A Short History of Opera: Edition 4

Columbia University Press
Free sample

When first published in 1947, A Short History of Opera immediately achieved international status as a classic in the field. Now, more than five decades later, this thoroughly revised and expanded fourth edition informs and entertains opera lovers just as its predecessors have.

The fourth edition incorporates new scholarship that traces the most important developments in the evolution of musical drama. After surveying anticipations of the operatic form in the lyric theater of the Greeks, medieval dramatic music, and other forerunners, the book reveals the genre's beginnings in the seventeenth century and follows its progress to the present day.

A Short History of Opera examines not only the standard performance repertoire, but also works considered important for the genre's development. Its expanded scope investigates opera from Eastern European countries and Finland. The section on twentieth-century opera has been reorganized around national operatic traditions including a chapter devoted solely to opera in the United States, which incorporates material on the American musical and ties between classical opera and popular musical theater. A separate section on Chinese opera is also included.

With an extensive multilanguage bibliography, more than one hundred musical examples, and stage illustrations, this authoritative one-volume survey will be invaluable to students and serious opera buffs. New fans will also find it highly accessible and informative. Extremely thorough in its coverage, A Short History of Opera is now more than ever the book to turn to for anyone who wants to know about the history of this art form.

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About the author

Donald Jay Grout was, until his death in 1987, Given Foundation Professor of Musicology Emeritus at Cornell University. He was author of the classic A History of Western Music, and Alessandro Scarlatti: An Introduction to His Operas, as well as general editor of The Operas of Alessandro Scarlatti.

Hermine Weigel Williams is Scholar-in Residence at Hamilton College. She has contributed to The New Grove Dictionary of Music, The Operas of Alessandro Scarlatti, and The Symphony: 1720–1840. She is author of Francesco Bartolomeo Conti: His Life and Music, Sibelius and His Masonic Music, and co-author of Giovanni Battista Pergolesi: A Guide to Research. She is also co-editor of Facts Behind the Songs: A Handbook of American Popular Music from the Nineties to the 90's.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Columbia University Press
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Published on
Jul 18, 2003
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Pages
992
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ISBN
9780231507721
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Language
English
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Genres
Music / General
Music / Genres & Styles / Classical
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Style — the distinctive manner of presentation, construction, and execution in any art — is a topic of primary importance in music history. This highly regarded text by noted musicologist Richard Crocker (University of California, Berkeley) takes a much-needed fresh look at the subject and attempts to reshape some basic ideas in the light of modern research. Seeking the reasons for stylistic change within the history of style itself (rather than in the history of men or of ideas), this enlightening account shows how music, growing out of its own past, has shaped its own development.
Professor Crocker's exceptionally clear and systematic presentation enables students to easily follow the evolution of Western musical style from Gregorian Chant (ca. 750) to the atonal music of the mid-20th century. The book stresses the continuity of basic musical principles over long periods of history, while it explores in detail moments of high stylistic achievement and the composers who exemplified them.
Drawing of the earliest written records, Crocker begins his description and analysis of Western music's changing style with a discussion of Frankish Gregorian Chant, laudes and melismas, and polyphony — the leading medium of musical development after 1150. The author traces the progression of new polyphonic forms from the Parisian motet of the 13th and 14th centuries through Italian song forms to the Franco-Flemish style of the 15th and 16th centuries. This sweeping survey then documents the emergence of the Classic Style after 1550, embodied in the music of such composers as Palestrina and Byrd, moves through new Italian dramatic styles (1600–1650) and on to the harmonic and polyphonic contributions of the 17th- and 18th-century masters.
With perception and insight, Crocker traces the creation of the German symphonic style, epitomized in the works of Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms, and deals with the parallel development of operatic style. An illuminating examination of new styles after 1900, including the serial music of Schoenberg, Webern, and Berg, concludes this exhaustive study.
Over 140 music examples complement Crocker's lucid text, and lists of Selected Study Materials for each chapter are given at the back of the book. This work will be welcomed by music students at all levels, music scholars, and the interested layman as well.
Learn the History of Music, through Music.

A History of Music in Western Culture, 4/e is based on the premise that the best way to convey the history of Western music is to focus on specific works of music. The text is structured around a carefully selected repertory of music that reflects the development of the art form throughout time. Mark Evan Bonds helps readers gain a broad understanding of the nature of music, its role in society, and the ways in which these have changed over time. A History of Music in Western Culture challenges students to think critically about the nature of music and its past.

Once familiar with a representative body of music, students can better grasp the evolution of musical style and music's changing uses within the Western tradition. Students will have a sound basis from which to explore other musical works. This text builds its narrative around the core repertory represented in the Anthology of Scores and the corresponding sets of compact discs.

Learning Goals

Upon completing this book, students will be able to:

Grasp the evolution of musical style and music's changing uses within the Western tradition. Have a sound basis from which to explore other musical works. Gain a better understanding of the nature of music

NOTE: MySearchLab does not come automatically packaged with this text. To purchase the text with MySearchLab, order the package ISBN:

0205940730 / 9780205940738 History of Music in Western Culture Plus MySearchLab with Pearson eText - Access Card Package

Package consists of:

0205239927 / 9780205239924 MySearchLab with Pearson eText -- Valuepack Access Card

0205867227 / 9780205867226 History of Music in Western Culture

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