Providing readers with an insight into how music makes magic, this straightforward, accessible volume provides explanations of how music works, why it has such a special power and provides an overview of the history of Western music from the Middle Ages to the present day by focusing on great masterpieces of music from all periods. The volume outlines the art of listening and combines straightforward explanations of technical matters with graduated listening guides of a single attractive piece of music. The author examines the elements of music, music around the world, from the Middle Ages: 400-1400, the Renaissance: 1400-1600, and the Baroque Era: 1600-1750, to the Classic Era: 1750-1800, Beethoven, the Nineteenth century and the classical and jazz scenes of the Twentieth Century. For those interested in music appreciation.
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THE MAGIC OF MUSIC
We all know that music is special and has special powers. You don't need a textbook to tell you that. So what is the point of this book? It does two things. It introduces you to some wonderful music that you may not know, and it shows you how music works and how different pieces have the effect that they do.
Sometimes the effect of a piece of music will depend on a very simple idea, like just using a catchy rhythm; or it may depend on something a bit more sophisticated, like an unusual series of chords. We will first go through some of the basics of music so that you understand these effects. Knowing how something works helps you appreciate it more.
Then I'll share with you some of the great musical works that I have become familiar with from a lifetime of listening to music. Sharing music is something I do with my students all the time. Usually, of course, I am the one who tells them about pieces they don't know. But quite often they introduce me to some wonderful music that I hadn't known before. Sharing music is one of the great pleasures in life. When you find a piece of music in this book that you think has the magic, share it with someone.
Music is an ancient phenomenon: it is probably as old as language. It has even been suggested that singing developed before speech. Prehistoric humans also must have banged on hollow logs or rocks to make music. Flutes made of animal bone have been found from many thousands of years ego.
We are born with an innate sensitivity to music. Before we are born, we hear sounds and rhythms in the womb, and even the tiniest infants seem to express pleasure at the sound of music. At four months, an infant can distinguish between sounds that are consonant and those that are dissonant. And most of us have seen babies who can barely walk, rocking back and forth on their feet and clapping their hands to the sound of music.
Music is also a worldwide phenomenon. Music is an art or an activity that appears in all cultures around the world.
The greatest influence today on music around the world is that exerted by Western classical and popular music. It is this Western tradition that we shall be studying. This does not mean that other musical traditions are less valuable. There are other books that explain the fascinating music of other cultures. But our focus is on the music of Western culture. This culture is very ancient. Its roots are in the Jewish tradition, the tradition of ancient Greece and Rome, and early Christianity. More recently it has been influenced by non-religious concerns, like dancing, and expressions of love, sentiment, youthful rebellion, and sexual attraction.
So for most of this book, we will be examining music of the Western tradition, which has a rich and lengthy history. To do this, we will need a working vocabulary to describe music. We will need to learn how to listen to a piece of music intelligently. And we will need to learn about the different historical periods of Western music. For example, Gregorian chant sounds very different from a Beethoven symphony. There are historical reasons for this, which we shall examine.
But the very first part of this book is about listening and the elements of music. Listening is not the same as hearing. You can hear all kinds of sounds without listening to them. Really listening to music is an art. It takes time. And it takes commitment. You have to concentrate, just as you do when you are reading a good book.
The chapter on listening also introduces you to the elements of music. You can't read a book without knowing vocabulary and grammar. So as you learn about listening, you'll also learn about the grammar and vocabulary of music, such as what a scale is and how harmony works. After you have studied this chapter, you'll be able to hear all kinds of things in the music that you hadn't heard before, and you'll be able to describe them accurately. The rest of the book goes through all the main historical periods of Western music from the Middle Ages up to the present day and discusses some of the great musical works from those periods.
You'll end up knowing much more music than you did before. And you'll be able to talk (and think) about all music with more intelligence and insight. You'll have discovered the magic of music.
SPECIAL FEATURES OF DISCOVER MUSIC
Brief, Clear, and Accessible
Designed to be used in a semester- or quarter-long course, Discover Music is a lively and interesting companion for the student studying music for the first time. It is not meant to be a music encyclopedia, either in length or tone. The intent is to engage students in a meaningful discussion of music without overwhelming them with an avalanche of extraneous detail.
Focus on Listening
Discover Music stresses the importance of active listening as a vital activity. Chapter 1 introduces the basic elements of music (melody, rhythm, harmony) while simultaneously teaching the skill of active listening. Listening examples illuminate the theoretical concepts.
Listening guides to the "Overture" of Handel's Water Music are employed several times in the chapter to illustrate basic concepts. Students can focus on a small number of ideas at a time and can learn the art of active listening with a short, appealing work. This chapter lays a solid foundation for the students' listening activities throughout the remainder of the book. In addition, brief recorded examples called MusicNotes (listed in the text and available on the free CD that is bound into the book) immediately illustrate all the other musical phenomena discussed.
This focus on listening is maintained throughout the book. Concluding each chapter are "Listening to... " sections. These distill and summarize the most important stylistic characteristics of each musical era using the clear, accessible vocabulary introduced in Chapter 1. Students can hear the difference between Baroque and Classical music, Classical and Romantic music, etc.
Timed Listening Guides
The Listening Guides are very clear, easy to follow, and illuminating. Every important aspect of what is heard is explained, and special moments are highlighted. Each Listening Guide is supplied with exact timings and internal track numbers to identify important points within each work.
Cultural and Social Context
Throughout the book, music is presented in the context of its social and historical milieu. Parallel discussions of the other arts provide a cultural setting for the understanding of music.
Music as a Worldwide Phenomenon
The main focus of the book is on music of the European tradition, but this focus is both explained and put into context by a brief look at music as a global phenomenon. Chapter 2 a short chapter on "Music Around the World."
Contributions of Women
Throughout the book the contributions of women to the history of music, as composers, patrons, teachers, and performers, are carefully considered.
Popular music is treated not just as a token but as a cultural phenomenon in its own right. The history of popular music is surveyed from its beginning until the present, and due weight is given to musical, cultural, and commercial considerations.
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Book Description Prentice Hall, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0130915785
Book Description Prentice Hall, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110130915785