A History of Western Music
Building on his monumental revision of the Seventh Edition, PeterBurkholder has refined an inspired narrative for a new generation ofstudents, placing people at the center of the story.The narrative of A History of Western Music naturally focuses on the musical works, styles, genres, and ideas that have proven most influential, enduring, and significant—but it also encompasses a wide range of music, from religious to secular, from serious to humorous, from art music to popular music, and from Europe to the Americas. With a six-part structure emphasizing the music's reception and continued influence, Burkholder's narrative establishes a social and historical context for each repertoire to reveal its legacy and its significance today.
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Who are we to review the Bible of western classical music history? I'll try.
What I do like: each edition gets slighly better at being more inclusive and more attuned to context.What I don't like: Middles of chapters get bogged down in theory and analysis - this is really only going to be comprehensible to undergrads if they already have a theory class or two under their belt. Women, minorities, and popular musics don't make sense in the narrative (not that they shouldn't be there, of course) - they are poorly glued onto the edges rather than integrated into the narrative. The CD set doesn't always have the most representative pieces of the concepts being described - and many of the pieces discussed in depth in the book don't show up on the CD. Some canonical composers and pieces are mentioned and said to be great, but there's no explanation as to why - we just have to trust the authors. Most chapters begin with historical/contextual information, but many chapters fail to integrate this information into musical discussions.
By this point in musicology history, we really should have better social history/ "new musicology" textbooks.
Lastly - I don't recommend this for a gen ed music history. You'll end up being frustrated because of the constant problem of what to do with the theory/analysis sections. And you'll waste time searching your school's music library (if you have one) or YouTube for better and more complete musical examples.
Review: A History of Western MusicUser Review - AskHistorians - Goodreads
This textbook is one of the standard texts that surveys Western music history from antiquity up to present times. It's used in many Western music history courses for undergraduates. Burkholder did ... Read full review
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The Christian Church in the First Millennium
The diffusion of Christianity
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