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Thread: Music Books - A Quick Reference

  1. #121
    Senior Member Lunasong's Avatar
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    I would like to bring to the attention of all a delightful book I just finished reading that I borrowed from the library. Maybe yours has a copy? It was an easy read of less than 300 pages and kept me thoroughly entertained. I also learned a lot about Denmark during WWII. Published in 2000, so probably nothing new to learn about Beethoven.

    As Ludwig van Beethoven lay dying in 1827, a young musician named Ferdinand Hiller came to pay his respects to the great composer. In those days, it was customary to snip a lock of hair as a keepsake, and this Hiller did a day after Beethoven's death. By the time he was buried, Beethoven's head had been nearly shorn by the many people who similarly had wanted a lasting memento of the great man. Such was his powerful effect on all those who had heard his music.

    For a century, the lock of hair was a treasured Hiller family relic, and perhaps was destined to end up sequestered in a bank vault, until it somehow found its way to the town of Gilleleje, in Nazi-occupied Denmark, during the darkest days of the Second World War. There, it was given to a local doctor, Kay Fremming, who was deeply involved in the effort to help save hundreds of hunted and frightened Jews. Who gave him the hair, and why? And what was the fate of those refugees, holed up in the attic of Gilleleje's church?

    After Fremming's death, his daughter assumed ownership of the lock, and eventually consigned it for sale at Sotheby's, where two American Beethoven enthusiasts, Ira Brilliant and Che Guevara, purchased it in 1994. Subsequently, they and others instituted a series of complex forensic tests in the hope of finding the probable causes of the composer's chronically bad health, his deafness, and the final demise that Ferdinand Hiller had witnessed all those years ago. The results, revealed for the first time here, are startling, and are the most compelling explanation yet offered for why one of the foremost musicians the world has ever known was forced to spend much of his life in silence.

    In Beethoven's Hair, Russell Martin has created a rich historical treasure hunt, an Indiana Jones-like tale of false leads, amazing breakthroughs, and incredible revelations. This unique and fascinating book is a moving testament to the power of music, the lure of relics, the heroism of the Resistance movement, and the brilliance of molecular science.

    An astonishing tale of one lock of hair and its amazing travels--from nineteenth-century Vienna to twenty-first-century America.
    "To be a musician is a curse. To NOT be one is even worse." Jack Daney

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  3. #122
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lunasong View Post
    I would like to bring to the attention of all a delightful book I just finished reading that I borrowed from the library. Maybe yours has a copy? It was an easy read of less than 300 pages and kept me thoroughly entertained. I also learned a lot about Denmark during WWII. Published in 2000, so probably nothing new to learn about Beethoven.

    As Ludwig van Beethoven lay dying in 1827, a young musician named Ferdinand Hiller came to pay his respects to the great composer. In those days, it was customary to snip a lock of hair as a keepsake, and this Hiller did a day after Beethoven's death. By the time he was buried, Beethoven's head had been nearly shorn by the many people who similarly had wanted a lasting memento of the great man. Such was his powerful effect on all those who had heard his music.

    For a century, the lock of hair was a treasured Hiller family relic, and perhaps was destined to end up sequestered in a bank vault, until it somehow found its way to the town of Gilleleje, in Nazi-occupied Denmark, during the darkest days of the Second World War. There, it was given to a local doctor, Kay Fremming, who was deeply involved in the effort to help save hundreds of hunted and frightened Jews. Who gave him the hair, and why? And what was the fate of those refugees, holed up in the attic of Gilleleje's church?

    After Fremming's death, his daughter assumed ownership of the lock, and eventually consigned it for sale at Sotheby's, where two American Beethoven enthusiasts, Ira Brilliant and Che Guevara, purchased it in 1994. Subsequently, they and others instituted a series of complex forensic tests in the hope of finding the probable causes of the composer's chronically bad health, his deafness, and the final demise that Ferdinand Hiller had witnessed all those years ago. The results, revealed for the first time here, are startling, and are the most compelling explanation yet offered for why one of the foremost musicians the world has ever known was forced to spend much of his life in silence.

    In Beethoven's Hair, Russell Martin has created a rich historical treasure hunt, an Indiana Jones-like tale of false leads, amazing breakthroughs, and incredible revelations. This unique and fascinating book is a moving testament to the power of music, the lure of relics, the heroism of the Resistance movement, and the brilliance of molecular science.

    An astonishing tale of one lock of hair and its amazing travels--from nineteenth-century Vienna to twenty-first-century America.
    Certainly a fascinating book not just for the Beethoven but also for the history of the family concerned. It does throw light on Beethoven's condition but whether it provides the answer to his deafness is in dispute. But a thoroughly good read. I got a second hand coopy from Amazon very reasonably.

