Music: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) by Nicholas Cook

By Nicholas Cook

What's track? How is it built? How is it fed on? Why do you get pleasure from it in any respect? In song: a truly brief performs creation, Nicholas prepare dinner invitations us to truly take into consideration song and the function it performs in our lives and our ears. Drawing on a couple of obtainable examples, the writer activates us to name on our personal musical reports for you to imagine extra severely concerning the roles of the performeres and the listener, approximately song as a commodity and an adventure, what it ability to appreciate song, and the values we ascribe to it.
This very brief creation, written with either humor and aptitude, starts off with a sampling of song as human job after which is going directly to think about the slippery phenomenon of the way track has turn into an item of inspiration. overlaying not just Western and classical tune, prepare dinner touches on every kind from rock to Indonesian song and past. Incorporating musical kinds from each continent, tune will make relaxing studying for newbie and professional alike.usic and past.

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Sample text

The universe conceived as a monochord (from Robert Fludd, Utriusque Cosmi Historia (Oppenheim, 1617) ). The planets and elements are shown to the left of the string, musical notes to the right; the circles show the mathematical proportions linking them. A celestial hand literally tunes the universe. Music 13. Cover from Kathleen Ferrier’s recording of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde (Decca LXT 5576) nineteenth-century European writers such as E. T. A. Hoffmann echoed these ancient traditions when they spoke of music as ‘the spirit realm’, something of the same can be seen in such twentieth-century images as Fig.

The first relates, once again, to authenticity: lack of popular acclaim demonstrates Beethoven’s authenticity through his refusal to pander to popular tastes and give the public what it wanted. ) The second is the construction of a privileged viewpoint from which we can see what Beethoven’s original audiences failed to see: the intrinsic value of his music, which he wrote not for his own time but for all time. And it has to be said that for us, the inheritors and upholders of the Beethoven myth, this is an attractive way to view the music of the past, because it makes our understanding of Beethoven’s music superior to find ourselves on the side of the angels.

Isn’t there perhaps something a bit forced about Brahms’s symphonies, say – at one moment too noisily bombastic with their paradeground rhythms, and at the next moment too self-indulgently sentimental? I don’t notice it so much with piano or chamber music (or opera, for that matter); the problem lies with the public, sometimes tub-thumping, always self-conscious genre of the symphony. I still admire the music as much as ever. But I used to just love it, and that’s the difference. Is it that the music is ageing badly, as Kramer fears?

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