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A History of Western Music (Eighth Edition) Eighth Edition Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0393931259
ISBN-10: 0393931250
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

J. Peter Burkholder is Distinguished Professor of Musicology at Indiana University. He has written and edited four books on Charles Ives, as well as numerous articles on topics spanning from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century for The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Journal of the American Musicological Society, Journal of Musicology, Musical Quarterly, 19th-Century Music, Music Theory Spectrum, and other journals. He has served as President, Vice President, and Director-at-Large of the American Musicological Society and on the board of the College Music Society. His writings have received awards from the American Musicological Society, the Society for American Music, and ASCAP.

Donald Jay Grout, late professor of music at Cornell University, also wrote a standard history of opera.

Claude V. Palisca, late professor of music at Yale University, began his collaboration on A History of Western Music with the Third Edition. Among his many publications are a history of Baroque music and a collection of scholarly essays on Italian Renaissance music.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1152 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Eighth Edition edition (January 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393931250
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393931259
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.7 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
i'm just a neuropsychologist who is interested in music - very interested, but not a formal student or teacher. I've studied clarinet, piano, recorder in some detail... I got this for an overview and general grounding, and also in the hopes of being able to obtain a good deal of detail when i wanted it. for the most part it does both, but, as to the latter - depth/detail - some things are covered in great detail and others in what i would call a cursory manner, with a couple sentences. In some cases, i myself know there is much more easily available, just from my lifetime of perusing liner notes, watching PBS or listening to NPR, the occasional book, and other ways of learning about music. Of course, the editors/writers had to pick and choose, but i just think some areas are under-represented; the book is already big so there would be little downside to it being even half again bigger. Maybe i just hoped for more because i already knew what was in there. My background is admittedly uneven.

My major complaint, however, which probably should prompt even more "points" knocked off the rating, is that there are accompanying materials - the written/graphic "anthology" and the "recorded" anthology, both of which i would like to get, but they are expensive and it is VERY (!!!!) difficult to determine exactly which of each of these really goes with the 8th edition i got. Everything seems to have different editions, and there are the "lite" version (something like 6 cds) and the "complete" version (like 15 cds or something), i think of both. the reason to be sure is that in the margin there are (very helpful) indications where in the written/graphic and in the recorded anthology you can find the score (written/graphic) or music (recorded) materials that are being discussed.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There is a reason many musicologists still consider this text to be the definitive comprehensive text in music history. Although dry at times, this volume presents an in-depth look at the history of music. My one real criticism is that the information is not always presented chronologically -- it is sometimes presented by geographical area or by school of thought. The only problem with this is that it gives the sense of jumping around throughout history and sometimes becomes confusing in terms of figuring out a flow of what happened when. One of Burkholder's main contributions to this work was to make it correspond to the Norton Anthologies of Western Music. I highly recommend using this book in conjunction with the Norton Anthologies and Norton Recorded Anthologies. It gives a better picture by providing examples.
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Format: Hardcover
A previous (I think 6th Edition) was my music history text book at Illinois State University in 75-78. Grout seems to be THE recognized author for college music majors. Some of the reviewers seem to have missed the historic connection of the Church (read hear the Catholic Church) and most music prior to the 17th Century. Like today, there was popular song, very little of which was written down, and there was serious music (read mostly Church music here).

It's still an excellent music resource and I consult the book regularly. Get a copy.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Accompanied with the Anthologies of the same title this set is great for learning about the history of music. Clear and easy to read it explains everything about the music of the times covered in this edition. Great.
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By Alpha on August 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's difficult to envelop all of the HIstory of Music into one textbook. There is so much to cover, and this book not only does a pretty good job of it, but also gives you other resources to look into.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
J. Peter Burkholder has done the impossible. He has improved on the work of Grout. This is a must book for any who are interested in the History of Music.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Took for a college class--very informative. Recommended for music majors, which I am not! Good reading anyway. Interesting, with lots of explanations
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
300 pages mores than the previous 6th edition... Amazing! Awesome content...
Good extension to my studies both at home or college.
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