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  5. #123
    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    Here's my latest Theory infatuation.

    img.AnalyticApprBook-341.jpg
    "The way out is through the door. Why is it that no one will use this method?"
    -Confucious

    "In Spring! In the creation of art it must be as it is in Spring!" -Arnold Schoenberg

    "We only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made us." -Jean-Paul Sartre

    "I don't mind dying, as long as I can still breathe." ---Me

  6. #124
    Junior Member cmudave's Avatar
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    Recommended for Pianists - "Piano Notes: The World of the Pianist" by Charles Rosen.
    pianonotes.jpg

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  8. #125
    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    I've GOT to get this one! This is the description:

    Arnold Schoenberg: Notes, Sets, Forms (Music in the Twentieth Century) by Silvina Milstein

    In this thought provoking study, Silvina Milstein proposes a reconstruction of Schoenberg's conception of compositional process in his twelve-tone works, which challenges the prevalent view that this music is to be appropriately understood exclusively in terms of the new method. Her claim that in Schoenberg we encounter hierarchical pitch relations operating in a twelve-tone context is supported by in-depth musical analysis and the commentary on the sketch material, which shows tonal considerations to be a primary concern and even an important criterion in the composition of the set itself. The core of the book consists of detailed analytical studies; yet its heavy reliance on factors outside the score places this work beyond the boundaries of textual analysis into the field of this history of musical ideas.
    "The way out is through the door. Why is it that no one will use this method?"
    -Confucious

    "In Spring! In the creation of art it must be as it is in Spring!" -Arnold Schoenberg

    "We only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made us." -Jean-Paul Sartre

    "I don't mind dying, as long as I can still breathe." ---Me

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  10. #126
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    Good morning,

    I read two books recently that I found fascinating, and I got them at my local library:

    *The Natural History of the Piano* by Stuart Isacoff
    *Music For Silenced Voices: Shostakovich and the 15 String Quartets* by Wendy Lesser.

    Jim

  11. #127
    Senior Member Op.123's Avatar
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    Huneker wrote a fantastic book called Chopin, the man and his music
    “Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.”

    - Mozart

  12. #128
    Senior Member Bone's Avatar
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    Two excellent books dealing with performance-related issues.


    image.jpg

    image.jpg

  13. #129
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    Two books to add to Music Theory; The Art of Parimento by Giorgio Sanguinetti and Music in the Galant Style by Robert Gjerdingen. Two of my most prized books on music theory. Gjerdingen's book provides examples and structures for each of the many musical formulas used by Italian Galant composers, many of these also are backwards compatible with baroque music.

  14. #130
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  15. #131
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    Hexameron
    Thanks for sharing by categories.
    Thanks for great helpful post.
    Last edited by Chi_townPhilly; Feb-16-2014 at 03:29. Reason: dual-post merge

  16. #132
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    A great book that I having been coming back to for years as a quick reference on early 20th century musical though is Arnold Schoenberg's Style and Idea. A great addition to any serious musicians library.

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  18. #133
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    Can anybody perhaps recommend a book that deals with óne particular composition and provides an analysis and illuminating metaphors and such...?
    If possible: not extremely difficult language, Modern or late Romantic work

  19. #134
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    Don't bother clicking that, it's just a bad audio fragment of some 80's like pop song.

    A good book on Mahler by the way is: The Life of Mahler by Peter Franklin (Cambridge 1997)

    Also a very interesting and relevant book is Classical Music and Postmodern Knowledge by Lawrence Kramer

  20. #135
    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    Elijah Wald: How The Beatles Destroyed Rock and Roll: An Alternative History of American Popular Music. Avoid this book at all cost, as well as the other quirky dreck Wald has foisted on us, including the infamous "Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues," which is nothing short of an assassination of blues and Alan Lomax. Elijah Wald should have been a newspaper reporter if he thinks this is "history." He calls himself a "historian, not a critic," as if history were a literal rendering of every bit of detritus which co-existed in the same time continuum. This overly-literal approach of his means, among other things, that The Monkees were just as important as Jimi Hendrix (although, even back then, they were not taken seriously enough to be invited to Monterey Pop). Oh, and incidentally, "DE BLUES" was "invented" by Alan Lomax, for the edification of white folks, and Wald reminds us that Robert Johnson was, above all, a "working musician" whose job it was to please audiences with popular ditties during his live gigs. According to Wald, Lomax wanted "only blues" from Johnson, and thus created a horrible distortion of history (even while it was happening, and not yet history). Hogwash!

    What's worse is when OTHER people start believing this stuff, as was evidenced on the "All About Jazz" forum in the thread, "The Importance of the Blues in Everything." Witness the wholesale invasion of jazz snobs, rewriting blues & jazz history until it becomes a Starbuck's version, politically and artistically neutralized into a benign, emasculated theme party.
    Last edited by millionrainbows; Nov-21-2013 at 19:09.
    "The way out is through the door. Why is it that no one will use this method?"
    -Confucious

    "In Spring! In the creation of art it must be as it is in Spring!" -Arnold Schoenberg

    "We only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made us." -Jean-Paul Sartre

    "I don't mind dying, as long as I can still breathe." ---Me

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