Organic Music Theory provides a radical perspective on creative production. Given elements supplied by nature and history, creativity is simply a matter of choice; anyone who has ever made a choice is ‘creative.’ However, instead of relying on recipes created by individuals of the past, OMT facilitates each of us to compose languages of the future, making creative choices directly from naturally
occurring—organic—and self-organized universal elements.
Based on theory that began in the modal period in jazz, Ben Schwendener clearly explains and then expands this perspective into a broad range of applications. This important work is intended not only for musicians, but for anyone sensing the existence of a larger realm of creative choice.
Composer / pianist Ben Schwendener sustains a unique voice in contemporary creative music and is a leading authority on George Russell's Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization, which he assisted Russell in teaching at the New England Conservatory from 1986 to 2004. and continues to teach at NEC and Longy School of Music of Bard College. With this book, Schwendener offers a new direction in natural pedagogy and dialogue-based arts education, establishing Organic Music Theory and Universal Musical Elements as primary creative sources, and has given lectures, workshops and seminars at Universities around the USA and at institutions around the world.
"The Organic Music Theory is a book that changed completely the way I approach music theory. It has opened my mind in such a way that allows me to explore composition as well as improvisation aspects with immense freedom. The Organic Music Theory is an essential book for those who wish to expand their knowledge in music theory, expand their musical possibilities as well as gaining a wide understanding about tonal gravity." -Domenico S.
"In Organic Music Theory, Ben Schwendener's extraordinary expertise is made apparent in his ability to make potentially complex subjects in advanced music theory entirely approachable and engaging to the average musician. Ben draws from the fundamental principles of composer George Russell's Lydian Chromatic Concept to outline a practical and widely-inclusive view of music theory rooted in the physics of sound itself. Writing in a clear and highly personal style, Ben seamlessly blends the fundamentals of the Lydian Concept with his own unique viewpoint, carefully guiding the reader using relatable analyses and progressive compositional exercises. To conclude, Ben draws from his many years as a music educator to outline a thought-provoking philosophy of education that transcends the field of music. As a professional musician, the principles in Organic Music Theory have completely changed the way I think of composition, improvisation, and analysis, and I recommend it as essential reading for anyone looking for a paradigm-shifting view of the practical principles underlying all music."