Classical Music (Gale Non Series E Books) John Burrows

ISBN: 9780756648664



Classical Music (Gale Non Series E Books)  by  John Burrows

Classical Music (Gale Non Series E Books) by John Burrows
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This is a typically well constructed Eyewitness Companions book. The focus is classical music, bridging the time period from 1000 to the present. The editor-in-charge, John Burrows, notes the goal of this book (Page 10): The book should inform, excite, inspire and be very accessible to Classical music lovers of all ages and levels of knowledge.

The Introduction is authored by Lady Solti, the widow of the great conductor, Sir Georg Solti. She observes that (Page 11): Music is in my opinion the missing link between the physical and the spirit- it is also a great educator.As with all Eyewitness Companions works, the opening sections provide background and context. Among the key subjects: the elements of classical music, including pitch, intervals, harmony, rhythm, tempo (Have you always been curious about what terms like andante and allegro and vivace mean?

Check out page 21), and dynamics (Pianissimo to Fortissimo), inter alia. The next part of the book explores the instruments of classical music, discussing the evolution of instruments over the centuries. Then, classical music in performance, including the development of the concert. Once more, there is an historical context provided.Then, the book moves to a period-by-period examination of classical music, from early music (1000-1600) to modern music (1900-present).

For each period, there is a nice opening discussion on the nature of music of the time. The first significant composers include artists such as Hildegard de Bingen (1098-1179), Guillaume de Machaut (1300-1377), Guillaume Dufay (1397-1474), Josquin Desprez (145-1521), Thomas Tallis (1505-1585), and Giovanni Palestrina (1525-1594).

The next era, the Baroque covers roughly the time frame from 1600-1750. Of the many great composers, a few of those covered in this segment include Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643), Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706), George Frederic Handel (1685-1759), Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). And so on, including the Classical Era, the Romantic Era, Romantic Opera, Modern Music, along with an interesting discussion of National Schools from 1830-1950.The waterfront is covered, although, with the format of this book, there is no room for depth of consideration for any single composer.

But one will get a sense of the sweep of classical music over a period of a thousand years. There are some composers whom I would have liked to have seen appear in this work, such as the quirky George Antheil and the contemporary Jennifer Higdon.For the reader who wants a useful introduction to the subject, this book is worth acquiring.

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