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Norton Anthology of Western Music: Ancient to Baroque (Norton Anthology of Western Music Volume I Series, Volume1) Paperback – August, 1996

4.2 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

J. Peter Burkholder is Distinguished Professor of Musicology at Indiana University. He is the author of previous editions of A History of Western Music, the Norton Anthology of Western Music, and the Study and Listening Guide. In addition, he has written or edited four books on Charles Ives and has written 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, and his writings have received awards from the American Musicological Society, Society for American Music, and ASCAP.<br /><br /><br />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.<br /> --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Norton Anthology of Western Music Volume I Series, Volume1
  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: W W Norton & Co Inc (Np); 3rd edition (August 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393969061
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393969061
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,798,827 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is the first volume of the Norton Anthology of Western Music Third Edition). It covers Music of the Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque periods, while the second volume deals with Music from the Classical, Romantic Contemporary and Modern Periods. The book offers a selection of scores (86 in total) from several composers and it spans over a period of more than two millennia (earliest score from 408 B.C., latest from 1752 A.D.). The scores that are included are representative of most composers that made an impact through these two millennia (at least according to the editors): Leonin, Perotin, Machaut, Landini, Dunstable, Duffay, Ockeghem, Des Prez, Willaert, Gesualdo, Monteverdi, Dowland, Byrd, Palestrina, Luis de Victoria, Orlando di Lasso, Caccini, Peri, Gabrielli, Schutz, Froberger, Frescobaldi, Scarlati, Purcell, Buxtehude, Lully, Couperin, Corelli, Vivaldi, Rameau, J.S. Bach and G. F. Handel. In this volume, 60 eponymous composers (and several anonymous) are included. The only noticeable absence on a first reading of the index is perhaps that of Boccherini. However, given the restrictions of space that are inherent to any written medium, the Anthology still manages to remain quite comprehensive. On the other hand, very few, if any, comments or analyses of the scores are offered for each of the pieces (always following the music). Pieces that involve vocals (i.e. excerpts from operas, cantatas, masses) are supplemented with an English translation, besides the original text. The scores themselves are 'full' scores and not piano reductions. Naturally, this causes some scores that involve richer orchestration (i.e. the excerpt from Bach's B Minor Mass "Et expecto resurrectionem") to be printed in small fonts, which in turn may take its toll in the readability of the music.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
Both volumes of the (paperback) Anthology (N.B.: 3d ed. goes with 5th ed. of the "History" text) are primarily fully reproduced (though reduced in size) scores to the music reproduced audiophonically on the CD's in Volumes 1 and 2 of "Recorded Anthology." The Anthology, according to its 3d ed. preface, now contains almost no text of its own. The "History" text (clothbound and yes, definitive) contains minimal examples in musical notation and refers to these two volumes frequently. Despite the above review being included with this volume, be advised that the study guide by J. Peter Burkholder is to the "History" text, not primarily to the Anthologies, which also supplement the History (along with the CD's).
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Format: Paperback
As is typical with surveys of music written before 1800, this volume devotes way too little time and space to a period of music history spanning almost 2000 years, and yet volume two deovtes roughly the same amount of space to two hundred years of music history (ca. 1800-present). One gets the impression that a series of relatively inconsequential composers filled in the blanks until Bach and Handel, and that's grossly unfair not only to the composers of those works (and the works themselves), but also to those who wish to learn something about music written before Mozart, Beethoven, Verdi and Puccini.

If you're looking to learn something about music written before 1800, stay away from these kinds of surveys and point yourself in the direction of books focused more on particular subject areas -- for example, James Anthony's book on French Baroque music and Gary Tomlinson's book "Monteverdi and the End of the Renaissance" provide lucid breakdowns for those new to these genres, as well as those who already have some background in the subject matter.

There are a few books that are even more general than those I mentioned above but that still provide a clear outline of music from paricular eras. For example, Richard Hoppin's "Medieval Music" and the accompanying "Anthology of Medieval Music" is a fine place to begin a study of this period. Alan Atlas' "Renaissance Music: Music in Western Europe, 1400-1600", and Howard Mayer Brown's "Music in the Renaissance" (2nd Edition) are excellent surveys of the music of that period. For Baroque music, Claude Palisca's "Baroque Music" (3rd Edition) is a good primer, as is Manfred F. Bukofzer's "Music in the Baroque Era, from Monteverdi to Bach.
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Format: Paperback
Editors Palisca and Grout present a thorough survey of western music from written sources, with a welcome emphasis on lesser-known works. They include neumes and other ancient methods of notation. Entirely scholarly and accompanied by beautifully executed recordings of each piece, this book is a must for every student of musicology, and a boon to anyone interested in ancient music.
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Format: Paperback
These anthologies are mostly used in music history courses to my knowledge and so I don't believe it's fair to say that this book fails to offer enough excerpts in this genre, or in this country, or during such and such years. I used this book during my first semester of music history at the undergraduate level (focusing on the second volume the next semester) and there simply isn't enough time to cover everything that ever happened during this period.

The anthology strives to give textbook examples of certain genres, forms, etc. and even ones that don't follow such rules that I HOPE are explained by an instructor. The reason they do that is so students don't leave the class thinking every piece fall neatly into rules. It's only big schools (who more than likely have a graduate program like I'm in) that can afford to offer classes that can focus on narrower time periods. It was only until I was in grad school that I could take a semester class that just focused on the Baroque; Just 150 years were studied in one semester and even then things were left out. For a comprehensive reference for music history, this is a great anthology.
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