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There can hardly have been a period in the past which has contemplated itself so exhaustively in the presentation of its own history as the 20th Century. This volume does not aim to present yet another account of the history of music in the 20th Century, but rather to use those accounts already in existence to develop an understanding of the principles of music history and to attempt to identify the principles of New Music. The lack of clarity in concepts and the contradictions inherent in the historian’s task make this a plea for New Music to be considered as a plural category, following an attempt to describe the beginnings of New Music through contrasting two approaches (Ives and Webern).

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