Sergei Taneyev is not a common name in Western musicology. Short studies of his theoretical writings include Allen Forte’s critical review of New Grove (1982), Ellon Carpenter’s survey in Russian Theoretical Thought in Music (1983), and Catherine Nolan’s chapter ‘Music Theory and Mathematics’ from The Cambridge History of Western Music Theory (2002). However, an English-language monograph on Taneyev has yet to be published. This paper focuses on the missed opportunity of Taneyev’s contrapuntal theory within the theory of Western music. First published in 1909, his ‘Moveable Counterpoint’ treatise pioneered a rigorously theoretical approach to the study of an esoteric contrapuntal device, which substantially precedes parallel thought outside of Russia. I address the following questions: what is the value of this treatise today? And how might Taneyev’s work be developed to heighten our awareness of contrapuntal procedures?
Desbruslais, S. (2015). The Western reception of Sergei Taneyev. Zhurnal Obshchestva teorii muzyki, 9(1), 7-18