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date: 22 August 2019

Musgrave, Thealocked

  • Jennifer Barnes

Extract

(b Barnton, Midlothian, May 27, 1928). Scottish composer. She began her studies at the University of Edinburgh with Gál, whose teaching of counterpoint formed a firm foundation for her compositional technique. She was also influenced by Tovey (though she never knew him), and was in particular concerned with developing Tovey’s sense of ‘long-term harmony’, i.e. implying a number of harmonic relationships over an extended period of time: ‘the overall line of what a piece would be’ (Musgrave); in her final year at Edinburgh, she was awarded the Donald Tovey Prize. In 1949, on the advice of Curzon, she went to the Paris Conservatoire to study with Boulanger. Whereas Gál had emphasized line, Boulanger concentrated on minute details discussing, for example, the choice of a single instrument in a richly textured chord. Musgrave remained as a private pupil of Boulanger until 1954, winning the Paris Conservatoire's Lili Boulanger Memorial Prize. Her first commission, for the Scottish Festival in Braemar (...

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