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December 02, 1955 - Image 6

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Michigan Daily, 1955-12-02

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THE MICHIGAN DAILY

.rRMAV- lftr.V.vmwiD * iowc

THE MICHIGAN DAUW ~~~u'D1TcA W I',uuy aIn

axit l t:1V113 tG , 1955

CLAIMS STYLES CHANGE, GROW:
Bassett Maintains Composing Ability Can Be Cultivated

Psychologist Studying 'Rigidity'

'V.

By T. A. MORIISON

It was a cold, damp morning.
The clock had just struck three.
In a c6rner of the dimly-lighted
studio, a young man with blaz-
ing eyes and tousled hair sat,
fingering the keys of the piano.
In a sudden burst of energy, he
stubbed out his cigarette and be-
gan to play.
He stopped .only occasionally
to jot down notes on a sheet of
music paper. His concentration
grew more and more intense, until
at last he leaned back, exhausted.
Lighting a cigarette, he scanned
the sheets of music, a satisfied
War Tale Told
On TV Series
The 22nd Michigan Infantry ex-
isted in action only a few hours,
but its destruction by Confederate
forces is part of a brilliant story
of courage and bravery.
Tonight at 10:15, the WUOMi
series honoring Michigan regi-
ments in the Civil war, "To Make
Men Free," tells the story of the
battle at Chickamauga Creek in
September 1863.
The 22nd Infantry, from Pon-
tiac, Michigan, had been sent, fresh
and green from basic training,eto
join the army of the Cumberland
in their attacks against the Con-
federate army of General Bragg.
On September 20, 1863, Bragg led
his forces, which outnumbered the
Unionntroops by 10,000,in a sweep-
ing, relentless drive designed to
destroy the Northern army.
The center of the blue battle-
line collapsed, andthe right wing
broke, leaving the field to be de-
fended by one lone corps under
Union General George H. Thom-
as., The triumphant Confederates
made ready for the kill,
Then, the 22nd Michigan troops,
who had never been tested in
battle, marched in to block the ad-
vance!
They marched dauntlessly on,
even after ammunition became
nonexistent. Their advances be-
came virtual mass suicide, but
General Thomas, "The Rock of
Chickamauga,' ' caused them to
hold back an entire Southern divi-
sion.
After one battle the regiment
no longer existed as a practical
fighting power; casualties includ-
ed 59 per cent of the force. com-
mitted, but they had stopped the
enemy and saved the Union army
from catastrophe.
"To Make Men Free" is written
by William Bender Jr. Special
Consultant for the series is Ed-
ward E. Barthell.

smile lighting his gaunt face. The
inspired composition was finished.
Romantic Picture
If this highly romantic picture
is your idea of a composer, fors-
get it. Leslie Bassett, young theory-
composition instructor - in the
music school, bears as much re-
semblance to the dedicated young
composer portrayed above as Grace
Kelly does to Theda Bara.
"To be perfectly frank," he
says, "I like to sleep at 3 a.m."
Bassett, a composer with a high
local reputation and the glimmer-
ings of national recognition, looks
more like one of the undergradu-
ates he teaches than anything else.
Dressed in brown slacks, a tweed
sport coat and striped tie, he does
much to dispel the popular proto-
type of the composer.
"The public has seen pictures
of Liszt," he says, "and they im-
agine that kind of composer. He
doesn't exist. There are bohemian
artists of every kind-you can spot
them a mile away-long hair,
sloppy, black shirt--but they
often don't compose much."
Rewards Depend on Gift
Basset feels that how a man
lives on the outside has little to
do with how or what he composes.
To him, composing is a craft, a
profession and an art. A composer
does as well as he can. His re-
wards depend on his gift.
Bassett also thinks a person can
cultivate the ability to compose.
"The style of every great composer
has evolved, changed, grown," he
says. "With everything you com-

awfully successful." After getting
his B.A. from Fresno State College,
he came to the University for
graduate work.
He married Anita Denniston of

that the creative life in Europe is
not nearly so active as popular'
supposition has it. Very little new'
music is being produced, and what
is being produced often isn't be-
ing played.
America Underrated
Americans underrate themselves,
he says. They feel, and wrongly
so, that they have undeveloped
taste. Eufopean study is beneficial,
because Europe has fine systems
of teaching craft, and discipline,
but originality can't be taught.
There is no profit in a work that
is merely skillfully put together.
"The twelve-tone boys in Ger-
many seem to be taking hold a
little," he says. "But on the other
hand, I suppose there's a lot of
poor twelve - tone stuff being
written."
"However," he concludes, "Euro-
pean training is invaluable from
the standpoint of craft and tech-
nique."
Bassett is by no means ,new to
composing. Several of his works
have been published and played
all over the country. Reviews have
been highly favorable, and he has
been awarded many prizes.
And his co-workers are not
nearly so modest about his ac-
complishments as he is. Prof.

