Unmissable: The Arnold Schoenberg of bluegrass

Unmissable: The Arnold Schoenberg of bluegrass


norman lebrecht

February 07, 2019

The 12-tone world will never be the same again.

‘His music always made you think/it never made you smile’.



  • sorin says:

    nice and funny

  • norman lebrecht says:

    If Schoenberg could hear this, he’d be thrilled. John Cage would send it to all his friends.

  • Novagerio says:

    Yep. I added it yesterday to the “composer who hates atonality and dodecaphony” on this thread (!) 😀

  • Cubs Fan says:

    Well that made me smile. What a nice way start the day. The banjo solo…Too funny.

  • When I was in school every composition faculty and student “experimental music” opus sounded like that banjo solo.

    I was flattered to be recruited for the world premieres of these avant-garde masterpieces… until I realized that all the good trombone players had already turned them down.

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    Stockhausen’s Tierkreis would sound terrific in a banjo.


  • rg says:

    I liked the tonal parts of the song. The atonal parts sucked.

  • almaviva says:

    Thank you, Norman, for posting this. How witty and delightful!

  • We privatize your value says:


  • Sixtus says:

    I especially liked the part in retrograde perversion (sic) [recte: inversion].

  • barry guerrero says:

    The banjo solo would have been more effective if the ‘rhythm’ section had dropped out and not continued with the standard chord progression behind her.

  • Cyril Blair says:

    “Gimme some of that old Showenberg…”

  • Phillip Ayling says:

    I am really glad this track is getting some attention.

    Merle Hazzard (songwriter/singer) is truly a gifted satirist.
    He has a lot of interesting music in his catalogue

    The song’s Producer, Allison Brown, is probably one of the USA’s greatest 5 string Banjo players (I just don’t know if banjoista would be an actual word)

    She and her husband have run a record label (Compass Records) http://compassrecords.com/labels/
    for quite a while which serves a wide variety of independent artists and musical genres; especially Folk,Celtic,Appalachian and obviously Bluegrass. I saw her perform once with her band and she was totally amazing.