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Thread: Book recommendations?

  1. #1
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    Default Book recommendations?

    Hi,

    I am not sure if this is the right place to post, so please could a mod move it if not? Thanks.

    I'm about - I hope - to have some time on my hands for the first time for a few years and I'd like to make a study of the history of music. I don't have huge amount of theory ( grade 5 piano is about it! ) but I'm not averse to learning. I still whorl full time and I'm not sure how my free time will actually work out in practice so I'd like a book that would give me the options of either studying at a fairly detailed level or which i could also use in a less technical way, broader overview style if that felt better.

    I want to understand western musical styles and structures over the years with the option of taking some theory into the account.

    I wonder if either the Oxford History of Western Music ( 5 vols Taruskin ) or A History of Western Music ( Burkholder, Grout ) might suffice and what strengths each has. I believe the latter has some online resources which might be good. Does anyone know if this would include music samples?

    If there are other recommendations, please feel free to make suggestions.

    Anyway, if some of you knowledgeable people could help me out I'd be grateful.

    Thanks

    B

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  3. #2
    Senior Member EdwardBast's Avatar
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    I'd say try Taruskin, beginning with whatever era most interests you, and see if that gives you what you are looking for.

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    Thank you, Edward, for your suggestion. It is certainly seems more expansive ( and expensive ) than the Burkholder, and I'm tempted to order that. I have read reviews which suggest you can dip into it and read at at variety of levels too which sounds interesting

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    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    I think this is an excellent history.

    "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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    Went a bit mad yesterday and ordered the full 5 Vols of Taruskin

    It arrived toad and I'm browsing tomorrow though had a peek and it looks great. Come next weekend, my study commences !!

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    I just read Charles Rosen's book, "The Classical Style: Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven (Expanded Edition)" and would recommend it for a good understanding of what those three genius' were up to.

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    Senior Member Albert7's Avatar
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    Quick question: are you interested in books regarding music theory or philosophical essays about music? So that I can direct better what to recommend you.

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    Hi Albert, I'm looking for a history of musical styles, and growth of theory. I have invested a fair bit of cash in the Taruskin and early impressions are positive. I had to go back to work this last week when I expected to be on leave but I'm off for a few weeks now so I'm about to dive in

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    Senior Member Albert7's Avatar
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    Here you go:

    http://www.amazon.com/Fundamentals-M...old+schoenberg

    Schoenberg's book regarding the art of composition.

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    Default Bernstein Norton

    This is not a book, but nonetheless an excellent place to start in order to learn how music evolved. I highly recommend Bernstein's Norton Lectures given at Harvard University. I think it was the 70s. They are available on YouTube. For me, they were pivotal in my understanding of music. I can't praise them enough.

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    Senior Member Kivimees's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albert7 View Post
    Here you go:

    http://www.amazon.com/Fundamentals-M...old+schoenberg

    Schoenberg's book regarding the art of composition.
    Barnaby asked for recommendations on the history of music and music theory. This book has nothing at all to do with history.

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    Right you are, Kivimies. -- But Albert7 's recommendation of Shoenberg is quite good for theory - difficult in parts, but ok

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