Understanding Music

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  • Edition: 4th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2005-01-01
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
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bull; bull;Emphasizes careful listening, with an entire chapter devoted to the Art of Listening bull;Places Western music in a global context bull;Clarifies the distinct stylistic features of each historical period, with chapter-end Style Summaries bull;Explores the contributions of women throughout the ages bull;Considers music of other cultures bull;Includes popular music in historical context FOR THE TEACHER bull; bull;Inside the Orchestra Videotape - a unique feature, explaining all the instruments and how an orchestra works, with five featured orchestral works, one from each historical period bull;Annotated Instructor's Edition filled with helpful classroom suggestions bull;Instructor's Manual with chapter summaries, related readings, tests, and more bull;Computerized Test Bank in PC and Mac formats bull;Films for the Humanities historical videotape compiled especially for Understanding Music FOR THE STUDENT bull; bull;Inside the Orchestra CD-ROM, explaining all the instruments and how an orchestra works bull;Companion Website trade; ( www.prenhall.com/yudkin ), an on-line study guide for Understanding Music bull;MusicNotes Booklet, containing listening guides from the text with ample room for note taking. FREE with all copies of Understanding Music. LISTENING PACKAGES bull; bull;7-CD Complete Collection with all of the music discussed in Understanding Music (ISBN 0-13-150564-5) bull;3-CD Student Collection with the main musical selections from the book (ISBN 0-13-150563-7) bull;Custom Repertoire CD: Contact your local Prentice Hall representative for details

Table of Contents

Music Around The World
The Art of Listening
The Middle Ages: 400-1400
The Renaissance: 1400-1600
The Baroque Era: 1600-1750
The Classic Era: 1750-1800
The Nineteenth Century
The Twentieth Century I: The Classical Scene
The Twentieth Century II: Jazz, An American Original
The Twentieth Century III: Popular Music
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.


Nowadays there is more music in our lives than at any previous time in history. Music surrounds us as we buy food or clothes, drive out cars, sit in the park, or jog down the street. Much of this is our own choice: we have radios in our cars, portable cassette players on our belts. Some of it may be unwanted: our neighbor's stereo, for example, or a "boom box" on the beach. Some of it we actually do not notice. There is so much noise in our daily environment that the music playing in elevators or stores sometimes simply merges with the surroundings. In addition to the sheerquantityof music around us, there is a wider range of music available than ever before. We can listen to jazz, reggae, Vivaldi, Beethoven, or country ballads. Twenty-first-century technology has presented us with an unparalleled wealth of musical possibilities. The very idea that a one-hundred-member symphony orchestra can be heard with crystal clarity and rich resonance in our own bedrooms would have startled most of the composers in this book. The consequences of this situation are (like the consequences of most technological advances) both good and bad. It is a wonderful thing to be able to go to a record store and buy a recording of a piece of music composed hundreds of years ago or thousands of miles away. But the ubiquitous nature of music today has also had negative consequences on the role that music plays in our society. For most of our history, music was rare; it therefore had more importance in people's lives. The composition and performance of music required deliberation and effort. Whether it was the commissioning of a symphony by an aristocratic patron or the playing of a country dance by peasants, music was performed with care and listened to with attention--it was never without significance. The result of all this is that we have lost the art of listening. Music is the only one of the three great arts--literature, the visual arts, and music--which can be absorbed without attention, passively. Music can surround us while we concentrate on other things; it can even be there in the background, entirely unnoticed. This is not true of painting. To appreciate a painting we have to give it some of our attention. We have to study the forms and colors, the balance and proportions of its overall design. We may admire its style and technique, its humor, vigor, or despair. A good painting shows us objects or people orlifein a new light. A great painting affects us profoundly and leaves us changed. Few people have seen Picasso's Guernica and not been deeply moved. Literature has the same demands and the same rewards. We must pay attention to a book or a play. They cannot merely fill the room while we vacuum or accompany us while we jog or shop. And the effort of attention is repaid. A good book resonates in our own lives; a great book changes us forever. Music, too, is the expression of the deepest part of our souls. It expresses what words and paintings cannot. And for true understanding, music requires careful attention and the engagement of the intellect, just as painting and literature do. But even careful listening is not enough. Music is the expression of people in society. And, like the other arts, music is formed in a historical and social context. In the eighteenth century, for example, European music was the reflection of a hierarchical and orderly society, influenced by the ideals of the Enlightenment. Much eighteenth-century music, therefore, is carefully ordered and balanced, organized in a framework of fixed and widely accepted formal patterns. How can we truly understand this music if we do not know the forms used by composers of the time? It would be like reading Hawthorne'sThe Scarlet Letterwithout understanding the attitude of seventeenth-century New England puritans towards adultery; or reading Shakespeare without knowing the meaning of blank

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