VOYA, June 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 2) - Lisa MartincikEntries in The Music Library series (currently numbering 15) serve as broad introductions to a variety of musical genres, including historical context and emblematic or well-known figures. Each presents a unique difficulty; classical music possesses a fixed number of composers who are nigh-universally acknowledged as masters of their era, but those eras cover several hundred years. Blues music is much more recent, but current artists may not stand up to the scrutiny of future editions. Then too, some genres necessitate repetition between books, as the blues serves as an influence on or feeder for so much of “American” music. Nevertheless, each volume stands reasonably well on its own and serves as a solid start for exploration. Sidebars shine light on smaller or related topics, such as “The Sonata,” African Musical Instruments,” and “The Funk Brothers.” Sources, as revealed in the bibliography (“Notes”) section of each book, range from solidly researched biographies and histories to other reference books to websites. They are easy to browse and to read, if not exactly gripping, with interesting historical anecdotes and ample illustration. Even for introductory books, the recommended listening section is crucial to understanding the music being described; likewise the brief glossary. (The Music Library) Reviewer: Lisa Martincik; Ages 12 to 18.
Children's LiteratureThis volume in "The Music Library" series begins with a definition of classical music that encompasses the works of Mozart and Hayden as well as Gershwin and the Beatles. We read about classical music in an historical, as well as a modern sense. Having established common ground, the author now traces the history of music through Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern times. Along with an overview of the evolution of music, we learn about the powerful influences of religion, revolutions, and industrialization on the lives of the musicians and their musical creations. In this way, the author conveys the idea that the music produced was part of the fabric of a specific time period and a culture. Graphic features include more anecdotal sidebars, as well as black-and-white photographs and art reproductions. With an index, bibliography, endnotes, and list of further reading, this volume will work well as a resource for the student researcher. 2003, Lucent Books,
Susan Schott Karr
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