When Music Resists Meaning:

The Major Writings of Herbert Brün

Edited by Arun Chandra

A new book with the writings and compositions of an influential post war composer

Herbert Brün (1918-2000) was a pioneer in the development of electronic and computer music. He was recognized within and beyond the field of music as an eloquent and original contributor of ideas relating composition and systems theory, language and thought, performance and everyday life. Brün wrote and spoke incisively on the function of the arts in our society: What are the social functions of "composer" and "listener"? What is the function of "time" in art? How does "communication" hasten the decay of new thoughts, and what significance does this have on creative and social acts?

The book includes lectures given for non-professionals, articles containing valuable new formulations and insights for professionals and an audio CD featuring Brün's compositions. The book is an excellent resource for those interested in music composition, computer music, electronic music, music literature, 20th century music history and interdisciplinary studies in arts and sciences.

Herbert Brün was born in Berlin, Germany in 1918. After working as a composer in the electronic studios of Europe during the 1950s, he taught at the University of Illinois from 1962 to 2000. Arun Chandra is a composer and Music Director of the Olympia Chamber Orchestra, and teaches at The Evergreen State College.

"A major collection by one of our most important composers and thinkers. For the last forty years, Herbert Brün's teaching, writing and music have modulated the spectrum of American music in ways that are still beginning to be understood. An essential publication for every American composer to read, digest, and wonder at."

-Larry Polansky, composer, teacher and co-director of Frog Peak Music

"While computer music technology has evolved considerably since the mid-60s, Brün's writings remain a provocative and refreshing exploration of information technology and the arts."

-Ronald Kuivila, Adjunct Professor of Music, Wesleyan University

368 pp. 2 b/w illus., 33 musical examples, 13 computer graphics. 6 x 9," audio CD
Cloth ISBN 0-8195-6669-1. $70.00x
Paper ISBN 0-8195-6670-5. $27.95

You may order When Music Resists Meaning: The Major Writings of Herbert Brün through your local bookseller, or by calling University Press of New England at 1-800-421-1561. You may charge the book on your credit card -- shipping charges are $5.00 for the first copy and $1.25 for each additional copy. If you would like to order on-line, go to


Academic users may order Examination Copies for potential course adoption. Please request a copy of the book in a letter, on your institutional letterhead, and include $5.00 for shipping. Mail your request to: UPNE, Attn: Exam Copies, 37 Lafayette Street, Lebanon, NH 03766-1405.

Herbert Brün: Biography | Writings | Compositions | Recordings | Graphics | Links