-Daly-Chuck Keisey
.. a profession

Los Angeles in 1949. Mrs. Bas-
sett, an attractive, neat, intelli-
gent woman, manages the younger
Bassetts (Wendy, 3 and Noel, 2),
keeps the Bassett home on South*
State Street and maintains an
active interest in her husband's
work.
"We hope to buy a house in the
spring," she says. "The focal point
of it will be a studio for Leslie."
At present, Bassett does most of
his composing in a studio on the
seventh floor of Burton Tower.
He tries to work between 8 a.m.
and 11 a.m. every day, because he
is freshest in the morning.
'A Room To Be Happy In'
Mrs. Bassett concedes that her
husband does bring his work home
more than most men, and for that
reason, it is important that he
have a special place to work. "The
room we plan will be one where
he can work without being dis-
tracted by the children, one that,
he can bring his friends to-a
room to be happy in," she says.
She feels that her husband's
work is a part of their family life,
and that Noel and Wendy must
learn that Daddy has to work and
cannot be disturbed. "I think he
will be able to spend more tine
here when we get adequate facil-
ities," she says. "We won't be with
him, but it'll be nice to know he's
there."
Bassett received- a Fulbright
Fellowship in Composition to Paris.
in 1950. He and his wife made the
trip and loved it. They like to
travel and managed to visit Eng-
land, Holland and the Mediter-
ranean area while in Europe.
Bassett was surprised to find

tell-perhaps he may attempt it
one day."
Prof. Gilbert Ross, a member of
the Stanley Quartet, thinks that
Bassett, along with other con-
temporary composers, has turned
to larger forms of music rather
than "little" pieces. His "Quintet
for String Quartet and Double
TeConcert
The Stanley Quartet will
give its second Ann Arbor con-
cert of the season at 8:30 p.m.
Tuesday in Rackham Lecture
Hall.
Their program will include
Haydn's "Quartet in C major,"
Brahms' "Quartet in B flat"
and, in its first Ann Ar-
bor performance, Leslie Bas-
sett's "Quintet with Double
Bass."
Members of the Quartet are
Gilbert Ross, violin, Emil Raab,
violin, Robert Courte, viola and
Oliver Edel, cello. They will
be assisted by Clyde Thompson,
double bass.
Bass" (dedicated to the Stanley
Quartet) is an unusual combina-
tion of instruments. Prof. Ross
says of it, "He has handled an un-
usual medium expertly, in a vir-
tuoso manner."
Bassett thinks the writing of
music is comparable to that of
literature. "In both of them," he
says, "you hang phrases together,
and you must maintain consist-
ency".
And, as in writing, composing
is an intuitive process. "All of a
sudden you have an idea. It may
be complete, it may not. Maybe
it's just a rhythmic wiggle, a tune
or possibly an entire piece."
He considers copying the "dog
work" of the business. Although he
has spent several years perfecting
his copying technique, he says it
requires no mental powers and is
very time consuming.
He likes the University because
the people here are receptive to
new music and it's easy to get
performances. He finds the cos-
moplitan atmosphere here stimu-
lating and likes to compare notes
with foreign students. "The more
his music is played," he says, "the
happier a composer is, the faster
he can grow and the more he can
contribute."
The Bassett family recreations
consist of concerts, plays, swim-
ming, tennis and participation in
the activities of the First Metho-
dist Church. Mrs. Bassett says,
"It's the first chance we've had to
really contribute to a church group,
and we find it very enriching."
'Very Versatile'
Sometimes Bassett - The - Com-
poser is replaced be Bassett-The-
Handyman. "He's very versatile,"
says his wife. "He's not in the
least above papering the dining
room."
Bassett spends as much time as
he can listening to music as well
as writing it. His favorites are
Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn, Bartok
and Stravinsky, although he en-
joys almost any kind of music.
Why? "Well," he says earnestly,
"there's a lot to be learned from.
any composer, and composers
should be willing and able to learn
more than anyone else."
FARMER'S
MARKET
Detroit Street
Open Wednesday and Saturday

