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Music: An Appreciation

4.1 out of 5 stars 92 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0079115157
ISBN-10: 0079115152
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About the Author

Roger Kamien received his B.A. in Musicology from Columbia and his M.A. and PhD. from Princeton. Kamien taught for 2 years at Hunter College and for 20 years at Queens College, where he coordinated the music appreciation courses. In 1983, he was appointed to the Zubin Mehta Chair in Musicology at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In addition to Music: An Appreciation, Prof. Kamien has written numerous articles and reviews, co-wrote A New Approach to Keyboard Harmony, and edited the Norton Scores. He is an accomplished pianist and, in recent years, has formed a two-piano team with his wife, Anita. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Mcgraw-Hill College (June 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0079115152
  • ISBN-13: 978-0079115157
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 12.8 x 12.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,127,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I have used this text and earlier editions teaching music appreciation at community college and have found it to be the best yet so far. The most useful part of the text for the [before class] non-active listener are the listening outlines, with very detailed descriptions of what to listen for in various pieces of music. Kamien includes very early musical selections up to the very recent. Also included are some non-western music examples. This text could be very beneficial to musician and non-musician alike. There is great detail in his explanations of how various musical forms are put together. There is just enough history included in the text to avoid the boredom of the purely historical perspective of music appreciation.
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Format: Paperback
I ordered this book/ cd set because it was required text for a college class. It is well organized and clearly written. I especially like the way the listening guides in the book refer to specific portions of songs which are recorded so that the entire work can be played seemlessly in its entirity, or specific portions can be accessed individually.
The only thing this work lacks is impossible for any work that attempts to offer a complete appreciation of music to achieve, complete scope.
I recommend this set.
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Format: Paperback
This is an excellent text for a survey course strictly on the history of western classical music. Kamien's experience and scholarship as a teacher and historian cannot be equalled in this area. I don't recommend the chapters on non-western music, jazz and popular music, however. If you are teaching a survey course that is more inclusive, this text is not ideal. Of all the western classical music texts I have used in my teaching, Kamien's accompanying CD compilation contains the nicest performances.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We were required to have a code to access a website for classwork with this book and that was not packaged with the book. There is a lot of good information in this text but there are some pricey peripherals to get the full benefit of the topic.
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By stephen on September 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
book was in good condition. but this book does not come with online connect access code. buyers beware, most people need this for their class.
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Format: Paperback
This book does a good job of putting music in an overall historical context. For example, it notes how Baroque productions, whether sculpture or music, meant to "fill space." That accounts for elaborate melodies in music, and movement in painting and sculpture.

Music used to be written as much for the mind as the ear. In some vocal pieces, lyrics correspond to melody. For example, if the word "ascending" is used in the song, the notes of the melody also go up. Vice-versa for descending. If the song mentions one person, a single voice is used--three voices come in when three people are in the storyline.

The musical selections are varied and enjoyable to listen to.
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Format: Paperback
I'm using this 5th Brief Edition with Brief Set Of Four CDs for my fall-2005 community college Music Appreciation class.

As a person with a few listening skills, I wish more joyful pieces were here. Some of the music seems overtly here for historic context; but, please don't exact the comment as negativity, but only for face-value. I feel Gustav Mahler had a tremendous impact on society particularly since the 1960s and '70s and is a strange omission. Also, I feel a section of one of Gilbert & Sullivan's operas belongs in this class. Students may relate the storytelling with orchestral music if they understood the language, and Gilbert and Sullivan composed in English. Gilbert and Sullivan operas are just as good as any other opera. English opera could be important because many of the people in my class have the attitude of, "What, you actually expect me to listen to this stuff?" Well, some people in the class are just idiotic, anyway. They don't know what they are saying; but, the quicker they relate, the more convinced we make them, that this music really is better. We must tell the students what makes better music; otherwise, they go back to Paula Abdul. Do you know what I mean?

One thing I noted, the CDs use multiple tracks for each single piece of music. E.g., Duke Ellington's C-Jam Blues, the second piece of music in the set, runs 2:38, but it is divided into 8 CD tracks so that teachers can goto a specific place within the song. I understand the point, but dividing the songs into different tracks confuses me, a student, because the class uses the CD set to test me on "music recognition". I have to hunt down the manual with every listen because the pieces aren't just more simply track-labeled according to piece.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had to buy this for a college music appreciation class. While not having a 1000 page, 15 pound book in super small print was a nice change, I found the text to be over simplified for a college class. Not sure why the professor chose this particular text, since I'm sure there's more thorough books out there. This book seems to be geared more towards high school kids, or smarter-than-your-average-bear junior high kids.

This book is a good place to start if you want to learn the most basic of basics, especially if you use the CDs also. It's pretty nifty that CDs are incorporated into the text...like, "If you want an example of a Gregorian Chant, listen to track 19, oh and by the way, here's the history of this particular song." It covers a decent amount of ground as far as learning musical terms, characteristics of different kinds of music, etc.

As far as history goes, it's pretty much completely European and American oriented, as if those are the only two places in the world that create music. The history is fascinating, but very limited in scope.

A final tip--buy this book used, like I did. $10 is all you should pay for this book and the CDs, not $100.
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