The influential American composer Milton Babbitt died last Saturday. He was 94 years old.
Babbitt, also a theorist and a teacher, wrote very rational music, which was not understood by everyone. As a follower of Arnold Schönberg, his methods became the basis of the “total serialism”, in which not only the 12 notes, but also many other musical elements were ordered in rows.
He taught at Princeton, where, during WWII he also taught mathematics. His composition students included Mario Davidovsky, John Eaton, and the theater composer Stephen Sondheim.