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Contents: Preface; Introduction; The symphony within international music trends 1900-60; The Australian musical environment for symphonic composition; Australian pioneers of the Federation period; Symphonies of the 1920s and 1930s; Australian symphonies 1940-60 in late Romantic and post-Impressionist styles; Nationalist symphonies of the 1950s; Neo-classic and 'progressive' symphonies of the 1950s; Australian expatriate symphonies; The aftermath: the 1960s and conclusions; Select bibliography; Index.
Rhoderick McNeill completed his PhD on the life and works of E.J. Moeran at the University of Melbourne, Australia. He taught music theory and history at Nommensen University, Medan, Indonesia and, since 1996, at the University of Southern Queensland, Australia. His two-volume history of Western music in Indonesian, Sejarah Musik, has been in print continuously since 1998.
'It is not often that an elegantly written, well researched book can be used as an advocacy tool, but Rhoderick McNeill's thorough investigation of the symphonies written before 1960 by Australian composers is one that requires attention ... McNeill's book is a work of exemplary scholarship and fills a significant gap in the knowledge of Australia's musical heritage. His encyclopaedic knowledge of Australian and international symphonic music is invaluable and informs his insightful critiques of this repertoire. The coverage of the subject's literature and the extensive bibliography make the book a useful volume for research ... McNeill's book is a most welcome addition to the corpus of musicological publications on Australian music'. The Music Trust. musictrust.com.au 'Finally, a book about the advent and growth of the symphony genre in Australia, a much-neglected field of research ... Exceedingly well written and in an easily-readable style, this is an extraordinary book, very highly recommended and a 'must-have' for teachers and students studying not only 'the symphony' but how the writings of Australian composers fit into that overall fabric. It is a treasure of information and with its first-class detailed footnotes and select bibliography will become the definitive resource on this particular subject'. The Studio, (quarterly magazine of The Music Teachers' Association of NSW Ltd)