ABSTRACT

Throwaway introduction on the “Four Temperaments” works by Hindemith and Nielsen, noting that “neither composer apparently ever made a special study of the subject” (p. 32); followed by an overview of four-temperament explanations of human nature from Greco-Roman antiquity to the present. The author settles on a model by organizational psychologist Linda V. Berens, and identifies Hindemith and Schoenberg as belonging to the “iconic” type (as defined by Berens, although Almén eschews her own terminology in favor of Plato’s). “Iconic” music theorists value “utility” and “application” (p. 43) over “arbitrary rules or restrictions,” operating on the fundamental principle that “music is a vehicle for making an artistic statement,” and that “theory must not interfere with the choices of the artist” (p. 42). Hindemith in particular saw “theory as an aid to craft” (p. 47), which leads the author to conclude that, for example, the Series 1 relationships in Craft were motivated not by “conceptual derivation” but by “the need to justify a perfectly acceptable, practical tool for composition” (p. 48).