Music Appreciation Author:Robert Hickok (FROM THE DUST JACKET:) — Music Appreciation is a comprehensive survey of music from 500 AD to the present. It is over 400 pages and includes 21 color plates and 130 black and white photos. — Part 1 deals with the materials of music on successively higher levels of consideration. Beginning with the characteristics of the individual musical sound... more »,the book progresses through a discussion of how tones are combined to create musical elements, such as harmony and melody, and culminates in an examination of the materials on the still higher level of musical texture and form. This section concludes with a survey of individual instruments, including the voice, and explores combinations of instruments from the smallest to the largest, the symphony orchestra.
Using the material of Part 1 as a foundation, Parts 2 through 8 examine in chronological order the various stylistic periods beginning with music before 1600 and proceeding through the Baroque period, the Classical period,the Romantic era,the nineteenth century, and ending with the music of our own time. A special chapter is devoted to music in the United States and includes jazz and popular music.
Each part begins with a chapter on the arts, philosophy, and politics of the period under consideration. Subsequent chapters deal with the general stylistic characteristics of the music of the period, with specific works and biographical material on the most important composers.
A major emphasis of the book is on listening. Music examples represent both the best work of each composer and specific forms or styles. For example, Bach's Fugue in G Minor was selected to illustrate fugal procedure, Handel's Messiah illustrates the oratorio, Mozart's Symphony No. 40 in G Minor is an example of the Classical symphony, and Haydn's Nelson Mass illustrates the application of classical forms to choral music. Chamber music, orchestral literature, and choral music are all well represented.
Music notation is used as an aid in the listening process. It is not expected that most students will be able to 'read'as a musician reads, but that he will 'follow' it, using the notation to keep his place in the flow of music and matching the music with the written description.
The detailed descriptions themselves are intended as guides in the listening process. Their usefulness is predicated on their combination with the listening experience as well as guidance, explanation, and demonstration on the part of the instructor. Divorced from the listening experience, such descriptions have little if any value. But when the analysis of a significant piece of music is combined with guided listening, the connection between the musical experience and the awareness of the principles upon which the music is based is meaningful and enjoyable for the student on both the intellectual and emotional level.
The content of the book provides comprehensive coverage of the subject matter. This book is the result of almost 20 years of experience teaching introductory courses on the campus of a large college.« less