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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Music History (Idiot's Guides) Paperback – July 1, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Michael Miller is the author of several books, including The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Music Theory, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Playing Drums, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Singing, and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Music Composition. He has been using Cubase for a number of years. He used Cubase SX to record the audio CD included with the second edition of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Playing Drums.
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Product Details

  • Series: Idiot's Guides
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: ALPHA (July 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592577512
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592577514
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.7 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,663 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Miller is the best-selling writer of more than 100 non-fiction books. He writes about a variety of topics, including computers, online selling, business, consumer electronics, and music. From his first book (Ventura Publisher Techniques and Applications, published in 1988) to his latest title, he has established a reputation for practical advice, technical accuracy, and an unerring empathy for the needs of his readers.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have taken courses in music history and have many books on the subject, from the most revered to some written for a general audience. None has so clearly defined the periods of music history and the key people in those periods as well as this book. While I will keep the others in my music library, this book will be on my desk.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
[[ASIN:1592577512 The Complete Idiot's Guide to Music History (Complete Idiot's Guide to...
An excellent book and fascinating. Clearly defines the different ages of classic music such as The Romantic period, The Baroque period, Classic period etc.
Taught me a lot about music history and made me want to learn even more.
When people start talking about music, the reader will have a good knowledge to contribute to the conversation.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Love this book. I teach music history at the high school level. This is the textbook I use. My students love it too!
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Format: Paperback
What a great book - easy and fun to read - hard to put down! This book could also be titled "How We Got From There To Here", as Michael Miller really puts things in order and shows how musical genres and styles evolved and transitioned one to another. He uses very little opinion and relies on non-disputable historical events to frame musical catalysts and prove the evolution of each musical genre. This book is good for anyone, musician or not, individual or class, and really gives you an appreciation for music through the teaching of its history.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
His writing style is superb. I have played music for 50 years plus and I never could quite "put it all together". A must read for anyone that wants to connect the dots and enjoy a great read. The only phrase I can think of is "engaging and airy", meaning each topic has enough space around it to let it sink in!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Purchased this to distract myself from the intensity of ongoing medical studies and am very pleased. I haven't perused (critically read) it, but it sits on my desk as something to flip to when I'm bored, and it's written very well. Would recommend purchasing this if you simply just want to make yourself a bit more well-rounded. I cannot vouch for this book from the standpoint of a musician or one who is sitting a university subject in it. I just bought it for leisure.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had little to no previous knowledge of music history, and this book was exactly what I was looking for. It was interesting and provided a great overview of the major historical time periods and the most influential musicians of those periods. I also loved the listening recommendations at the end of each chapter. I was able to find most of the pieces on youtube.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Given that it is a practically impossible task to write a book encompassing all of music history and please everyone and include material that everyone would deem essential, this book is fantastic. I actually used colored crayons to highlight it because the paper is 'newspapery', and it was fun to make it all colorful, and I added some notes to certain sections to include information to make the history more complete for me, such as the evolution of the drumset.

If there is one regard that the book is most lacking, it would be the evolution of certain instruments, such as the guitar, the pipe organ, the violin, the piano, the trumpet, the flute, and the drumset. A couple minor personal gripes are that he leaves out mention of John Dowland (very important renaissance composer), there is only a brief mention of Mancini who is also really important, he doesn't mention the use of vibrato in music (very important but never rarely ever mentioned point, especially how opera singers are screwing up the music BIG TIME!!!), and equal temperament vs. just intonation, but those are mere trifles. I think most people will really like the book and enjoy the author's sense of humor, and I really like the timelines at the end of chapters which places the music in the context of historical events--very nice touch!
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