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The Gift of Music (Expanded and Revised, 3rd Edition): Great Composers and Their Influence Paperback – November 1, 1995
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It would help to first say what this book is NOT: (1) A complete survey of the history of classical music, (2) A book on music theory or analysis of major works, (3) a presentation of ALL musical styles like Jazz, Pop, country etc. (4) A book ONLY about composers who were of Christian faith. Rather, the focus is on a sampling of the most famous composers of "classical music." Their lives and music are presented in factual, historical and non-judgmental way with the clear emphasis being on the gift of music they left the world. There are some references as to how their Christian faith influenced their music - which some will appreciate and others not. However, if your primary interest is the spiritual aspect of these men, then Patrick Kavanaugh's book, "The Spiritual Lives of the Great Composers," would be a better choice.Read more ›
The Gift of Music includes a foreward by Francis Shaeffer, a prelude to the book, and biographies of 42 classical composers. These biographies are less personal than the biographies in Great Women Authors. In the book about women authors, Stuart and Carlson gave a personal sketch of the authors. The reader felt like they got to know them. This book about composers is much more about what they each did, how they interacted with other notable figures and developed a wholistic picture of classical music. There are a few personal details about the composers, but the biographies paint a picture of the music these men wrote and its place in the world of classical music.
This quote at the beginning of the book made me pause,
"There are things in the Christian world that cause us to be sad. One of these is that for many Christians classical music is a complete vacuum. This robs individual Christians and their children of one of the very rich areas of joy in this life....the chief sadnes of knowing little about classical music consists in the loss the Christian experiences in one of the areas of the affirmation of life." from the Foreward by Francis Schaeffer on page ix.
As I read several of the biographies, I realized how little I know about classical music! I was amazed to learn how the composers mentored and influenced one another. This book is a lot like a textbook.Read more ›
Jane Stuart Smith has sung in the major operas houses of Europe and America. Betty Carlson studied at the Conservatory of Music in Lausanne, Switzerland. Both now live and teach at L'Abri Fellowship in Switzerland and have co-authored Crossway's Favorite Men Hymn Writers and Favorite Women Hymn Writers. The 44 chapters of this book give information about the vast majority of the great composers of Western music, dealing with many of them sensitively from a Biblical worldview and even drawing important lessons from their lives, both good and bad, along with recommendations for listening and for further reading. Also included are a chart on music in the flow of history and the arts, a select bibliography, a glossary, and an index. As a music student myself, I found it very helpful.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is such a great book to learn about musicians and composers in History. It was required reading for my daughters Fine Arts class and I enjoy reading it too! Read morePublished 5 months ago by Tammy
The Gift of Music ....truly for the heart strings of the soul...Andrea A.Published 23 months ago by Andrea A.
There is another version of the gift of music, and I was hoping that's what I was going to buy.Published 24 months ago by Sal Cracchiolo
This is a book with many chapters on a variety of great composers. The writers have included the usual suspects, i.e. Read morePublished on September 4, 2013 by likesagoodmystery
The conversation with Brahms and Joachim is incredible. It was worth purchasing the book. Like sitting in the room with Johannes BrahmsPublished on June 28, 2013 by C. Smith
We are using this book as part of our homeschooling education and are very pleased with it. My daughter plays the piano and harp and wanted to learn specifically about Mendelssohn... Read morePublished on April 6, 2013 by Deanna Peck
This is on our stereo top. We love it. I love classical music. This book is looked at by most of us and is really interesting.Published on March 2, 2012 by Dyana J. Mullican