A History of Music in Western Culture / Edition 3

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A History of Music in Western Culture 3/e is based on the premise that the best way to convey the history of Western music is to focus squarely on the music. Organized around a carefully selected repertory of works, this text integrates the requisite names, dates, and concepts around specific compositions. Once familiar with a representative body of music, students can better grasp the evolution of musical style and music's changing uses within the Western tradition. Even more importantly, they will have a sound basis from which to explore other musical works and repertories. This text builds its narrative around the core repertory represented in the Anthology of Scores and the corresponding sets of compact discs.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205645312
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 1/17/2009
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 696
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Table of Contents


Prologue: Antiquity

Music in the Biblical World

Ancient Greece

Music in Ancient Greek Society

Greek Musical Theory

Music in the Roman Empire

The Musical Legacies of Antiquity

Music and the Cosmos

Music and the Soul

Music and the State

Theory versus Practice

Vocal versus Instrumental Music

Discussion Questions

Part I The Medieval Era

Prelude to Part I

CHAPTER 1: Plainchant and Secular Monophony

The Emergence of Plainchant

The Elements of Plainchant

Liturgical Function

Relationship of Words and Music


Melodic Structure


The Expansion of Plainchant

Secular Monophony

Songs in Latin


The Iberian Peninsula


CHAPTER 2: Polyphony to 1300


Innovations in Organum

Notre Dame Organum




Mensural Notation

Franconian Notation

Petronian Notation

CHAPTER 3: Music in the 14th Century

France: The Ars Nova

Le Roman de Fauvel

Polyphonic Settings of the Mass Ordinary

Secular Song

The Ars subtilior at the End of the

14th Century

Italy: The Trecento


Instrumental Music

Discussion Questions

Part II The Renaissance

Prelude to Part II

Renaissance Humanism

The Protestant Reformation

Renaissance Painting and Sculpture

Music in Renaissance Society

CHAPTER 4: The Emergence of Renaissance Style

Consonance and Dissonance: Trusting the Ear

Sonority: The Contenance Angloise

Fauxbourdon and Faburden

New Sonority, Old Structure: Du Fay’s Nuper rosarum flores

Josquin’s Ave Maria . . . Virgo Serena and The Style of the Renaissance

Treatment of Text


Cadential Structure





CHAPTER 5: The Genres of Renaissance Music, 1420—1520

Sacred Vocal Music

The Mass: Du Fay and Ockeghem

The Mass: Josquin des Prez and His


The Motet

Secular Vocal Music



Instrumental Music

Renaissance Instruments

Keyboard Music

Dance Music

CHAPTER 6: Music in the 16th Century

Secular Vocal Music

The Parisian Chanson

The Italian Madrigal

Secular Song in Germany, Spain, and England

Sacred Vocal Music

Music of the Reformation

Music of the Counter-Reformation

Instrumental Music



Freely Composed Works

Dance Music


Discussion Questions

Part III The Baroque Era

Prelude to Part III

War, Revolution, and Colonial Expansion

The Scientific Revolution

The Musical Baroque

CHAPTER 7: The New Practice

Searching for the Secrets of Ancient Greek Music

The Florentine Camerata

The Seconda Prattica

Music in the Baroque Era:

