Hallelujah Junction

Hallelujah Junction

Composing An American Life

Book - 2008
Average Rating:
Rate this:
An eminent composer shares the story of his life, from his childhood and early studies in classical composition to his minimalist and "docu-opera" achievements, in an account that evaluates his professional relationships and the social movements that inspired his creative process.
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780374281151
Characteristics: 340 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
May 29, 2013

Hallelujah Junction by composer John Adams was a fascinating read. Adams gives a very brief personal history then launches right into his days at Harvard and all things music. He talks of his evolution away from the popular 'tone rows' and atonal trends of the 60's. He is an excellent observer of everything around him culturally, socially, and politically. He wears his politics on his sleeve through much of the book -and I was pleased to align with him on most everything -except one, Zappa. I was so sure when I started the book that he would pledge his allegiance to the brilliance of Zappa's music but I was wrong. Adams is brutally honest in his assessments and his standards are very high. He was gracious when writing about Glass and Reich, highlighting their achievements and skipping gingerly overly what I sensed as a profound parting of ways in all things musical. As for Zappa I felt, and still feel that some of the tracks on Yellow Shark (Outrage at Valdez and Get Whitey) are top shelf. The Dog Breath/Uncle Meat medly rivaling Adams own Short Ride in a Fast Machine for packing a vast quantity of high octane aural excitement into a small time footprint. However, Adams devoted barely a page to Zappa and even having conducted several Zappa works proclaimed that Zappa's work hasn't been adopted by any major Orchestra for their programs due to issues of 'quality'. Ouch. Overall the book was quite inspiring for me as dabbling composer. I read the book as I listened to the 9cd Adams Earbox so that I would be able to cue up tracks that were being discussed. It was a great time I was having and I highly recommend it!

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at WPL

To Top