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  • Writer's pictureSteve Crowther

Reginald Smith Brindle and Me


Well ok, I didn’t actually meet the guy, or actually knew him, or even heard any of his music (until recently), but I felt like I had. Get this: from 1946 to 1949 he studied music at the University College of North Wales in Bangor. As did I. Not from 1946 to 1949 you understand, no, for one year in 1985. The Professor of Music (in 1985) was William Mathias, who had succeeded Smith Brindle (1957 to 1970). Now then, during his time professor-ing at Bangor, Reginald wrote the nearly famous Serial Composition (1966). ‘This introductory text for students covers all the most important aspects of serial composition, including full discussion of such topics as melody writing, twelve-note harmony, polyphonic writing, forms, stylistic factors, avant-garde techniques, and free twelve-note composition. The author's intention is to avoid a pedantic exposition of serial principles and to include many technical details which are also valid in non-serial contexts, being the common property of contemporary musical languages.’ And I actually read it. The mysterious alignment of Fate eh? Ok, maybe not.

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