Statistically the most performed and listened to contemporary composer in the world, Arvo Pärt is a musical and cultural phenomenon. Arvo Pärt’s Resonant texts: Choral and Organ Music 1956-2015 is an essential resource for anyone interested in his extraordinarily innovative and uniquely appealing music. Andrew Shenton surveys the full scope of Pärt’s oeuvre, providing context and chronological continuity while concentrating in particular on his text-based music, analysing and describing individual pieces and techniques such as tintinnabulation. The book also explores the spiritual and theological contexts of Pärt’s creativity, and the challenges of performing his work. This volume is the definitive guide for readers looking to engage with the form, content, and context of Pärt’s compositions, as Shenton situates Pärt in the narrative of metamodernism, and suggests new ways of understanding this unique and beautiful music.


  1. Prelude: Resonant Texts
  2. Credo: 1956-1976
  3. Interlude: Audible Light
  4. Passio: 1976-1982
  5. Interlude: The Numinous Encounter
  6. Kanon: 1982-1997
  7. Interlude: Performance Practice
  8. Lamentate: 1997-2003
  9. Adam’s Lament: 2003-2015
  10. Postlude




Arvo Pärt’s Resonant Texts is published by Cambridge University Press and is available online via the CUP site, and online stores such as Amazon.

‘Arvo Pärt’s Resonant Texts is a fascinating and deeply engaging conglomeration of cultural musicology and compositional survey. It is a thoroughly engaging read … Highly recommended.’

Erik W. Goldstrom Source: Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians