Vagn Holmboe [1909-96], was one of the most important composers of his era, and arguably the most important Danish composer after Carl Nielsen. A composer for over 60 years, and a teacher for more than 30, he wrote over 300 compositions in nearly every musical genre, music criticism, many other articles and two other books. Here, in a volume intended for the general reader, he discusses the nature of music, from the point of view of the composer, the performer and the listener. Where do musical ideas come from? What are composers' working methods, and how much are they really aware of them? What is the role of performers, and what sort of freedom do they have in interpreting music? What do listeners do in listening to music? What, essentially, is the musical experience?
Professor Paul Rapoport contributes a lengthy introduction to this book, although, as he points out, `this is not a book about Vagn Holmboe nor a book addressed solely to musicians ... Holmboe's prose, like his music, is addressed to his fellow human beings, whoever and wherever they may be'.