History of Music in Western Culture, A

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2003-01-01
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
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A book that will enable the reader to have a greater understanding of music's role in our lives, this is a comprehensive study of the history of music from antiquity to the modern era. This book makes its subject matter lively and engaging by including loads of information in a way that the reader can easily grasp with its clearly-written narrative, use of illustrations, information boxes, composer profiles, and generous quantities of interesting material, such as composers' letters and critic's reviews of music throughout the ages. A two-volume anthology and an eight CD set of carefully chosen musical scores are included with this book. This book maintains the traditional divisions of music history: Antiquity, Middle Ages, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Twentieth Century, all connected by themes such as texture, melody, harmony, rhythm, and composers, which allow the reader to compare and contrast the different elements of musical style throughout the ages.

Table of Contents


Music in the Biblical World. Ancient Greece. Music in the Roman Empire. The Musical Legacies of Antiquity.


Prelude to Part I.
1. Plainchant and Secular Monophony.
The Emergence of Plainchant. The Elements of Plainchant. The Expansion of Plainchant. Secular Monophony.

2. Polyphony to 1300.
Organum. Clausula. Motet. Conductus. Mensural Notation.

3. Music in the 14th Century.
France: The Ars Nova. Italy: The Trecento. England. Instrumental Music.


Prelude to Part II.
Renaissance Humanism. The Protestant Reformation. Renaissance Painting and Sculpture. Music in Renaissance Society.

4. The Emergence of Renaissance Style.
Consonance and Dissonance: Trusting the Ear. Sonority: The Contenance Angloise. Texture: Pervading Imitation. Josquin's Ave Maria...virgo serena and the Style of the Renaissance.

5. The Genres of Renaissance Music, 1420-1520.
Sacred Vocal Music. Secular Vocal Music. Instrumental Music.

6. Music in the 16th Century.
Secular Vocal Music. Sacred Vocal Music. Instrumental Music in the 16th Century. Mannerism.


Prelude to Part III.
War, Revolution, and Colonial Expansion. The Scientific Revolution. The Musical Baroque.

7. The New Practice.
Searching for the Secrets of Ancient Greek Music. The Florentine Camerata. The Seconda Prattica. Music in the Baroque Era: A Stylistic Overview.

8. Vocal Music, 1600-1650.
Secular Song. Opera. Sacred Music.

9. Vocal Music, 1600-1750.
Opera. Sacred Music. Conceptions of the Compositional Process.

10. Instrumental Music, 1650-1750.
Instruments of the Baroque Era. Instrumental Genres of the Baroque Era.


Prelude to Part IV.
The Age of Enlightenment. War and Revolution. The Industrial Revolution. Music in Enlightenment Society.

11. The Art of the Natural.
Music and the Idea of Nature. Music in the Classical Era: A Stylistic Overview. Style and Form in the Mid-18th Century.

12. Instrumental Music in the Classical Era.
The Language of Instrumental Music. Sonata. String Quartet. Cyclical Coherence. The Symphony. Concerto.

13. Vocal Music in the Classical Era.
Th Rise of opera buffa. Opera Wars. Gluck and the Reform of Opera. Mozart and the Synthesis of Operatic Styles. Sacred Music. Song.


Prelude to Part V.
Progress and Dislocation. Ideas and Ideologies. Reaction, Reform and Revolution. The Musical World of the 19th Century.

14. The Age of the Tone-Poet.
Romanticism and the New Prestige of Instrumental Music. The Composer as High Priest. Originality and Historical Self-Consciousness. The New Dichotomy of Absolute and Program Music. Nationalism and Music. The Growing Division Between “Serious” and “Popular” Music. Music in the 19th Century: A Stylistic Overview.

15. Orchestral Music, 1800-1850.
Bigger Halls, Bigger Audiences, and Louder Instruments. The Symphony. The Concert Overture. The Concerto.

16. Piano Music, Chamber Music, Song.
Beethoven's Piano Sonatas and String Quartets. Song. The Character Piece.

17. Dramatic and Sacred Music.
Opera. Operetta. Sacred Music.

18. Orchestral Music, 1850-1900.
Music for Dancing and Marching. Ballet. The Symphonic Poem. The Symphony.


Prelude to Part VI.
The Impact of Recorded Sound. Modernism: the Shock of the New.

19. The Growth of Pluralism.
Fragmentation versus Diversity. Past versus Present. Recorded versus Live Music. Authenticity. The Uses of Music in the 20th Century. Music in the 20th Century: A Stylistic Overview.

20. The Search for New Sounds: 1890-1940.
Impressionism. Challenges to Tonality. Primitivism. Ragtime, Jazz and Country Music. Nationalism. New Timbres.

21. Beyond Tonality.
Atonality. Serial Composition.

22. The Tonal Tradition.
Neo-Classicism and “The New Objectivity.” Orchestral Music. Film Music. Ballet. Chamber Music. Song. Musical Theater.

23. New Currents after 1945.
The Quest for Innovation. Combinatoriality. Integral Serialism. Aleatory Music. Electronic Music. Rock Music. Folk Music. Jazz. Minimalism. Postmodernism.

Epilogue: Music at the Beginning of the 21st Century.

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