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This stimulating Very Short Introduction to music invites us to really think about music and the values and qualities we ascribe to it. The world teems with different kinds of music-traditional, folk, classical, jazz, rock, pop-and each type of music tends to come with its own way of thinking. Drawing on a wealth of accessible examples ranging from Beethoven to Chinese zither music, Nicholas Cook attempts to provide a framework for thinking about all music. By examining the personal, social, and cultural values that music embodies, the book reveals the shortcomings of traditional conceptions of music, and sketches a more inclusive approach emphasizing the role of performers and listeners. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
About the Author
Nicholas Cook is Professor of Music at Cambridge University He is the author of articles and books on a wide variety of musicological and theoretical subjects; the latest, from Oxford University Press, is The Schenker Project: Culture, Race, and Music Theory in fin-de-siècle Vienna. He was elected Fellow of the British Academy in 2001.
Table of Contents
1. People and music
2. What kind of a thing is music?
3. Musical Values
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Music: A Very Short Introduction based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Brevity demands focus or superficiality. Here, Nicholas Cook's essay is largely about a philosophy of music. Eschewing any more than passing consideration of the international history of music, he acknowledges the diversity of music but starts his intellectual journey with Beethoven and his more detailed examples are drawn more from 'Classical' music than Rock or Pop. Despite this, the main thrust of his argument is about our response to music and its creation; there is nothing here about musical structures or forms. As this idea of involvement and perception develops, the book becomes increasingly academic. This is a short sharp introduction for the intelligent articulate non-musicologist who might consider studying further. I imagine that someone seeking such a grounding would prefer this to be the opening of a larger book while those to whom brevity is critical would prefer a broader more superficial approach.