Marion Bauer was respected for “her intellectual approach to new music,” as a writer and music critic, yet she also maintained a level of accessibility in her writings. For instance, she was published in various journals, was editor of the highly regarded, Chicago-based Musical Leader, and most famously published her book Twentieth Century Music, all of which garnered her respect in the music world. At the same time, though, Bauer made new music accessible to newcomers with her books such as How Music Grew: From Prehistoric Times to the Present Day. Bauer also had a highly inclusive view of what constituted “serious” music, as demonstrated in the content of Twentieth Century Music. Besides being one of the first textbooks to discuss serialism, Twentieth Century Music also mentioned numerous women composers in contrast to other contemporary music textbooks such as Paul Rosenfeld’s Musical Portraits, An Hour with American Music and John Tasker Howard’s Our Contemporary Composers, which only briefly mentioned women composers, if they were mentioned at all. Bauer’s book also discussed modernist works by African American composers and included jazz in its discussion of twentieth-century music.
(From the list of Bauer’s works in New Grove)
- With Ethel Peyser: How Music Grew: From Prehistoric Times to the Present Day (New York: 1925, rev. 1939)
- With Ethel Peyser: Music through the Ages: a Narrative for Student and Layman (New York, 1932, enlarged 3/1967 by Elizabeth Rogers as Music through the Ages: an Introduction to Music History)
- Twentieth Century Music (New York, 1933, rev. 2/1947)
- Musical Questions and Quizzes: a Digest of Information about Music (New York, 1941)
- With Ethel Peyser: How Opera Grew: from Ancient Greece to the Present Day (New York, 1956)