Geoffrey Payzant | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Geoffrey Payzant

Geoffrey (Barss) Payzant. Teacher, philosopher, writer, organist, b Halifax, NS, 7 Mar 1926, d Toronto 31 Aug 2004; LRSM 1947, BA (Dalhousie) 1948, MA (Toronto) 1950, PH D (Toronto) 1960, honorary LL D (Mount Allison) 1991.

Payzant, Geoffrey

Geoffrey (Barss) Payzant. Teacher, philosopher, writer, organist, b Halifax, NS, 7 Mar 1926, d Toronto 31 Aug 2004; LRSM 1947, BA (Dalhousie) 1948, MA (Toronto) 1950, PH D (Toronto) 1960, honorary LL D (Mount Allison) 1991. In Halifax, he studied piano with George Little and piano, organ, and theory with Harry Dean. In Toronto he studied harpsichord with Greta Kraus at the RCMT. He taught English, music, and philosophy 1952-7 at Mount Allison University and philosophy (specializing in aesthetics) 1957-85 at the University of Toronto, where he also was chairman 1970-3 of the Dept of Interdisciplinary Studies. He was organist at the Sackville, NB, United Church 1952-7 and at Lawrence Park Community Church (Toronto) 1958-63.

Payzant's activities included founding and editing the Canadian Music Journal,1956-62, conducting empirical research into musical perception using an apparatus he devised and constructed (reporting the results of this research on the CBC radio), and (with Stewart Duncan) he restored the Richard Coates barrel organ in the Temple of the Children of Peace at Sharon, Ont.

Payzant's book Glenn Gould: Music and Mind is a rarity among treatments of performers in that it barely concerns itself with Gould's personal life and public appearances but focused on the nature of his philosophies and with the quality, depth, scope, and variety of his art as it was affected by those philosophies. The first (and for ten or more years the only) monograph on Gould, the volume was available in 1990 in English, French, and Japanese.

In 1980 Payzant's research interests began to centre on the writings of the pioneer of musical aesthetics, Eduard Hanslick (1824-1904). He produced several articles and gave dozens of invited lectures on Hanslick. In 1991 Payzant published Eduard Hanslick and Ritter Berlioz in Prague, an English translation of Hanslick's philosophical classic Vom Musikalisch-Schönen (On the Musically Beautiful). This book led to a documentary study of the 1846 encounters in Prague between Hector Berlioz and the young Hanslick.

Payzant contributed to EMC.


'The Presbyterian organ,' Organ Institute Q, vols 5 and 6, Autumn 1955, Spring 1956; repr in Reformed Music J, vol 2, Jan 1990, Apr 1990

'The actual need,' CMJ, vol 1, Spring 1957

'Art invention as discovery and elaboration,' PH D thesis, Toronto 1960

'The competitive music festivals,' CMJ, vol 4, Spring 1960

'Performance and the existence of art,' Dalhousie R, vol 44, Summer 1964

'Intention and the achievement of the artist,' Dialogue, vol 3, Sep 1964

'The new immortality: ''readings'' in aesthetics,' Dialogue, vol 4, Sep 1966

Glenn Gould: Music and Mind (Toronto 1978, rev edn Toronto 1984)

'Glenn Gould and opera,' OpCan, vol 19, Spring 1978

'Rebirth of the Sharon barrel organ,' The York Pioneer, vol 75, Spring 1980

'Hanslick, Sams, Gay, and "tönend bewegte Formen",' J of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, vol 40, Fall 1981

'Eduard Hanslick and the "geistreich" Dr. Alfred Julius Becher,' The Music Review, vol 44, May 1983

'Eduard Hanslick on the role of the performer,' Opuscula aesthetica nostra, eds C. Cloutier and C. Seerveld (Edmonton 1984)

'Barrel number 3 of the Sharon barrel organ,' The York Pioneer, vol 80, 1985

'Eduard Hanslick's Vom Musikalisch-Schönen: a pre-publication excerpt,' The Music R, vol 46, Aug 1985

On the Musically Beautiful, transl of Vom Musikalisch-Schönen by Eduard Hanslick (Indianapolis 1986)

'Saltcellars and candelabra: Hanslick on Bach,' ARC, vol 14, Autumn 1986

'Hanslick, Heinse, and the "moral" response to music,' The Music R, vol 49, May 1988

'Hanslick on music as product of feeling,' The J of Musicological Research, vol 9, 1989

'Eduard Hanslick and Bernhard Gutt,' The Music R, vol 50, May 1989

'Hanslick and Berlioz,' The Berlioz Society Bulletin, 138, Spring 1990

Eduard Hanslick and Ritter Berlioz in Prague (Calgary 1991)

'The Glenn Gould outtakes,' Musical Canada

Hanslick on the Musically Beautiful: Sixteen Lectures on the Musical Aesthetics of Eduard Hanslick (Christchurch 2002)

Further Reading

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