David Whitwell Essays

Jan07

Band Music of the French Revolution

posted by Dr. David Whitwell

Band Music of the French Revolution This is the definitive study in English of the role of the wind band during the French Revolution and the Bourbon Restoration. In instrumentation the modern wind band begins here. Finally available in a fully updated second edition including new material on works by Anton Reicha, Nicolas-Charles Bochsa and Hector Berlioz. Paperback versions are available from...

Jan07

Psychological Problems in Conducting

posted by Dr. David Whitwell

Psychological Problems in Conducting This conducting book is about the mind, not the baton.   There is a great deal of misunderstanding about the role of the conductor. As a student he is often given to understand that all the answers are found on the score page and if he just studies that page enough he will understand the music. But the fact is there is no music in the score, only symbols of the grammar of music.  This is the real meaning of Mahler’s famous statement, “What is best in music is not to be found in the notes.” What the conductor really contributes is to bring to the rehearsal everything which is not in the score. But...

Jul27

Essays on the Modern...

posted by Dr. David Whitwell

Essays on the Modern Wind Band David Whitwell is one of the most influential college band directors of the twentieth century and the author of more than forty books on music, education, history and aesthetics. In this new collection of essays, Essays on the Modern Wind Band, he provides a...

Apr16

Art of Musical Condu...

posted by Dr. David Whitwell

This book by Dr. David Whitwell is destined to be regarded as one of the most important works on the subject. It emphasizes the philosophic and aesthetic concepts of conducting and will cause ensemble directors to re-examine their ideas about the way they look at music making. Frederick...

Dec07

A Concise History of the Wind Band

posted by Dr. David Whitwell

Whether used for personal reference or as a text for a class in the history of the wind band, this book, A Concise History of the Wind Band, is the most comprehensive single-volume text on the history of the wind band ever written. It draws on the author’s multi-volume History and Literature of the Wind Band and follows the development of the wind band through the civic, court, church and military performances of the Ancient World through the nineteenth century. Paperback — available from Amazon.com. Preview Download a PDF preview of A Concise History of the Wind...

Jan07

Music during the Eng...

posted by Dr. David Whitwell

Music during the English Restoration: Philosophy and Performance Practice With the exception of the new form, Opera, the previous two centuries of musicology have tended to present the Baroque Period, 1600-1750, as a period of functional, even mechanical, music. The contemporary discussion in...

Jan07

Music during Jacobea...

posted by Dr. David Whitwell

Philosophy and Performance Practice of Music during Jacobean England With the exception of the new form, Opera, the previous two centuries of musicology have tended to present the Baroque Period, 1600-1750, as a period of functional, even mechanical, music. The contemporary discussion in this...

Jan07

Italian and Spanish ...

posted by Dr. David Whitwell

Essays on Italian and Spanish Music of the Baroque With the exception of the new form, Opera, the previous two centuries of musicology have tended to present the Baroque Period, 1600-1750, as a period of functional, even mechanical, music. The contemporary discussion in this volume will help...

Jan07

Music of the German ...

posted by Dr. David Whitwell

Essays on Music of the German Baroque With the exception of the new form, Opera, the previous two centuries of musicology have tended to present the Baroque Period, 1600-1750, as a period of functional, even mechanical, music. The contemporary discussion in this volume will help the reader...

Jan07

Music of the French ...

posted by Dr. David Whitwell

Essays on Music of the French Baroque With the exception of the new form, Opera, the previous two centuries of musicology have tended to present the Baroque Period, 1600-1750, as a period of functional, even mechanical, music. The contemporary discussion in this volume will help the reader...

Jan28

Renaissance Men on M...

posted by Dr. David Whitwell

Renaissance Voices: Views on Music by Renaissance Writers Renaissance Men on Music This volume contains the fascinating views of some of the most well-known and influential men of the Renaissance. Here we find interesting information not mentioned in traditional texts. For example we find...

Jan28

Renaissance Philosop...

posted by Dr. David Whitwell

Renaissance Voices: Views on Music by Renaissance Writers Essays on Renaissance Philosophies of Music This volume consists of essays which present the reader with Renaissance views on their philosophy of music. The contemporary opinions here cover the general new view of man himself in the...

Jan28

Music Performance in...

posted by Dr. David Whitwell

Ancient Voices: Views on Music by Ancient and Medieval Writers Music Performance in Ancient Societies This volume contains first-hand and eye-witness descriptions of the actual performance of music in ancient and medieval societies. Documented here are not only concerts of art music in real...

Jan28

Early Views on Music...

posted by Dr. David Whitwell

Ancient Voices: Views on Music by Ancient and Medieval Writers Early Views on Music and Ethics Ethics, from the original Greek word, “ethos,” had to do with the character of a man. The first part of this book presents the arguments of the ancient philosophers who believed that Music education...

