Schachter, Carl

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SCHACHTER, CARL (1932– ), U.S. music theorist; the most important practitioner of Schenkerian theory in his generation. Born in Chicago, Schachter studied piano and conducting in New York and focused on theory following his studies with Felix Salzer. Schachter was a professor in the Mannes School of Music, Queens College, the cuny Graduate Center, and the Juilliard School of Music, and gave lectures and classes all over North America and Europe. Schachter's profound understanding of theory is best seen in his illuminating commentary on Schenker's Free Composition (Journal of Music Theory, 1981). He is best known for the textbooks which he coauthored: Counterpoint in Composition (with Felix Salzer, 1969) and Harmony and Voice Leading (with Edward Al-dwell, 1978, 19892, 20033). Schachter developed a complementary tool to voice-leading graphs: durational graphs, which indicate the normalized time-span of each event (at a given level). His essays focus on analysis of 18th- and 19th-century music. His most important essays were collected in Unfoldings (1999).


J.N. Straus, "Introduction: A Dialogue between Author and Editor," in: Unfoldings. (1999).

[Yossi Goldenberg (2nd ed.)]