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Musical notation is a powerful system of communication between musicians, using sophisticated symbolic, primarily non-verbal means to express musical events in visual symbols. Many musicians take the system for granted, having internalized it and their strategies for reading it and translating it into sound over long years of study and practice. This book traces the development of that system by combining chronological and thematic approaches to show the historical and musical context in which these developments took place. Simultaneously, the book considers the way in which this symbolic language communicates to those literate in it, discussing how its features facilitate or hinder fluent comprehension in the real-time environment of performance. Moreover, the topic of musical as opposed to notational innovation forms another thread of the treatment, as the author investigates instances where musical developments stimulated notational attributes, or notational innovations made practicable advances in musical style.
This engaging study introduces Renaissance polyphony to a modern audience. It helps readers of all ages and levels of experience make sense of what they are hearing. How does Renaissance music work? How is a piece typical of its style and type; or, if it is exceptional, what makes it so? The makers of polyphony were keenly aware of the specialized nature of their craft. How is this reflected in the music they wrote, and how were they regarded by their patrons and audiences? Through a combination of detailed, nuanced appreciation of musical style and a lucid overview of current debates, this book offers a glimpse of meanings behind and beyond the notes, be they playful or profound. It will enhance the listening experience of students, performers and music lovers alike.
The term 'music sketch' relates to the vast variety of documents that are used by composers to work out a musical technique or idea and to prepare their work for performance or publication. These documents can often provide crucial insights into authorship, biography, editorial practice and musical analysis. This introduction provides students and scholars with the knowledge and skills they need to embark on research projects involving the study of composers' working documents. Presenting examples of the compositional process over a 400-year period, it includes a selection of detailed case studies on how sketches were created and the techniques that were used, such as transcription and the sorting of loose leaves. Numerous illustrations of manuscripts and autographs, many of which have never been published before, show how these vital documents can be used to better understand compositional processes.
Program music was one of the most flexible and contentious novelties of the long nineteenth century, covering a diverse range that included the overtures of Beethoven and Mendelssohn, the literary music of Berlioz and Schumann, Liszt's symphonic poems, the tone poems of Strauss and Sibelius, and compositions by groups of composers in Russia, Bohemia, the United States, and France. In this accessible Introduction, Jonathan Kregor explores program music's ideas and repertoire, discussing both well-known and less familiar pieces by an array of nineteenth- and twentieth-century composers. Setting program music in the context of the intellectual debates of the period, Kregor presents the criticism of writers like A. B. Marx and Hanslick to reveal program music's growth, dissemination, and reception. This comprehensive overview features numerous illustrations and music examples and provides detailed case studies of battle music, Shakespeare settings, and Goethe's Faust.
This accessible Introduction explores both mainstream and experimental manifestations of electronic music. From early recording equipment to the most recent multimedia performances, the history of electronic music is full of interesting characters, fascinating and unusual music, and radical technology. Covering many different eras, genres and media, analyses of works appear alongside critical discussion of central ideas and themes, making this an essential guide for anyone approaching the subject for the first time. Chapters include key topics from synth pop to sound art, from electronic dance music to electrical instruments, and from the expression of pure sound to audiovisuals. Highly illustrated and with a wide selection of examples, the book provides many suggestions for further reading and listening to encourage students to begin their own experiments in this exciting field.
What is opera and how does it work? How has this dramatic form developed and what is its relevance in the modern world? Perfect for music students and opera-goers, this introductory guide addresses these questions and many more, exploring opera as a complete theatrical experience. Organised chronologically and avoiding technical musical terminology, the book clearly demonstrates how opera reflected and reacted to changes in the world around it. A special feature of the volume is the inclusion of illustrative tables throughout. These provide detailed, easy to follow analysis of arias, scenes and acts; visual guides to historical movements; and chronologies relating to genres and individual composers' works. Overall, the book fosters an understanding of opera as a living form as it encounters and uses material from an ever expanding repertoire in time, place and culture.
Emphasising the creative aspect of music technology, this introduction sets out an overview of the field for music students in a non-scientific and straightforward way. Engaging and user-friendly, the book covers studio concepts: basic audio and the studio workflow, including audio and MIDI recording. It explores synthesisers, samplers and drum machines as well as basic concepts for electronic performance. In considering the role of the DJ, the book addresses remixing and production, drawing upon many examples from the popular music repertoire as well as looking at the studio as an experimental laboratory. The creative workflow involved in music for media is discussed, as well as controllers for performance and the basics of hacking electronics for music. The book as a whole reflects the many exciting areas found today in music technology and aims to set aspiring musicians off on a journey of discovery in electronic music.
What is a sonata? Literally translated, it simply means 'instrumental piece'. It is the epitome of instrumental music, and is certainly the oldest and most enduring form of 'pure' and independent instrumental composition, beginning around 1600 and lasting to the present day. Schmidt-Beste analyses key aspects of the genre including form, scoring and its social context - who composed, played and listened to sonatas? In giving a comprehensive overview of all forms of music which were called 'sonatas' at some point in musical history, this book is more about change than about consistency - an ensemble sonata by Gabrieli appears to share little with a Beethoven sonata, or a trio sonata by Corelli with one of Boulez's piano sonatas, apart from the generic designation. However, common features do emerge, and the look across the centuries - never before addressed in a single-volume survey - opens up new and significant perspectives.
What is Gregorian chant, and where does it come from? What purpose does it serve, and how did it take on the form and features which make it instantly recognizable? Designed to guide students through this key topic, this book answers these questions and many more. David Hiley describes the church services in which chant is performed, takes the reader through the church year, explains what Latin texts were used, and, taking Worcester Cathedral as an example, describes the buildings in which it was sung. The history of chant is traced from its beginnings in the early centuries of Christianity, through the Middle Ages, the revisions in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and the restoration in the nineteenth and twentieth. Using numerous music examples, the book shows how chants are made and how they were notated. An indispensable guide for all those interested in the fascinating world of Gregorian chant.
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