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8 Pages

Introduction: The State of Barber Research

Serious studies of Samuel Barber and his music are not numerous, although the number has increased fairly significantly in the last few years since the first edition of this book was published. Although two new books deal with Barber, there are still only two substantial biographies: Nathan Broder’s from the early 1950s (Item 389), clearly out of date, and Barbara Heyman’s from the early 1980s (Item 396). In her study, written shortly after Barber’s death, Heyman is both more inclusive and more scholarly than Broder, frequently referring to many documents and letters. She has promised a second edition of her biography in the near future, which will probably include some reorganization and the inclusion of more recent scholarship. Most newspaper and magazine articles about Barber are general. Among the few scholarly articles, some were refashioned from parts of the authors’ dissertations. Barber is seldom represented in twentieth-century music periodicals, with the exception of Modern Music. His music was “new” enough to make it into that periodical, when his early works were making an impact during the 1930s and 1940s, but not new enough to appear in Perspectives of New Music, a periodical much more concerned with later music of the avant-garde.