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Twentieth-Century Music: An Introduction (Prentice Hall History of Music Series) Paperback – January, 1988

ISBN-13: 978-0139350573 ISBN-10: 0139350578 Edition: 3rd

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Product Details

  • Series: Prentice Hall History of Music Series
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall College Div; 3rd edition (January 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0139350578
  • ISBN-13: 978-0139350573
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,547,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

This comprehensive exploration of modern music deals primarily with the music itself and musical ideas.

From the Back Cover

Offering complete, accurate coverage in a tightly condensed, simple format, this comprehensive exploration of modern music (to 1998) deals primarily with the music itself and musical ideas. It puts the whole century in a unified concept, helping readers make sense out of the heterogeneity. It explains the overall development of 20th century music in relation to the past and to two big cycles of contemporary music; and encompasses classical and experimental traditions as well as popular elements, media, multi-media, and theater. Twentieth-Century Music and the Past. THE BREAKDOWN OF TRADITIONAL TONALITY. The Sources. The Revolution: Paris and Vienna. THE NEW TONALITIES. Stravinsky and Neo-Classicism. Neo-Classicism and Neo-Tonality in France and Outside of France. National Styles. Musical Theater. ATONALITY AND TWELVE-TONE MUSIC. The Viennese School. The Diffusion of Twelve-Tone Music. THE AVANT GARDE. Before World War II. Technological Culture and Electronic Music. Ultra-Rationality and Serialism. Anti-Rationality and Aleatory. The New Performed Music: The United States. Post-Serialism: The New Performance Practice in Europe. POST-MODERNISM. Beyond Modern Music. Back to Tonality. Pop as Culture. Media and Theater. Music Examples. For courses anyone interested in 20th Century Music, Modern Music, or the History of Music. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By "kerry24" on August 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
I used this book two graduate level music courses, and had it recommended as a great resource in a third class. While it can be read and understood by someone new to this era in music, it is also full of information that even the most knowledgable musician can appreciate. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in Twentieth-Century music.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Eric N. Hermann on December 16, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I applaud Salzman for his achievement. The book is intellectual, thorough, and perhaps even profound at times. He's obviously listened to these composers and studied their works extensively, not just as a historian, but as a composer.

My problem with the book is that it's not an introduction. Rather, it's a history of musical ideas that will make little sense without already having a firm grasp of the music and the period. The writing style is fluffy and abstract; he prefers long, windy sentences that are full of vague descriptions and impressions; it's almost never concise; and after reading a section, you're often left wondering what it was all about.

For most students, it won't be a very practical book since he doesn't give a clear sense of the timeline (it's only roughly chronological), doesn't tell us which works are most significant (he seems to write about whatever "inspires" him), does not discuss composer biographies at all, and doesn't even give musical examples in the body of the text (only in the appendix). His argument against giving musical examples is that they would make the book too intimidating for the beginner. This is absurd: first, the book is already intellectually daunting and incomprehensible to somebody who hasn't already studied the period and done some substantial listening; second, not having musical examples makes the whole thing far too abstract. With some concrete examples, it might actually be possible to evaluate some of his never-ending, theoretical musings.

Overall, an impressive achievement, but undisciplined, long-winded, and inappropriate as an introduction to the period. Go with Morgan's survey as a start.
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By Tom Eastman on January 30, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Maybe the supplier for this title saved some money by purchasing a run of cheaply bound copies from the publisher. Trying to read, study and reread a NEW textbook from which each page comes loose from the binding as it is turned is not just inconvenient, it is maddening. Imagine dropping the book on a classroom floor and having to spend hours putting the pages back in their proper order! An expensive textbook like this should be an investment for a serious student who may wish keep it on his bookshelf for years. Good luck with that.
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By Aaron Breid on January 13, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a text book used in my graduate level writing class, it is very informative and great to get to know modern music.
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