Ratner, Leonard G(ilbert)
- Paula Morgan
(b Minneapolis, July 30, 1916; d Palo Alto, CA, Sept 2, 2011). American musicologist and composer. He took the MA from the University of California, Berkeley in 1939 and the PhD in 1947 with Bukofzer; his other professors included Schoenberg, Bloch and Frederick Jacobi. He taught at Berkeley from 1944. In 1947 he joined the faculty of Stanford University, where he was made professor of music in 1957. He retired in 1984.
Ratner specialized in Classical and Romantic music, harmonic theory and analysis and investigations of musical form. His observations on these topics are contained in his two textbooks, Music: the Listener’s Art (1957) and Harmony, Structure and Style (1962). His later writings explored the use of ‘rhetorical’ devices (described in terms of musical procedures such as scoring, harmonic colour and phrasing) to define musical idioms. Many of his compositions, which include an overture, a concertino for trumpet and string orchestra, quartets and sonatas, have been recorded....