Perspectives of New Music

Perspectives of New Music is a peer-reviewed academic journal specializing in music theory and analysis. It was established in 1962 by Arthur Berger and Benjamin Boretz (who were its initial editors-in-chief).

Perspectives of New Music
DisciplineMusic theory and musical analysis
Edited byBenjamin Boretz, Robert Morris, John Rahn
Publication details
Perspectives of New Music
Standard abbreviations
ISO 4Perspect. New Music
OCLC no.805415023

Perspectives was first published by the Princeton University Press, initially supported by the Fromm Music Foundation.[1] The first issue was favorably reviewed in the Journal of Music Theory, which observed that Berger and Boretz had produced "a first issue which sustains such a high quality of interest and cogency among its articles that one suspects the long delay preceding the yet-unborn Spring, 1963 issue may reflect a scarcity of material up to their standard".[2]

However, as the journal's editorial "perspective" coalesced, Fromm became—in the words of David Gable—disenchanted with the "exclusive viewpoint [that] came to dominate" it. "However intrinsically valuable the kinds of analytic approaches that came to typify it may [have been], Perspectives [became] in essence a highly specialized theory journal for contemporary music. For a decade, Fromm and certain members of the advisory board attempted to broaden the journal's scope, and when the editorial board . . . refused to return to the original conception, Fromm withdrew his funding in 1972.[3]

When Fromm discontinued his support, Perspectives of New Music formed an independent corporation, which has continued its publication.

Boretz edited the journal from 1962 through 1983, with co-editors Berger (1962–1964), Edward T. Cone (1968–1972), and Elaine Barkin (1972–1983). John Rahn was editor from 1983 until 1993, and Boretz again in 1994/95. From 1995 until 2000, there was a group of five editors: Joseph Dubiel, Marion Guck, Marianne Kielian-Gilbert, Andrew Mead, and Stephen Peles. The current editors are Boretz, Robert Morris, and Rahn.


  1. David Carson Berry, "Journal of Music Theory under Allen Forte's Editorship," Journal of Music Theory 50/1 (2006), 21, n49.
  2. Richmond Browne, "Perspectives of New Music: Arthur Berger, Editor, Benjamin Boretz, Associate Editor, Princeton University Press, Princeton, N. J., 1962. 196p." Journal of Music Theory 7/2 (Winter 1963), 262–65; citation on 263.
  3. David Carson Berry, "Journal of Music Theory under Allen Forte's Editorship," Journal of Music Theory 50/1 (2006), 21, n49, quoting David Gable, "Paul Fromm in American Musical Life", in A Life for New Music: Selected Papers of Paul Fromm, edited by David Gable and Christoph Wolff, ix–xviii (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Department of Music, 1988), xv.

Further reading

  • 2012. "A History of Perspectives on the Occasion of Our 50th Anniversary" (collection of short articles and interviews conducted by Rachel S. Vandagriff). Perspectives of New Music 50, nos. 1 and 2 (Winter–Summer): 6–243.
  • Berger, Arthur, and Benjamin Boretz. 1987. "A Conversation about Perspectives", transcribed by Marjorie Tichenor. Perspectives of New Music 25, nos. 1–2, 25th Anniversary Issue (Winter-Summer): 592–607.
  • Dibelius, Ulrich. 1988. "Perspectives of New Music. XXV/1–2: 25th Anniversary Issue". Neue Zeitschrift für Musik 149, nos. 7–8: 106.
  • Graber, Jonathan Schultz. 1995. "Perspectives of New Music: A History". DMA diss. Seattle: University of Washington.
  • Kerman, Joseph. 1985. Contemplating Music: Challenges to Musicology. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0674166779 (cloth) ISBN 0674166787 (pbk).
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