Paul Nordoff: Composer and Music Therapist

  • Paul Nordoff: Composer and Music Therapist
  • Author: Lee, Colin A.
  • ISBN: 9781937440640
  • E-ISBN: 9781937440657

Paul Nordoff’s inspirational gift to the development of creative musicianship and the art of clinical improvisation has placed him as one of the leading figures in music therapy. His uncompromising and meticulous approach to the compositional qualities of music in therapy has set a standard that continues to inspire music therapists to this day. Through the Nordoff-Robbins approach he fulfilled his vision of work that would meet the needs of children with musical quality and respect. What is not commonly known, however, is that before becoming a therapist Nordoff was an established American composer. This book aims to unearth and analyze his compositions, comparing his creative processes as a composer with his gifts as a clinical musician. The art of music in music therapy should never be compromised at the expense of non- musical aims. Nordoff’s role as a composer and music therapist is a shining example of this belief. This book is on one level a historical discovery and analysis of Nordoff’s art compositions. On another and perhaps more important level, it is a journey of discovery and the importance of acknowledging the inspirations of music as both art and therapy. Nordoff’s creativity as a composer and music therapist moved seamlessly between each other, and as such an evaluation of his artistic endeavors is integral to understanding his contributions to music therapy.


Acknowledgements/  iv

Foreword by Kenneth S. Aigen/  vii

Preface/  xi

Chapter 1: Composer/  3

Chapter 2:  Orchestral Works/  11

Chapter 3:  Chamber and Piano Music/  29

Chapter 4:  Stage Works/  51

Chapter 5:  Art Songs/  71

Chapter 6:  E.E. Cummings Songs (Leslie De'ath)/  89

Chapter 7:  Music Therapist/  125

Chapter 8:  From Artistic to Clinical Composer/  157

Chapter 9:  The Final Years/  173

Appendix A:  List of Compositions/  186

Appendix B:  Discography/  194

Index/  195