In this book the concept of functionalism, well-known in 20th-century architecture and design, is used to investigate the musical thoughts of two of the leading composers at the time of the Bauhaus, the time of Adolf Loos and Le Corbusier.
Functionalism may be characterized by the functional treatment of the chosen material, by functional design, and by a focus on the work’s intended function. This tripartite requirement also defines the concept of musical functionalism as developed in this study, and it serves as the foundation for a presentation of Schoenberg’s and Hindemith’s thoughts on the subject. Examined through the lens of musical functionalism, common traits between the two composers become evident, despite all their individual characteristics as artists of noticeable integrity. Discussions of the musical material, of musical form, and of the function of music allow the author to reveal a shared epistemological base underlying the external dissimilarities of the two composers' style and language.
A professor of musicology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim. His particularly engaged field of interest is the music and aesthetics of the first half of the 20th century, with an emphasis on the interrelationship between music and the other arts. In addition to his extensive work on Schoenberg and Hindemith, he has published articles on such composers as Mahler and Berg, Krenek and Weill.