'Where powers are boldly stirring, I counsel open war':

Arnold Schoenberg and Music Criticism


  • Dr. Alexander Owen Carpenter University of Alberta, Augustana Campus


Schoenberg, Vienna, music criticism


It is commonplace to situate Schoenberg as the subject of music criticism, much of it staunchly negative. Schoenberg’s entire biography is coloured by his oppositional orientation towards music critics and criticism, and he frequently blamed the arbiters of his work for coming between himself and what might have otherwise been a more receptive listening public. This article makes a case for Schoenberg as not merely the subject of criticism, but rather, by virtue of his life-long engagement with critics and criticism—in letters, essays, and on canvas — as a key participant in the discourse of music criticism in the early 20th century, and as an important music critic in his own right.

Author Biography

Dr. Alexander Owen Carpenter, University of Alberta, Augustana Campus

Associate Professor of Music and Chair, Department of Fine Arts and Humanities




How to Cite

Carpenter, A. O. (2022). ’Where powers are boldly stirring, I counsel open war’:: Arnold Schoenberg and Music Criticism. Journal of Music Research Online, 10. Retrieved from https://www.jmro.org.au/index.php/main/article/view/32