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date: 20 September 2019

White, Ruth (S.)locked

  • Allan B. Ho

Extract

(b Pittsburgh, Sept 1, 1925). American composer, pianist and educator. White began composing at the age of eight and, since the age of 15, has produced a steady stream of works in a variety of styles and genres. She studied with Nikolai Lopatnikoff at the Carnegie Institute of Technology (later Carnegie Mellon University: BFA 1948, piano and composition; MFA 1949, composition), then continued with John Vincent at UCLA (1950–54). She studied privately with George Antheil (1951–4), learning from him the important underlying principles of Classical sonata form, which provided ‘the key to writing larger works that were structurally sound’.

White's involvement in electronic music was precipitated by a belief that all the experiments in traditional media, from Impressionism to atonality, polytonality and the like, were closed paths – that ‘this medium … had reached its zenith by the end of the nineteenth century, and, since then, its basic principles were being systematically destroyed’. She also found much of the early electronic music ‘chaotic and senseless’, concluding that those ‘unshaped and arbitrary sounds being made were noise and just that’. After building her own electronic music studio (...

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The New Grove Dictionary of Women Composers