Faà di Bruno, Giovanni Matteo [Horatio, Orazio] 83

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Finnegan, Ruth (Hilary)

(b Londonderry, 31 Dec 1933). Northern Irish anthropologist. She studied classics at Oxford (BA 1956) before taking the diploma (1959) and the doctorate (1963) in social anthropology at Oxford. After working as a senior lecturer at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria (1965–9), she took a post in 1969 at the Open University, where she was appointed reader in 1982, and professor in 1988, of comparative social institutions; during this period she left the Open University to spend three years as head of the sociology department at the University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji (1975–8). She was editor of Man, The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (1987–9) and visiting professor of anthropology at the University of Texas, Austin in 1989. She became a Fellow of the British Academy in 1996 and an honorary Fellow of Somerville College, Oxford in 1997. Her work has been principally concerned with the anthropology of communication and expressive behaviour, with particular reference to verbal art, oral tradition and musical practice. Her study of ‘hidden musicians’ in Milton Keynes has been particularly significant in introducing anthropological method and theory to the study of local musics.


Limba Stories and Story Telling (Oxford, 1967)

Oral Literature in Africa (Nairobi, 1970)

Oral Poetry: its Nature, Significance and Social Context (Bloomington, IN, 1977)

Literacy and Orality: Studies in the Technology of Communication (Oxford, 1988)

The Hidden Musicians: Music-Making in an English Town (Cambridge, 1989)

‘Studying Local Musicians in an English Town: an Example of Modern Anthropology’, Suomen antropologi, iii (1989), 31–43

‘Studying Musical Practice in an English Town: a “Doorstep” Ethnographic Study and its Implications’, Ethnomusicology: Cambridge 1989, 305–17

Oral Traditions and the Verbal Arts: a Guide to Research Practices (London, 1992)

Tales of the City: a Study of Narrative and Urban Life (Cambridge, 1998)


Finney, Ross Lee

(b Wells, MN, 23 Dec 1906; d Carmel, CA, 4 Feb 1997). American composer and educator, brother of Theodore M. Finney. His early musical experiences incorporated a wide range of interests: he played cello, piano and guitar, and was a member of a trio at the age of 12 and of a jazz group at 21. He continued to sing and play guitar for many years; as late as 1960 he toured Greece performing American folk music. His early study in composition was at the University of Minnesota with Donald Ferguson and at Carleton College, where he taught cello and history; he also studied with Boulanger (1927–8), with Edward Burlingame Hill at Harvard University (1928–9), with Berg in Vienna (1931–2), and with Sessions (1935).

From 1929 to 1948 Finney was a member of the faculty of Smith College Northampton, Massachusetts. He was awarded both Guggenheim and Pulitzer fellowships in 1937, and from 1943 to 1945 he served with distinction in the Office of Strategic Services. During the war years Finney turned from an eclectic international style to a more direct Americanism, introducing American folk materials into the String Quartet no.3 (1940) and producing Hymn, Fuging, and Holiday (in homage to William Billings, 1943) and the Pilgrim Psalms (1945). His Symphony no.1 (Communiqué 1943) was an important step in the definition of a personal style.

After 1947, when he was awarded a second Guggenheim Fellowship, Finney composed much chamber music and was particularly concerned with problems of structure. His concept of the tensions of opposing musical forces, which he called ‘complementarity’, his preference for strong rhythmic motivation, his concern with variation, and his fascination with time (as a philosophical as well as a musical phenomenon) were factors in forging this style. In 1949 he was appointed professor of music and composer-in-residence at the University of Michigan. Providing music for the chamber groups of the university's School of Music, and the need to define his ideas on the nature of music for his advanced students, contributed to a decade of great creative energy. A gifted teacher, Finney soon attracted a group of talented students, among them Albright, Crumb and Reynolds.

Finney then became more involved with serial techniques. The String Quartet no.6 (1950) uses three 12-tone series; the Fantasy in Two Movements (1958) uses one, with one permutation. In 1959 he began to serialize non-pitch elements, deriving changes in tempo and the proportions of formal divisions from the pitch series in such works as the Concerto for Percussion (1965). Most characteristic of Finney's technique is the use of a structured series, particularly with balancing or mirror-image hexachords. These hexachords are generative and are fulfilled both in interaction and compression – ‘the greatest compression of the hexachord’ Finney called a ‘source set’, a term first used in the Fantasy in Two Movements.

Finney used serial materials in elaborated forms, through juxtapositions of sections of driving impulse and floating sonorities, and this led him to a further exploration: of memory as a musical phenomenon, transcending simple nostalgia and the fashionable quotation of materials from other times and places. For Finney memory was a process, a flowing of complete and incomplete elements, of unexpected lucidity and frustrating indefinition, a process related to variation; Finney concluded that variation was not the repeating but the reexperiencing of the theme. His further experiments with the concept of memory culminated in the choral and orchestral trilogy Earthrise: Still are New Worlds (1962), The Martyr's Elegy (1967), and Earthrise (1978), works that are not only time-centred but also space-centred, bordering on the mystical.

Finney's many honours included the Brandeis Medal (1968), two honorary degrees, and numerous commissions, among them those from the Coolidge and Koussevitzky foundations and from Yehudi Menuhin for the Brussels World's Fair in 1958. In 1962 he was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters.


(selective list)


Nun's Priest's Tale (op, 1, Finney, after G. Chaucer), 1965; Hanover, NH, Aug 1965

Heyoka (dance score), 1981; New York, 14 Sept 1981

The Joshua Tree (dance score), 1983, unpubd, New York, 10 Oct 1984

Weep Torn Land (op, 7 scenes, Finney), 1984, unperf.

