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The Magic of Tone and the Art of Music Paperback – May 12, 1982

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Editorial Reviews

At a time when music surrounds us everywhere...and is often mundane and mindless, this book reminds of us the mystery of sound and how sound can transform consciousness. Rudhyard presents a panoramic survey of the development of music, from its ancient magical beginnings to today's most sophisticated electronic avant-garde. He shows how the avant-garde trende is an attempt to cast off the formalities of the Western classical tradition and return to the simple and sacred meaning of sound. Drawing on his 70 years of experience, he reveals an understanding of the development of music that is inseparable from an understanding of the evolution of the human mind. Rudhyar shows how the create of music can be more than a synthesis of East and West ... evolving toward a truly inspiring and new 'music of the spheres.'


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 209 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala; 1st edition (May 12, 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394708873
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394708874
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,877,905 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By K. Swanson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is phenomenal. If you are deeply into music, and are driven to know everything you can about how it relates to the evolution of consciousness, this sadly unheralded tome will send you into raptures.

I first found it in December '94 (at the wonderful bookstore Logos in Santa Cruz). I'd heard of Rudhyar through his astrological writings, most of which were far beyond my semi-basic level of understanding on that subject. I started leafing through The Magic of Tone And The Art of Music, intrigued by the title and that an astrologer would be writing a book with this name. I've always been fascinated by the incredible power of music to transport us into vast emotional spaces and other states of being; there's not a human on this planet who doesn't resonate to some form of music or sound, even if just the cooing of mother's voice.

While perusing it in the store I realized that this guy was writing about music from a whole 'nother vantage point and that this was the book I'd been seeking for a decade or so. The only problem was the at times incredible intricacy of Rudhyar's thoughts, and the abstruse way in which they are often communicated. It takes some work at times, but is always worth it.

Some of the book is just plain tricky to read, and I've slogged my way through some caliche-thick texts over the years. Rudhyar assumes the reader already knows most of the history of music, thought, and art in general. Well, I didn't in '94 and am still lifetimes behind (how did this one fellow learn all this stuff and put it together so uniquely?).

Despite that, I can still open this book and read at random for just one page and come away with enough inspiration to make me ponder the next piece of music I hear on an entirely deeper level.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dawoud Kringle on March 27, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For me, Rudhyar eloquently described what for me personally, is the main reason for doing music.

His analysis of the progress of musical history away from music as not only an art form, but as a spiritual discipline is intriguing. This interpretation of historical events is unique in that it suggests a degeneracy rather than an ascension toward perfection.

What Rudhyar really hit the mark on was the idea of not so much returning to, but developing a musical culture that concentrates not on style, genre, or tradition; but on the psychoactive properties of music. In other words, treating the effects that music has on human beings as paramount importance, and the prime reson for doing music at all. And beyond this, using it as a constructive presence in human society - taking responsibility for the effects that music produces.

This idea alone is of immense value to humanity, and should serve as an inspiration to musicians everywhere. If this is all Rudhyar ever accomplished, he would go down in history as one of music's greatest philosophers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David Napier on November 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
I agree with K. Swanson's in-depth review/summary. Rudyhar has a depth of insight that is rare.
He approaches the subject spiritually, historically, philosophically, academically, and humanly.
Who does that nowadays?

This book is a rare gem that is a must-have for any musician digging deeper into his/her craft.
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