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Music > Individual Composers and Musicians

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Monteverdi and the End of the Renaissance Cover

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Monteverdi and the End of the Renaissance

Gary Tomlinson

Combining a close study of Monteverdi's secular works with recent research on late Renaissance history, Gary Tomlinson places the composer's creative career in its broad cultural context and illuminates the state of Italian music, poetry, and ideology in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Monument Eternal Cover

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Monument Eternal

The Music of Alice Coltrane

Franya J. J. Berkman

Alice Coltrane was a composer, improviser, guru, and widow of John Coltrane. Over the course of her musical life, she synthesized a wide range of musical genres including gospel, rhythm-and-blues, bebop, free jazz, Indian devotional song, and Western art music. Her childhood experiences playing for African-American congregations in Detroit, the ecstatic and avant-garde improvisations she performed on the bandstand with her husband John Coltrane, and her religious pilgrimages to India reveal themselves on more than twenty albums of original music for the Impulse and Warner Brothers labels.

In the late 1970s Alice Coltrane became a swami, directing an alternative spiritual community in Southern California. Exploring her transformation from Alice McLeod, Detroit church pianist and bebopper, to guru Swami Turiya Sangitananda, Monument Eternal illuminates her music and, in turn, reveals the exceptional fluidity of American religious practices in the second half of the twentieth century. Most of all, this book celebrates the hybrid music of an exceptional, boundary-crossing African-American artist.

Ebook Edition Note: All images in center photo section have been redacted.

Moriz Rosenthal in Word and Music Cover

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Moriz Rosenthal in Word and Music

A Legacy of the Nineteenth Century

Edited and with an Introduction by Mark Mitchell and Allan Evans. Preface by Charles Rosen

As a pianist, Rosenthal was unparalleled: his legato touch came from Chopin through his pupil Mikuli; his awareness of composition was developed by Liszt; his Brahms interpretation shaped by the composer himself; and his ingeniously crafted piano-paraphrases memorialized his friendship with Johann Strauss II. Yet Rosenthal's pianistic abilities were married to a rare intellectual erudition -- a knowledge of literature, history, philology, science, philosophy, and society that few pianists have ever matched, let alone surpassed.

In these striking pieces, we see every facet of Rosenthal: memoirist, social critic, pedagogue, and virtuoso. He could write with gravity and pathos, yet his famous and sometimes devastating wit is legendary. This volume combines Rosenthal's writings with critical assessments of the pianist by such contemporaries as Eduard Hanslick, Edward Prime-Stevenson, and Hugo Wolf. It is rounded out with an illuminating preface by Charles Rosen, perhaps Rosenthal's most renowned pupil; a discography and concertography; and a CD featuring never-before-released Rosenthal recordings.

Mozart and Enlightenment Semiotics Cover

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Mozart and Enlightenment Semiotics

Stephen Rumph

In this groundbreaking, historically-informed semiotic study of late eighteenth-century music, Stephen Rumph focuses on Mozart to explore musical meaning within the context of Enlightenment sign and language theory. Illuminating his discussion with French, British, German, and Italian writings on signs and language, Rumph analyzes movements from Mozart’s symphonies, concertos, operas, and church music. He argues that Mozartian semiosis is best understood within the empiricist tradition of Condillac, Vico, Herder, or Adam Smith, which emphasized the constitutive role of signs within human cognition. Recognizing that the rationalist model of neoclassical rhetoric has guided much recent work on Mozart and his contemporaries, Rumph demonstrates how the dialogic tension between opposing paradigms enabled the composer to negotiate contradictions within Enlightenment thought.

Mr. Tuba Cover

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Mr. Tuba

Harvey Phillips. Foreword by David N. Baker

With warmth and humor, tuba virtuoso Harvey Phillips tells the story of his amazing life and career from his Missouri childhood through his days as a performer with the King Brothers and the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circuses, his training at the Juilliard School, a stint with the US Army Field Band, and his freelance days with the New York City Opera and Ballet. A founder of the New York Brass Quintet, Phillips served as director of the New England Conservatory of Music and became Professor of Music at Indiana University. The creator of an industry of TubaChristmases, Octubafests, and TubaSantas, he crusaded for recognition of the tuba as a serious musical instrument, commissioning more than 200 works. Enhanced by an extensive gallery of photographs, Mr. Tuba conveys Phillips's playful zest for life while documenting his important musical legacy.

Music and Sexuality in Britten Cover

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Music and Sexuality in Britten

Selected Essays

Philip Brett

Philip Brett’s groundbreaking writing on Benjamin Britten altered the course of music scholarship in the later twentieth century. This volume is the first to gather in one collection Brett’s searching and provocative work on the great British composer. Some of the early essays opened the door to gay studies in music, while the discussions that Brett initiated reinvigorated the study of Britten’s work and inspired a generation of scholars to imagine "the new musicology." Addressing urgent questions of how an artist’s sexual, cultural, and personal identity feeds into specific musical texts, Brett examines most of Britten’s operas as well as his role in the British cultural establishment of the mid-twentieth century. With some of the essays appearing here for the first time, this volume develops a complex understanding of Britten’s musical achievement and highlights the many ways that Brett expanded the borders of his field.