for
Farm-Fresh Fruits, Vegetables,
I Fa Po-try and Eggs

Psychology students are being
used in a series of research studies
on rigidity, Prof. Richard L. Cut-
ler of the psychology department
said recently,
This group of students is not an
ideal one with which toconduct
research because the majority
tend to represent only one side
of the problem, he commented.
Prof. Cutler is doing research
in personality theory which con-
cerns rigidity. This personality
trait is the "inability to capitalize
on new/ information from environ-
ment in order to modify one's at-
titudes, beliefs, emotions, and be--
haviors," he said.
He remarked that rigidity in
most college.students is at a rela-
tively low level.
Prof. Cutler is studying four
kinds of behaviors in which rigidi-
ty is apparent.
Prejudice concerning minority
groups is one behavior type. An-
other is intellectual problem solv-
ing, or the "ability to shift set"
which means to try new ideas, he
said.
When perceiving a simple geo-
metric figure, whether or not
people tend to adhere to a fixed
perception or are able to shift
their perception as the figure shifts
constitutes another kind of rigidi-
ty, he continued.
A fourth type concerns the ex-
tent to which people rely on estab-
lis'hed opinions and authority to
guide their behavior. This is called
authoritarianism.

U

No Parking
Frustrations

Q1
e

ICE CUBES
Phone NO 3-7191
Noon - 7 P.M.

Prof. Cutler has found that
people who are rigid in one area
tend to be rigid in all four types
of behaviors.
He is particularly interested in
factors which contribute to rigidi-
ty in people, how to go about
changing rigid people and whether
or not people who change in one
area will simultaneously change
in all other areas.
Results show that factors con-
tributing to rigidity are "parental
attitudes toward children which
encourage them to strive too early
and too strongly for independ-
ence," Prof. Cutler said.
He remarked that rigidity also

derives from strict parental train-
ing which encourages the child to
see things in terms of being either
all right or all wrong-not in-be-
tween.
Methods of changing rigid people
are by use of propaganda and per-
suasion, asserted Prof. Cutler.
These techniques and similar oth-
ers are capable of influencing
strongly enough to have people
change their minds, he continued.
Prof. Cutler is "interested in the
general theory of personalities
which would have as its purpose
the understanding and explanation
of human behavior."

KEG BEER

114 E. William
Daily 10 A.M.-12 P.M. Sunday

A Campus-to-Career Case History
I: I

... and an art

LESLIE BASSETT
... composing a craft
pose, good and bad, your ability
grows. The main thing is to keep
composing."
Leslie Raymond Bassett was
born in Hanford, Calif.,. In 1923.
Although he started composing in
high school he "is not sure it was

Louise Cuyler calls him "our very
strongest student."
Prof. Ross Lee Finney, himself
no mean example of success in
composing, says that he is "one
of the up and coming young fig-
ures to whom we look for achiev-
ment."
Prof. Finney thinks that Bas-
sett is an excellent craftsman--
polished, exacting, demanding and
careful. He has a mastery of most
idioms and is not a limited com-
poser. The only field to which he
has never been drawn is opera,
but, says Prof. Finney, "Who can

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HE'S BUILDING FORHIS FUTURE

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-RFD

LEITE R

DAY,~,

Paul Guild, E.E., Purdue, '49,
started as a student engineer with
Long Lines-the Bell System unit that
interconnects Bell Telephone Com-
panies. In the student training pro-
gram he became familiar with all
operations of the business.
After that he spent two years on
technical and engineering projects
that took him to Indianapolis, Cleve-
land and Atlanta.
. March of 1953 found Paul in Cin-
cinnati working on the construction
of radio relay routes. He worked with
the newest microwave equipment that

transmits television pictures and tele-
phone conversations simultaneously.
In 1955, as part of his further
development, Paul was transferred to
a completely different assignment. He
now supervises the important plan-
ning job of balancing a working force
of 900 Long Distance operators with
the ever-changing work load.
"I use my engineering background
on this job, too," says Paul. "It's
extremely interesting and has lots of
responsibility. Besides, you need ex-
perience in more than one depart-
ment to give you background."

{

Paul Guild is typical of young engineers in the Bell
System. Similar career opportunities exist in the Bell

S of
.#
tS

Read and Use

Telephone Companies, Bell Telephone Laboratories, BEL L
S Western Electric and Sandia Corporation. Your place- TE LE PHO NE
ment officer has more information on these companies. SYSTEM
9 g
t 1/
t 1
L\,.-_-__ __.._ _ __ _ _ __ _._ ___ __ _ ____: ___-------------------------------------------

I

Daily

Classifieds

y ,I

electrical - mechanical
ENGINEERS,
PHYSICISTS
MATHEMATICIANS
bachelor - master - doctor

research

development

field engineering
in

computation

communication

}

instrumentation
EMPLOYMENT INTERVIEWS WILL,.BE
CONDUCTED DECEMBER 1 and 2
PLEASE APPLY THROUGH
,- YOUR PIACEMENT OFFICE

loff' i -srf

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