Findings (1982), scheduled to be reissued in paperback by Anchor Books in October 1993. (Return to text)
  3. Here, and elsewhere, I transcribe the actual scripts, not the edited versions in Anchor Books's newly expanded Leonard Bernstein's Young People's Concerts, which has Bernstein preach: "Take a tip from Berlioz: that music is all you need for the wildest trip you can take, to hell and back. With drugs you might make it, but you might not make it back." (Return to text)
  4. Scripts for twelve of these may be found in Bernstein's books The Infinite Variety of Music (1966, and just reissued by Anchor Books) and—a superior collection—The Joy of Music (1959, to be reissued by Anchor Books in February 1994). The programs themselves, as well as Bernstein's Young People's Concerts, may be viewed at New York's Museum of Television and Radio. (Return to text)
  5. In the Young People's Concerts Bernstein described tonality to laymen. "You feel a key-note, a center, or home plate, where the music belongs, starts out from, and gets back to. That center is called the tonic and the tonic note is the first note of the scale…and the tonic chord is the chord you build on to that note…A tonic is like a magnet; you can pull away from it, going on to other chords, other keys, or tonal centers, but in the end the tonic always pulls you back irresistibly." (Return to text)

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