Alan Bush

Alan Bush


• 1900 1995


Bush studied at the RAM as well as philosophy and musicology at the University of Berlin. He has served as a professor of music at the RAM and as conductor to the London Labour Choral Union. A committed communist, he founded the Worker's Music Association in 1936. Bush developed a 'thematic' method of composition in which, similar to Schoenberg's 12-tone serialism, every note must be thematically significant. The series is used with a tonal structure, accompanied by or as an accompaniment to other moving, thematically composed parts. Bush gradually moved from contrapuntal style to a more sensuous, directly harmonic one. These later works also contain a national element and his political beliefs played a role in his compositional decisions. The simplifications of his style may be attributed to his sensitivity to the accessibility of his music to the general public. These ideas were expressed particularly in his later operas, such as = Wat Tyler= (1953) and =Men of Blackmoor= (1960). He has also written choral, chamber and solo vocal music.