A Stylistic Overview

CHAPTER 8: Vocal Music, 1600—1650

Secular Song

Italy: The Madrigal

France: The Air de cour


Sacred Music

CHAPTER 9: Vocal Music, 1650—1750


France: Comédie-ballet and Tragédie en musique

Italy: Opera seria

England: Masque, Semi-Opera, Opera, and Ballad Opera

Sacred Music

Music in Convents


Motet and Mass


Conceptions of the Compositional Process

CHAPTER 10: Instrumental Music, 1600—1750

Instruments of the Baroque Era

The Violin

Winds, Brass, and Percussion

Keyboard Instruments

The Orchestra

The Public Concert

Instrumental Genres of the Baroque Era




Other Keyboard Genres

Discussion Questions

Part IV The Classical Era

Prelude to Part IV

The Age of Enlightenment

War and Revolution

The Industrial Revolution

Music in Enlightenment Society

CHAPTER 11: The Art of the Natural Music and the Idea of Nature

Music in the Classical Era: A Stylistic Overview

The Elements of Classical Style

The Illusion of Order

Form and Style in the Mid-18TH Century

The Emergence of Sonata Form

The Fantasia

CHAPTER 12: Instrumental Music in the Classical Era

The Language of Instrumental Music

Form and Genre in the Instrumental Music of the Classical Era


String Quartet



CHAPTER 13: Vocal Music in the Classical Era

The Rise of Opera Buff

Opera Wars

Gluck and the Reform of Opera

Mozart and the Synthesis of Operatic Styles

Sacred Music


Discussion Questions

Major Composers of the Classical Era


Great Britain


The Austrian Empire


North America

Part V The 19th Century

Prelude to Part V

Progress and Dislocation

Ideas and Ideologies

Reaction, Reform, and Revolution

The Musical World of the 19th Century

CHAPTER 14: The Age of the Tone Poet

Romanticism and the New Prestige of Instrumental Music

The Composer as High Priest

Originality and Historical Self-Consciousness

The New Dichotomy between Absolute and Program Music


The Growing Division between Art and Popular Music

Music in the 19th Century: A Stylistic Overview

CHAPTER 15: Orchestral Music, 1800—1850

Bigger Halls, Bigger Audiences, and Louder Instruments

The Symphony

Beethoven’s Symphonies

The Symphony after Beethoven

The Concert Overture

The Concerto

CHAPTER 16: Piano Music, Chamber Music, Song

Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas and String Quartets


The Character Piece

The Virtuoso Showpiece

CHAPTER 17: Dramatic and Choral Music


Italy in the Early 19th Century: Rossini

Italy at Mid-century: Verdi

Opera and Politics

France: Grand Opéra and Opéra Comique

Germany: Weber to Wagner

The Elements of Wagnerian

Music Drama


Choral Music

CHAPTER 18: Orchestral Music, 1850—1900

Music for Dancing and Marching

The Ballet

The Symphonic Poem

The Symphony

The Challenge of the Past: Brahms

Nationalism: DvoÇrák

The Collision of High and Low: Mahler

Discussion Questions

Major Composers of the 19th Century


Great Britain



Germany and Austria




United States

Part VI The 20th Century

Prelude to Part VI

The Impact of Recorded Sound

Modernism: The Shock of the New

CHAPTER 19: The Growth of Pluralism from Homogeneity to Diversity

The Past Confronts the Present

Recorded Versus Live Music


The Uses of Music in the 20th-Century


Music and the State

Music and Race

Music and Protest

Music Therapy

Ambient Music

Music in the 20th Century: A Stylistic Overview

CHAPTER 20: The Search for New Sounds, 1890—1945


Challenges to Tonality

Radical Primitivism


New Timbres

Chapter 21: Beyond Tonality


Serial Composition

CHAPTER 22: The Tonal Tradition

Neoclassicalism and the “New Objectivity”

Orchestral Music

Film Music


Chamber Music

Opera and Musical Theatre

The Oratorio

CHAPTER 23: New Currents after 1945

The Quest for Innovation


Dissonant Counterpart

Integral Serialism

Aleatory Music

Electronic Music



Major Composers of the 20th Century


Great Britain




Germany and Austria



Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic


Russia and the Soviet Union

Latin America

United States

CHAPTER 24: The Popular Music of America and Its Influence

Before 1900

Ragtime and Blues



Popular Song

Jazz: to 1945

Jazz: after 1945

Country Music

The Folk Revival

Rhythm, Rock and Rap

Discussion Questions

Epilogue: Music at the Beginning of a New Century




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This book rests on the premise that the best way to convey the history of Western music is to focus squarely on the music—integrating the requisite names, dates, and concepts into the study of a carefully selected repertory of works. Once familiar with a representative body of music, students can better grasp the evolution of musical style and music's changing uses within the Western tradition. Even more importantly, they will have a sound basis from which to explore other musical works and repertories.

