4. 5 July 1970 [ES]
As promised, I'm sending you herewith for perusal and consideration the text, as (more or less) agreed for publication in the Proceedings, of my talk to the RMA earlier this year. Sorry it's been held up; Edward Olleson got caught us in examining, and has only just let me have the results of his editing. These seem fairly acceptable from my point of view; the text he had from me was about 7,500 word, and. the RMA have difficulty in finding room for more than 4,000 or so. We've compromised at the present c. 5,300 enclosed.
You were good enough to say that you would consider the possibility of using this text in your Symposium in substitution nor the mooted cipher chapter. I think there may be some advantage in this from your point of view. First, the cipher theory is still very far from established as yet. People like Gerald Abraham and Jack Westrup remain largely unpersuaded (the former because it's someone else's idea about Schumann, the latter because it's someone else's idea, period) while Martin Cooper feels secure enough to jeer at the idea and tell lies about it on Music Mag. It seems to me too that each reaction is fairly typical (if not typically fair) in its kind.
Part of the trouble is that some rather compelling evidence remains unpublished. Or at least I think it's compelling – you'll be able to form a view, if you like, from the enclosed copy. This text has been accepted about two years ago by both the MT and the Österreichische Musikschrift; but it hasn't found a place in either queue yet. In the latter case the fault is entirely mine; I just haven't been able to undertake the necessary translation and documentation. It's partly my fault in the MT too; I've been lengthening the queue myself by writing on (of all people) Elgar, three times this year; and now the readers are due for another rests from me and from cryptography.
There's no telling how long this will be; and I think you might 'prefer to wait until the idea has won prima facie acceptance (if it ever does) before you risk compromising your Symposium with a. chapter on the cipher as such.
The suggested alternative, on the other hand, has been generally very well received so far. People of the caliber of Andrew Porter and Stanley Sadie have been more affable about it than they need have been. Jerome Roche (do you know him? – obviously a very charming and discerning chap:) said in the MT that it was brilliant, diverting, convincing and so on – more persuasive, he felt, than the cipher stuff as such. And I don't mind conceding that much of it is at least original.
It has perhaps a further advantage in easing what might be a perplexing copyright difficulty. You may recall that Faber's permission to me to do a cipher chapter for you was contingent on the position as then understood, that my book for them would be out first. But the bludgeonings of Fate which have been striking me and mine over the last two years (and left me both bloody and bowed – practically doubled up, in fact) have reversed that situation; and I'm rather doubtful (after a word with John Thomson) about what view night now be taken.
Another mild advantage, for what it is worth, attaches to the enclosed text – I should find it quite helpful in writing my piece on the songs (which I've just started); there are one or two points to which I could refer, thus effecting useful economy in space.
I wish I could add that there would be a decided financial advantage to me on having this text published twice – but alas the RMA as a learned society are making no payment!
The publication in the Proceedings won't I'm sure adversely affect Symposium sales; nobody has ever heard of the Proceedings, and I can't imagine anyone actually buying a copy. So although I dare say there may be disadvantages from your point of view, I can't at this moment think of any. But no doubt you can – why don't you tell me about them at lunch one day? I'm on leave as from 20th July, but available until then on 930-4346, and thereafter, grinding out several thousand boring words on Schumann, at home on 657-2494.
I trust all goes well with you.
PS I'm reviewing [MT, Nov 1970, ED] a book – Tonality and Musical Structure, by Graham George – do you know it or him? – which begins b saying that his theory has absolutely nothing to do with yours: I'm not sure what the right comment on that is – either (a) such is fame or (b) a wise precaution.