Computer Marriage (comic op, 5 scenes, Finney), 1986, unperf.


Vn Conc. no.1, 1933, rev. 1952; Slow Piece, str, 1940; Sym. no.1 (Communiqué 1943), 1942; Hymn, Fuging, and Holiday, 1943; Pf Conc. no.1, 1948; Variations for Orch, 1957; Sym. no.2, 1958; Sym. no.3, 1960; 3 Pieces, chbr orch, tape, 1962; Perc Conc., 1965; Symphonie concertante, 1967; Pf Conc. no.2, 1968; Summer in Valley City, band, 1969; Landscapes Remembered, 1971; Spaces, 1971; Sym. no.4, 1972; Vn Conc. no.2, 1973, rev. 1977; A Sax Conc., wind orch, 1974; Narrative, vc, 14 insts, 1976; Conc. for Str, 1977; Skating on the Sheyenne, band, 1977; Small Town Music, 1987; Chbr Conc. ‘Heyoka’ [from Heyoka (dance score)]


Oh, Bury me Not (folksong), 1940; Pilgrim Psalms (Ainsworth Psalter), 1945; Words to be Spoken: Modern Canons (MacLeish), 1946; Spherical Madrigals (R. Herrick, G. Herbert, R. Crashaw, J. Dryden, J. Donne, A. Marvell), 1947; Immortal Autumn (Whitefield), T, chorus, 1952; Edge of Shadow (MacLeish), chorus, insts, 1959; Earthrise, a Trilogy Concerned with the Human Dilemma: 1 Still are New Worlds (M.H. Nicolson: The Breaking of the Circle), Bar, chorus, tape, orch, 1962; 2 The Martyr's Elegy (P.B. Shelley), high v, chorus, orch, 1967; 3 Earthrise (from T. de Chardin: Mass on the World, L. Thomas: The Lives of a Cell), solo vv, chorus, orch, 1978; The Remorseless Rush of Time (J. Conrad, Finney), chorus, orch, 1969


1 voice, piano, unless otherwise stated

Poems (A. MacLeish), 1935; Bleheris (MacLeish), T, A, orch, 1937; Poor Richard (B. Franklin), 7 songs, 1946; 3 Love Songs (J. Donne), 1948; Chbr Music (J. Joyce), 36 songs, 1951


Duo, vn, pf, 1944; Fiddle-Doodle-Ad, vn, pf, 1945; Str Qt no.4, 1947; Pf Qt, 1948; Str Qt no.5, 1949, unpubd; Sonata no.2, vc, pf, 1950; Str Qt no.6, 1950; Sonata no.2, vn, pf, 1951; Pf Qnt no.1, 1953; Sonata no.2, va, pf, 1953; Pf Trio no.2, 1954; Sonata no.3, vn, pf, 1955; Str Qt no.7, 1955; Str Qnt, 1958

Str Qt no.8, 1960; Pf Qnt no.2, 1961; Divertimento, wind qnt, 1963; Divertissement, cl, vn, vc, pf, 1964; 3 Studies in Four, 4 perc, 1965; 2 Acts for 3 Players, pf, cl, perc, 1970; 2 Ballades, fl, pf, 1973; 7 Easy Perc Pieces, 4 perc, 1973; Tubes I, 1–5 trbn, 1974; Variations on a Memory, 10 insts, 1975; Qt, ob, vc, perc, pf, 1979; 2 Studies, sax, pf, 1980

solo instrumental

Pf: Sonata, d, 1933; Fantasy, 1939; Sonata no.3, 1942; Sonata no.4 (Christmastime, 1945), 1945; Nostalgic Waltzes, 1947; Variations on a Theme by Alban Berg, 1952; Inventions, 25 children's pieces, 1956; Fantasy, 2 movts, vn, 1958; Sonata quasi una fantasia, 196l; 32 Pf Games, 1968; 24 Inventions, children's pieces, 1970; Waltz, 1977; Lost Whale Calf, 1980; Youth's Companion, 5 short pieces, 1980; Narrative in Argument, 1983; Narrative in Retrospect, 1983

Other: Elegy and March, trbn, 1954; Chromatic Fantasy, vc, 1957; Fantasy in 2 Movts, vn, 1958; 5 Org Fantasies, 1967; Hexachord for Hpd, 1983

Recorded interviews in US-NHoh

Principal publishers: Peters, G. Schirmer


The Game of Harmony (New York, 1947)

ed. F. Goosen: Thinking about Music: the Collected Writings of Ross Lee Finney (Tuscaloosa, AL, 1991)

Profile of a Lifetime: a Musical Autobiography (New York, 1992)



Compositores de América/Composers of the Americas, ed. Pan American Union, xi (Washington DC, 1965), 22–32

P. Cooper: ‘The Music of Ross Lee Finney’, MQ, liii (1967), 1–21

G.M. Hinson: ‘The Solo Keyboard Works of Ross Lee Finney’, American Music Teacher, xx/6 (1970–71), 16–18, 40 only

H. Onderdonk: ‘Aspects of Tonality in the Music of Ross Lee Finney’, Perspectives on American Composers, ed. B. Boretz and E.T. Cone (New York, 1971), 248–68

T. Everett, ed.: ‘10 Questions: 270 Answers’, Composer, x–xi (1980), 57–103

C. Gagne and T. Caras: ‘Ross Lee Finney’, Soundpieces: Interviews with American Composers (Metuchen, NJ, 1982), 179–91

G.L. Finney: Facts and Memories (New York 1990)


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