A History of Music in Western Culture builds its narrative around the core repertory represented in the accompanying Anthology of Scores and corresponding set of compact disks. The text is not an encyclopedia. My goal, rather, has been to help students gain a broad understanding of the nature of music, its role in society, and the ways in which these have changed over time.

Finally, A History of Music in Western Culture seeks to challenge students to think critically about its subject. The history of music is too often presented (and learned) as one long series of indisputable facts. I have tried to integrate into this text enough documents—primary sources—to demonstrate that the raw materials of history are often open to conflicting interpretations. Indeed, the most interesting historical issues tend to be precisely those about which experts disagree.


The narrative of A History of Music in Western Culture is closely integrated with the accompanying Anthology of Scores. Every work in the anthology gets a discussion in the text, called out with a note in the margin, and the anthologyis ordered to follow the sequence in which those discussions occur within the text. In addition, whenever a work in the anthology is mentioned in any other context, it is identified as such parenthetically.

Following a Prologue on the music of classical Antiquity, the text is divided into six parts, each corresponding to a major era in music history: Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, 19th century, and 20th century. The text concludes with a brief Epilogue on music today.

Each part begins with a prelude—with one or more maps—that summarizes the historical and social background of each era. The first chapter in each part provides an overview of the major stylistic characteristics and theoretical concerns of the music of the era. Parts 4 (Classical period), 5 (19th century), and 6 (20th century) conclude with a brief survey of all the major composers of their respective eras.

The text also offers a variety of features and pedagogical tools:

  • The opening pages of each prelude include a comparative timeline that lists major musical events side by side with other significant historical events.
  • An outline at the beginning of each chapter gives students an overview of the content of the chapter.
  • Key terms are highlighted in each chapter and defined in a glossary at the end of the book.
  • Significant composers are featured in extended composer profiles that include key biographical information and a survey of principal works.
  • Primary evidence boxes contain excerpts from relevant contemporary documents, exposing students to some of the raw materials of music history.
  • Focus boxes highlight important information that expands on aspects of the core narrative.
  • Numerous examples, tables, and diagrams help students grasp key points and visualize musical structures.
  • The last chapter in each part concludes with a set of discussion questions designed to stimulate reflection on broad issues in music history.

Finally, A History of Music in Western Culture is richly illustrated with carefully chosen images drawn from the period under discussion. Detailed captions reveal the wealth of information—about music, composers, and their role in society—embedded in these artworks. Four inserts with more than 20 color illustrations are distributed throughout the book.


A History of Music in Western Culture comes with a variety of supplementary print and multimedia materials for both instructors and students.

Anthology of Scores in Two Volumes

The more than 250 works in the Anthology of Scores to A History of Music in Western Culture have been carefully selected to represent the developments in music history elucidated in the text. Every work in the Anthology of Scores is discussed in the text. Volume I covers Antiquity through the Baroque Era; Volume II covers music of the Classical Era through the 20th Century.


Two sets of six compact disks complement the text and Anthology of Scores. Produced by Naxos of America in close coordination with Prentice Hall, the two compilations are arranged chronologically and mirror the content of the Anthology.

Instructor's Resource Manual

The Instructor's Resource Manual with Tests provides a summary, bibliography, a bank of test questions, and suggested discussion topics and activities for each chapter of the text. These are carefully organized to ease class preparation, instruction, and testing.

Companion Website

The Companion Website for A History of Music in Western Culture provides students an opportunity to delve more deeply into the ideas and personalities discussed in the text. Students can evaluate their progress with study and essay questions and report the results to the instructor. The site also includes an array of historical documents to complement those in the text. Many of the documents that appear in abbreviated form in the text appear complete on the site. Essay questions accompany each of these documents.

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