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Music: Its Language, History, and Culture

(7 reviews)

Douglas Cohen, CUNY Brooklyn College

Pub Date: 2015

Publisher: CUNY Academic Works

Language: English

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Reviews

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Reviewed by Dawn Farmer, Assistant Professor, Augustana College on 11/9/18

With a title including the words "language, history, and culture," one might expect to have the text focus on those points. With this text, however, the authors fail to adequately address that content. For example, there are only two paragraphs on... read more

 

Reviewed by Michelle Lucia-Ingle, Music Instructor, Northland Community and Technical College on 8/3/18

The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject, but because of the enormity of the subject, each area is shortened. The entire book is only 110 pages of a survey of music, including classical, American vernacular, jazz and world music.There... read more

 

Reviewed by Jeffery Hutchins, Artist/Teacher, Virginia Tech on 5/22/18

This book aims to be quite comprehensive but is far too broad and general in its scope, with quite shallow chapters and arduous lists. While it was designed for a specific course, it would difficult to use this text in another setting as is and... read more

 

Reviewed by Christopher Witulski, Instructor of Ethnomusicology, Bowling Green State University on 2/2/18

Deciding what goes into a music history class or textbook is a great struggle. This book is a cursory approach to many topics and, at roughly 100 pages, could serve as a starting point for a music appreciation course. The chapters on musical... read more

 

Reviewed by Dorothy Bryant, Associate Professor, Ohio University on 2/2/18

Covering music history requires a subjective selection of artifacts that represent the time period, genres, cultural context and significant composers and performers. This collection of essays is not comprehensive but does touch upon the stated... read more

 

Reviewed by Lew (Lewton) Jones, PT Faculty, Portland Community College on 6/21/17

This book is a timeline of terminology, historical facts, and music genres. It reads like several books albeit four authors. By the time the glossary shows up the reader has traveled through different periods such as The Renaissance, The Baroque... read more

 

Reviewed by Alice Clark, Professor of Music History, Loyola University New Orleans on 6/21/17

The title and table of contents of this book appear to be comprehensive, but much of the contents are far too abbreviated to fulfill that goal. It might well be able to write a book of this type in just over 100 pages (really only 64 if the... read more

 

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Elements of Sound and Music
  • Chapter 2: Musical Instruments and Ensembles
  • Chapter 3: Composer, Performer, Audience
  • Chapter 4: European Art Music: Middle Ages through Romantic
  • Chapter 5: European and American Art Music since 1900
  • Chapter 6: American Vernacular Music
  • Chapter 7: Jazz
  • Chapter 8: World Music
  • Appendix 1: Musician Biographies
  • Appendix 2: Glossary

About the Book

Welcome to Music 1300, Music: Its Language History, and Culture. The course has a numberof interrelated objectives:
1. To introduce you to works representative of a variety of music traditions.These include the repertoires of Western Europe from the Middle Agesthrough the present; of the United States, including art music, jazz, folk, rock, musical theater; and from at least two non-Western world areas (Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Indian subcontinent).
2. To enable you to speak and write about the features of the music you study,employing vocabulary and concepts of melody, rhythm, harmony, texture, timbre,and form used by musicians.
3. To explore with you the historic, social, and cultural contexts and the role of class, ethnicity, and gender in the creation and performance of music,including practices of improvisation and the implications of oral andnotated transmission.
4. To acquaint you with the sources of musical sounds—instruments and voices fromdifferent cultures, found sounds, electronically generated sounds; basic principlesthat determine pitch and timbre.
5. To examine the influence of technology, mass media, globalization, and transnationalcurrents on the music of today.
The chapters in this reader contain definitions and explanations of musical terms and concepts,short essays on subjects related to music as a creative performing art, biographical sketchesof major figures in music, and historical and cultural background information on music fromdifferent periods and places.

About the Contributors

Author

Douglas Cohen is an intermedia composer and often collaborator with film, performance and folk artists. He was an early advocate for digital media on the Internet. He organized the NewMusNet Conference of Arts Wire with Pauline Oliveros and later was arts wire systems coordinator.

Cohen is a specialist in American experimental music and pays particular attention to the work of John Cage, Morton Feldman and Pauline Oliveros. He co-created and produced the evening=length intermedia work imusicircus at Experimental Intermedia in New York and LACE Gallery in Los Angeles (later with the California EAR Unit at the L.A. County Museum of Art) as City Circus events for the John Cage exhibition Rolywholyover a Circus.

He received a bachelor of fine arts and a master of fine arts from the California Institute of the Arts, and a doctorate from the State University of New York at Buffalo.