Jan28

Early Thoughts on Pe...

posted by Dr. David Whitwell

Ancient Voices: Views on Music by Ancient and Medieval Writers Early Thoughts on Performance Practice This volume presents the early views of philosophers and musicians having to do with the general background of what is known as Performance Practice. Performance Practice refers to the...

Jan28

Contemporary Descrip...

posted by Dr. David Whitwell

Ancient Voices: Views on Music by Ancient and Medieval Writers Contemporary Descriptions of Early Musicians The first part of this volume presents first-hand accounts of individual ancient musicians, singers, instrumentalists, conductors, both men and women. The second part presents much...

Jan28

Ancient Views on Wha...

posted by Dr. David Whitwell

Ancient Voices: Views on Music by Ancient and Medieval Writers Ancient Views on What Is Music This book follows the fascinating attempt of man to explain the nature of Music, that powerful and mysterious art from which cannot be seen. From original accounts from the earliest period of writing...

Nov12

Ancient Views on the...

posted by Dr. David Whitwell

Ancient Voices: Views on Music by Ancient and Medieval Writers Ancient Views on the Natural World This volume contains a fascinating collection of observations by ancient writers as they were attempting to understand Music in its relationship with the world around them. The book begins with a...

Dr. David Whitwell is a graduate (‘with distinction’) of the University of Michigan and the Catholic University of America, Washington DC (PhD, Musicology, Distinguished Alumni Award, 2000) and has studied conducting with Eugene Ormandy and at the Akademie fur Musik, Vienna. Prior to coming to Northridge, Dr. Whitwell participated in concerts throughout the United States and Asia as Associate First Horn in the USAF Band and Orchestra in Washington DC, and in recitals throughout South America in cooperation with the United States State Department.

At the California State University, Northridge, which is in Los Angeles, Dr. Whitwell developed the CSUN Wind Ensemble into an ensemble of international reputation, with international tours to Europe in 1981 and 1989 and to Japan in 1984. The CSUN Wind Ensemble has made professional studio recordings for BBC (London), the Koln Westdeutscher Rundfunk (Germany), NOS National Radio (The Netherlands), Zurich Radio (Switzerland), the Television Broadcasting System ( Japan) as well as for the United States State Department for broadcast on its ‘Voice of America’ program. The CSUN Wind Ensemble’s recording with the Mirecourt Trio in 1982 was named the ‘Record of the Year’ by The Village Voice. Composers who have guest conducted Whitwell’s ensembles include Aaron Copland, Ernest Krenek, Alan Hovhaness, Morton Gould, Karel Husa, Frank Erickson and Vaclav Nelhybel.

Dr. Whitwell has been a guest professor in 100 different universities and conservatories throughout the United States and in 23 foreign countries (most recently in China, in an
elite school housed in the Forbidden City). Guest conducting experiences have included the Philadelphia Orchestra, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, the Czech Radio Orchestras of Brno and Bratislava, The National Youth Orchestra of Israel, as well as resident wind ensembles in Russia, Israel, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, England, Wales, The Netherlands, Portugal, Peru, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Canada and the United States.

He is a past president of the College Band Directors National Association, a member of the Prasidium of the International Society for the Promotion of Band Music, and was a member of the founding board of directors of the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE). In 1964 he was made an honorary life member of Kappa Kappa Psi, a national professional music fraternity. In September, 2001, he was a delegate to the UNESCO Conference on Global Music in Tokyo. He has been knighted by sovereign organizations in France, Portugal and Scotland and has been awarded the gold medal of Kerkrade, The Netherlands, and the silver medal of Wangen, Germany, the highest honor given wind conductors in the United States, the medal of the Academy of Wind and Percussion Arts (National Band Association) and the highest honor given wind conductors in Austria, the gold medal of the Austrian Band Association. He is a member of the Hall of Fame of the California Music Educators Association.

Dr. Whitwell’s publications include more than 127 articles on wind literature including publications in Music and Letters (London), the London Musical Times, the Mozart-Jahrbuch (Salzburg), and 39 books, among which is his 13-volume History and Literature of the Wind Band and Wind Ensemble and an 8-volume series on Aesthetics in Music. In addition to numerous modern editions of early wind band music his original compositions include 5 symphonies.

David Whitwell was named as one of six men who have determined the course of American bands during the second half of the 20th century, in the definitive history, The Twentieth Century American Wind Band (Meredith Music). A doctoral dissertation by German Gonzales (2007, Arizona State University) is dedicated to the life and conducting career of David Whitwell through the year 1977. David Whitwell is one of nine men described by Paula A. Crider in The Conductor’s Legacy (Chicago: GIA, 2010) as ‘the legendary conductors’ of the 20th century.

‘I can’t imagine the 2nd half of the 20th century—without David Whitwell and what he has given to all of the rest of us.’ Frederick Fennell (1993)

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