Music and the Skillful Listener Cover

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Music and the Skillful Listener

American Women Compose the Natural World

Denise Von Glahn

For Denise Von Glahn, listening is that special quality afforded women who have been fettered for generations by the maxim "be seen and not heard." In Skillful Listeners, Von Glahn explores the relationship between listening and musical composition focusing on nine American women composers inspired by the sounds of the natural world:Amy Beach, Marion Bauer, Louise Talma, Pauline Oliveros, Joan Tower, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Victoria Bond, Libby Larsen, and Emily Doolittle. Von Glahn situates "nature composing" among the larger tradition of nature writing and argues that, like their literary sisters, works of these women express deeply held spiritual and aesthetic beliefs about nature. Drawing on a wealth of archival and original source material, Von Glahn skillfully employs literary and gender studies, ecocriticism and ecomusicology, and the larger world of contemporary musicological thought to tell the stories of nine women composers who seek to understand nature through music.

Music from the True Vine Cover

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Music from the True Vine

Mike Seeger's Life and Musical Journey

Bill C. Malone

Malone’s biographical work covers the life and musical contributions of folk artist Mike Seeger, the brother of folk singer Pete Seeger. One of the founding members of influential folk group the New Lost City Ramblers, Mike Seeger spent more than fifty years preserving, performing, and commemorating the culture and folk music of white and black Southerners, which he called “music from the true vine.” Malone argues that Seeger, while not as well known as his brother, may be more important in his work to identify and give a voice to the people from whom the Folk Revival borrowed its songs. Malone calls Seeger a musician, documentarian, and scholar, saying that his interest in folk music began during--and was shaped by--the post-Depression era. Malone believes Seeger (who died in 2009) made great contributions to the emerging field of American Roots Music, which has become a topic of increasing importance for scholars and an enduring area of interest for the listening public. This manuscript shows why generations of traditional musicians and fans of traditional music count Seeger as a mentor and an inspiration, and presents Seeger as a gatekeeper of American roots music and culture.

Music Is My Life Cover

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Music Is My Life

Louis Armstrong, Autobiography, and American Jazz

Daniel Stein

Music Is My Life is the first comprehensive analysis of Louis Armstrong's autobiographical writings (including his books, essays, and letters) and their relation to his musical and visual performances. Combining approaches from autobiography theory, literary criticism, intermedia studies, cultural history, and musicology, Daniel Stein reconstructs Armstrong's performances of his life story across various media and for different audiences, complicating the monolithic and hagiographic views of the musician. The book will appeal to academic readers with an interest in African American studies, jazz studies, musicology, and popular culture, as well as general readers interested in Armstrong's life and music, jazz, and twentieth-century entertainment. While not a biography, it provides a key to understanding Armstrong's oeuvre as well as his complicated place in American history and twentieth-century media culture.

Music Master of the Middle West Cover

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Music Master of the Middle West

The Story of F. Melius Christiansen and the St. Olaf Choir

Leola Bergmann

Music Master of the Middle West was first published in 1944. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.Probably only in the fields of sports and music could fifty college undergraduates draw 5000 spectators. The far-famed St. Olaf Choir can and does; yearly it amazes concert-goers from New York to San Francisco by its seemingly impossible perfection.For the thousands who already know the choir and its director, for those interested in music and its development, this book has been written. Here are the stories of F. Melius Christiansen, his choir, and the setting of Norwegian-American Lutheranism out of which he grew.Christiansen brought to this country a rich treasure of Norwegian folk music. Years of study in Minneapolis and Europe, of directing band and choir groups in midwestern towns, prepared hum for the work that was to bring him fame.“The story of Christiansen’s contribution to American music, his recognized influence on choral singing from coast to coast, is the story of an Old World heritage shaped and enlarged by the free, wide ways and the deep soul-hunger of the New. ‘Norway gave me much,’ says Christiansen, ‘but America has taught me how to use it.’”Mrs. Bergmann’s account of the choir, its personnel, training, and experience, is full of lively anecdotes as well as technical details. Her own four years as a member of the group, her behind-the-scenes knowledge enable her to convey the spirit of the singers, to discuss frankly both strength and weakness. But always she insists that success “lies not in the superior quality of the voices that make up the choirs, since Christiansen chooses largely the average, untrained voice, but in the nature of the director.”Thus it is primarily F. Melius Christiansen’s story, concerned with his techniques and methods and, above all, with the vigorous personality which makes him remembered by all who know him.

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