Oxford History of Western Music

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Oxford University Press, Incorporated, Feb 3, 2011 - Music - 4176 pages
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The universally acclaimed and award-winning Oxford History of Western Music by one of the most prominent and provocative musicologists of our time, Richard Taruskin. Now in hardcover, the set has been reconstructed to be available for the first time as individual books, each one taking on a critical time period in the history of western music. All five books are also being offered in a shrink wrapped set for a discounted price. Each book in this magnificent set illuminates - through a representative sampling of masterworks - those themes, styles, and currents that give shape and direction to each musical age. The five titles cover Western music from its earliest days to the sixteenth century, the seventeenth and eighteenth century, the nineteenth century, the early twentieth century, and the late twentieth century. Taking a critical perspective, Taruskin sets the details of music, the chronological sweep of figures, works, and musical ideas, within the larger context of world affairs and cultural history. He combines an emphasis on structure and form with a discussion of relevant theoretical concepts in each age, to illustrate how the music itself works, and how contemporaries heard and understood it. He also describes how the context of each stylistic period - key cultural, historical, social, economic, and scientific events - influenced and directed compositional choices. Moreover, the five books are filled with helpful illustrations that enhance the historical context of musical composition, as well as musical examples, black-and-white pictures throughout, suggestions for further reading, and indexes. Laced with brilliant observations, memorable musical analysis, and a panoramic sense of the interactions between history, culture, politics, art, literature, religion, and music, these books will be essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand this rich and diverse tradition.

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The Oxford history of western music

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Taruskin (musicology, Berkeley) always thinks big, so it is no surprise that he has single-handedly produced a six-volume history of Western music from the earliest chant up to the present day. The ... Read full review

About the author (2011)


Richard Taruskin is professor of musicology at the University of California, Berkeley. In addition to this work, Taruskin is also the author of such books as Music in the Western World: A History in Documents (1985), Text & Act (OUP, 1995), and Stravinsky and the Russian Traditions (1996). He is a frequent contributor to the New York Times, New Republic, and many other scholarly journals.

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