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Percy Aldridge Grainger

From Wind Repertory Project
Percy Aldridge Grainger


George Percy Grainger (8 July 1882, Brighton, Victoria, Australia – 20 February 1961, White Plains, New York) was an Australian-born composer, pianist and champion of the saxophone and the concert band, who worked under the stage name of Percy Aldridge Grainger.

Grainger was an innovative musician who anticipated many forms of twentieth century music well before they became established by other composers. As early as 1899 he was working with "beatless music", using metric successions (including such sequences as 2/4, 2½/4, 3/4, 2 ½ /4).

In December 1929, Grainger developed a style of orchestration that he called "Elastic Scoring". He outlined this concept in an essay that he called, "To Conductors, and those forming, or in charge of, Amateur Orchestras, High School, College and Music School Orchestras and Chamber-Music Bodies".

In 1932, he became Dean of Music at New York University, and underscored his reputation as an experimenter by putting jazz on the syllabus and inviting Duke Ellington as a guest lecturer. Twice he was offered honorary doctorates of music, but turned them down, explaining, "I feel that my music must be regarded as a product of non-education".

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